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Questions tagged [budget]

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

43
votes
8answers
14k 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
93 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
1answer
77 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
261 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
749 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
87
votes
15answers
32k 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
186 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
71 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
332 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Draw up a Budget Table [duplicate]

How can I draw a Budget table? I'm in Grade 7 and we're learning EMS (Economic and Management Ssciences). When ever I'm asked to draw Budget tables, I keep get the table structure and identification ...
3
votes
4answers
211 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
210 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 ...
82
votes
11answers
24k views

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

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
185 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
2k 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
69 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
60 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
86 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

CVP analysis for the software industry?

I am brushing up my knowledge in budgeting and accounting. I know about CVP analysis, contribution margin, etc. I would like to apply this knowledge to my own company, that provides a SaaS. The fact ...
3
votes
0answers
69 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? ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
37
votes
11answers
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
137 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
1k 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
183 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
517 views

YNAB: periodic payments to investment account for retirement?

TL;DR In YNAB monthly budget I want a category for my investment account and am looking for suggestions how to cleanly achieve this. I am trying to achieve the following: Use You Need A Budget to ...
0
votes
2answers
107 views

Personal finance web service with account syncing in Germany

I haven't found a single site for personal finance management that does bank syncing in Germany. Some that for example do Barclays, restrict to US or UK accounts. Is there any law in Germany ...
89
votes
9answers
18k views

Do people tend to spend less when using cash than credit cards?

I know this is a popular theory on this site and finance blogs/media in general, but I'd like to know if there is any reliable research on the subject. I can share personal experience that makes me ...
2
votes
0answers
161 views

Gnucash budget report not adding subaccounts

I have problems budgetting for accounts that contain subaccounts. Gnucash does not seem to want to add the actual values in the subaccount, to get the correct value for the parentaccount, but in stead ...
43
votes
4answers
7k views

Is keeping track of your money and having a budget the same thing?

I check my bank account every single day, just out of habit in case there's fraudulent activity. As a result, I always know generally how much I have in my accounts (i.e. if I have $140.25, I'll make ...
4
votes
3answers
676 views

How to calculate money needed for bills, by day

I'm trying to figure out how to budget my money so I can look to see how much money I need on that particular day for bills. I've had an excel sheet I've used for a while that has all my bills listed ...
23
votes
6answers
8k views

Emotionally driven to buy a house. Does it make financial sense?

I am a US citizen living in Europe, so this question might be complicated by tax laws, but let's just ignore them for now. Basically, I am really emotionally driven to buy a house but am realizing ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

How do you budget for medical expenses if you pay most of your medical expenses from a FSA?

In the past, I've had separate line items for drugs, medical expenses (e.g. copays for doctor's visits), and insurance premiums. However, I now have a medical FSA and am paying most of my medication ...
2
votes
2answers
255 views

Different card for each budget category

My wife and I are having trouble with the daily task of entering payments into our budget tracking system. Furthermore, we are never able to verify how well we're going against our actual bank ...
74
votes
16answers
17k views

How to prevent myself from buying things I don't want

We all buy stuff from time to time that only satisfies us for a short time. I was able to locate a few expenses that fall under that category. Unfortunately, there are a few products I've wanted to ...
9
votes
4answers
449 views

How to start personal finances?

I'm 24 years old, and haven't ever spent a second thought on money. My parents were not rich, but they had enough to keep me totally away from all business-stuff. When I was 19, I finished an ...
1
vote
2answers
266 views

How can I figure out my Financial independence targets and years to FI?

Trying to figure out my target for financial independence and is about to start building an investment portfolio for 3 lifetimes. (3 lifetimes as in I want to inherit it to my kids and grandchildren: ...
1
vote
0answers
331 views

How to keep track of daily expenses having two currencies?

I want to keep track of my daily expenses using a system as simple as possible. My current choice is to have a spreadsheet where I keep track of my budget: One page controls the monthly budget ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the most effective saving money method? [closed]

Sometimes people realize that their salary suddenly disappears before the end of the month. What are some tips on how can I save my money, or how can I increase my income besides my full-time job?
7
votes
2answers
391 views

How can we get a hold of our finances again, with much less time to spend on accounting and budgeting, due to the arrival of our child?

When my wife and I got married, we joined our finances and started tracking expenses and budgeting with a tool called Mvelopes.com. This is a personal finance web app that puts the emphasis on ...
2
votes
1answer
480 views

How to Create Personal Balance Sheet and Budget Plan for Several Accounts

I think the idea suggested in book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind that using several bank accounts to handle money is a good idea. So I opened a few bank accounts and tried to create my personal ...
29
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the advantages of doing accounting on your personal finances?

What are the advantages of keeping track of your personal finances? Is it only worthwhile if I earn "enough"? Why should I bother?
27
votes
11answers
13k views

Is there any financial benefit to being paid bi-weekly over monthly?

I have read in many sources that it's generally better for an employee to be paid bi-weekly than monthly. I have been performing some calculations and can't see the benefit to this. Say I was on a $...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Is it irresponsible for me to lease a $300/month car for 18 months?

Here's my financial situation. My net worth not including student loan debt is about 4.5k. I make 95k a year but end up getting about 4k a month (after retirement saving, health insurance, etc). My ...
24
votes
4answers
6k views

How much of my income should I put towards paying off student loans vs saving for a house?

New grad here. I finally got all the wonderful mail from the student loan companies informing me I need to start making loan payments. I never realized how much the interest on these things could come ...
7
votes
4answers
660 views

Is it okay to live paycheck-to-paycheck if I am maxing out my 401k?

To give some background, I am in my early 20s, currently living at home with my parents but would like to move out to an apartment. I am currently maxing out my 401k at work because of low cost of ...
5
votes
3answers
217 views

How to manage paying expenses when moving to a weekly pay schedule and with a pay increase?

I'm terrible at managing my money. This is likely the cause for this entire issue. I'm being moved from a bi-weekly (1st and 15th of the month) pay schedule, to a weekly pay schedule. At the same ...
4
votes
2answers
836 views

Tackling an obscene amount of student loans

So, in my journey to get to where I am today, I spent a good 7 years getting a Master's degree. This, of course, led me down the path of student loans. Currently I sit at just over 100k in student ...