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How do I see my budget to date combined with what is future budgeted totals

Hello All,
Help!!! I have completed by 2020 budget and categorized through today all my expenses. What I need to know is a Forecast??? I want to be able to see expenses to date plus budged expenses forward?

“where will I end up at end of year?”.

I also have no idea what the budget bar at the top is trying to show.
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Answers

  • RickRick Member ✭✭
    At the top of the budget, make sure you have Annual View and Details picked. This will show you what your are looking for.
  • SnowmanSnowman Member ✭✭✭✭
    The only real way to do this is with a spreadsheet.  The current "forecasting" that Quicken uses will not look at budgets at all.  It will take what you spent or received in the 'forecast period' in the prior year and try to put something together.  If you had a one time large expense on income in the prior year Quicken will use that again.  Not what you nor anybody would want because it was ONE TIME!

    I have set up a spreadsheet in Excel that goes forward for 5 years with my budgeted income and expenses.

    Quite frankly I would rather do it this way than let Quicken do it because I have seen how the make the "sausage" and it is not pretty and in Excel I am able to control what is included or not and what assumptions are to be made that fit my financial situation.
  • Chris_QPWChris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I would actually say it really depends on what a person is looking for in the "prediction".

    First there is the budget itself.  If you budget for $40,000 worth of income, and $45,000 worth of expenses you will of course come out negative.  The annual view of "details" or just the budget will show that.

    Next is the balance which is budget - actual.  Clearly in the future actual isn't really known, you are guessing at it.  And the only way you can do that guess in Quicken's budget is by turning on the option to show reminders for the future "actuals" and have reminders for all future categories you are tracking.  The real problem with this is that most people won't want to put in "individual" reminders for every category/time frame.

    So what I suggest is that people do their regular reminders and then for the rest you can create one reminder set to repeat once a week, and make it a split transaction, where you put in a weekly average for every category you want a future prediction for.  Note that when the reminder comes up you just skip it.  Now as the week goes on real expenses will come in and there will be overlap.  So this wouldn't really work if you have a very tight budget.  Ideally this would be done with a daily reminder and you would be able to set the reminder to automatically skip to the next instance.  But Quicken doesn't allow for daily reminders, and it doesn't have an option to automatically skip the reminder when it comes due.

    Note some people try to use their budgets for cash flow.  If you thought the above is quite a kludge (and it is) I think using the budget for cash flow is a big mistake.  It is category driven, not account driven.  The whole point of cash flow is to make sure you have enough cash in a given account when the payments are due.  For that you want to look at the Projected Balance graph, or maybe the cash flow report.

    I might add that the way I make my cash flow easy to manage is I setup almost all my payments as automatically payments, preferably from a credit card that I get cash back from.  There are a few bills like utilities that have to come out of my checking account so I have reminders for them so that they will show up in the Projected Balances graph (checking account balance being the most important one), and of course I have a reminder for paying the credit card.  Since most of my bills are going to the credit card, I see them 20 or more days before I actually have to have the money to pay them in the checking account.  As such I don't have worry very much about the day to day cash flow.
    (I'm using the latest Quicken subscription version)
  • SnowmanSnowman Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Chris_QPW "Note some people try to use their budgets for cash flow.  If you thought the above is quite a kludge (and it is) I think using the budget for cash flow is a big mistake.  It is category driven, not account driven.  The whole point of cash flow is to make sure you have enough cash in a given account when the payments are due.  For that you want to look at the Projected Balance graph, or maybe the cash flow report."

    I have to respectfully disagree with the above statement.  What I have is not a kludge but a very well thought out and flexible financial statement.  A Cash Flow done right WILL be account driven.  My "Cash Flow" statement for 5 years starts with the current cash balance of ALL my accounts. For the first year is adds the monthly expenses and income.  At the end of every month is calculated the net income (or loss) for the month and the cash flow for each month is calculated based on the starting cash balance.  It is really a mirror of the Quicken budget without the pain.  I can print it whenever I want.  For years 2-5 it shows the annual amounts for income and expenses for each category. At the end of each year the net income/loss is again calculated.  Then it shows the final cash balance after the five year projection.

    While is does not do :"individual" accounts, it is still a valuable tool..  For that I do what you suggested and have Quicken automatically put into my checking account "known" payments for the next 90 days.  I have credit cards paid in full and when a statement comes in I put the payment date and amount into the register.  In this manner I can keep most of my money in a savings account and transfer to my checking account only what is needed to keep the cash balance positive.

    Any cash flow or budget will only be as accurate as the the information in it.  It is a fact that the further you go into the future the less accurate it becomes.

    It is much easier to see different "forecasts" in a spreadsheet.  That is impossible with the budget in Quicken.

    As of January this year I saw that my cash flow forecast showed a healthy  increase for the next five years.  With the recent stock market fluctuations I am able to do new forecast at any time, it is still positive but less so than in January.

    I have been doing this since Visicalc came out in the 80's.  When I look back on how accurate my 5 year forecasts are they have never been more than 2 -5 % off at the 5 year mark.  The only exception was in 2008 when I was 30% off because of the market crash.

  • Chris_QPWChris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Snowman When I said "Note some people try to use their budgets for cash flow.  If you thought the above is quite a kludge (and it is)"

    I was referring to the Quicken budget system, which is category driven, not account driven.  I totally agree that a cash flow system needs to be account based not category based.  This is why I state that the Quicken budget system shouldn't be used for cash flow decisions.  And the closest thing Quicken to a "cash flow system" is the Projected Balances.

    Now there are some people that would like to take their budget numbers and use those for the future predictions in the Projected Balances, but as it sits they are totally useless for that purpose because they are category not account based.   Reminders in Quicken are what are account based and as such they are what have to be used for any cash flow predictions.

    So, I wasn't referring to what you are doing. I'm sure what you are doing is great, but the one pitfall for other users is that they don't have your system outside of Quicken or your expertise on it.  So I was just giving what I have done in Quicken working around its limitations.
    (I'm using the latest Quicken subscription version)
  • ScooterlamScooterlam SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @ChambR

    Have a look at this idea, specifically my last post.   I tried to get across the need and offer a potential solution for better budget forecasting other than what exists today.  Seems to be in-line with what you described.

    Sadly, the illustrations in this (and other ideas),  that I took so much time to create, are now compressed or resized to the point of being nearly unreadable....even when opening them in a new tab....

    https://community.quicken.com/discussion/comment/19734766#Comment_19734766   
    Vote if you like or improve on the idea (then vote)!
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