Questions tagged [budget]

for questions that relate but are not limited to, budget planning, budgeting practices, budgeting software.

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4
votes
3answers
456 views

Do card bonuses lead to increased discretionary spending compared to more basic cards?

Some credit cards offer bonuses on spending in particular categories, such as cashback bonuses or "free" upgrades. These credit cards tend to come with an annual fee. A consumer may ...
15
votes
11answers
2k views

How should I save for a down payment on a house while also maxing out my retirement savings? Is that not feasible at my income level?

I see questions and answers like this one that make a very good point: Keep in mind it is easy to get a loan for a car, or for a house, or to pay for college; but very hard to get a loan for your ...
-4
votes
9answers
1k views

Can I become financially free without budgeting? [closed]

I just learned about what a budget is and how to make one, however, I simply do not see myself doing one or even like doing it.. I feel it is simply not exciting.
1
vote
1answer
62 views

How to spend money from a Goal in Mint.com?

I have been using Mint.com to budget for a few months & am trying to figure out how to use the "Goals" feature correctly. When you finish saving for a goal, how can you tell the app/...
19
votes
7answers
5k views

Can I hedge my household expenses using the financial markets?

Apparently farmers can hedge against high raw material prices and low crop prices by using financial instruments such as forwards and futures. Can I use financial instruments to similarly hedge my ...
9
votes
7answers
3k views

How much should retail investors spend on financial data subscriptions?

Retail investors can subscribe to financial data portals such as Morningstar Premium, Yahoo Finance Premium, Value Line, etc. Is there a general guideline on the maximum amount one should spend on ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Is $133 USD per month once critical living expenses are covered considered poverty-level living in the USA?

I have just finished programming a computer program which takes all my known, fixed incomes (sadly only one: welfare) and expenses (rent, food, medicine, basic Internet) for the last three months, ...
0
votes
4answers
351 views

Am I missing anything from this budget?

Background: My wife and I are thinking of purchasing a new home. The cost of the home (1.8M) maxes out our cash reserves, after taking into account the extra money required for moving and then ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

What is a practical way of tracking expenditures?

The goal is to start tracking expenditures, create target limits for each category, and then try to keep to them. They only way progress can be made with this is if the expenditures are accurately ...
2
votes
4answers
302 views

Monthly budget - deferred expenses from savings vs Income? How to manage?

Background: My wife and I have put a monthly budget together using the Google Drive Budget Template. Pretty standard - Income section and Expenses section with rows allocated in each. It makes most ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

Appartment Rent in a monthly budget [duplicate]

Good day; I'm making a Monthly budget to keep track of where I spend my paychecks. I stumbled upon the rent part; would that be considered a debt? Since it's basically something that I "accept" I'll ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

What's the double-entry bookkeeping method for tracking a Safe-to-Spend balance and amounts saved towards goals and expenses?

The bank Simple has three great features: Safe-to-Spend Goals Expenses The Safe-to-Spend balance is pretty simple: it's just the balance in your checking account minus the total amount set aside for ...
33
votes
8answers
10k views

Why do personal finance apps focus on outgoings rather than income

I am looking at using a money management app, rather than just my own Excel spreadsheet, for my personal finances. The way I've always thought about my money is "I have a fixed amount of income which ...
4
votes
4answers
334 views

how to budget for random annual expenses in a monthly budget

I have a solid monthly budget, but I'm noticing that every few months a significant expense is needed (car tabs/registration, identity protection service, precious metals account fee, a trip to see ...
20
votes
12answers
10k views

How to manage expenditure when billing cycles and paycheck cycles are not aligned?

I get paid on the 15th and the last of the month and my husband will be getting paid weekly when he starts a new job after the one he has been working at for 25 years will be closing soon. How does ...
1
vote
3answers
175 views

Security risk of using a budgeting app connected to bank accounts

I've been tracking my budget the old way for a few years now by using Excel spreadsheets that have my checking account ledger and monthly expenses broken down to categories. But I have noticed more ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Search for budgeting app / web service handling automated sync and multiple currencies [closed]

I went trough quite a few budgeting web services / phone apps with the features below and could only found one (PocketSmith), but it suddenly stopped syncing EU banks. It would be great to have any ...
20
votes
10answers
7k views

How to save money by shopping at a variety of grocery stores?

I am living close to a mall with several grocery stores. I would like to save money on the food I buy. I have tried using apps that show me the best prices, ads, and coupons from multiple stores, but ...
56
votes
20answers
14k views

Are there any financial disadvantages to living significantly “below your means”?

By living "below" your means I'm asking about spending significantly less than you could, rather than living "within" your means which of course is sensible if you are able to do it! So for example: ...
3
votes
4answers
479 views

Using credit cards to implement budgeting when you don't have income

My spouse and I are between jobs right now as we are transitioning to new career situations. Our financial situation is stable and our prospects are good, but we will be without steady income for a ...
2
votes
4answers
565 views

Strategies to earmark money for large expenses

Like most people, we have several large expenses that we only have to pay once or twice a year like homeowner's insurance, car/home repairs and improvements, and saving money for a vacation. What's a ...
79
votes
8answers
23k views

Company stopped paying my salary. What are my options?

UPDATE 4: I'd be remiss if I didn't update this post with the outcome: I was able to recover about 1.5x lost wages (after employment attorney fees). The advice below I followed included: (1) finding ...
1
vote
2answers
363 views

What are the different methods for budgeting?

I've always used the envelope method to budget. I know Mint uses a different method, but I'm not sure if it has a name or not. It could simply be a derivative of the envelope method. Wells Fargo's ...
3
votes
3answers
277 views

How can I conveniently allocate small sums of money to budget for future expenses?

If I have $X in my checking account, and I know of upcoming purchases this month, such as, rent, groceries, a haircut, a new bicycle, a new pair of glasses, my gym membership, etc., is there an easy, ...
42
votes
12answers
19k views

How to manage monthly salary

I am a 22-y/o guy starting my first job. I am interested to know how I should manage my monthly expenses. Keeping in mind that I need to pay for my rented apartment, food, water, etc., save money for ...
47
votes
8answers
16k views

Paying off debt and living within means vs. long term planning

My husband and I are divided as to the best way to handle our current financial situation. First, a little background. We are in our high 20’s, have been married for six years and have three kids. ...
4
votes
3answers
424 views

How to set up saving for items in GNUCash: Asset or Expense

Let's say I'm saving for a car and I would like to save X amount on a month to month basis, where would I generally put this?
0
votes
2answers
374 views

Is it a good idea to invest in buy-to-let if rent does not cover mortgage payment?

Background: To benefit from current favourable interest rates in my region (France: ca. 1.5%pa fixed over 20 years), I am considering investing in a buy-to-let property. I consider that interest ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Does it make sense to buy a house to live in for a few years then rent it out?

I'm currently looking to buy a house to live in for 2-3 years, and then rent it out. Most recommendations I see are to buy a house if owning for 5+ years, but I'm not sure how that advice applies if I'...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Is my weekly budget realistic?

My financial situation is out of control. I don't save any money and I'm trying to create a budget so that I can plan for the next year or so as there are a few things I need to get done such as ...
11
votes
8answers
8k views

Is it better to take highest mortgage you can afford?

My partner and I are looking to buy at the moment. I won't get into all the details but we live in Germany, have a budget in mind and have talked with a few brokers and providers. Our idea for the ...
93
votes
15answers
34k views

Spouse wants to pay all debt in a month but I don’t. Is this a good idea?

Between both of our student loans and car loan, we are in the hole about $48,000. My spouse is adamant about paying off all debt in the next month or two since we currently have about $55,000 in the ...
5
votes
2answers
306 views

How many budget categories are too many?

I have a budget with all the essential categories (rent, utilities, groceries, etc.) and I wonder if it is worth having a few (many?) non-essential categories even if my monthly contribution to them ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

Do GnuCash Income entries ever stop contributing to the Income Account's total?

I'm building a personal budget in GnuCash and after entering my starting equity, I've added my new paycheck in the Income section of my budget. I've entered it as transferred to my Checking Account ...
4
votes
4answers
585 views

Should I have a “Vacation” category in my budget?

In my budget, I have a "vacation" category that I track along with other categories (like car lease, dining, recreation, etc). When you are on vacation you obviously do things that could be tracked ...
3
votes
4answers
273 views

Budgeting with unforeseen social events

I read with interest a lot of people's advice on here about planning their finances. Some even have budgets down to the last penny. My question is pretty simple - if you're of that mindset - what do ...
3
votes
5answers
244 views

How to deal plan a budget with extremely variable income?

I am a full time master's student. My income comes exclusively in the form of irregular scholarships and grants, both in terms of time and amount. I have no regular income. For example, I might get ...
84
votes
11answers
25k views

What to do if I can't trust myself with monthly wages?

I work in the UK, like most people here I get paid once a month. I've been doing this for about 2 years now (on a modest income) and my ability to make the money last has not gotten better (if ...
-1
votes
2answers
695 views

How do you deal with amazon.com when trying to track credit card spending per category?

I am trying to put together a budget and one issue I see is that I have a lot of amazon.com transactions that I don't know how to allocate given I am not sure if these are gifts, home goods, etc. Is ...
2
votes
4answers
7k views

How can I stop “double-budgeting” goal items in Mint?

I have student loans and an auto loan that is set up as as a "pay off my debt" goal in Mint. I also have a "pay off my credit cards" goal. And finally, I have a savings goal as well. I like the Goals ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Cost categories of a software organization [closed]

I am a lead software engineer that has been asked to become part of a small pre-seed-level software startup. One of the principals has asked me to come up with a 1-, 3- and 5-year estimate operating ...
2
votes
0answers
74 views

Correct way to track paycheck deductions when using personal finance sites?

I have been using mint.com and personalcapital.com for a while now and was wondering how do you track things like health insurance, 401k deductions, and your real income (before deductions). Mint....
2
votes
4answers
99 views

Best loan/expenses to pay off to increase credit rating?

I am getting settled at a new job and starting to look into my personal finances to see where adjustments can be made. I have 7 companies I owe money to for various things like credit cards, car ...
3
votes
0answers
94 views

How do I see how much savings I will have at the end of the budget period with GnuCash?

I have set up a budget in GnuCash for a one year period, and I started out with some money in each of my accounts. How do I find out how much money I will be left with at the end of the budget period? ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Using 25% of income for rent - gross or net?

I always hear the advice that your rent should not be more than 25-30% of your income and I like that advice. But I've never been able to get a clear answer on whether this should be on your gross or ...
36
votes
12answers
8k views

How to do the maths on affordability?

I have a bad or no idea on how to budget. We are moving but I don't know If I can afford the rent as the family grows and I need my own study. How can a person measure how much to spend on food, car, ...
8
votes
2answers
237 views

How to estimate income tax rate for making a budget?

I am currently applying for jobs in a variety of U.S. cities, and I'm trying to estimate what my net monthly salary will be based on different gross yearly salaries. I have a draft budget in a ...
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

Want to buy a car but have not enough money [closed]

I'm still at a very early stage of my professional career and my salary is still very low. I work in the IT field. I have a dream of buying my own car. The current price of my desired car is 200 times ...
1
vote
2answers
234 views

How to manage household finances (income & expenses) [duplicate]

We are a young family of two, both working and having comparatively equal income. The question is how do we budget our common expenses (relatively equally) and at the same time preserve our freedom to ...
2
votes
1answer
11k views

How to categorize credit card payments?

On mint.com, when I am reviewing my spending reports, my automated credit card payments (set to pay the whole balance) are showing as "Business Services". Since I already have all of the transactions ...

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