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Combo budget + investment software?
Old 05-22-2015, 09:19 AM   #1
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Combo budget + investment software?

What do you guys use to track your budget and investments (if anything?)

I am about to dive into an Excel spreadsheet but wondering if there is anything easier/better?

What I would like to be able to do is track spending in many categories while also tracking investment returns/balances and net worth.

A bonus would be a indicator of predicted MAGI for the current tax year

A extra bonus would be if the software is free
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:07 AM   #2
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I use spreadsheets to track investments and budgeting/spending. It's one of those things (for me, at least) that once I spent the time getting it the way I want it, it's tough to change it. Only problem is the lack of automation. I still need to log into my accounts to enter current dollar amounts for both investments and spending...
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:24 AM   #3
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PersonalCapital.com will track investments and moneycenter.yodlee.com will also let you place in budget target as well as tracking investment and transactions
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:25 AM   #4
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I use Quicken Home & Business 2014. My entire balance sheet is on it and all of my credit card, bank and investment accounts are linked into it. I update balances a couple times a week, reconcile bank accounts monthly and reconcile all accounts quarterly.

Once you have used it for a few months, most credit card entries will categorize themselves automatically (gas, groceries, restaurants, box stores, etc.) but I review the charges for categorization.

The bonus for me is that I have most of our routine bills set up as bill reminders ("paycheck" deposits, quarterly dividends, mortgage payment, insurance, credit card payments, utility bills, etc.) with estimated amounts and my home page is a nice graph showing the projected balance in out main bill paying checking account for the next 90 days and is very helpful in monitoring cash flow and making sure I don't have an overdraft.

Since I use Quicken to "manage" our financial life, to me it is well worth the $30/year or so cost (I only update every 2 or 3 years).
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:29 AM   #5
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I've played with several of the online ones in the past. I had a couple of issues - one is that my credit card is linked to my credit union account and the software couldn't see it - and since we pay most things on that card, that's definitely a limiter - but I'd need to go back to their customer service to see if there's a way.


The second issue I ran into at the time was that I have very detailed monthly budgets and each month isn't the same. I pay certain insurance bills in certain months, the property tax bill in December in January and I have a pretty good idea what each month's utilities are going to look like based on keeping that history for a long time. Can they now allow for a unique budget for each month?
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
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...Can they now allow for a unique budget for each month?
Quicken definitely does.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:43 AM   #7
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I find excel works just fine.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by robertf57 View Post
PersonalCapital.com will track investments and moneycenter.yodlee.com will also let you place in budget target as well as tracking investment and transactions
+1
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:20 AM   #9
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I too am a quicken user (since 1997). When considering software options, you may want to think about how long you plan to use it and what other things you may want. I also like that it ties to turbotax since my honey still have a business so easy to track schedule C and upload. I use the networth and life planning sections of quicken, the calendar for planning/cash flow, budgeting tools, and I periodically review my investments with their advice options and sometimes it notices things I didn't. I have nearly 20 years of data now so I know exactly what I spend, I can easily make a household inventory, see when I bought the washer/dryer, etc and I even use it when I forget who I used last to fix the furnace.


To be honest, its the networth graph that got me addicted to saving and allowed me to ER ..it was scary to find I was negative net worth when I started.. and ticked off each milestone as I went.


However, if you don't need a year over year thing, I"ve also used Mint just to monitor budget items and find the online app useful when I was trying to stay in budget and we were tempted to stop for dinner..it kept honest.
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:54 PM   #10
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Mint might work for you.
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Old 05-22-2015, 05:33 PM   #11
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Moneydance has worked well for me for the last few years. One nice feature is that it works on any platform (PC, Mac, Unix).
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:42 PM   #12
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Thanks for the suggestions. I will look these over and see if they would work better for me than a spreadsheet.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:25 PM   #13
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The sunset edition of Microsoft Money is available free. I used for many years until it was discontinued ( no online updates ). Still functional with manual updates.
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Old 05-23-2015, 12:26 AM   #14
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Everyone is so much more dedicated than I am.
I tried MS Money, but found it a pain to remember to use.
I'm not going to put all my passwords into some program to allow it access to my different accounts, too nervous a Luddite I guess, but that also makes it really tough to constantly monitor accounts.

What I do is at the end of the year, is add up all the totals from my various accounts/investments to see how the past year went. I have a spreadsheet so I can compare to previous years.
I pay my CC twice monthly so I don't miss it.
I'm so cheap that I don't really worry about spending too much, really the problem is not spending enough.
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Old 05-23-2015, 04:59 AM   #15
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I use Mint currently but very frustrated with it. I use on a tablet and can't figure out how to delete old bank accounts. Also, now, for some reason I'm getting duplicates on all debits/charges from credit cards, so no value at all. I'm going to pick up Quicken, I think.

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Old 05-23-2015, 06:30 AM   #16
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In 1990 I went to Comdex in Vegas to work at our company's sales booth. During one of my breaks I wandered through the Las Vegas Convention Center to a booth from Intuit where a guy named Scott Cook gave me a demo of Quicken. Later found out he was the founder/CEO. Told me they were running a special at Walmart stores for $30 and I've been using it ever since.

I currently use their Rental Property Manager version. I do also use Excel. I've had my own custom retirement spreadsheet that also goes back to 1990. I named it the Investment Calculator back then so that's what it's still called (through many iterations).
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Old 05-23-2015, 07:18 AM   #17
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I use excel and have added so many "sheets" that it is a book at this point LOL. Anything and everything has its own page from Balance Sheet to individual Investments updated when I choose to detailed taxes past years and pro forma future years to a Retirement spreadsheet with both Roth conversion and non Roth conversion models. It also has a budget which I tweak regularly along with monthly columns for actual expenses going back to 2004. My home cost basis is on another sheet. Many of the sheets have links to numbers on other sheets so changes automatically flow through. In short this is my baby. I probably refer to it several times a week. Yet another portion of one of the sheets enables me to track Asset Allocation and propose changes that will bring our allocation back to our goals. When I get the changes the way I want them I then execute the plan. This method of monitoring one's financial life would bore most people but I'm a spreadsheet nerd and enjoy the whole process.
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Combo budget + investment software?
Old 05-23-2015, 07:36 AM   #18
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Combo budget + investment software?

Excel, with Vba automation to retrieve current prices from the web..
Excel is incredibly powerful if you know how to use it.
I try not to run it too often as day to day fluctuations can be maddening...

I need to sit with the wife to tighten up the budget...she actually pays the bills.


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Old 05-23-2015, 08:03 AM   #19
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We have one workbook for "invest!" and one for "expenses!".
I try not to get too far into the weeds.

In invest! I track monthly totals by account. I do watch asset allocation there, but don't save any history in that regard. I have enough data to prove anything.


In expenses! I've been tracking summary data by year and category for many years. I have a sheet as does spouse. Has to be that way as we have separate checking. Last year I began saving all checking transactions in sheets to make tax time simpler.

That is just me, as I like to work with macros and VBA. I can get the charts and numbers I require without much effort. Some of this is automated.

No matter what direction you go, you'll still need a worksheet or two to fill in the gaps.
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Old 05-23-2015, 08:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
Excel, with Vba automation to retrieve current prices from the web..


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Ray; I used to have a formula that dowloaded quotes in my investment spreadsheet, but that tool became obsolete in excel a few years ago and I haven't replaced it yet. Where can I find a link to VBA?
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