Quicken Online

Last night I decided that the first thing that I needed to do was see where my money is going. So I set up a Quicken Online account. I plugged in the info from my BofA account, Chase and ING accounts into the program and they transferred over all of my expenditures for the last three months. They tried to categorize all of them, but some they obviously didn’t know so I manually did those.

I grouped all of my entertainment, target shopping, and clothes shopping into one group.

Here is my distribution for the past 2 months:

Rent: 19% of my money out
Pets: 12% of my money out
Dining: 11% of my money out
Bills: 36% of my money out
Bank fees: 12% of my money out
Miscellaneous expenses: 10% of my money out

Knowing what they are is really, really helpful. Obviously the rent can’t change. But I would have so much more money if I could JUST avoid overdraft fees. I mean shit, I’m paying more money in fees every month than I put on my credit card and spend on food. That is ridiculous.

So here is my new goal:
* Reduce bank fees to less than 1% of my money out
* Reduce dining to under 10% of my money out
* Reduce miscellaneous expenses to under 8%

Obviously the percentage from the bank fees will have to go somewhere, so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to put it into bills and the credit card.

Here is a view from the past month:
Rent: 20%
Car: 16%
Pets: 11%
Dining: 11%
Bills: 24%
Bank fees: 9%
Miscellaneous: 9%

As you can see, I had to spend more on my car this month because of the $1500 fix that I received. As well, my bank fees have gone down >a little< but not nearly as low as they need to be. I would like to go the rest of 2009 without receiving a single overdraft fee. THAT is my New Year's resolution. Interestingly enough, the percentage of my money I spent on dining and my pets remained the same. But my bills got let money because of the car expense. That should be the other way around in the future.

The other nice thing about the Quicken Online service is that it tells me what my risk of going overdraft is. So right now I am at a “medium” level of risk of going overdraft with $428 remaining in my main checking account until payday. I personally know that I also have $200 of that already moved to pay bills tomorrow, so really I have $228 remaining for the 8 days until I get paid again. Thankfully at the conference I’ll be receiving free food. =)

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