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Budgeting nightmare

March 29th, 2007 at 05:35 am

I have spent the last several hours with my new budget and software (YNAB) and I think I am going slightly nuts. First off, I picked an awful month to start budgeting. There is income coming from some unusual sources that is making the numbers screwy, like tax refund, expense reimbursements, extra paycheck this month, etc. So I have an unusual amount of money to "spend" and I don't want to put it into the wrong places. If I do end up with a bunch of "leftover" money at the official end of the month I am definitely going to be paying back the money that I owe the savings accounts. Borrowed WAY too much from them over the last couple of months. yes, I am paying it back to myself, but it still needs to be done.

Since it is almost the end of the month, I am trying to get a handle on our actual expenses. Biggest shocker is food. We spent over $600 on food, both in groceries and period dining out. Last month we spent $500 for the same thing, but we ate out A LOT more ($430 worth). I thought that we were going to save gobs of money by staying home more but that doesn't seem to be true for some reason. I don't think I went overboard on the food buying but maybe I did. Will have to take a closer look.

April should prove to be a more "run of the mill" month. Two pay checks, maybe a couple expense checks, but nothing we can't handle. We still aren't going to be working with a "buffer" that YNAB seems to love, but that is going to be quite a while coming I think. We have a long ways to go and a lot of debt to pay off at the same time.

My mind is really spinning right now though. I am trying to figure out some historical numbers from MS Money and that is proving to be a nightmare as well. I can't get a read out of a single category for the past 12 months for gosh sakes! I just want to know a trend for how much money we spent on food. Shouldn't be all that hard. Argh! The new software (YNAB) is going to be much more powerful for that kind of thing, but I have to get the numbers in there first.

4 Responses to “Budgeting nightmare”

  1. JanH Says:

    When I first set up my spreadsheets, I knew that our income was different for a couple of months. I used the "normal" income for my basis so I wouldn't get used to the extra. Don't worry, you'll get it! I still have to tweak accounts as our situation changes.

  2. Aleta Says:

    Do they have a category such as a catch-all for irregular income. My husband is self-employed so the income can vary. They sometimes have categories for money from gifts, or something similiar. Can you add or rename your income sources?

  3. newlyfrugal Says:

    Unfortunately, there are only 2 income sources for YNAB and they are basically "available now" and "available next month". Most of the unusual income is going right back out in the form of payments, but I still want to account for them. *sigh* Either it will start to make sense or I wills tart to lose my mind.

  4. Homebody Says:

    I'm in my third month Sara and I had a huge check in the form of a bonus for DH. You can make one check primary so that it goes towards next month. I split the bonus into part supplemental (since we loaned YD $5000.00) and part primary since I am using part to pay taxes.

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