Is there a different way to track my monthly budget?

The Keeper
The Keeper Member ✭✭✭✭
I get paid once a month via Social Security and Pension.
I budget my monthly expenses for groceries, auto fuel, household expenses, clothing, etc.
These are not actual numbers but as an example, my monthly budget looks like this:
Groceries: $100.00
Auto Fuel: $100.00
Clothing:   $100.00
Auto Repair:  $100.00

I enter each of the budgeted amounts into my Quicken register as though it were an expense. As a result, my Quicken register always shows a balance of $0.00

If I spend $10 on groceries, I enter it into the register as Kroger - Groceries - $1.00

My quicken register balance now shows a debit in red number of -$1.00

I then access the "Groceries" expense and change the number from $100.00 to $90.00 and the registered amount again shows $0.00

Yes, it may seem unorthodox and weird but it has worked successfully for me for 22 years. It helps me keep track of my monthly expenses because I know exactly how much money I have left for each budgeted item and I don't overspend. 

If I have $30.00 in grocery money left over at the end of the month, then when I start a new month, I will change the $30.00 in groceries to $130.00 for the new month.

If I don't spend on a budgeted item such as Auto Repair, I may have $1,000 saved up in case a repair costs more than a budgeted monthly amount for repairs. Of course, I also have substantial savings if an unforeseen major expense exceeds what I have budgeted.

I am not unhappy with this procedure and it has worked for 22 years, but I am curious if there is another way to track the monthly budget that I haven't thought of.


  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Have you tried Quicken's budget system?

    On the surface of your explanation, it seems like it would work for you.
    It has three columns, one line for every category you select to be in your budget, Budget (the amount you budgeted for the month), Actuals (total of transactions with that category, or optionally a reminder in that category for future transactions), and a Balance which is budget - actuals.  There is also a setting for "rollovers", where whatever you haven't spent rolls over into the next month.

    Example (in the Annual View), I have marked where the roll over option is selected:

    This is my website:
  • The Keeper
    The Keeper Member ✭✭✭✭
    Chris_QPW...........Thank you so much for the detailed reply. I am surprised that I didn't know Quicken had this feature but then I have never explored the menus much unless I experienced a problem. I am going to give it a try. Again...Thank You
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