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Quicken Budget

October 1st, 2012 at 03:00 pm

I have been playing around with the budget feature in Quicken. I love my Quicken and would like to start keeping up with how much over/under my budget items are. I have discovered a few disturbing things by putting my budget into Quicken.

I have found that my grocery budget is pretty close to what I spend. Although the big grocery trips have been less than I budgeted for I end up spending the rest of the budget on fill in items. I will need to fix this. According to Quickn, I spend 10.5% of my income on groceries. I would like to get this number down but I don't know what an acceptable number is. Any suggestions?

I also discovered that I spend a whopping 17% of my income each month on medical expenses. I don't know how to make that any less. This is followed up by my mortgage which is 14% of my income. I think that is high for what they say your mortgage should be. Of course this is covered by my rental income.

The bottom line according to Quicken is that I am $400 short to be able to pay all the budgeted items. That is if I have entered everything correctly. It is a pretty bleak outlook...very depressing. I don't know how to dig myself out of this hole. Looking at the numbers I can't even figure out how I have managed to keep my head above water.

At least by looking at it this way I can tell where I can make improvements and what I need to work on.

6 Responses to “Quicken Budget ”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Great job using Quicken to look at your cash flow. Information is power. It is what can lead you on a different path. When you know better, you do better!

    From an outsider looking in, I have seen your spending issues...primarily eating out. However, I've always felt you have an income issue as well. I think you think a part time job will solve the problem, and it may, but I wonder if a different higher paying job is possible for you.

    Are there other jobs in your same field? Are your skills transferable to another line of work? Do you need to get more education (hopefully with grants and scholarships) at a community college. Try to think outside the box for ways that you can make changes to your income.

    Always cheering for you!!

  2. North Georgia Gal Says:

    Thanks for the feedback. I actually make pretty good money for my location. I dare say that I am actually probably overpaid. It is unheard of in this area for someone in my position to make $16/hour, which is what I make.

    I have tried to get a second job by putting in my application at every place I could think of in this small town. Not one call back. I am definatly not opposed to getting a second job. It's not like I am doing anything in the evenings or on the weekends anyway.

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    I don't know if you can do a hypothetical future budget in Quicken, but I have thought that it's difficult for me to separate your kids' expenses from yours. I know they're getting close to moving out on their own; what would your budget look like minus child support but also minus the expenses associated with your kids? Would it be better or worse? This could help you look ahead and either have something to look forward to, or know what you need to prepare for.

  4. BuckyBadger Says:

    You said that your mortgage is covered by your rental income. I haven't heard much about your rental lately. Is your son living there with his friends? Are they good about keeping current with the rent? And your mother covers your other house, right?

    As far as medical expenses, the insurance for your daughter is the big one there, right? Can you remind me why she can't be on your health insurance through work (I'm assuming you have this, as you work full time, right?)?

    Remind us a little bit about your bills so that we have a better idea of where -- if anywhere -- we can help you. :-)

  5. North Georgia Gal Says:

    BB: Yes my son and his friends are in the rental property. I should get their rent today. And yes, my mom covers the house I live in.

    DD insurance is the major expense. I could put her on my policy at work but it would be double what I am paying for her now. My insurance at work is not cheap.

    My major bills right now are medical. That is the only category that I feel is out of whack. And cell phone. I wish I could get my cell phone expense down. I would love to go with t mobile or sprint or one of the other ones but unfortunately where we live our choices are severely limited. Basically it is att or verizon. Ex DH usually helps pay that bill. I would like to get my grocery expense down. I rduced my sattelite package and have made cuts where ever possible.

  6. snafu Says:

    Did you see today's ABC newscast? Peanut butter from 'Sunland' distributed throughout the nation under different store brands has been identified as 'contaminated/salmonella.' This doesn't affect Major brands like Jif, Skippy etc.

    I too use Quicken which allows you to try different financial scenarios.

    the Canadian Gov't publishes financial 'averages' identifying how those who participate in their studies/questionnaires distribute income. Our medical system is different but this is how it plays out...

    30%...housing ...includes utilities, maintenance & insurance
    15%...auto ...includes operations, maintenance, repairs
    17%...food ...includes restaurant, take-out, fast food, etc.
    5%...health supplemental insurance
    7%...medical OTC meds, dental
    5%...debt repayment ...includes CC, Line of Credit
    6%...personal spending, misc.

    Hope this is of some help, your northern neighbor's medical & retirement programs are significantly different.

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