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Old 07-10-2019, 08:18 PM   #21
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I was a Quicken user but had too many problems with downloading data. I tried Mint.com one day and found it easy to set up and my only download issue is the Target Red Card.

With about 1 year of data Iíve been able to get a much more accurate picture of our spending.

The best part is that my bride doesnít have to enter anything and I just ask her to confirm categories. Mint usually guesses correctly on those too.
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:14 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 24601NoMore View Post
Curious how you guys that are not tracking by category create or manage to a budget..

We have a pretty detailed category-level budget in Quicken, where we know pretty much to the penny what we spend on groceries, property taxes, income taxes, autos, utilities, insurance, etc. Seems there's value in that - at least for us..

When w*rking, neither DW or I bugeted or tracked expenses. We just put away a certain (high) percent every year, then spent the balance.


Now in retirement, we track and budget carefully since our SWR is relatively high and are still facing a significant SOR risk. All expenses come out of 2 checking accounts and 2 credit cards, with the great majority on the CC's. I manually download files into Libre Office (free excel), manually assign categories and roll up every month. I'm more concerned about the monthly total than what's in each category. We define the budget yearly, with emphasis on the total spend and only loose guidelines for categories.

As an example of what results for this effort, I discovered that our restaurant spend equals our vacation budget, which alreadly includes restaruants during trips! We wanted to snow bird more, so we've reduced our eating out while at home by maybe 65%, freeing up a ton of $$ for extended road trips. Another change is growing annoyance over our cell phone and internet bills. So we're switching to a lower cost carrier (Consumer Cellular) and we bought our own cable modem.

So a fair amount of detailed knowlege has helped us optimize our spending to more closely focus on our priorities. Oh, I also eschew subscription services when possible. Expense tracking has caused me hate fixed costs, even small ones.
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