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Re: What do you track?
Old 12-08-2006, 03:26 PM   #21
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Re: What do you track?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
When you buy everything on a credit card and download to Quicken, it tracks itself. So why wouldn't you
For three reasons:

1. I'd rather be messing around in my workshop than looking at quicken
2. I'm saving what I feel I need to be saving w/o adjusting my spending, and
3. Knowing what I spent and where has a 99% chance of not affecting my behaviour, so I don't see the point.

But that's just me, I can see it being a perfectly useful tool for others, just not worth the bother for me. I'm just not that 'microscope view' oriented.

- John
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Re: What do you track?
Old 12-08-2006, 04:47 PM   #22
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Re: What do you track?

I agree tracking every cent seems to only make sense if you have a behavioral problem that needs fixing, newly retired and need the reassurance, or wanting to put some real numbers with your long-term planning...I am trying to think of anything else...maybe if you are just obsessive, but that's ok, too
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Re: What do you track?
Old 12-08-2006, 05:29 PM   #23
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Re: What do you track?

Well, I think tracking everything can tend to make you spend less as well. I've had spurts where I'd track everything (albeit short spurts), and it does make you think twice about that second coffee at work.
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Re: What do you track?
Old 12-08-2006, 11:49 PM   #24
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Re: What do you track?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
You do klnow that if you memorize the payees in Quicken, that the categoies are assigned automatically on a re-peat Payee. Mot of the time when I download my Visa Transactions, everything is categorized automatically. Tracking expenses is pretty much on auto-pilot for me. 8)
Cut-Throat -- I haven't used memorized transactions (what, this process can be even easier? sweet!)

I pulled out the manual but it wasn't very helpful on how to set up and use memorized transactions when downloading data from a bank/C.U. A couple quick questions if you have a moment: (1) the Memorized Transactions List lists payees as well as dollar amounts -- what if the dollar amount is always different? (2) when does the automatic categorization take place -- next time I download?

Any tips would be much appreciated! thanks
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Re: What do you track?
Old 12-09-2006, 12:08 AM   #25
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Re: What do you track?

There are some very interesting opinions on this topic of tracking. I'll freely admit to being a bit obsessive about money

I started the tracking process after reading one of the classic money management books (Your Money or Your Life, I believe). At the end of the first year, I totalled up the spending by category and then my husband and I sat down and looked at how we had spent our money and asked the questions from the book --> did we get our value for this money spent? When you look at a single expense you can say, oh why not, its only $25. When you add up the yearly total and ask yourself if you really got $400 worth of value out of it versus something else you might have chosen to spend the money on --- for us, that could be several terrific dinners out or a weekend of fun in Seattle --- then your thinking starts to change about those "little" expenses.

We don't bother to budget. But we do look at our spending once a year and determine whether we feel we got our money's worth or whether we want to change some of our behavior. Seeing the dollar value DECREASE in the utilities and household misc categories and INCREASE in the recreation category is success in my book!
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Re: What do you track?
Old 12-09-2006, 07:16 AM   #26
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Re: What do you track?

I track investment results and net worth quarterly (although all transactions are in
spreadsheets, so I could retroactively figure out more if I felt like it).

I do not track expenses, and never really have. I always saved for a target % of my
income first, and allowed myself to spend the rest.
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Re: What do you track?
Old 12-09-2006, 07:56 AM   #27
 
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Re: What do you track?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linney
Cut-Throat -- I haven't used memorized transactions (what, this process can be even easier? sweet!)

I pulled out the manual but it wasn't very helpful on how to set up and use memorized transactions when downloading data from a bank/C.U. A couple quick questions if you have a moment: (1) the Memorized Transactions List lists payees as well as dollar amounts -- what if the dollar amount is always different? (2) when does the automatic categorization take place -- next time I download?

Any tips would be much appreciated! thanks
What version of Quicken are you running?

When you memorize a Payee it will be available for automatic categorizing. The next time you download your Credit Card transactions, it compares the payee to your memorized list - If they're the same it will use the same category - Does not look at dollar amounts. So - all your charges to the same gas station, grocery store, phone bill, restuarant - get the same category! - I think you need to be on a Quicken release of 2004 or later.
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Re: What do you track?
Old 12-09-2006, 11:17 AM   #28
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Re: What do you track?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
S When you buy everything on a credit card and download to Quicken, it tracks itself. So why wouldn't you
Because I spend much less when I limit it to the green cash on hand.
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Re: What do you track?
Old 12-09-2006, 02:03 PM   #29
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Re: What do you track?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
What version of Quicken are you running? - I think you need to be on a Quicken release of 2004 or later.
Ah, I'm still using 2001 deluxe. It does have the memorize transaction feature so I'll give it a try anyway next time I download.
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Re: What do you track?
Old 12-10-2006, 09:07 AM   #30
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Re: What do you track?

I would encourage young dreamers to track their significant other's satisfaction along with all of the bean counting. Since I was a born plotter/cheapskate, and my wife was a spender, we needed to compromize to stay in the 24 hours a day of bliss mode.

When times were good, I would even break one of the cardinal sins, and borrow a small amount from the 401k to take a frivolous trip to some far off tropical island. So I agree with the balance discussions. Otherwise, you may end up with your entire ER plan derailed, and your clothes on the front porch, and the doors locked. Believe me, I have seen it happen to several over the years.
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Re: What do you track?
Old 12-10-2006, 10:39 AM   #31
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Re: What do you track?

When I was formulating my retirement plan I did an annual analysis for a few years to see where my money was going.

I then put a plan together detailing how much I would have to save in which accounts per year until I reached my retirement goal. I incorporated guesstimates of annual raises and where I would put the money.

Now I just follow my plan and increment the savings on an annual basis. What ever is left over we spend as we please.
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Re: What do you track?
Old 12-10-2006, 02:05 PM   #32
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Re: What do you track?

Have tracked net worth for about 15 years.

Started tracking expenses just this year.

MB
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Re: What do you track?
Old 12-10-2006, 05:26 PM   #33
 
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Re: What do you track?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddy the Turbo Beagle
I agree tracking every cent seems to only make sense if you have a behavioral problem that needs fixing, newly retired and need the reassurance, or wanting to put some real numbers with your long-term planning...I am trying to think of anything else...maybe if you are just obsessive, but that's ok, too
I hardly track every cent! - One thing I've noticed about a lot of folks on this forum is the All or nothing approach to things. It seems Balance is out of reach for some! I think It's as ridiculous to 'Track every Cent' as it is to Track to Nothing! :

Tracking expenditures when you use a credit card is automatic. I spend no extra time at it. I have a bucket called 'Misc Cash'. ABout $100 a month goes into this category. I have no idea where it goes! But it only makes up about 2% of our Budget. So I don't care! - The point is that I know it's only 2%. If the Misc Cash category crept up to 10%, then I'd know there was a problem.
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