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Old 01-05-2012, 02:09 PM   #1
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Default SRS: How do you manage your finances...

So I used to be great at budgeting and managing expenses and since I have graduated with a real income I havent been doing much of that.


What programs/websites/etc do you guys use to manage a budget and your spending or do you?

I am looking at Mint.com right now and a bit confused how all of that can be free.


Historically I have used exel to manage it but these automated programs seem like the easiest way to do it. My old system was just a budget and I would look at my spending (not much in college) and I could tweak the numbers to keep where i want. Now with many more expenses, bills, etc this system doesnt work.


Cheers,
Matt
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:10 PM   #2
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whoops... supposed ot be in insert bs here...
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:17 PM   #3
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I just use an excel sheet with all my bills, dates their due what date their paid, etc

It's macro based so it creates a new month with a button, and all my past months are saved. It's simple but I love it.
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:45 PM   #4
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mint plus excel plus bank billpay.

we break our month into chunks by when we get paid. usually the 1st, 10th, and 15th. Then we allot the bills to each chunk by their due date or how big they are. example: the payoff monthly credit card goes after the 10th because it is a bigger paycheck date and smal bills go after the 1st and mortgage after the 15th.

then as I receive ebills or whatever, I schedule the payments on the bank's website for the first business day after the 1st, 10th, or 15th.

the sheet keeps a running balance for each chunk including a carryover amount from the previous chunk. all money moved in or out of the bank account is accounted for and then highlighted in yellow when it clears. tentative values or dates are italicized. once they are firm, they are unitalicized.

the running balance allows you to make larger or smaller payments while still maintaining awareness of future estimated bills (recurring bills are estimated for the full year and updated as necessary). I can scroll ahead a couple weeks and make sure paying off an item wont dip into my checking account reserve.

I also have a separate sheet of all of my accounts with their minimum monthly payment, due date, their typical monthly payment, and previous and current balance (updated sporadically--Mint does this for you). I also include how they are paid (billed to credit card for POINTS or MILES or paid by checking when I can't do cards).

the "budget" comes in the form of using only the best credit card (most points or miles) and tracking it via Mint and trying to stay close to a target value that I put in the tracking sheet for the month.

Mint.com is pretty good.

also check out Yodlee.com (they are the backend mint uses).
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:04 PM   #5
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Thanks!

I see a lot more people are using Mint than I originally anticipated (posted on several forums).

I just registered there and will set up my accounts as far back as they have information on tonight when my fiance is out. I really would like to save a TON of money in the next year or two so i am able to pay down at least 30% of a home.
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:08 PM   #6
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Holy crap this Mint.com is awesome...
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:09 PM   #7
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Mint and a custom sheet.
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:41 PM   #8
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Excel... I set up a sheet with linked sub-sheets so I can track pretty much everything. I've been using the same one for the last 5 years, so it's really nice for making projections and sticking to some semblance of a budget. I just expand it each year and keep moving.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:51 PM   #9
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Same as most on here, a sheet.

Run one for my account, one for our joint account. Allows quick browsing of monetary needs, what's coming in, etc, etc.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:59 PM   #10
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I dont need no fancy program.

figure out your monthly expenses (rent, bills, gas).

set a food/groceries budget.

put any extra income into a savings/investment account that you cannot withdraw.

never withdraw cash, never break budget, live like your poor, any excess once bills are paid go into savings.

anything extra is planned and budgeted in advance, typically out of food/groceries budget if possible.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
I dont need no fancy program.

figure out your monthly expenses (rent, bills, gas).

set a food/groceries budget.

put any extra income into a savings/investment account that you cannot withdraw.

never withdraw cash, never break budget, live like your poor, any excess once bills are paid go into savings.

anything extra is planned and budgeted in advance, typically out of food/groceries budget if possible.
MOTHERFLOSSING THISSS!!!
That is exactly how I do my finances as well. No fancy shmancy anything, its all in my head.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:49 PM   #12
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this is why i roll 6 deep.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:51 PM   #13
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I've been using mint for several years now. Am I scared of the privacy issues? not too bad, its just so damn easy. If they ever get hacked, my accounts wont be the most attractive targets, lol.
And the app is pretty useful, enter your pin wherever you are and have all your finances at a glance.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:50 PM   #14
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Ive been using MINT for a few months. its nice, but I dont listen to half the crap it tells me because it hasnt really been able to get my spending/income correct as far as categorizing it and I am too lazy to go in there manually. For example when I travel on the road for work I throw it on a personal credit card and get an expense check later on. I deposit this large check a few weeks later (usually a few grand) and MINT assumes its my income. It has some great tools to help you pay off loans or save for a house though!

In general I use mint for easy access to all my student loans and stuff, and use an excel sheet for everything else.... well actually Google DOCS so both me and my GF can access it. My gf and I keep a running tab of who pays for what bills and groceries because most of the stuff is in her name. It keeps us both on top of it and happy.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:18 PM   #15
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I keep all of my cash in duffle bags and when they empty I just re-up.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:01 PM   #16
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I have mint but I stopped using it after awhile. It wasn't necessarily bad, I just didnt really need it. I keep track of everything mentally on a daily basis. I check my accounts every morning and always keep track of every dollar in and out. Usually once a week I sit down and write it out on paper. Helps me remember it better.

I've also had quickbooks for my business for awhile now, but my gf's been doing it for me. This year I really want to take over doing it and get setup to start printing checks from it.

My monthly expenses are usually always the same so its easy enough for me to keep track. I try and spend my money on what I want, without going overboard. No point in living like a bum if I could die tomorrow. At the same time though, I'm trying to make more and more each week and build up the bank account. Kinda being responsible but enjoying myself a little bit at the same time.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:54 PM   #17
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I'd never heard of MINT until now. Looks like it could be awesome for a household sharing accounts. However; why is it free or better put who pays for it? Just curious because it doesn't look ad supported. Are they selling our purchase history vs household income to marketers? If say I had $5000 in savings would I get cruise ship tour ads in my email?
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:04 PM   #18
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Mint was/ is affiliated with quicken. I am not sure the history exactly, but I know quicken offered a very very similar product as part of one of my credit card or banking websites. They most likely make their money based on all the adds. Half the page is telling you that you could have a better rate if you had "xyz's" loan. ADDS ADDS ADDS.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:01 AM   #19
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Ah makes more sense. I'd upload it but my laptop fried soooo untill I get a new one. And I'm lazy right now.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:35 AM   #20
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We use mint, and online billpay from the bank. Y8s will cut that sheet out of the middle once he and the missus have children There's just no time for that.
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