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Need a Budgeting Software recommendation please

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by pjrose, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    Yes, money was considered one of the "polite people do not discuss" items. Seems crazy now, since everyone, unless you live in a co-op, will interact with money at every point in their lives.
     
  2. bbodb1

    bbodb1 TUG Member

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    I agree with Geekette - It occurs to me that an important part of budgeting is having accurate records on what you've spent in the past. I say that because something that has been very useful to me is an Excel-like spreadsheet (in Numbers actually - Mac user here..) that tracks my actual spending each month. I've used that history to track spending trends over time, and to make sure I pay all bills each month.

    In other words, I really don't have a recommendation as to which piece of software to use going forward as much as it might be very insightful to document spending over the past 2 - 3 years as a place to start.
     
    mpumilia likes this.
  3. pjrose

    pjrose Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    No 401K, IRA, etc. He is sole proprietor of a small family business. No extra $ ever. I want them to learn how to snag that extra $10/$20 here or there and build an IRA.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  4. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I had a lengthy missive, but thought better of it and deleted the whole thing. Get Mint & keep track of EVERY CENT. They will see patterns of where it goes and can make choices. I wish them well. I've been poor, and it sucks and feels like a trap. Getting a handle on it helps but sometimes yu find out you have to abandon the entrepreneurial bit and go to work for someone else and save to get a second start.

    Best Wishes

    Jim
     
  5. am1

    am1 TUG Member

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    When I was in high school/college just out of college starting my business I knew where every cent was spent. No spreadsheet or app just in my head. Sadly after getting back from 2 weeks in Europe I do not remember all the credit card charges right away.
     
  6. cp73

    cp73 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I think this is an excellent suggestion. You need to get yourself out of their problems, because if you dont your going to part of a source of income for them real quickly. You will end up being the bag guy.
     
  7. capjak

    capjak TUG Member

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    I use Personal Capital it is free and is an aggregator for all accounts including banking/brokerage and credit cards. Has good budget/spending tools and it is free
     
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  8. pjrose

    pjrose Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    All income from DSIL's self-employment goes into one bank account, and all expenditures come out of that bank account via debit card. All receipts go into a shoe box and are given to the tax preparer at tax time. The income is only semi-predictable. He's in a service business, has 5-6 contracts that all pay, but not necessarily in a timely fashion. Business and personal expenses are co-mingled. DSIL grew up poor and everyone in his large family has always lived either paycheck to paycheck or with no money at all; that's all he knows. Thankfully, he's never had a credit card nor any loans (now he has loans for used trucks, for which I cosigned, which got him a good credit score after a few years of payments). AND, he wants to learn how to save and how to set up a retirement account so he's not as broke in his eventual retirement as the elders in his family.

    He's recently gotten a very good new contract* that is increasing his income by around 50%. I've pointed out that once he's gotten a few months of that extra income, things will look different. He doesn't see that happening, because getting to the location of the new work uses more fuel than he was using before (far less in expenses than the additional amount he's earning), which is why I want to get it all entered in something that may help show him that he WILL be able to build up a reserve for maintenance, repairs, emergencies, etc. (budgeting travel, entertainment, etc are so far out of the picture that they're not part of the conversation yet). *The contract is good for at least a few years; they like his work and have already offered him a few additional job sites, but they're too far, sadly.

    Right now he's got to cover expenses for vehicles, equipment, and materials, household bills, grocery.....3 little kids 3 pets and DD........ And if a truck needs brakes or the mower conks out or the furnace runs out of oil, he has nothing to cover the costs.

    But I don't want to set him up with something as dry and boring as a budget sounds; I want to set him up with something he'll USE. He's willing to try, just very skeptical about what it can do with him (what's the point of a budget if you haven't got anything to budget?)

    Soooooo I'm looking at YNAB, because its users seem fanatical about it (kind of like Instant Pot and LuLaRoe afficianadoes). He's not the type to get ga-ga about financial software, but if he USES it, it should help him. (I'm guessing already that DD will have no interest in with anything having to do with money and budgeting. She sells LuLaRoe, discounts it more than she needs to, and buys soon-outgrown baby clothes with her earnings.)

    ANYONE here familiar with You Need A Budget?
     
  9. Steve Fatula

    Steve Fatula TUG Member

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    If you want to use the envelope method without envelopes, good software for that is Moneywell which runs on Mac. This has many advantages over the other techniques.
     
  10. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    This isn't rocket-science.
    Absent software or envelopes, I'd do this:
    Take a piece of paper and draw a line, lengthwise.
    Use the left-side to list items of expected income.
    Use the right-side to list times of expected outgo.
    Total the items by the week or monthly.
    Next to each item, draw a line for the actual $$.
    .
     
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  11. x3 skier

    x3 skier Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    My Credit Union has several financial courses offered for free, budgeting, saving, home buying. Excellent for learning the basics.

    Cheers
     
  12. am1

    am1 TUG Member

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    Have you talked to him (them) about helping out his older relatives as you say they have no savings in their old age? Maybe 1 or 2 less pets if they are a large expense? Are you loaning money or giving it to them?
     
  13. PamMo

    PamMo Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Pjrose, it sounds like they're right on the cusp of making a turn for the better in their finances. With a history of living paycheck to paycheck, your SIL's new contract probably brings up mixed feelings of optimism and total dread that the new money will go down the drain. It's great timing that he wants to learn how to take control of their budget now, and get in the habit of putting some of that new money into savings.

    I use Excel, so don't have personal experience with YNAB, but here's a good comparison between YNAB and Mint. https://investorjunkie.com/50373/mint-vs-ynab/
     
  14. zinger1457

    zinger1457 Guest

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    He knows how to save and setup a retirement account, he just doesn't want to, that's the issue you need to address.
     
  15. aandmrun

    aandmrun TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    My daughters works with single moms in helping them budget and strongly recommends You Need A Budget (YNAB) software. It is a way of budgeting when you are living paycheck to paycheck. By assigning any money that you have a category or as YNAB calls it, a job, you can decide what you will spend the money on before spending it. It takes a while to accumulate some savings, but by knowing ahead of time where the money will go, you get a better understanding of how to handle money even when you don't have much. She has been doing workshops for single moms for some time and is something she finds very rewarding in helping single parents get out of debt or control their debt.
     
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  16. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    It sounds like he wants to (has seen old and poor sucks rocks more than young and poor) but doesn't see a way.

    I have always been an employee so no intermingling of Life Money with Earn A Living Money. I can understand it would be difficult to decide if this dollar goes to Life or to the Business. It was quite frankly a lot easier to be an employee. My brother owned his own business and I felt right lucky to leave the stress to someone else. I get paid whether the CEO has migraines and sleepness nights or sleeps like a baby.

    I agree with piece of paper with line down the middle, but 2 sheets of paper. It may be far less complicated if he does separate, at least mentally/on paper, business from personal. If they have problems differentiating Needs from Wants, that's a discussion to have. As many pets as kids sounds crazy to me, too many mouths to feed, too many medical bills. Perhaps do not replace pets as inevitable occurs over time. There are going to be college expenses down the road and the new leash today could be 3 credit hours in a decade. Regardless, there are income needs required from the business and those need to be First.

    I hope the dear lad is not sweating bullets considering how many beings he supports without known steady pay. I hope he has disability insurance because if he is hurt, it's going to get a lot tighter a lot faster. His income needs to be insured since it sounds like DD does not have steady paycheck either.
     
  17. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    I can't imagine the guy is in a position to help older relatives since he is one nasty break away from being underwater with his own young family.

    I do not mean to be indelicate, but people that live paycheck to paycheck by and large choose that. It's rarely that They Can't Save, it's that they Won't Save. He's not going to be able to show them the light, there isn't much reason to expend the energy to gain the frustration. My mother spends every penny that doesn't go to fixed bills then whines if something happens and she needs to come up with an insurance deductible then makes it sound crazy that "they want $500!" as if how insurance works suddenly changed when she needed to make a claim... She could have savings, she chooses not to. She has chosen to not work and then came a time where she really couldn't work. The mental decline is starting in as well, so I'm just glad my brother is up there managing her affairs.

    Long ago we quit giving Mom money. She is unwise with it. She is 85 and has a mortgage larger than mine, yet hasn't worked since the 50s. She is not going to downsize to have something in the bank, but if she did, we are all sure it wouldn't be in the bank long. Spending money seems to be some weird therapy for her but I'm sure a shrink early on would have been all around cheaper. sorry for tangent to mom vent....
     
  18. pjrose

    pjrose Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    True. Everything's on his bank online. We can upload that into whatever we're going to work with and then identify categories and sort.
     
  19. pjrose

    pjrose Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Yes, he does help his grandparents, with whom he grew up. DSIL's disabled uncle lives with G'pars (his parents), and listens to the police scanner for calls that someone hit a deer.....someone in the family (whoever has gas in his/her truck) will go out and try to get the deer and fill the freezer. G'pars have a very rustic cabin on some wooded land a few hours away. Of 3 grown children and 6 grown g-children, DSIL is the only one who's stepped up to help pay the taxes - pre-kids. G'pars can't afford the taxes on the cabin or their own property, and plan for both to be sold outside of the family, to avoid family bickering. DSIL steps up to help with both properties.

    DD and he rarely cook, and grandmom is happy to cook for them (and everyone else), so they spend a lot of time there. They bring groceries over to the G'pars. I already had one of the little ones tell me that MY green beans (lightly steamed with a bit of butter) weren't as good as the Great-gramdmom's (boiled to death, then boiled some more, then canned and boiled a third time). I guess it's all in what you're used to :)

    DSIL also helps fixes the tractor or helps take the trash to the dump. Your insurance deductible example is spot on. When a payment or bill is overdue, he'll let it go and pay the penalty rather than picking up the phone and saying he's having a hard time, seasonal work, and so forth, can he work out a payment plan or ask for a grace period. We've paid their electricity bill once, and filled their heating oil tank 2-3 times over the years. DD will spend anything she gets her hands on - it just dribbles away. In his work (parking lot maintenance - power sweeping and the like - he occasionally finds a $10 or $20 on the blacktop. I tell him to immediately stick it in an envelope iand hide it away (or give it to me) as the start of a repair / emergency / retirement fund - but they'll go out for ice cream, which is fun for the kids so that's good too.

    He DOES want to learn to save for retirement, and DOES want to have emergency and repair funds, so I'm somewhat optimistic.
     
  20. am1

    am1 TUG Member

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    Maybe so but some may still ask. It is up to the person with the money to set the limits based on what they can afford and if they feel the people need it.
     

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