Sunday, November 30, 2008

Number Crunching 138

Quicken Cash Flow = 942.15
STEF Total = 75.69

November Budget Meeting

Reconciling Quicken with bank statements: Done.

Reconciling last month’s budget: Well, I’m not exactly sure how that happened, but I managed to find a difference of only $1.07 between the Quicken reports and the spreadsheet. It’s not enough for me to get aggravated about. I made a correction on the spreadsheet and now I’m moving on.

Verdict: Skipping the category analysis to report that I was horridly bad. I didn’t watch any spending like I should have.

Leftover amount = 713.32

Creating next month’s budget: This should be fun. I also have to make sure I pay everything in December that didn’t get paid in November and possibly October. (I have payments that haven’t cleared listed in Quicken, which makes me think the payments went wonky and I didn’t catch it.) Entered everything and have a deficit of 1423.04. Really ouch.

My first idea is to take the three largest past due bills and divide them in half. I will only pay half of what is due and hopefully catch up in January. That left me with a deficit of 341.46. No good, I don’t have that much in STEF to borrow from myself.

Second idea: divide the three largest past due bills into thirds. That ended up with a positive overhang of 19.07. I put that into my cash to spend category. In a wonderful world, I should be able to put it on one of the bills, but I’ll probably have to buy groceries or a meal with it.

How much cash can I have: This is still ending up being a leftover category, which isn’t working because I always overspend from that. Dave Ramsey’s advice is “Shelter, food, and then debt.” I think I need to take that approach in January.

Automatic payments: = Massive fail. I never did set up the bill payer for items I took away from the companies. *Headdesk* I’m doing it right now for December bills. The new bill payer program my credit union has is surprisingly easy to use. Now I still have to go back and set up the bills as recurring payments, but I figure I will get back to that in December.

Your Money or Your Life Monthly Exercises: I love the formula is already in for the spreadsheet and I don’t have to do that math for each expenditure. What categories do I need to decrease in order to increase fulfillment?
  • Auto insurance – actually that’s because I didn’t pay it at all.
  • Natural Gas – actually because I didn’t pay it at all.
  • Garbage Removal – I should have moved the amount into savings and didn’t.
  • Phone – actually because I didn’t pay it, but it’s still too high.
  • Electric – too high.
  • Auto Service – because I haven’t done it yet.
  • Mortgage – actually because I didn’t pay it.
  • Dining Out – spent too much.
  • Vending Machines – spent too much.
  • Entertainment: Computer Games – I shouldn’t have bought it.
What categories do I need to increase in order to increase fulfillment?
  • STEF
  • Short term savings
What categories spending made me happy?
  • Gasoline – it actually went down!

Reviewing short-term savings goals: I messed up by not transferring leftover money last month and what I didn’t spend on the roof, back over to savings account. I must do that in December if there is any money leftover.

Update NetworthIQ statements: Well, I discovered while trying to get an accurate estimate of the value of my house that I should have plugged in the tax assessor’s estimate. So I corrected all the entries.

Update NCN Savings Chart:

Overview and plans: The constant writing with NaNo still interfered with my bookkeeping. I have to handle this much better if I’m going to start writing for pay.
  • Set up bill payer.
  • See what I have available with my Intuit payment.
  • Use the free ATMs.
  • Cook food and eat at home.
  • Pay all bills ASAP!

Read Free!
The BookWorm

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