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[Nov. 8th, 2012|12:25 am]
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[plasmic_slime]
Do you keep an eye on your finances/budget?
How do you do it?

I've tried phone apps but forget to add everything in, and i'm trying to make a spreadsheet of predicted costs but i'm not sure i'm doing it right. 
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[User Picture]From: davcu
2012-11-08 12:28 am (UTC)

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I try to make a list of what I spend on during the day, if it goes with my budget or not.
[User Picture]From: starrchilde
2012-11-08 12:31 am (UTC)

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I have an excel spreadsheet - in column A it says starting balance, in column B it has the dollar amount, then I just keep it tallied by writing where I spent the money in A, how much was spent in B and letting the spreadsheet keep the tally for me.
[User Picture]From: gainingvelocity
2012-11-08 12:34 am (UTC)

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I use a simple Excel spreadsheet that breaks up purchases each month into 5 major categories that fit me - clothing, gas, entertainment, loans, and etc. I have a little box off to the side that also keeps track of my income, how much I have spent this month total, and how much I have saved each month/how much I currently have in savings. This is my third year doing this so it comes naturally, but it helps to usually pay by credit card so you can keep track more easily.
[User Picture]From: dudewhatthefuuu
2012-11-08 12:42 am (UTC)

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I've tried a few things, but honestly the method that works best for me is having an envelope with a couple smaller envelopes in it that I designate for rent, food, etc. (I also pay for most things with cash though, including rent, so I don't think this method would necessarily work for everyone).
It helps keep my mind organized better than anything else, though.

Have you tried Mint.com? A lot of my friends use it and like it.
[User Picture]From: plasmic_slime
2012-11-08 01:01 am (UTC)

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It looks great but doesn't work in the UK =/
[User Picture]From: smartaleckstef
2012-11-08 03:08 am (UTC)

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ah ignore my comment--but yeah stop using cash, and pay for unlimited debit/credit to keep track I think it makes sense
[User Picture]From: tokyowitch
2012-11-08 12:43 am (UTC)

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Yes. I have my bills split up so that I pay them all right away on pay day and don't have to worry about them being due. Whatever is left over after bills is for fun and savings, and I just keep track on my bank's mobile app.
[User Picture]From: cianne
2012-11-08 12:52 am (UTC)

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a notebook and a pen. i write down what i get paid, i write down all of my non-negotiable expenses ... and then i try to figure out how to spread the wee little bit left over around to deal with the stuff i can afford to play around with.

i don't really have money in the bank in between paycheques, so it's not like i have that to take into account. i pretty much have what's on my paycheque for what comes up over the next two weeks.
[User Picture]From: musicboxwaltz
2012-11-08 12:52 am (UTC)

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mint.com
[User Picture]From: verygwen
2012-11-08 01:30 am (UTC)

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Yup.
I use a combination of Quicken on my laptop and online banking. I also have a spreadsheet but it's more for figuring out how much of each income needs to go into the house account. Since there is only one income at the moment, the spreadsheet isn't in use. That will change in May, I hope, woo!
[User Picture]From: ducklings
2012-11-08 02:42 am (UTC)

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Yep.
I just do it mentally. I know what I spend on the basics, not including rent, utilities, etc., and adjust any immediate needs from there.
[User Picture]From: ducklings
2012-11-08 02:59 am (UTC)

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And like others said, I use my online banking. My credit union will automatically arrange purchases into categories, and they're usually the right ones.
[User Picture]From: orionrogue
2012-11-08 02:51 am (UTC)

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I mostly use my bank's online banking feature, and manage bills in a 3-folder system. I also use Moneydance but I'm not good at updating it. The good news is that I can get everything up to date in a couple hours.
[User Picture]From: smartaleckstef
2012-11-08 03:06 am (UTC)

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Try mint.com, it automatically connects to all your bank/credit cards and you can put your spending into categories.

[User Picture]From: bad_lcuk
2012-11-08 03:52 am (UTC)

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Yes, every day.
Online banking, watching my VISA heavily, being careful with what i buy, watching all my receipts.
But generally, looking at my bank account every day is the best thing to do.
[User Picture]From: snailrevolution
2012-11-08 04:41 am (UTC)

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I check my bank account online throughout the day. I make a note of what bills are due when and pay them not more than three days ahead of time. I also make sure I don't use a lot of cash; I'm terrible at remembering what I spend my money on when it's not bills and rarely remember to write it down. So the card sees a lot of action.
[User Picture]From: tryaswemight
2012-11-08 05:42 am (UTC)

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I have a strict schedule for bill payments and savings (that I keep track of in a notebook), so I'm usually actually ahead of everything. I pay all my bills as soon as my pay goes into my bank account. Anything that is automatic withdrawal comes out of a different account that I transfer the money into on payday. I leave only what I can afford to spend in my chequing account, knowing what's budgeted for things like gas, groceries and incidentals (ie: coffee. It's the one thing I refuse to lose out on in the name of saving a few dollars.) And I never leave home with my credit card unless I absolutely know I'm going to need it. Any extra money that comes in (like STAT pay or overtime) goes into my savings account. Any money left in my account on my next pay day goes into my savings account. Sometimes it's a dollar, sometimes it's been more than a hundred dollars. No exceptions.
[User Picture]From: crackthesafe
2012-11-08 03:14 pm (UTC)

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Yes, I use a spreadsheet in Google Docs. I like using GoogleDocs because Mint would make up categories for me that weren't working and it wasn't updating and it was a PITA. So I made my own spreadsheet since I like doing that sort of thing.

I have the page split vertically to show purchases both from my checking account and my credit card--if I don't I just spend willy-nilly on my c.c. and that kind of defeats the purpose. For each side I track each purchase made--date, vendor, cost, check # if applicable, category, and new balance. At the top I have my budgets for each category (eating out, groceries, fun money, and fuel are the only ones I have), how much I've spent in that category, and how much is left in that category for the month. I use formulas so that things pre-fill themselves--if I mark a transaction as "fun money" it automatically debits it from my budget at the top of the page.

What kind of spreadsheet are you trying to make? Like a monthly budget or something else?
[User Picture]From: klashfor
2012-11-08 04:32 pm (UTC)

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I work out my weekly budget and take it out in cash and don't use my bank card if I don't have to.
[User Picture]From: snooji
2012-11-08 07:36 pm (UTC)

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I'm also terrible at recording everything, not to mention I can't govern what my SO does. Personally, once a month I make sure my chequing and savings account have a certain amount each. My rule of thumb is chequing is for bills (food, gas, whatever), and savings is for fun plus sudden bills (car repair, vets, etc). There's a hefty buffer in our savings account in case we want to do something expensive and fun or there's a big medical bill but don't really want to dip into investments, and then we just build that back up over the next few months. If there's extra money by the end of the month, it goes towards our debt, otherwise it means we've overspent and need to reevaluate.

To figure a budget I looked a few months of spending history in a night. Absolutely everything I do is automatic withdrawal or credit card. I never pay with cash. That way I can track everything online.
[User Picture]From: longerdecember
2012-11-09 07:16 pm (UTC)

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A combination of my wellsfargo online banking and iCheckBook for my Mac. I try to have everything for the month inputted towards the beginning so I have an idea of how much money I actually have for things, and I try to overestimate when it comes to things like groceries and gas.