How address annual expenses in a monthly budget

First of all, i apologize as this question must have already been asked and answered. My question is straight forward, how do you address annual expenses e.g. auto insurance, on a month to month basis with Quicken's budgeting tool? Say my auto insurance is $1,200 annually and paid in full in July. I assume Quicken will want to allocate $100 a month in the budget. So then every month I will under spend by $100, except for July where i will overspend by $1,100. There are many purchases that occur like this such as contact lenses. How do other users address this? Is there a way to accrue these types of expenses? Do you use the rollover function? Do I just need to think about my budget differently?

Lastly, are there any in depth guides for creating budgets? Not quicken's basic "here is how your budget should ideally work," I mean an actual consumer with tips and recommendations.


  • SnowmanSnowman Member ✭✭✭✭
    The proper way to budget one time expenses like this is to put the full amount in July to use your example.  Other expenses such as "medical expense" I budget by looking at the past years expenses and setting up the budget for the next year based on that.

    The rollover function is better left unused.  If you want to "rollover" a deficit or surplus for a category it is better to do it manually.  As for an in depth guide there is an annual Quicken book that used to be put out but do not be afraid to experiment some.  Before you do anything drastic make a copy of your data file so the if you crash the program you can restore that backup.  Kind of like a get out of jail free card.

    Once last observation.  Before I started my budget I sat down with a pad of paper and pencil and prioritized what information (in the form of reports) did I want my information to be presented. 

    For example we have two homes.  To make it easy to see what was spent where I have set up the budget categories as follows:

    You can add or subtract as it fits your situation.  The second home is Home-WP.  I use "Home" first so that they are together when I print a budget report and it is easy to print a report for each house individually.
  • NotACPANotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Since you're running QWin, have you looked, in Q Help, at "Savings Goals"?
    You could transfer $100/month to that ... and then include Transfers in your Budget.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Tom YoungTom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    This sort of question reminds you the wisdom of Sly and the Family Stone's song "Everyday People" which states "different strokes for different folks."  You're building an annual budget for YOUR purposes and nobody's going to come in and audit your results and tell you "you're wrong!" or "this is the most well put-together budget I've every seen!"  You do what makes the most sense to you.

    Personally, faced with a one-time cost that covers an annual period - a lump sum payment of auto insurance that covers 12 months is a classic example - I'll opt to simply expense the payment, and budget for it accordingly, because I expect and hope to live for 12 more months after the payment and don't see much benefit of going through the extra effort of "amortizing" that cost over the year.  Same goes for subscriptions, property tax payments and so forth.  I budget for those costs in the month that I expect to pay them and when I pay them I simply expense them.  The result is an apples to apples comparison of what I spent vs. what I expected to spend and I can see the result immediately; any difference isn't spread out over 12 months as a small monthly dollar difference.

    But you always do whatever suits you, do whatever you find to be the most beneficial and makes the most sense to you.
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