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  • FIRST POST
    • pjohnstone
    • By pjohnstone 8th Jul 18, 8:35 AM
    • 2Posts
    • 1Thanks
    pjohnstone
    Budgeting Software
    • #1
    • 8th Jul 18, 8:35 AM
    Budgeting Software 8th Jul 18 at 8:35 AM
    Hi all, this is my first post here.

    What budgeting/financial software do people use? I've been using numbers (mac version of excel) but I'm finding it fairly laborious. Ideally what I would like is a function to view future known cash flow (i.e. bills, direct debits etc) in a bank statement format. Does this make sense? Is such a thing available? I created my on spreadsheet which works really well for me to visualise and plan spending but need something more automated.

    Also the ability to import bank statements would be useful.

    Thank you all,

    Paul
    Last edited by pjohnstone; 08-07-2018 at 8:35 AM. Reason: spelling mistake
Page 1
    • Lomcevak
    • By Lomcevak 8th Jul 18, 11:20 AM
    • 717 Posts
    • 4,242 Thanks
    Lomcevak
    • #2
    • 8th Jul 18, 11:20 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Jul 18, 11:20 AM
    I use YNAB (you need a budget) to do this - I'm fully "buffered" in YNAB-speak, which means i'm budgeting income received the previous month and therefore know exactly what I have to spend, and I then use (future-dated) scheduled transactions to project forward all the fixed outgoings (bills, mortgage, etc.) for the coming month to see what my cash flow looks like.Variable outgoings (e.g. groceries and discretionary spending) get budgeted as normal and entered as they happen. Works very well for me, and the result is something very similar to what it sounds like you're looking for.

    I'm using YNAB 4 (aka YNAB classic), unfortunately I don't believe this is possible with the newer online version - it's one of the reasons I haven't switched over yet. I've not used the online version though, so maybe someone else who does use it can correct me.
    MFiT-T4#126, 135k to 60k: 61,504/75,000 (82.02%), 2018 MFW#11 7,860/15,000 (52.40%)
    30k-in-18#11 25,686.63/30,000 (86.22%)
    • tempus_fugit
    • By tempus_fugit 8th Jul 18, 11:49 AM
    • 442 Posts
    • 405 Thanks
    tempus_fugit
    • #3
    • 8th Jul 18, 11:49 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Jul 18, 11:49 AM
    I use YNAB (you need a budget) to do this - I'm fully "buffered" in YNAB-speak, which means i'm budgeting income received the previous month and therefore know exactly what I have to spend, and I then use (future-dated) scheduled transactions to project forward all the fixed outgoings (bills, mortgage, etc.) for the coming month to see what my cash flow looks like.Variable outgoings (e.g. groceries and discretionary spending) get budgeted as normal and entered as they happen. Works very well for me, and the result is something very similar to what it sounds like you're looking for.

    I'm using YNAB 4 (aka YNAB classic), unfortunately I don't believe this is possible with the newer online version - it's one of the reasons I haven't switched over yet. I've not used the online version though, so maybe someone else who does use it can correct me.
    Originally posted by Lomcevak
    Yes, you are correct. One of the things that the web version of YNAB took away was the ability to enter future transactions and see their effect on the overall picture. You can enter future transactions but they have no effect on balances until the date that they are set for. This is because YNAB does not set itself up as being a forecasting tool, it sticks to budgeting and creating a buffer of at least one month so that you are living on last month's pay and not this month's, as you have said.

    I use the new YNAB along with Google Sheets to carry out the forecasting element, which works quite well for me. I need this because we are retired but living largely off of savings at the moment so I need to keep to a strict monthly budget whilst being able to use future effects of our spending to see how things will mean out long term. This might not be what most people need, however, and I would say that YNAB is very good at the budgeting part of the equation.
    Retired at age 56 after having "light bulb moment" due to reading MSE and its forums. Have been converted to the "budget to zero" concept and use YNAB for all monthly budgeting and long term goals.
    • Lomcevak
    • By Lomcevak 8th Jul 18, 12:46 PM
    • 717 Posts
    • 4,242 Thanks
    Lomcevak
    • #4
    • 8th Jul 18, 12:46 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Jul 18, 12:46 PM
    Thanks, that's interesting.

    I adopted YNAB in 2010 and it has made me a die-hard budgeter, and at a high level I like the YNAB philosophy of 'not caring' about bank balances - providing you are fully buffered and stick to the budget your balance doesn't really matter, because you are only budgeting money you have and can't go overdrawn.

    However, I can't bring myself to follow the purist YNAB approach of having a single current account that contains all "on-budget" funds - my "on-budget" amount is something like 40k (mostly in 'rainy day' categories, not just the buffer!) and is distributed around the usual set of high-interest accounts. Unfortunately that means I need to do some level of cashflow management to make sure I have the 'right' amount of money in each account (not too little, and not too much) - the YNAB4 workflow supports that quite happily via future transactions (even though I agree it's 'forecasting' and not 'budgeting') and losing that is a deal-breaker for me.
    Last edited by Lomcevak; 08-07-2018 at 12:54 PM.
    MFiT-T4#126, 135k to 60k: 61,504/75,000 (82.02%), 2018 MFW#11 7,860/15,000 (52.40%)
    30k-in-18#11 25,686.63/30,000 (86.22%)
    • Westie983
    • By Westie983 8th Jul 18, 1:38 PM
    • 4,422 Posts
    • 14,963 Thanks
    Westie983
    • #5
    • 8th Jul 18, 1:38 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Jul 18, 1:38 PM
    Thanks, that's interesting.

    I adopted YNAB in 2010 and it has made me a die-hard budgeter, and at a high level I like the YNAB philosophy of 'not caring' about bank balances - providing you are fully buffered and stick to the budget your balance doesn't really matter, because you are only budgeting money you have and can't go overdrawn.

    However, I can't bring myself to follow the purist YNAB approach of having a single current account that contains all "on-budget" funds - my "on-budget" amount is something like 40k (mostly in 'rainy day' categories, not just the buffer!) and is distributed around the usual set of high-interest accounts. Unfortunately that means I need to do some level of cashflow management to make sure I have the 'right' amount of money in each account (not too little, and not too much) - the YNAB4 workflow supports that quite happily via future transactions (even though I agree it's 'forecasting' and not 'budgeting') and losing that is a deal-breaker for me.
    Originally posted by Lomcevak
    I am still on YNAB4 for this same reason, I can enter future payments say for the bills due at the end of the month, and see how much money I will need to put into the different accounts to manage the payments when they are due.

    Till I am forced over I am remaining where I am.

    Westie983
    Save 12k in 2018 #10 Total (25,000)+11,000/12,000 = 91.66%
    Sealed Pot Challenge ~ 11 #97 Total (410) + 40/500 = 8.00% ( x 11)
    Xmas 2018 1 a Day #2 Total 62.59/365 = 17.14%
    Virtual Sealed Pot #1 Total 1000/1000 = 100.00%
    2 Savers Club 2018 #16 Total (1500)+-480/2000 = 51.00%

    Total 13,122.59/15,865 = 82.71%

    I'm a Board Guide on Budgeting & Bank Accounts, Debt-Free Wannabe, Disability Money Matters, and Savings & Investments. I'm a volunteer helping the boards run smoothly, but I'm not a moderator, and do not read all posts. If you see an inappropriate/illegal post then email forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • pjohnstone
    • By pjohnstone 8th Jul 18, 3:46 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    pjohnstone
    • #6
    • 8th Jul 18, 3:46 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Jul 18, 3:46 PM
    Thanks for the replies, I'll definitely give YNAB a look

    Paul
    • tempus_fugit
    • By tempus_fugit 8th Jul 18, 5:14 PM
    • 442 Posts
    • 405 Thanks
    tempus_fugit
    • #7
    • 8th Jul 18, 5:14 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Jul 18, 5:14 PM
    Thanks, that's interesting.

    I adopted YNAB in 2010 and it has made me a die-hard budgeter, and at a high level I like the YNAB philosophy of 'not caring' about bank balances - providing you are fully buffered and stick to the budget your balance doesn't really matter, because you are only budgeting money you have and can't go overdrawn.

    However, I can't bring myself to follow the purist YNAB approach of having a single current account that contains all "on-budget" funds - my "on-budget" amount is something like 40k (mostly in 'rainy day' categories, not just the buffer!) and is distributed around the usual set of high-interest accounts. Unfortunately that means I need to do some level of cashflow management to make sure I have the 'right' amount of money in each account (not too little, and not too much) - the YNAB4 workflow supports that quite happily via future transactions (even though I agree it's 'forecasting' and not 'budgeting') and losing that is a deal-breaker for me.
    Originally posted by Lomcevak
    Yes, that's the case for me too. I have a spreadsheet which shows what is in each account as otherwise it would get very messy. But YNAB is used to drive the budget and keep track of what everything is allocated to, with the spreadsheet keeping track of what is in each account.

    I do agree that the way YNAB4 worked had its advantages, and the way the new version handles future transactions is the main gripe, but I only had YNAB4 for a few months before the new version came out, and I transferred over before the ways of the older version became habitual for me.
    Retired at age 56 after having "light bulb moment" due to reading MSE and its forums. Have been converted to the "budget to zero" concept and use YNAB for all monthly budgeting and long term goals.
    • Zero Sum
    • By Zero Sum 8th Jul 18, 7:06 PM
    • 407 Posts
    • 309 Thanks
    Zero Sum
    • #8
    • 8th Jul 18, 7:06 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Jul 18, 7:06 PM
    I use MS Money. They've stopped doing it now & my version is about 20 year old but does a really good job
    • Frogletina
    • By Frogletina 9th Jul 18, 3:21 AM
    • 3,068 Posts
    • 11,108 Thanks
    Frogletina
    • #9
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:21 AM
    • #9
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:21 AM
    I am still on YNAB4 for this same reason, I can enter future payments say for the bills due at the end of the month, and see how much money I will need to put into the different accounts to manage the payments when they are due.

    Till I am forced over I am remaining where I am.

    Westie983
    Originally posted by Westie983

    I'm about to go on holiday so I've entered all of my future payments and made adjustments to ensure that the accounts will have the right amount in them while I am away.

    I've also tried to ensure that they will have the maximum balance in them to get the most interest, but might not be able to achieve that, one will be 400 short for a few days and another will be over the max balance later on, but I might do a couple of online transfers on holiday.

    frogletina
    Not Rachmaninov
    But Nyman
    The heart asks for pleasure first

    SPC 8 #441 1567.31 SPC 9 #441 1014.64 SPC 10 #441 1164.13
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 9th Jul 18, 5:20 AM
    • 32,390 Posts
    • 19,462 Thanks
    getmore4less
    MSMoney is probably still the best feature full tool and is free.

    Development stopped because it did everything anyone could need for personal finance.

    This does means it is not integrated into the modern world of apps and mobiles.

    In some way this is good because budgeting is all about the planning* and once you are doing it properly you don't need the instant access to track.
    Most entries can be automated and the focused update to the data set of the rest keeps the eye on the bigger picture.


    The budgeting, forecasting and reporting tools built into MSMoney are great once you put in the time to set up the accounts and categories.

    *
    Budgets are the plan, you should have a min forward view time frame of at least a year in detail allocating the income to the categories.

    Your plan should look further forward for any needs that need longer term view like new cars, house moves and even as far as retirement where you need to be putting aside cash for these

    Once you have the plan of where you want to allocate your money you can look at the cashflow to see when some of those spends can happen.
    • Malchester
    • By Malchester 9th Jul 18, 6:44 AM
    • 103 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    Malchester
    Agree about MSMoney. Have used it for many years. Have dabbled with lots of other software but not found anything that comes anywhere close to MSMoney. You can still download it free. I also use spreadsheets for cash flow and for keeping track of when fixed term accounts mature and what I will do with the cash at maturity. Also have spreadsheet for future year forecasting up to probable retirement date and beyond. A bit of a geek I know but I enjoy the challenge of spreadsheets and statistics
    • nyermen
    • By nyermen 9th Jul 18, 7:06 AM
    • 181 Posts
    • 135 Thanks
    nyermen
    I use YNAB 4. As an "old timer" on it, I've never been able to move to the new version (sometimes known as nYNAB or YNAB 5), and probably wont renew next year. Forward transactions is one of the lost items I really need (along with multiple month view, drill-down running balances, roll over of negative amounts). If you're travelling on company business and claim back expenses, sadly it's a lot harder in the new version. But this isn't a debate about that.

    I do however use a (probably way over the top) spreadsheet of my own creation which does all my forecasting. It doesn't deal with importing transactions (I use YNAB for that), but it does track forward from current balance (which I can update). YNAB I keep aligned once a week, and I use the spreadsheet to wally check anything big coming up, as well as to plan the actual budget that I enter into YNAB.
    Note: YNAB uses an "envelope" budgetting approach, where you allocate money into categories, and the money accrues month to month. Then when the annual bills come round, they're already covered
    Last edited by nyermen; 09-07-2018 at 7:09 AM.
    Peter

    Debt free - finally finished paying off 20k + Interest.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 9th Jul 18, 7:25 AM
    • 32,390 Posts
    • 19,462 Thanks
    getmore4less
    With MSmoney it is easy to do the forecasting with cashflow analysis months even years ahead.

    As far as I can tell YNAB was designed to help the financially incompetent/tight cashflow and has been great for that.

    Once you can plan and generally keep to the plan there seem to be much better tools for the job.

    managing multiple cashflows(like personal and work expenses) of multiple categories through the same multiple accounts like current, Credit cards and cash just works.

    you can even manage things like a restaurant bill paid on a credit card with cash tip where the bill covers food(work pay) and drinks(you pay) and you need to split the tip.
    • cloud_dog
    • By cloud_dog 9th Jul 18, 8:53 AM
    • 3,770 Posts
    • 2,238 Thanks
    cloud_dog
    With MSmoney it is easy to do the forecasting with cashflow analysis months even years ahead.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    Yes, MS Money does everything you need (and more) but is not Mac compatible.
    Personal Responsibility - Sad but True

    Sometimes.... I am like a dog with a bone
    • Murmansk
    • By Murmansk 9th Jul 18, 2:21 PM
    • 89 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    Murmansk
    I've found Accountz quite good, it does budgets although I've not used that part of it. I used to use Quicken but it seemed to evaporate or go to a pay monthly system
    • katejo
    • By katejo 9th Jul 18, 3:45 PM
    • 3,082 Posts
    • 1,183 Thanks
    katejo
    I use YNAB (you need a budget) to do this - I'm fully "buffered" in YNAB-speak, which means i'm budgeting income received the previous month and therefore know exactly what I have to spend, and I then use (future-dated) scheduled transactions to project forward all the fixed outgoings (bills, mortgage, etc.) for the coming month to see what my cash flow looks like.Variable outgoings (e.g. groceries and discretionary spending) get budgeted as normal and entered as they happen. Works very well for me, and the result is something very similar to what it sounds like you're looking for.

    I'm using YNAB 4 (aka YNAB classic), unfortunately I don't believe this is possible with the newer online version - it's one of the reasons I haven't switched over yet. I've not used the online version though, so maybe someone else who does use it can correct me.
    Originally posted by Lomcevak
    same here. I started Ynab classic almost 4 years ago and my savings have roughly quadrupled since then though I made more progress in the 1st 2 years. I have also stuck with Ynab4 for similar reasons.
    • katejo
    • By katejo 9th Jul 18, 3:48 PM
    • 3,082 Posts
    • 1,183 Thanks
    katejo
    With MSmoney it is easy to do the forecasting with cashflow analysis months even years ahead.

    As far as I can tell YNAB was designed to help the financially incompetent/tight cashflow and has been great for that.

    Once you can plan and generally keep to the plan there seem to be much better tools for the job.

    managing multiple cashflows(like personal and work expenses) of multiple categories through the same multiple accounts like current, Credit cards and cash just works.

    you can even manage things like a restaurant bill paid on a credit card with cash tip where the bill covers food(work pay) and drinks(you pay) and you need to split the tip.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    although what you say is true, it is perfectly possible to benefit from ynab when you don't have any debts to start with. Nynab is more directed towards those with financial problems. one of the reasons why I am not switching.
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