Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-02-2009, 03:03 PM   #21
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,049
I, too, track every dollar and have for years.

The only time I do an un-examined grouping is on vacation. I just lump all the credit card receipts and ATM withdrawals and slot the total in the 'Travel' category. As long as it's below what I expected, I'm ok with however and whatever I spent.
__________________

__________________
eridanus 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 12-02-2009, 03:16 PM   #22
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Harrogate, UK
Posts: 864
Rsing......I just use a generic excel budget sheet which I have copied the link to. Toooooo many catagories for me, but it works fine and you can add catagories and delete etc. I was cutting out catagories and then said what the hell and just went to one catagory. But I could easily go back to this form which is easily adjustable.
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/te...062791033.aspx
__________________

__________________
F4mandolin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 03:39 PM   #23
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
kyounge1956's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,171
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmm99 View Post
Yes, I started tracking expenses maybe 4 years ago when I started seriously thinking about the retirement plan. I really like doing this so I can see where the money is going.

Do you have a category that you budget for living expenses such as shampoo, skin care, cleaning stuff like dish soap, AJAX, dish towels (basically non-food and non-clothing items)?

I made this category a few years ago when I started budgeting but maybe my budget for this category is over-estimated.

Do you have a category like that?

What are your categories?
I use a combination of tracking categories in Quicken and the "Cash Envelope" system, a-la Dave Ramsey. Shampoo, cleaners etc usually end up in the Groceries category (or paid for with cash from the Groceries envelope), but if I happen to be in a drugstore or something when I buy them, the money would probably come out of the Miscellaneous envelope. The envelopes get refilled at the beginning of the month with the budgeted amount of cash from the ATM. I also have a spreadsheet of the money I set aside into my savings account for expenses that don't occur every month like registering my car or Christmas shopping. These set aside amounts and the monthly cash to fill the envelopes are recorded in Quicken. Each one is a "split" transaction, so I can keep track of how much money went into the envelope or savings for each category.

I don't know if I remember all my categories off the top of my head without my Quicken in front of me, but Household (utility bills, home repair, clothing), Housing (mortgage, property tax),Transportation (gas, repairs, car insurance), Groceries (food including buying lunch at the office), Cat Costs (expensive hobby ), Miscellaneous/Entertainment and Medical includes most of them.
__________________
kyounge1956 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 04:16 PM   #24
Recycles dryer sheets
mews's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 477
my categories:

Food out <- the most wiggle room is here, but I like my sushi
food in - groceries
personal & apmnt stuff - cleaning supplies, soap, toothpaste etc.
cat stuff
books
phone
gas / elec
Transportation - subway / cabs / bus / train ...
Co-op payment
Savings to Vanguard
Misc - break out at end of year.

ta,
mew
__________________
mews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 04:50 PM   #25
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
Here are my categories (I track everything in Quicken):

administrative fees (driver's license, passport, etc...)
auto depreciation
auto repairs and maintenance
gasoline
auto insurance
auto registration and taxes
bank charges
cash (ATM withdrawals, we don't track actual cash purchases but they represent only 0.5% of our expenses).
charitable contributions
clothing
computer
dining
entertainment
financial service fees
financial support (we help my mom financially on occasion)
furnishings & durable goods (appliances, furniture, electronics, etc...)
gifts
groceries (food, but also paper towels, booze, cleaning products, etc...)
mortgage interests
home improvement
home repairs and maintenance
pest control
property taxes
home insurance
home security
disability insurance
life insurance
legal fees
dentist
doctor
health insurance
drugs
vision
personal care
pets
cable TV/internet
phone
water & electric
vacations
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 05:52 PM   #26
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,900
This is my first year of religiously tracking every dollar in and out, and I credit the ER Forum for the inspiration I thought I had been doing a good job of tracking, but turns out I was just doing a good job of keeping the bills paid :-) Even so, there is darn little fat we could cut. If we did cut anything, it would seem ridiculous in comparison with the percentage that vanishes directly into the Tax Maw.

I agree with those who say, "No such thing as Miscellaneous!" MISC is always identifiable; after all, one had to point to something and say "I want that"; it's just that sometimes, maybe, one doesn't want to identify it

For those who pay lots of ATM fees, can you join a credit union? Ours charges nothing to use their machines, and only .75 to use another bank's. ATM fees are even eviller (if considerably smaller) than the Tax Maw!

Amethyst
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success to be able to spend your life in your own way. Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 07:01 PM   #27
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
kyounge1956's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
(snip)
For those who pay lots of ATM fees, can you join a credit union? Ours charges nothing to use their machines, and only .75 to use another bank's. ATM fees are even eviller (if considerably smaller) than the Tax Maw!

Amethyst
I agree with you! Whose money is it anyway?!? I eliminate ATM fees by not using any but my own bank's ATMs. It's a national chain bank, so there is usually one nearby. Or, if I needed a small amount of cash I'd go to the grocery store, buy something I need on my debit card, and get cash back. Either way, I don't pay any fee.
__________________
kyounge1956 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 08:28 PM   #28
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rustic23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake Livingston, Tx
Posts: 3,624
I track the total of our spending each month, and keep a mental picture of our what our annual spending will be. I have done that most of my life, and had a good idea what our annual expenses would be when we retired. I had a spreadsheet like Firedreamers, however, it's purpose was to forecast the possible effects of inflation and market changes on our retirement. We will spend more next year, but it is not because of inflation, but, because we will start SS and we plan to spend most of the extra income.
__________________
If it is after 5:00 when I post I reserve the right to disavow anything I posted.
Rustic23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 09:50 PM   #29
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,454
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
Here are my categories (I track everything in Quicken):

administrative fees (driver's license, passport, etc...)
auto depreciation
auto repairs and maintenance
gasoline
auto insurance
auto registration and taxes
bank charges
cash (ATM withdrawals, we don't track actual cash purchases but they represent only 0.5% of our expenses).
charitable contributions
clothing
computer
dining
entertainment
financial service fees
financial support (we help my mom financially on occasion)
furnishings & durable goods (appliances, furniture, electronics, etc...)
gifts
groceries (food, but also paper towels, booze, cleaning products, etc...)
mortgage interests
home improvement
home repairs and maintenance
pest control
property taxes
home insurance
home security
disability insurance
life insurance
legal fees
dentist
doctor
health insurance
drugs
vision
personal care
pets
cable TV/internet
phone
water & electric
vacations
Sounds good, but I think if it were me I'd hide the drugs in with the booze and cleaning products.
__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 10:04 PM   #30
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,538
Quote:
Originally Posted by eridanus View Post
I, too, track every dollar and have for years.

The only time I do an un-examined grouping is on vacation. I just lump all the credit card receipts and ATM withdrawals and slot the total in the 'Travel' category. As long as it's below what I expected, I'm ok with however and whatever I spent.
That's interesting.

I do track the sub-categories under travel, so it is broken out for airfare, lodging, dining, souvenirs, etc.

When we went on more defined trips I also assigned a code to each trip (forgot what Quicken calls these) and I could easily see exactly how much each trip cost. That was useful.

Audrey
__________________
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 10:06 PM   #31
Dryer sheet aficionado
Bikerchick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 41
I have fixed expenses, and variable expenses:
Fixed:
rent
renter's insurance
federal tax
state tax
car tax
RE tax
professional dues
savings
health insurance
pets

Variable:
utilities
phone
groceries
household
medical
gym
clothing
personal care (ie haircuts)
car repairs
car insurance
motorcycle
motorcycle insurance
TV and Internet
dine out
entertainment, incl. timeshare
trips
gifts

Break out credit card purchases each month and put them in the appropriate categories.
__________________
Bikerchick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 10:11 PM   #32
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
Sounds good, but I think if it were me I'd hide the drugs in with the booze and cleaning products.
Now that's an idea!
__________________

__________________
FIREd 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
Tracking expenses Dreaming 2010 FIRE and Money 33 11-13-2009 06:00 PM
Actually tracking expenses this year - Whew! bubba FIRE and Money 32 05-01-2009 12:10 AM
extra expenses? lowered expenses? 72t? retiringat50 FIRE and Money 6 01-08-2008 09:30 PM
tracking expenses with online site tightasadrum FIRE and Money 4 11-13-2007 09:53 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:49 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.