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Old 08-14-2015, 08:43 AM   #121
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
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Posts: 2,887
We take a different approach:

We're at the point in our lives (age and financially) where we 'spend what we spend'.

We know intuitively what we can/cannot afford.
We don't buy stupid/crazy stuff.
We spend on what we need and want which has been fairly consistent year over year.

If we need a new roof, we get a new roof but that doesn't stop us from going 'over budget' and still go on that vacation.

Our approach is to tally our total after tax income. SS, dividends and IRA W/Ds taken as needed.
We assume that there is a "zero" balance at the end of the year, which is almost always close enough to true.

Simple, easy, and generally requires about 5-6 lines of addition.

Surprisingly (or not), the totals have been fairly consistent for many years. Spikes can be pointed at as "new car/major home repair/special trip to Italy etc." and treated as outliers.

Money in minus year end balance=spending.

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Retired @ 52 in 2005
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:23 AM   #122
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
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Originally Posted by lem1955 View Post
....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. ....
Could you just use Quicken's cash flow report and customize as necessary?

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Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
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