How Do U Manage Your Finances?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by HappyDude20, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. HappyDude20 macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #1
    Here I am, logging onto my Mint.com account. I love it so much that I've gotten used to using both my debit and credit card more than cash (though you can also manually input cash transactions as well). Admittedly however, even though Mint is a great housekeeper of all my purchases in and out, with 2 years worth of charts and graphs detailing my spending habits...

    ..I still feel like I'm spending more than I should..

    Mint is great however recently have felt that perhaps if I was to create a couple of spreadsheets in Apple's Numbers app, I could then get more personal with each individual transaction, forcing me to type it in at the end of the day..presumably then piecing the pieces together as to what purchases were truly important and what was just random or unnecessary.

    Just thought i'd give ya'll a brief background as to my method of managing my finances. For the longest time i've wanted to really tackle this area and have marinated some thoughts (Numbers spreadsheet included) and figured i'd ask the community here for what you guys do..and of course always open on hearing suggestions.



    :D
     
  2. MarkCollette macrumors 68000

    MarkCollette

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #2
    I just buy almost everything on one credit card (and pay the balance off in full every month), and then read my credit card statement to see where all the money's gone. I pretty much only use cash when out at the bar, and note how much I had going in and coming out.
     
  3. Erendiox macrumors 6502a

    Erendiox

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    #3
    I have a pretty complex numbers spreadsheet that I use to input my spending at the end of each day. Then, at the end of the month, I can see where all my money went, broken into categories (Food, Transit, Fun, Rent, Other Expenses, etc). I also input my income each month, so I can make sure to stay underbudget.

    I like to be very conscious of where my money goes.
     
  4. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #4
    It's not for everyone, and I acknowledge that I am an ancient, but I owe nothing.

    Nothing!!!!

    A great feeling, that I cannot describe to the Youth of today.

    If I want something, like a new car or whatever, I save up and pay cash.

    However long it takes.
     
  5. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #5
    That is my goal too! I just have school loans (little over 10k) and feel that is manageable and strive to be debt free forever once those are paid off

    As far as mint....I have reservations giving bank info to a 3rd party website. That is just me though
     
  6. brunetmj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Location:
    Upstate, NY
    #6
    I have tried quicken and Microsoft money but in the end I use accounting paper. Despite the advantages of software I am able to better scan paper
    Than a computer screen- but that's just me.
     
  7. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #7
    Dave Ramsay would like you as that's his philosophy and for good reason since it WORKS!

    All my wife and I have are her student loans (mine are paid off). Once those are paid off we'll just have our mortgage which I realize is a type of debt but how many people can afford to buy a house outright in this society? And we figure it's better than flushing out money down the toilet when paying rent.

    As far as managing our finances we use the envelope system. Moneywellis the OS X app we use to help.
     
  8. Erendiox macrumors 6502a

    Erendiox

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    #8
    :)

    Can't tell you how many of my friends forked out loans to attend expensive private colleges and are now swimming in debt. I went to a city college and worked out some scholarships. I wholeheartedly agree. Being debt free is fantastic.
     
  9. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #9
    OK, a mortgage is a husband and wife commitment, and not easy to discharge.

    I am old enough to have weathered some vicious interest rate blips, and we still managed to pay of the mortgage on the matrimonial home. (The 4th one. ;))

    The result, after we split, was that we could both afford new homes, without debt.

    Not the best way to get there, but what are you going to do?? ;)
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    I can't say I am managing.

    My wife was out of work for over 17 months and that did a number on our finances. Now that she's back to work, we're looking to pick up the pieces. I want to get to a point where my inflows exceed my outflows.

    We already decided to start Christmas shopping for my kids in september and buy a little at a time with cash as opposed to credit cards and when 2011 rolls around we'll be looking to pay off my wife's car and working hard at paying off our debts.
     
  11. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #11
    I'm aiming for that too, my only debts are to my parents for helping fund university. My girlfriend owes the bank for hers but it's all we have so far. I'm sure that'll change once I'm back in uni again. But yea I hate the feeling of having to owe money, I blame the parents and their "live within your means" mentality that was drilled in over the years!
     
  12. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    #12
    Excellent plan.

    I am still working on my finances but my net worth is now in the positive so that makes me happy for now.
     
  13. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #13
    I have an excel spreadsheet that I manage on a yearly basis (one worksheet per pay check). I get paid bi-weekly and have yet to find commercial budgeting software that manages bi-weekly checks as well as my little spreadsheet does. I've put a lot of time and effort into it, and am able to see, month and years ahead of time if I so please, what my money is doing.

    I also subscribe to the "every dollar has a job" philosophy. I like to know what every last cent of my paycheck is going to be doing before I even get it.
     
  14. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #14
    How is MoneyWell? I've heard positive reviews, though wanted to tackle the self-created spreadsheet aspect first.

    I just downloaded the free trial at Moneywell so i'll be sure to research the tutorials.

    My only qualm, not really an issue if the software is great...is wanting my balances and numbers with me at all times, whether it be my ipod touch, mbp or ipad. Again, not the biggest issue in the world, just more of a minor complaint. But if MoneyWell kicks ass, then i'll be more than happy.

    Not really an excuse but I agree wholeheartedly with your quote. :rolleyes:

    This is what i'm trying to achieve. Still a ways away.
     
  15. JsR macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Location:
    Newcastle
    #15
    I have one current account card, one credit card and one business bank account debit card (all with the same bank.)

    I never ever use my credit card - only for emergencies or buying things online for the protection. I'm a bit weird with my finances, I log onto my banking every morning and every evening to make sure everything is running smoothly. I also check my account at work (I work for a bank). I don't spend too much to be honest. I put £1000 a month into my savings account every month. I know all my outgoing for bills etc which all come out 1 week after pay-day so I can keep track of things and have no unexpected bills. I have no store cards, no finance and no loans. I only ever buy things I can afford and I'm in no debt at all.

    The only big purchase I shall make soon is £10,000 for University fees for my Master's in January. At the moment I work part-time as I'm 22 and I've just finished my Degree (going full time on Monday.) I'm also a day trader in the stock markets and I sell a few iPhone bits and pieces on eBay to add to my income.

    I do use an app called Piggy Bank which is really good!
     
  16. racer1441 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    #16
    I don't do a single thing. I only apply a single thought to every decision....does this make me money? A call with a friend, no.....a call to a client, yes. Call the client.

    Other than direct family I see every day, no parties, no birthday gifts, ect. Store brand only, and never ever ever eat out.

    You can make some very very nice cash very quickly doing that.
     
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #17
    I barely manage. :eek:

    I mean I make enough money to save, but I have no system for it. I save a bit of money by cooking and living with 2 housemates (I've been working for almost 1 year), and using the little bit of commkn sense that I have. However, if I need/want to spend money, I spend it. Generally, I don't go out very often, or have massive dinners with friends. Money is still spent, but the amounts aren't huge.

    When I first got my job, I bought the things I wanted to. This is my first real job! I still saved money, but I have only around 20% of my income after taxes. That's atrocious!

    This year, my goal is to save 50% of what I make after taxes by just thinking about my purchases.
     
  18. samiwas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #18
    I guess if making money is all you want, then sure... I would much rather enjoy my life than horde every single cent I can. I can't imagine living like that. Of course, in however many years, you may be able to retire earlier or something, but is it worth all the years of living like a hermit? Not to me. I live by the saying "I'd rather eat steak for 40 years, than not eat steak for 20 years." But, to each their own.

    I just recently starting paying attention to finances. I have always been on the thriftier side, while still getting most things I want in life. I don't get a new cell phone every 6 months, I wait until my laptop is near death before upgrading, etc. But I still go out with friends as often as I can, eat out whenever the mood strikes, go to movies or concerts, travel as much as my wife's insatiable desire overwhelms my lack of interest, etc.

    But now, my only debt is the mortgage. I've got a healthy savings (enough in direct savings to live off of for about 10 months with no change of lifestyle) and a considerable amount more in investments (40 months, although those have taken a big hit in recent years). I just started using Mint.com as well, and it has showed me that I probably can cut a bit from our spending in order to save more.

    Before now, I have just looked at the accounts every few weeks and said "OK, looks good" without really knowing what was going on. Each month, I enter the current amounts from my checking, savings, and each investment account into a numbers spreadsheet, so I can see if things are going up or down, and I'd slightly change habits according to that. I think I will be a little better about paying attention in the future.
     
  19. DeepIn2U macrumors 68040

    DeepIn2U

    Joined:
    May 30, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #19
    Eeenee Meeaniee Mineeeee Mooooo. ;)

    Seriously, a spreadsheet. looking to use an application similar to Mint.com for us Canucks but haven't found one yet.
     
  20. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Location:
    toronto
    #20
    Mint has been available to Canadians for a couple fo weeks now (unless you bank with CIBC). And it is pretty awesome.
     
  21. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #21
    Same here, except for the mortgage.

    I make a budget, and stick to it. I write down expenses, compare them to the budget, then decide if I can afford a purchase. Some things are "outside of the budget" and are covered by "mad money" which is income other than wages. Other "big ticket items" come out of savings.
     
  22. racer1441 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    #22
    What you don't figure into that calculation is that money equals power. The more money you have the more power you have. Going to eat out someplace is pedestrian at best. Having the power to get people in that eatery hired or fired, drive away competitors, reward people who are loyal is the true thrill in life.
     
  23. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #23
    Yeah, if you want to make it personal write it down. I write out my budget every pay period in a notebook. Yes, on paper. With a pencil. Old school, I know. Then again, I also prefer real books to e-books or audio books.

    Anyway, to anyone with problems controlling spending: Find an online retirement/savings calculator and play with some numbers. Plug in how much you blow on stuff can cost you. Also, Dave Ramsey's books have good examples of how much saving/investing can get you, even as little as $100 a month. Seeing those type of cold, hard numbers really put things in perspective for me. I saw that the money I was blowing eating out all the time, for example, would generate a hefty number for retirement. It also shows what that car payment can generate.

    Also, for anyone wanting a chart for paying off debt, check out a debt snowball calculator. I printed out one of these and hung it near my desk in my home office. That way, I could see it every time I did budgeting/bill pay. I had a clear goal. I used the one located here.
     
  24. R94N macrumors 68020

    R94N

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    UK
  25. DeepIn2U macrumors 68040

    DeepIn2U

    Joined:
    May 30, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #25
    Seriously? Which banks get full support fellow Torontonian?
    hopefully BMO and TD get support.
    I'll look into it. I actually downloaded it last week but their listing stated no support for Canadian banks. I'll check it out & thanks.
     

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