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View Poll Results: How do you budget?
Strict itemized budget 52 18.37%
Loosely defined budget 85 30.04%
Pay myself first 17 6.01%
No budget 112 39.58%
Other (please explain) 17 6.01%
Voters: 283. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-06-2019, 05:00 PM   #81
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Answer to the original question: No. But kinda; sorta.
I spend what I want to spend. I have a general sense of what I will spend for the year, and then I track all of my expenses. If I saw that anticipated actual expenses were going to exceed my general sense, then I would/might adjust my spending. But no, I don't limit my spending in any given area to a set amount. In most years I end up underspending here and overspending there, and it mostly balances out.
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:25 PM   #82
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Used Excel to itemize all our spending expectations before I retired in order to come up with a budger. Now use Mint to track everything we spend. Mist does a good job with budget reporting (especially since Mint is free). Luckily I over estimated what I thought we would spend so usually come in well under budget (don't tell my wife that though
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:43 PM   #83
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Other..... 6 years using free "Personal Capital" makes it easy. Spells everything out. Easy to see and track. Makes it simple. Everyone here should be using it.
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:44 PM   #84
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Quicken

I have been using Quicken since the first month it was released. It was so easy to determine what I would need to retire. I had 15 - 20 years of income and expenses in every category that I needed to have a spot for every dollar I spent as well as made.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:04 PM   #85
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For last five years I have been using the goodbudget app to capture all expenses. it automatically sync data among family members. I track 30 categories of spending in excel which I input monthly amounts.

Have been tracking expenses and income by month for 27 years. In 4 of 27 years net worth decreased due to investment loss only, not going off budget. Investment value and net worth are calculated daily just for the fun of it.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:48 PM   #86
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I think this depends on how comfortable you are with your nest egg. If you have plenty of money, budgeting is less important. Also, some people don't have the time to budget and some people just don't like budgeting. I have the time, and I rather enjoy working with a budget. Our nest egg is just enough to cover our expenses, so we budget closely. I use an Excel spreadsheet and I know where all the money goes. I have 6 monthly categories (food, gas, utils +more) and 6 non-monthly categories (insurance, taxes + more) and a couple emergency categories ( health, house, car ).
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:03 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
https://www.youneedabudget.com/

You can try it out for free, IIRC.
This is what I use. I withdraw money every 6 months from IRAs and put it in an online savings account. Once a month, I transfer my monthly allotment to checking account. I use YNAB to budget all the bills and categories using my Soc Sec. check, pension and IRA money. I keep flex money in the budget for unexpected things that might come up.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:06 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Dtail View Post
I design a budget for the upcoming year sometime in December of the current year.
Currently keep track of all expenses. I actually like doing it and it assists in showing where the monies are being spent and where we can cut down if necessary.
I use 18 categories and a couple of them have sub categories.
This doesn't mean we don't spend and have fun, just because I am accounting for it.

This is much the same system as we use.

I feel comfortable knowing we are tracking close to our budget as we move through the year. I am fine tweaking as we go, perhaps one category is under spent, that is fine, it will off set over expenditure in another category.

Next year's budget will be updated to reflect this year's expenses. Some things become more expensive over time, or new expenditures are incurred that we've never needed before, but so long as we stay close to the total at the end of the year, I am satisfied.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:47 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by dirtbiker View Post
How do you do your household budget? If you use more than one budgeting method, which one is your primary budgeting tool?

I admit that I am lousy at sticking to a budget, but I'm good at saving, which sounds mutually exclusive. However, we do this by paying ourselves first. We automatically contribute to our 401Ks, IRAs, brokerage account, and vacation fund with every paycheck, and then we 'budget' by spending what's left. We've adjusted our 'budget' several times by increasing our contributions and then adjusting our spending accordingly. We've tried to do a formal budget several times, and have failed miserably. I've come to accept that this just isn't for us.

I'm just curious how people here budget. See poll.
I have a detailed spreadsheet that helps me plan my income and outgo. While I'm very good at paying the bills (we have had zero debt for many years now), I am a little looser on discretionary spending. Consequently, I don't save nearly as much as I should. But we enjoy eating out, shopping, having a little fun, traveling a little, etc.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:39 PM   #90
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When working we never budgeted. As with others who have posted above we lived well beneath our means and saved a large percentage of our income so budgeting wasn't worthwhile or necessary. However, after retiring early we worked out a budget that would keep us within a conservative withdrawal rate and revisit and revise it every 2-3 years. We put that amount into our MM account at the beginning of the year and always have a bit left over at the end of the year. Our next phase of retirement will be when we begin taking RMDs and Social Security at 70. The budget will increase at that point and so will taxes as the sources of income change.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:43 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by Morricol61 View Post
This is much the same system as we use.

I feel comfortable knowing we are tracking close to our budget as we move through the year. I am fine tweaking as we go, perhaps one category is under spent, that is fine, it will off set over expenditure in another category.

Next year's budget will be updated to reflect this year's expenses. Some things become more expensive over time, or new expenditures are incurred that we've never needed before, but so long as we stay close to the total at the end of the year, I am satisfied.
Exactly.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:01 AM   #92
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We use a combination of "Pay myself first" and "Loosely defined" approach. We first max out all the tax advantaged contributions. The rest goes to the bank. We have a target monthly spending amount. Monthly expanse can hover around the target due to lumpy expenses like insurance premium, travel, education, charity, etc. but overall the average should track towards annual goal. If the trajectory deviates away from annual goal then we take corrective measures mid-year i.e. watch expenses and cut them where we can. We watch the monthly spending number almost weekly.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:25 AM   #93
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We budget (Mvelopes) and track all transactions. This doesnít seem onerous to us for two reasons 1) DH and I use the app on our phones and it helps us negotiate and stay on the same page and 2) we have to stay under the ACA subsidy income limit or risk paying about $20K if we go over

Itís not very fancy software but it works for us.
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:00 AM   #94
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No budgeting. However, I do track my "investable" NW on a monthly basis and as long as it stays the same (or close) I don't worry about it and continue to blow that dough.
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:03 AM   #95
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If you are a frugal high earner budgets are kind of a waste of time. And if you are retired but still earning more than you spend you also don't need them.
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:01 PM   #96
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Same here. Retired almost ten years. Look at what I have spent per month and especially per year. Compare to net worth and worksheets. Spending about half of what I can including two weeks in AK, four weeks in FL and various other travel/luxury expenses.
Percentage of spending vs net worth keeps going down despite my efforts. Suppose I am not wired to spend $1000 per night or $5000 per week at an island resort. Oh, well, continuing to enjoy life while we have good health!!
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Old 11-09-2019, 03:20 PM   #97
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Loosely defined. We are both very conscientious about our spending...so we do our budget "retroactively". We lay out spending in rough categories, then after the year ends I spend a day totaling it all up (we charge the vast majority on our credit card and pay off in full monthly, and at end of year we get a booklet from VISA detailing the spending). We then sit down to see if we stayed within our limits.

I find it very comforting that we are both to the point where we never overspend...we always come in close to or just above our budget. For us the difficult things are the large infrequent purchases such as a car, furnace, etc.

We don't "pay ourselves first" because we are FIREd lol.

Although some here would not call me FIREd because I still *ork a bit when I want to...extra money for sports cars, craft beer, and vacations lol. Currently having a new crate engine installed in my musclecar ($11k) that was paid for by money I made in 2018 *orking about 1 day per week.
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Poll: How do you budget?
Old 11-10-2019, 12:26 AM   #98
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Poll: How do you budget?

I keep an itemized list of monthly expenses but itís never been terribly useful for budgeting. Itís more for our accountant to do our taxes
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:23 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by steveark View Post
If you are a frugal high earner budgets are kind of a waste of time. And if you are retired but still earning more than you spend you also don't need them.
How is one retired and earning more than they spend, unless they are still effectively working, or do you mean from passive income?
If the passive income is from investments, then on a total return concept, one is still spending the portfolio.
If from pensions and Social Security only, yeah then agree.
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:10 AM   #100
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Poll: How do you budget?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanfanciscotreat View Post
Percentage of spending vs net worth keeps going down despite my efforts. Suppose I am not wired to spend $1000 per night or $5000 per week at an island resort. Oh, well, continuing to enjoy life while we have good health!!

This is always the case. As my parents told me, ďDonít worry about that. You canít take it with you so if you donít spend it, someone else will!Ē
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