Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-05-2009, 09:32 AM   #41
Recycles dryer sheets
Tesaje's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Frederick
Posts: 333
I have both tracking of expenditures and a budget. Tracking is now in Moneydance but used to be in Quicken. I never liked the budgeting portion of Quicken and found it less than useful except for finding out what I was spending on a particular category. The budget is in an excel spreadsheet. I started the detailed budget about 5 years ago. Once I got it in good shape, I started projecting out about 5 years. By doing this, I get a good grip on my projected spending with my retirement income folded in. This exercise gives me a lot of confidence that my retirement will work for me.

Over the last 3 years or so, I've tweaked the budget spreadsheet with each change so it is up to date and still shows me that my plans will work. For me, the rewards are well worth the trouble, which isn't much anymore.
__________________

__________________
I FIREd myself at start of 2010!
Tesaje is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-05-2009, 09:44 AM   #42
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Never tracked expenses or set up a budget. Saving on a monthly basis is on automatic and any bonuses/windfalls are tossed into the taxable account, with perhaps 5% skimmed off the top. Other than that, outgo has to be equal or below the remaining income or there had beter be a good reason (or at least a conscious decision).

When I get within a few years of FIRE I will invest the time to track expenses closely for a few years, but don't have the time or inclination right now.

Also never balanced my checkbook in my entire life...
__________________

__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2009, 02:17 PM   #43
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: SoCal
Posts: 230
I'm a like Tesaje, I track expenses uses Mint.com but set a budget at the start of each year. I start by taking off my savinsg first. Then I have a group of non-discretionary expenses (some fixed, like mortgage, or an allocation for irregular expenses, like insurance or prop taxes). Finally I start with the discretionary expenses. I include any major purchases (like computers or TVs) that I plan to make that year. I also have a "wish list" of stuff, that, if I get a windfall or end of underspending in an area, that I can go ahead and buy. Also, if I have to make a large unplanned expense, than usually one of the major purchases will have to get pushed off. For example, last year I had planned to buy a new laptop, but my old 27" TV died on me, so I bought a new flat screen TV instead and deferred the laptop purchase to this year.

This is why I do the annual budget...to make sure I'm thinking about the major purchases as well as the day-to-day expenses, which at this point I have dialed in enough that I probably wouldn't need to budget just to control those...
__________________
caninelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2009, 07:50 PM   #44
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Bikerdude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,901
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Never tracked expenses or set up a budget. Saving on a monthly basis is on automatic and any bonuses/windfalls are tossed into the taxable account, with perhaps 5% skimmed off the top. Other than that, outgo has to be equal or below the remaining income or there had beter be a good reason (or at least a conscious decision).

When I get within a few years of FIRE I will invest the time to track expenses closely for a few years, but don't have the time or inclination right now.

Also never balanced my checkbook in my entire life...
This is exactly the path I followed. Started tracking/budgeting once I retired and have continued since.
__________________
“I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said” Alan Greenspan
Bikerdude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2009, 07:56 PM   #45
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,069
I started tracking expenses ~3 years prior to retiring. Used that as a base for a budget in retirement and continue to budget and track. Excel spreadsheet with 30+ categories.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2009, 08:07 PM   #46
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 898
I've never kept a budget but I do track expenses after the fact (44 categories here)
__________________
Money's just something you need in case you don't die tomorrow.
Maurice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2009, 08:49 PM   #47
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
bbbamI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas 'burb
Posts: 9,039
Uh oh, just looked at my budget. The funds left in the booze category are getting slim.
__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2009, 08:51 PM   #48
Full time employment: Posting here.
Darryl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 577
We have a weekly budget that is reevaluated quarterly. 25-35 categories most on a spreadsheet on auto pilot the remainder is cash in envelopes. I can get DW to confess her status between monthly and quarterly. Bonuses typically have 66-33% to savings and we debate spending for the rest. Fairly common that we run a deficit and the bonus discretionary is used to clean that up before we consume.
Fortunately our income leaves a lot of room for errors. Despite the borderline execution I think we would be saving $10-20,000 a year less if we didn't use the budget.
__________________
I highjacked a rainbow and crashed into a pot of gold - Bon Jovi
Darryl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2009, 09:09 PM   #49
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbamI View Post
Uh oh, just looked at my budget. The funds left in the booze category are getting slim.
Time to start homebrewing.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2009, 09:37 PM   #50
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
bbbamI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas 'burb
Posts: 9,039
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Time to start homebrewing.
Now that is a hobby I could get into....
__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009, 07:32 PM   #51
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,811
We're natural LBYMers, so there's no need to use a budget to keep expenses down.

However, I think I understand the OP. It might have been good to have a "fun account" as a way of getting expenses UP.

We do track expenses retrospectively. I used that history to make myself comfortable about committing to a new house, college tuition for the kids, and picking a retirement date.
__________________
Independent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009, 08:13 PM   #52
Full time employment: Posting here.
Ronnieboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 646
I haven't budgeted or tracked expenses. Too effin' lazy. In fact, after reading this forum, I purchased quicken to buckle down and start at least tracking expenses. That was about 6 months ago. At least I installed it....maybe I'll get to the next step after Xmas

Sad thing is, I would bet at least $10 (or that BYU will win over OU), we would be better off/further along in our goals if I/we had tracked expenses. The 'going out to eat expense' has got to be in the 5 figure range (yearly). Maybe I am too afraid to track expenses
__________________
I don't want to spend my entire life at work. I deserve more. - Want2retire aka W2R
Ronnieboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2009, 04:45 AM   #53
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 898
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnieboy View Post
....maybe I'll get to the next step after Xmas

New Year is a good time to start, actually!
__________________
Money's just something you need in case you don't die tomorrow.
Maurice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2009, 11:38 AM   #54
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
mickeyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Texas~29N/98W
Posts: 5,880
Quote:
The 'going out to eat expense' has got to be in the 5 figure range (yearly).
I do not believe that my entire food expenditure get up to this amount each year. But, everyone needs a hobby...
__________________
Part-Owner of Texas

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

In dire need of: faster horses, younger woman, older whiskey, more money.
mickeyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2009, 01:09 PM   #55
Full time employment: Posting here.
Ronnieboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 646
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
I do not believe that my entire food expenditure get up to this amount each year. But, everyone needs a hobby...
Well you should see my belly. My hobby should be reducing it, then I won't get mistaken for two people.
Plus the damn kids eat a lot, they've graduated from the kids menu. Part of being to effin' lazy and obese is the not making meals at home but going out to eat. Now I have a few New Year resolutions to work on.
__________________
I don't want to spend my entire life at work. I deserve more. - Want2retire aka W2R
Ronnieboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2009, 12:25 PM   #56
Full time employment: Posting here.
kaudrey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Alexandria, Va
Posts: 941
I don't keep a budget, but I have all of my saving done automatically, so I basically know I can spend whatever I have left. And my savings gets split into a few accounts - one I can "never" touch (until retirement); one that is for big ticket things like cars, vacations, home improvement; and one that acts like an emergency fund.

I know how much I generally have available after all the $ are saved and bills are paid, so I know how much I can spend on "other" things. I usually try to have fewer "other" things in the month or two before a vacation or if I have a specific project I want the money for, but other than that, as long as I am saving at my goal rate, then I don't worry about it.
__________________
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less travelled by...
kaudrey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2009, 03:08 PM   #57
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
Yes, and I rule it with an iron fist.
A basic template (Excel spreadsheet) that morphed into a customized list of expenses, coupled with cash inflows/outflows that were w*rked into bottom line calculations. Budget contains line items for actual and projected expenses (usually house or auto maintenance and seasonal lawn care). Amounts are entered either as a monthly or annual basis with corresponding formulas.
It is very easy to maintain when a bill increases.
Another column auto-calculates the percent diference between actual & projected spending so we can "slosh" money between categories without breaking the bank.
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2009, 03:12 PM   #58
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
bbbamI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas 'burb
Posts: 9,039
I've been doing some "sloshing" lately. Peter and Paul come to mind...
__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2009, 03:26 PM   #59
Recycles dryer sheets
beowulf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 466
I track expenses far better than I keep a budget. In reality, the budget is just a reflection of the expenditures. I have found that the amount spent jumps up and down every month and really depends on wheteher we are traveling or not. I find it really tough to amortize large spending over a 12 month period when it's all spent in one month. I know in my mind that it's proper accounting, but the reality in my bank account is that I'm way over one month and then way under the next. I think I'll have more control when I'm retired, but right now we spend it and save it as fast as it comes in. The only thing I rigorously follow is the share that goes to savings, 20% off the top before taxes and I never see it, so I can't spend it.
__________________
beowulf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2009, 05:16 PM   #60
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,883
Quote:
Originally Posted by restonham View Post
... I find it really tough to amortize large spending over a 12 month period when it's all spent in one month. I know in my mind that it's proper accounting, but the reality in my bank account is that I'm way over one month and then way under the next...
For my budget, instead of trying to account for when certain months are either way under or way over, I just take the average expense for the year of each category knowing that some months will be off.

I know I won't be exact each month, but the budget still allows me to see that by years end, I haven't gone over what I've planned on spending for the year.

For the expenses that aren't paid monthly, as long as I stick to the budget, there's enough to cover the expenses because I go under budget for those months until those irregular payments are due.
__________________

__________________
easysurfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Budget Spreadsheet Rustic23 FIRE and Money 5 08-25-2007 11:53 AM
How about this for an airfare budget? MooreBonds FIRE and Money 22 06-29-2007 01:29 PM
2007 Budget dex FIRE and Money 3 12-15-2006 07:58 PM
I need a budget... LRAO FIRE and Money 30 11-26-2005 12:28 PM
What is the most common ER budget? RockMiner FIRE and Money 58 01-02-2005 08:19 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:21 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.