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Old 02-10-2014, 07:23 PM   #21
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W2R, you should probably wear clothes to the gym.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:25 PM   #22
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The best expense spreadsheets are the ones you customize for your own spending patterns. One person's categories will be another person's blank rows.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:51 PM   #23
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Two spindles... "to pay"... "paid"

Folders:

-food
-upkeep
-taxes
-utilities
-electronics
-car
-health
-fun
-misc

once a year
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:53 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by steelyman View Post
W2R, you should probably wear clothes to the gym.
Well, if you insist....
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:09 PM   #25
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Be sure to include an expense category for a new version of Excel.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:43 AM   #26
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Maybe we are over thinking this exercise. When I did this 10+ years ago, I pulled some random list like Midpack's from the interwebs and found that it prodded me to think of pretty much everything I spent money on, regularly and intermittently. I looked through it in conjuction with a year or two's worth of CC statements and checking ledgers. It predicted my ER situation quite accurately and I have never needed to revisit the exercise. Let's face it, this is actually a pretty simple thing to do. What we can't do is accurately predict the outliers that can come around to bite us in the butt. Those we just have to "fudge factor" based on what has happened to others.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:03 AM   #27
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I use YNAB (you need a budget) software. I just use it for tracking expenses. It is easy to add/delete categories and also to re-categorize past transactions. At one time I broke down category Groceries into Food and Supplies. After a couple months I realized it took a lot of effort and wasn't gaining me any useful information. If you need toilet paper or toothpaste you are going to buy it anyway. So I went back to only Groceries and it was easy to re-categorized. Each month I transfer the totals to a spreadsheet. Each year I start with a clean slate. This makes it easy to back to get into details. I have been doing this for 6 years and have never upgraded the software.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:18 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
You're making me feel like a simple-minded fool. I track expenses in just ten categories, and only five of them have subcategories.
If you are a simple minded fool, then this must be the cat typing, because I must not have the mental capacity for it!

I have only one category - total amount I spend each year.

OK, maybe two of you include an estimate for the 'phantom expense' of car replacements. Since we pay cash I amortize that out over the expected life of the cars, and consider it 'spent'.

edit/add: OK, to answer the Spreadsheet/SW question, let me add this - I simply use a spreadsheet to add up the withdraws from the two accounts that we pay bills from. I add back in any reimbursed expenses or any 'transfers' (IRA contributions - not 'spent', simply transferred; and mortgage principal). Very simple. BTW, I would recc LibreOffice over OpenOffice - essentially the same, but the LibreOffice branch seems to be getting more support these days.

https://www.libreoffice.org/

I have yet to see the advantage of breaking it down in detail. We don't thoughtlessly buy things, and our annual spend hasn't really increased in the past ten years (though kids have been leaving the house).

But what do I gain if I learn I spend $X in some category? I'm currently spending that because it is valuable to me. If it wasn't, I wouldn't. And since it is, I don't want to cut it.

Now, if I suddenly felt my spending was out of control, I think the approach I would take is to just look at the expenditures I have control over. Not sure history is all that important for that. Examples:

Time to pay the cell phone bill - Hmmmm, could I get by with a lower cost plan?

Time to pay the electric bill - Hmmmm, am I wasting electricity?

Time to fill up the tank - Hmmmmm, am I driving conservatively, is my CEL on, are my tires inflated, can I car-pool or reduce trips?

Time to do the grocery shopping - Hmmmm, let's see if my choices are really a good value...

etc, etc,. Really doesn't have much to do with a detailed history, as far as I can see. And we already ask those questions regularly, so what am I going to learn and act on?

-ERD50
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:39 PM   #29
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No categories here. I have accounting degree but all the categorizing soon bored me so make money other ways now.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:51 PM   #30
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This year, I am using PearBudget (spreadsheet type - free from PearBudget that I've used in the past but now I have it on Skydrive so I can access it from anywhere) and Mint both.
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Old 02-13-2014, 04:33 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by tuffshed View Post
Have lots of money (relatively speaking) and thinking I live well below my means, but I've got to prove it to myself. I tried looking at Jeff Yeager's worksheet, but it is in a newer Excel format and being the cheapskate I am I don't have the latest Excel.
I burst out laughing when I read this part . I am in the same camp. Actually, I use Openoffice to save even more money. I use my own spreadsheet to keep things simple.
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Old 02-13-2014, 05:20 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Two spindles... "to pay"... "paid"



Folders:



-food

-upkeep

-taxes

-utilities

-electronics

-car

-health

-fun

-misc



once a year

Imoldernu, my system is a notch more complicated, but not by much.
I use a pencil and a budget book, available from an office supply store.

Doesn't require me to turn the computer on to reference it, though I do check
bank and credit card balances daily and record my transactions.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:48 PM   #33
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FWIW, I have the following categories in my budget spreadsheet:

HousingMortgage
HousingHome Insurance
HousingProperty Taxes
HousingPropane
HousingFirewood
HousingElectricity
HousingSnowplowing
HousingMaintenance and repairs
HouseholdFood and groceries
HouseholdGardening
HouseholdSpending money
HouseholdClothing
HouseholdGifts
HouseholdDonations
TransportationMaintenance and repairs
TransportationLicense fees
TransportationGasoline
TransportationCar insurance
TransportationBoat insurance
TransportationJet-ski insurance
TransportationSnowmobile insurance
Personal and Health CareDoctors
Personal and Health CareDentists
Personal and Health CarePrescription Drugs
CommunicationsTelephone
CommunicationsMobile Phone
CommunicationsTelevision
CommunicationsInternet
Personal InsuranceLong Term Care Insurance
Personal InsuranceHealth Insurance
Personal InsuranceHealth Insurance Subsidy
Personal InsuranceDental Insurance
Personal InsuranceUmbrella Insurance
Recreation and entertainmentTravel
Recreation and entertainmentSewing
Recreation and entertainmentSkiing
Recreation and entertainmentSnowmobiling
Recreation and entertainmentGolfing
Recreation and entertainmentHockey
Recreation and entertainmentMovies
Recreation and entertainmentDining Out
MiscellaneousMiscellaneous

I then do the budget for each category in total and then allocate the annual budget to three silos: Required, Essential and Discretionary (and they total to ~65%, ~25% and ~10%, respectively). I don't really use those three silos for much other than to get a sense of if I had to belt tighten how much wiggle room there might be in my expenses.

I use the same categories for tracking expenses in Quicken. I do NOT bother with the silos for Quicken because each category is in only one silo so I could do an analysis easily if I wanted to.

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:58 AM   #34
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Where does one go to download the spreadsheet discussed in the first post?
Thanks.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:51 PM   #35
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I think this was the one referred to http://lucasliterary.com/wp-content/...Worksheet.xlsx
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:57 PM   #36
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I think this was the one referred to http://lucasliterary.com/wp-content/...Worksheet.xlsx
Thanks. From what I see in the way of limitations saving to the older format, it is not worth the trouble.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:11 PM   #37
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OpenOffice.org FREE
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:36 PM   #38
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Does anyone know if it's possible to export information for the 2003 version of Quicken (I know I'm actually embarrassed asking) into the latest version? If it's possible, how is it done?
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