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Budgeting for a Dummy

 
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amother




Mauve


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 9:16 pm
After many many of months of saying I would...I finally began to calculate our expenses for January. I figured it’s easy to start in January so that we can look at 2019 as a whole.

I am coming up with a question though and am reaching out to those of you that track your monthly expenditures.

Suppose I have charges on my Credit Card during January that go towards food, utilities, etc. I don’t pay that credit card bill till I get my statement in February. That means that theoretically I am paying for January’s food in February. This is really messing me up! I would like to itemize how much I “spent” on food in January but when I put in my earnings I will not get an accurate bottom line for January since I paid credit card bills in January that had charges from December.

Please help me figure this out!
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amother




Copper


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 9:28 pm
really depends if you are trying to manage cashflow or just track spending.

(if it makes your life easier - go online and look up your CC balance as of the last day of the month and pay it then - not wait until the statement).
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amother




Cerise


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 9:30 pm
When I'm budgeting I look at the dates on each charge. It's not that complicated to make my own calculation of the charges specific to that month.
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amother




Mauve


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 9:39 pm
amother wrote:
really depends if you are trying to manage cashflow or just track spending.

(if it makes your life easier - go online and look up your CC balance as of the last day of the month and pay it then - not wait until the statement).


I was really trying to do both- manage cash flow and track spending. I don’t know if paying the charges at the end of the month will work because a. I like to have extra time for my returns to process as a credit b. If I’m still paying last months bill, I don’t think I’ll have enough funds to catch up.
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librarylady




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 9:45 pm
I really really recommend using mint.com. they consolidate all your finances in one spot (credit cards, debit cards, savings accounts, etc) and give you a dashboard of how you are doing, let you set budgets and goals, and keep track of your transactions each month and categorize them. I have been using it for over a year and am very happy with it; it's so convenient to be able to see exactly how much you spent in each category over the year, in specific months, etc. It is free but they have occasional non-annoying ads (for credit cards mostly, just ignore them). take a look at it, it seems it would really fit your needs since it records transactions as they happen and not just when you pay your bills.
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Mommyg8




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 10:04 pm
I like to keep track of expenses by category, so I just add all expenses for the month by date that it was charged. You will need both January and February bills in order to do that because credit card statements are not usually exactly by month. So you add all charges for the month by category.

OR, if you just want a ballpark figure which is all you really need anyway, just use your last bill. This works if all your expenses are on your credit card.
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dankbar




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 11:01 pm
There are two methods cash basis or accrual basis in accounting. You have to decide on one & stick to it.

Also why can't you just write into a notebook all varied expense from receipts not from c/c statements.
You went to grocery today & spent $200 write it into the book for this date, not when you actually paid it.
Payments/bills are usually more fixed expenses, which you probably know the amount. You want to rather figure out your spending.
Another method just add up all food expenses for year & divide among 12 mos to get an average & budget with this amount in mind. It'll even out at end if one month you spend less, but have leftover money to spend for next month when it's more expensive because of yom tov.
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dankbar




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 11:04 pm
You can also treat it like reg bookkeeping.
Debit the expense/credit account payable. Then when you pay it you debit accounts payable & credit cash so it balances out
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amother




Mauve


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 12:01 pm
dankbar wrote:
There are two methods cash basis or accrual basis in accounting. You have to decide on one & stick to it.

Also why can't you just write into a notebook all varied expense from receipts not from c/c statements.
You went to grocery today & spent $200 write it into the book for this date, not when you actually paid it.
Payments/bills are usually more fixed expenses, which you probably know the amount. You want to rather figure out your spending.
Another method just add up all food expenses for year & divide among 12 mos to get an average & budget with this amount in mind. It'll even out at end if one month you spend less, but have leftover money to spend for next month when it's more expensive because of yom tov.


If I use credit cards for most expenses it’s way easier for me to go thru the credit card bill then to save receipts. Either way it’s accomplishing the same goal- it will have the date that the cc was charged.

I specifically want to know how much we spend for certain months on food, for example, so that I can know how much we spent for example Pesach time. Or Yom Tov in general. I keep bringing up food but really there are so many non-fixed charges. My credit card bill can be different by 1k a month- depending on whether we vacationed, bought new clothes, camp registration etc.
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amother




Cerise


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 12:03 pm
amother wrote:
If I use credit cards for most expenses it’s way easier for me to go thru the credit card bill then to save receipts. Either way it’s accomplishing the same goal- it will have the date that the cc was charged.

I specifically want to know how much we spend for certain months on food, for example, so that I can know how much we spent for example Pesach time. Or Yom Tov in general. I keep bringing up food but really there are so many non-fixed charges. My credit card bill can be different by 1k a month- depending on whether we vacationed, bought new clothes, camp registration etc.


So if you're going through each bill anyway it's not complicated to check the date before marking each expense.
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HonesttoGod




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 1:10 pm
Pay you credit cards weekly. As you make the charges.
Itis the only way to budget and avoid debt.
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aliavi




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 5:35 pm
It should be January expenses when you pay the credit card for January charges. Do try to actually pay the credit card in January and pay as much as you can.
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TwinsMommy




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Feb 06 2019, 11:15 pm
I have a certain budget per month for credit card payments--- no matter WHEN I made the charges, I know that I'm paying x amount per month towards credit cards (and trying valiantly to keep the payments I'm making more than what I'm charging so that some decade I'm NOT in debt......)
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