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# Number Crunch

June 22nd, 2007 at 10:16 pm

Thought I'd share my main money-management tactic: I keep an unsent e-mail in my draft folder of my Yahoo account, and check my checking account online daily. I list my current balance, list all the income and debits I expect for the month (in half-month groups), and see whether I'm ahead or behind.

NT's income is irregular as he's a temp, so his money is surprise bonus money, and we use some for spending, some for paying down debt. AS and I have regular paychecks twice a month.

It's a nice system because I go in daily and change the balance, then delete items that have come through, or add items for upcoming income or debits that I've just found out about. I have a general budget document that I keep as well, but this one gives me a more specific idea of where we are, because it factors in the unpredictable stuff.

Here's a sample of what my "number crunch" looks like right now:

Balance 6/22: \$1589.86
Pending check card auth: 108.21
(SIMONDELIVERS.COM INC \$99.23
AMAZON.COM \$8.98)
Available balance = \$1481.65

June 16-30 upcoming debits:
\$60 spending money
\$20 for farmers market
\$19 for Nat'l Geographic
\$450 for Wii plus accessories
28th: Comcast \$45.95
American Express \$372
16th-30th: Groceries \$161.03
keep \$350 for next month
= \$1477.98

\$3.67 LEFT OVER

July 1-15 upcoming income:
\$6 Agent blue refund
6/29 CJ paycheck \$1362.32
7/1 parking rental \$75
7/5 AS paycheck \$938.32
Add back in \$350 from last month
= \$2731.64 + 3.67 = \$2735.31

July 1-15 upcoming debits:
1st: Citimortgage \$1356.97
2nd: Firstmark \$71
4th: NT Bus Pass \$76
5th: Association dues \$520.97
6th: Reserve Line \$89
9th: Netflix \$10.70
14th: Barber (for all 3 of us) \$60
1st-15th: Groceries \$440
= \$2724.64

\$10.67 LEFT OVER

July 16-31 upcoming income:
7/16 CJ paycheck \$1362.32
7/19 AS paycheck \$938.32
= 2300.78 + 10.67 = 2311.45

July 16-31 upcoming debits:
15th: T-Mobile \$95
Bremer \$95
16th: Capital One \$564
21st: Rental car for friends wedding: \$190
24th: Barber \$60
28th: Comcast \$46
American Express \$366
misc household \$100
16th-31st: Groceries \$440
keep \$350 for next month
= \$2306

\$5.45 LEFT OVER

Looks like we're cutting it kind of close, I know, but NT gets some kind of money every Friday that's not factored in until we get it. Today's was just enough to break us even for the next month, but next Friday's will be a lot bigger because he worked full-time this week. But we don't know how much, so I haven't put it on.

CJ

### 3 Responses to “Number Crunch”

1. Amber Says:
1182563650

lol I thought I was the only one who checked my balances on a daily basis. But before I bought my money software I used a spread sheet which I found to be much better than my old method (pen and paper) once I got use to it. What is Wii for \$450? is this for a video game? If so do you really need it and can it wait? I am not sure are you trying to cut back your expenses if so I say get rid of the Netflix and rent your movies for free at the library (they have all the newest editions) Can you get a less expensive gift for your friend's wedding like \$50 cash or GC. How come you are renting a car for the wedding, also could you lower your cell phone plan. I do not mean to sound rude or anything forgive me if I do but I was just looking at some things to cut. I have faults as well (can't stop eating out, well won't)
Good luck

2. ceejay74 Says:
1182625730

Good points all, thanks Amber! I know I'm not being as frugal as I could be, but keep in mind I wrangled 3 adults, pretty much spending what we wanted and going deeper in the hole every month, living way beyond our means, into living just within our means. I'm so glad they were up for this sudden lifestyle change, so I didn't want to change too much at once, make us seem suddenly penniless. Netflix helps because NT is big on seeing movies, so this keeps us from going to the theater (\$24 before snacks for one movie!) We have to rent a car because we don't have one, and we're helping out. And ordinarily we wouldn't give \$100 as a wedding gift, but these are our best friends.

The Wii is an out-and-out splurge, but it's a one-time purchase. I'm making it clear we have to be happy with the games we can get for this sum. It's also useful because we'll be able to hang out with friends cheaply, at our house, instead of expensive outings.

We don't eat out at all, but we do cook some gourmet meals (interspersed with spaghetti and other sensible meals). We're new at this, so we may cut back further if the debt just isn't going away fast enough.

Thanks for your comments! You don't sound rude; I read a lot of this site before I joined, so I knew I'd be getting frank and earnest opinions. :-)
CJ

3. Amber Says:
1182689610

good luck

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