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Old 07-29-2015, 11:36 AM   #101
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I see what people mean, by categories vs specific stores.

I will keep for now my store specifics, as I'd like to know how much I spend at them, but I realize especially for Costco and Sam that what I consider groceries is often bought there so the exactness of the tracking is pretty fuzzy since I won't be itemizing each thing in a receipt. If its mostly groceries, I'll just put it in groceries.

I realize I'm making this harder on myself than it would have to be, but I won't use anything to directly access my spending information (like CC accounts or banks).

One habit I find I have to change is where I empty out my wallet, if I do it at the computer, its easy to enter the receipts, but not if the wallet is in the kitchen
As a quicken user I have Costco default to groceries (I can change it if I bought, say, a big tv). I also have Vons and Sprouts default to groceries... So under "groceries" - I can tally how much I spent at each store.

Same with gas - there's a discount place near my house, United Oil... it defaults to auto: fuel.... so does Costco Gas (which pulls in from creditcard as costco gas, not just costco).

Then - if I wanted to see how much I spent at costco overall - gas, groceries, optical, etc.. I could search quicken for all transactions with Costco....

But really - all I care about is am I overspending, is it something I need to change.
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:54 AM   #102
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As a quicken user I have Costco default to groceries (I can change it if I bought, say, a big tv).
I've found I have to break the Costco transactions down since typically they include alcohol, groceries, charity (purchases for church food bank) and sometimes vitamins and supplements. I just added the latter category because I'm curious how much we're spending on that.
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Old 07-29-2015, 01:22 PM   #103
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I've found I have to break the Costco transactions down since typically they include alcohol, groceries, charity (purchases for church food bank) and sometimes vitamins and supplements. I just added the latter category because I'm curious how much we're spending on that.
This is an example of different categories for different folks.... I lump TP, dog food, booze etc into the groceries category and always have. For me the added effort of splitting the receipts up isn't worth the data.... Again just for me. But someone else might want to break out meat vs produce vs dairy. Everyone has different categories they care about and track.
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Old 07-29-2015, 01:33 PM   #104
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I try to keep under 20 categories based on my major spending buckets. For items like Costco, it all goes to Groceries unless I have some major purchases and then will split the receipt and scan it in to Quicken so I have a record of the purchase for the big items which I've been using since 1997. However, when some of my spending goes a little crazy or we decide where to save money each month because we want to spend it elsewhere, then I start saving receipts and looking at details until we figure it out.
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:31 PM   #105
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Travel, for example, is separated between travel to visit our son and his family every few months (3 hour drive, night in a hotel) and "Other". If things get tight, we can cut way back on other travel but not seeing the granddaughter!
That is a great example, athena! This is managerial accounting, which means analyzing and using the data to support achievement of strategic objectives.
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:53 PM   #106
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One of the poster here mentioned using Fido's Full View for his budgeting efforts. I am curious if many of you other Fido clients also use this feature and how effective it is.
I am attracted by the fact that all data is presented in one place with out chasing down each source. OTOH, I am also disquieted by having all my login data handed off to a third party. Am I being too paranoid? Is the resulting output and process worth the risk?
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:24 AM   #107
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One of the poster here mentioned using Fido's Full View for his budgeting efforts. I am curious if many of you other Fido clients also use this feature and how effective it is.
I am attracted by the fact that all data is presented in one place with out chasing down each source. OTOH, I am also disquieted by having all my login data handed off to a third party. Am I being too paranoid? Is the resulting output and process worth the risk?
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I've used full view in the past but I use Quicken for my expense tracking purposes.

Most of my investments are with Fido so since I have to log in to their website to manage my investments I am able to see full view so there is no additional security risks that I am concerned about.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:28 AM   #108
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That is a great example, athena! This is managerial accounting, which means analyzing and using the data to support achievement of strategic objectives.
Exactly? I only go into the details in tracking where I am likely to use the information for planning spending (or tax reporting). Which is why my travel category has several sub-categories, while many other categories aren't broken out farther.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:30 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by nwsteve View Post
One of the poster here mentioned using Fido's Full View for his budgeting efforts. I am curious if many of you other Fido clients also use this feature and how effective it is.
I am attracted by the fact that all data is presented in one place with out chasing down each source. OTOH, I am also disquieted by having all my login data handed off to a third party. Am I being too paranoid? Is the resulting output and process worth the risk?
Thanks
Nwsteve
No - I don't add non-Fido accounts.
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Old 07-30-2015, 10:19 AM   #110
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Exactly? I only go into the details in tracking where I am likely to use the information for planning spending (or tax reporting). Which is why my travel category has several sub-categories, while many other categories aren't broken out farther.
I probably have the weirdest travel tracking scheme...

I have four, one per season: Travel Spring, Travel Summer, etc... Typically I can run a report for this year or last year, etc, with one category selected and the only thing on the report will be the one trip I took then. Of course that falls-down if I take more than 4 trips per year. So although that worked well pre-retirement, I plan to break this scheme now!
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Old 07-30-2015, 10:59 AM   #111
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When querying the dollar amount of a category or subcategory on Quicken, I can bracket the start and end dates to home in on a particular trip. This is how I find out the total cost of a trip, down to the details of how much I spent on lodging and transportation like airfare, car rental, etc...
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:06 AM   #112
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When querying the dollar amount of a category or subcategory on Quicken, I can bracket the start and end dates to home in on a particular trip. This is how I find out the total cost of a trip, down to the details of how much I spent on lodging and transportation like airfare, car rental, etc...
This is what I do also.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:20 AM   #113
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Our more expensive trips are usually paid for over a very long period. We're going to Iceland and I paid airfare, trip insurance and the hotel around February, and booked a couple of excursions yesterday; we leave 8/17. That would work for our road trips, though.
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:23 AM   #114
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Our more expensive trips are usually paid for over a very long period. We're going to Iceland and I paid airfare, trip insurance and the hotel around February, and booked a couple of excursions yesterday; we leave 8/17. That would work for our road trips, though.
+1

Like you, all trips outside the US (plus Mexico, Canada) are paid over a longer time period (6-8 months).
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:11 AM   #115
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I'm not surprised to see so many of you say that you like the accounting work you do for yourselves. I feel right at home. I've used Quicken for Mac for about 20 years and have data going back that far. I've liked that it was set up to track only the interest on a loan as an expense and the principal as a decrease to the liability. But now I am more interested in cash flow than anything else, so I'm about to transfer Quicken data to an Excel spreadsheet so I can reduce the categories I track, organize them differently than I have in Quicken, and track cash flow more precisely. I'm also an electricity and LP gas tracker. I've been watching those costs using my own spreadsheets for about five years. As a result I've invested in solar for electricity, sought out a fuel group to reduce my LP gas expense, purchased a NEST learning thermostat and am soon to increase my solar capacity and install a cold climate high efficiency heat pump to further reduce my dependency on LP gas.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:28 AM   #116
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I'm not surprised to see so many of you say that you like the accounting work you do for yourselves. I feel right at home. I've used Quicken for Mac for about 20 years and have data going back that far. I've liked that it was set up to track only the interest on a loan as an expense and the principal as a decrease to the liability. But now I am more interested in cash flow than anything else, so I'm about to transfer Quicken data to an Excel spreadsheet so I can reduce the categories I track, organize them differently than I have in Quicken, and track cash flow more precisely. I'm also an electricity and LP gas tracker. I've been watching those costs using my own spreadsheets for about five years. As a result I've invested in solar for electricity, sought out a fuel group to reduce my LP gas expense, purchased a NEST learning thermostat and am soon to increase my solar capacity and install a cold climate high efficiency heat pump to further reduce my dependency on LP gas.
Frankly, you, sir, ROCK!
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:43 AM   #117
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I'm not surprised to see so many of you say that you like the accounting work you do for yourselves. I feel right at home. I've used Quicken for Mac for about 20 years and have data going back that far. I've liked that it was set up to track only the interest on a loan as an expense and the principal as a decrease to the liability. But now I am more interested in cash flow than anything else, so I'm about to transfer Quicken data to an Excel spreadsheet so I can reduce the categories I track, organize them differently than I have in Quicken, and track cash flow more precisely. I'm also an electricity and LP gas tracker. I've been watching those costs using my own spreadsheets for about five years. As a result I've invested in solar for electricity, sought out a fuel group to reduce my LP gas expense, purchased a NEST learning thermostat and am soon to increase my solar capacity and install a cold climate high efficiency heat pump to further reduce my dependency on LP gas.
Fyi, quicken for mac 2015 is set up to follow cash flow ala mint.com (more custumizable) or personalcapital.com (less custumizable). I was a pc quicken user for about the same time and started to switch to mac due to the numerous headaches pc version has been experiencing over the last few years.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:10 AM   #118
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Fyi, quicken for mac 2015 is set up to follow cash flow ala mint.com (more custumizable) or personalcapital.com (less custumizable). I was a pc quicken user for about the same time and started to switch to mac due to the numerous headaches pc version has been experiencing over the last few years.
I'm still using Quicken 2007 because I was reluctant to give up the investing functionality in the new lite version of Quicken for Mac. Now that almost all of my investments are at Vanguard, I'll have to look again. I take it you are satisfied with Quicken for Mac 2015?
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:49 AM   #119
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I'm still using Quicken 2007 because I was reluctant to give up the investing functionality in the new lite version of Quicken for Mac. Now that almost all of my investments are at Vanguard, I'll have to look again. I take it you are satisfied with Quicken for Mac 2015?
Getting there. Different animal than pc version, not as robust. The investment portion of 15 mac is better than previous versions, but does not stand up to the pc investment tracking.

Mint.com investment portion is blah, personal capital is much better better than both mint and same if not tad better than q for mac.

Ive been trying to simplify our expense/investment tracking due to Q's for pc ever growing issues, bugs, and aweful customer service.

We have investment accounts spread over several firms and personal capital is nice, but getting over the 'cloud' type of set up can be challenging to some due to possible security issues. I dont persay since logging on to pc or mint i think is similar to logging into any other financial institution out there over the intraweb. Also hesitation to these two also arises from small print from banks, brokerage firms, etc that liability is upon mint and pc if loss of your funds is due to breach on the end of mint or pc.

Both use the same system as quicken to get information from institutions and supposedly dont store the info just fetch it.

And yes i i like Q15 for mac a lot better than any versions prior.

My hesitation is that as in years past intuit stopped supporting Q for mac all together for few years, then all of the sudden they released Q15. Think this was due to intuit buying mint.com and feel is more mac based and enough people suggested long enough for a new version of Q for mac.

Both mint and personal capital are free and doesnt take long to set up. If you dont like it, you can delete the account.

Im probably going to drop mint.com and use Q15 for mac and personal capital side by side for few months and see.

You also mentioned downloading info to excell, both have that option as well.
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:50 PM   #120
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Funny, guess I am old school. I have a monthly budget on my computer in word. Essentials and extras. If at the end of the month there is extra it is mine to do with what I want. I use my old check book register to keep up with my daily balance. It has worked for the last 37 years and if the electric grid goes down :-) I still know my balance. No electricity needed. I can just pull out my trusty check register and be up to date.

I do have my budget listed in FIDO but only go change figures annually.

I also have my travel, new car, home improvement etc in another account with Capital One. The money I put in there is automatically transferred from our checking account into there to accumulate and use when needed.
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