Friday, December 26, 2008

Number Crunching 142

Quicken Cash Flow = 509.86
STEF Total = 75.69

December Budget Meeting

Reconciling Quicken with bank statements: Reconciled so far. And it looks like I’m ending this month in the black.

Reconciling last month’s budget: I hate the spreadsheets. Why is it always crazily off balance at the end of the month? After it balanced last week! Okay, found one of the problems, I voided two payments that I had listed in Quicken because they were automatic payments but they ended up not getting paid. And it looks like that never got noted in my spreadsheet.
Problem categories:
  • Eating Out
  • Miscellaneous – actually I think this amount was spent in the vending machines for the past two months, but I should be keeping better check.

Did-good-with categories:
  • Gasoline – saved money there.
  • Bank charges – could come down much more but this was only because of ATM fees at least.

Verdict: All in all, I’m really satisifed this month, despite the minor heart attack not getting things to balance when I got started. The leftover amount will be divided between what I have in cash, a cushion to leave in the checking account, and an installment to the STEF fund.
Leftover amount = 103.49

Creating next month’s budget: Creating next month’s budget also starts with creating next year’s budget. My first step is using the Quicken reports of what I spent last year. That done, I make sure that the budgeted amounts are covered by my paycheck.

January is going to be a I-must-watch-like-a-hawk month. I have three paychecks coming in, but I have three overdue bills to pay and have to make sure that the first bills in February get paid too. Good news, I’m predicting that I can pay for my yard work and pay off one of the overdue bills.

How much cash can I have: $55 for all shopping for the month.

Automatic payments: = So now, I’m off to set up my reoccurring bills in bill payer. Okay, I think I have those set up correctly, but I’ll be checking each week to make sure.

Your Money or Your Life Monthly Exercises: I have spent hours getting the money amounts right. I have no energy left to do this step. I promise I will get better in 2009.

Reviewing short-term savings goals: With the leftover amount and the amount I didn’t transfer away from my easy access savings account, I was able to add $195.10 to the STEF. That brings the balance in $270.79. Only $1931.21 to go.

Update NetworthIQ statements:

Update NCN Savings Chart:

Overview and plans:
  • Look out for the last paycheck statement for the LASERs year-to-date contribution amount
  • Update NetworthIQ when I get the December balance for Roth IRA.
  • Recalculate my real hourly rate
  • Start rereading Your Money or Your Life
  • Cook next Sunday and pack lunches.
  • Use the free ATMs

Read Free!
The BookWorm

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