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easy budget software
Old 12-02-2012, 08:36 AM   #1
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easy budget software

Any recommendations on a simple budgeting program to track expenses, credit cards etc. for someone who is not very computer literate ?
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:48 AM   #2
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Can you use Excel?

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Originally Posted by bobbee25
Any recommendations on a simple budgeting program to track expenses, credit cards etc. for someone who is not very computer literate ?
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:55 AM   #3
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I use a program called Budget Advisor (Windows only version).

Not sure if it offers as much detail (especially in detailed entries of transactions) as you wish, but it works for me.

Here's a link: Home Budget Software made simple - Free one month trial

I have version 2.33 and am happy with the simpler version.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:24 AM   #4
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Excel fan here as well, been using it for ten years or more.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:39 AM   #5
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I use YBAB (You Need A Budget). Runs on Win, Mac or Linux. Cost is about $60, but they have a generous 34 day free trial (no need for your credit card # to use the trial version). They also run sales and promos. Very good support and forums.

I like it for budgeting much more than Quicken.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:02 AM   #6
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I checked the "You Need a Budget" website and it looks pretty good. I use Excel. Whatever the software, just remember that the biggest task with budgeting is tracking your expenditures. I try to use debit and credit cards for as much as I can so that I have a digital record of what I am spending. I save most receipts for cash payments. And there is always a chunk of expenses that remain untracked. Investigate how well you can track your expenses before going too deep in to setting up a budget.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:34 AM   #7
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:37 AM   #8
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Why would that be so? Do you actually pay for things you can't identify, or do you consciously limit your tracking (e.g. "No point tracking $5 a day fed to the vending machine").

Just curious.

A.

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IAnd there is always a chunk of expenses that remain untracked. .
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:15 AM   #9
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I use YNAB - You Need A Budget. Wonderful, wonderful program and the online forum is extremely helpful.
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Fudge Spending
Old 12-02-2012, 11:25 AM   #10
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Fudge Spending

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Why would that be so? Do you actually pay for things you can't identify, or do you consciously limit your tracking (e.g. "No point tracking $5 a day fed to the vending machine").

Just curious.

A.
Receipts are hard to come by in fast food places, must remember to ask. So we use 'Fudge Spending' category for cash amounts we can't remember.
We have 'ATM Cash' account setup to track cash in Quicken. DW balances the cash each month and I use 'Spending' report each month and paste it into spreadsheet. I like to see monthly averages and totals for different categories from year to year. And total spending amount is needed for LBYM.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Sirka View Post
Receipts are hard to come by in fast food places, must remember to ask. So we use 'Fudge Spending' category for cash amounts we can't remember.
We have 'ATM Cash' account setup to track cash in Quicken. DW balances the cash each month and I use 'Spending' report each month and paste it into spreadsheet. I like to see monthly averages and totals for different categories from year to year. And total spending amount is needed for LBYM.
I've learned to bring a notepad in my car so when I fill up and the pump says "for a receipt, see attendant" I just jot down the date and amount in my notepad.

The last thing I want to do after filling up is to wait in line and get a receipt .
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:51 AM   #12
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Receipts are hard to come by in fast food places, must remember to ask. So we use 'Fudge Spending' category for cash amounts we can't remember.
I suspect that if it was deemed important then it'd be remembered. If it's a deliberate decision (or a Freudian motivation) to ignore it then I'd understand it.

Like Amethyst, I'm mystified by the "untracked expenses" phenomenon. Is it caused by theft or by a hole in a wallet? Or is it human behavioral psychology interfering with accounting?
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:58 AM   #13
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The last thing I want to do after filling up is to wait in line and get a receipt .
+1
I also write it down. DW trained me well.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:10 PM   #14
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The last thing I want to do after filling up is to wait in line and get a receipt .
Not me. This gives me opportunity to practice my curmudgeon skills... I can never seem to get really good at it.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:41 PM   #15
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Like Amethyst, I'm mystified by the "untracked expenses" phenomenon. Is it caused by theft or by a hole in a wallet? Or is it human behavioral psychology interfering with accounting?
I am keeping track of my spending more closely this year, and still have been finding that a few cents elude me. As long as the missing money averages under $1-$2 a month, I just let it go. The amount should decrease as I learn to be more OCD about coins rolling under things, counting my change more carefully, and such.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:20 PM   #16
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I've been using Moneydance for over a year, and I love it. Replaced my quirky old Quicken, which I don't miss a bit.

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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I've learned to bring a notepad in my car so when I fill up and the pump says "for a receipt, see attendant" I just jot down the date and amount in my notepad.

The last thing I want to do after filling up is to wait in line and get a receipt .
Moneydance has an app I use on my iPhone. When I get gas or anything else and I have a few seconds to spare, I simply enter it in the app, which automatically syncs via Dropbox.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Why would that be so? Do you actually pay for things you can't identify, or do you consciously limit your tracking (e.g. "No point tracking $5 a day fed to the vending machine").

Just curious.

A.
Tracking every last penny is a lot of work so some stuff doesn't get tracked. It's physically possible and I think it is a tough love tactic used by consultants to get people who are totally out of control with their spending to get their spending in control. The key is to track enough stuff so that the stuff not tracked is not an amount so large that it wrecks your budgeting goals.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:26 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I've learned to bring a notepad in my car so when I fill up and the pump says "for a receipt, see attendant" I just jot down the date and amount in my notepad.

The last thing I want to do after filling up is to wait in line and get a receipt .
For gas I use a credit card and can see the charges on my bill on-line. However, the text for the gas charges is sometimes not to informative. I had to go to my regular gas station, fill up, record the amount spent and then a couple of days later the charge showed up on my credit card bill. Now I know what that gas charge looks like and I can track it. See how hard it can be to do this tracking . . . ?
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:30 PM   #19
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I once went to a management class that talked about different personality types. I definitely was not in the category that included the people in Accounting. The trick to budgeting (and engineering) is to gather the data that answers the question you are asking.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:45 PM   #20
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Moneydance has an app I use on my iPhone. When I get gas or anything else and I have a few seconds to spare, I simply enter it in the app, which automatically syncs via Dropbox.

I do the same thing with YNAB. While the gas is pumping, I input everything except the total; when the pump stops, I input the total. Done. Syncs to my home computer via Dropbox.
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