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New to Budgeting (Q Mac)

Robert Lynch
Robert Lynch Member ✭✭
Hi all - I am new to using Budgets. I've been a QM user for about 4 years now, and I have designed reports that display to me my monthly spending habits to illustrate where I can make better choices (for overspend months).

I'd like to give Budgeting a try - but its overwhelming and not sure where to start.

Is there option to setup the display and budgeted amounts at the top level of the categories rather than the granular level?

Any help is appreciated!!
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Best Answer

  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited March 6 Accepted Answer
    After using QMac for 31 years, I only started using the budget about 6 years ago. Like you noted, it can be overwhelming and you abandon it. Don't ask me how I know.

    My suggestion: only focus on a few categories that you really have control over (discretionary things) and ignore costs outside of your control.**

    I personally don't worry about tracking income in mine nor try to make it fully balanced. That would make it ridiculously complex when I only care about a few categories such as groceries, some utilities, eating out, etc. You can always add/remove more categories later as you see fit.

    Setting up realistic goals shouldn't be hard as it sounds like you have been tracking history. (People often blindly set up budgets based on wishful thinking and completely ignore what they really have done in the past. Goals have to be achievable!) 

    Yes, if you select the parent category (and deselect all the subs contained within), it will still give you a total of all the subs without their being displayed in the budget.

    **I do have a XL Spreadsheet (put together from data from Quicken) that does include all my annual costs/income so that i know I really am staying in the black. It is from looking at that and viewing an annual expense more as an accrual that I know "ok, after all these fixed expenses, one time annual charges, investing activities, (etc.), I have this much left over to spend on discretionary stuff each month." And from there, and I setup my goals to track in Quicken. I only visit that spreadsheet a couple times a year.

Answers

  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited March 6 Accepted Answer
    After using QMac for 31 years, I only started using the budget about 6 years ago. Like you noted, it can be overwhelming and you abandon it. Don't ask me how I know.

    My suggestion: only focus on a few categories that you really have control over (discretionary things) and ignore costs outside of your control.**

    I personally don't worry about tracking income in mine nor try to make it fully balanced. That would make it ridiculously complex when I only care about a few categories such as groceries, some utilities, eating out, etc. You can always add/remove more categories later as you see fit.

    Setting up realistic goals shouldn't be hard as it sounds like you have been tracking history. (People often blindly set up budgets based on wishful thinking and completely ignore what they really have done in the past. Goals have to be achievable!) 

    Yes, if you select the parent category (and deselect all the subs contained within), it will still give you a total of all the subs without their being displayed in the budget.

    **I do have a XL Spreadsheet (put together from data from Quicken) that does include all my annual costs/income so that i know I really am staying in the black. It is from looking at that and viewing an annual expense more as an accrual that I know "ok, after all these fixed expenses, one time annual charges, investing activities, (etc.), I have this much left over to spend on discretionary stuff each month." And from there, and I setup my goals to track in Quicken. I only visit that spreadsheet a couple times a year.
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