Should One Time Purchase Count Towards Budget?

I made a large purchase that belongs in one of my budgeted categories. The money used was income that had not been anticipated. Would you track this purchase in its normal budget category or is there a way to track it separately since the money used was essentially extra?
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  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would track the purchase in the normal budget.  If you want to track it separately, I suggest you use a category that isn't included included in the normal budget.
  • bmciance
    bmciance SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I agree with Sherlock.  But I guess one question is how did you record the “extra” income?   If that is shown in your normal budget category then I would definitely should show the purchase in your normal budget category as well. 
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    There seems to be two ways to interpret your question here.

    There is the purely "how do I get Quicken to reflect what I want to show?".
    And the "What would your advice be on what and how to do a budget?".

    Needless to say if you are clearer about what you want for the second question, then "how to do it in Quicken?" becomes much easier to answer.

    If on the other hand your problem is answering the second question, then you are basically asking people their opinions on how to budget, and that subject has a library full of books on the subject with different ways one might do a budget.

    But in general I think it gets into three different ways to look at it.
    1. Completely separate.  (That is what savings are for, the unexpected).  This basically also "no budget for the unexpected".
    2. Things will happen, plan for them.  There might be the rare "one offs" that no one can plan for, and you resort to #1, but for things like "car repair".  Some would say you need a budget like car repair, and put a certain amount in that category every month, and use the rollover function to build up the fund until you need it.
    3. The last is just realizing that a budget is a prediction, and no prediction is perfect, that isn't the point, even though some people get obsessed with "balancing their budget".  And as such even though your budget for the month is say $100 for the month and you just spent $500, this is "wrong". It is just information for what you might do in the future now that you know this is a possibility.
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  • subseaguy
    subseaguy Member
    I carry a "Contingency" category within my budget which is essentially undesignated funds. How much you budget for this category is completely up to you. I carry an amount of roughly 5% of my annual budget. As unplanned expenses come up, I record that expense in the appropriate category and reduce the available contingency by that amount to the total budget remains the same.
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