There has to be a good way to do this. We’ve been trying to come up with and live within a monthly budget down to the penny to ensure not living beyond our means and not worrying about money, but I’m finding that the mechanics of keeping track of the money is a big pain in the butt.
How do you do it? Excel? Quicken? Some other computer-aided way? Ideally, I’d like to somehow be able to put “monthly income” or “starting budget” in one place, then create “allowances” (Rent, Electricity, Food, Gas, etc.) for fixed-montly necessities, then when each is paid, I tell the program that it’s paid and the $$ is subtracted from the starting budget, so that at any time I can see what our remaining monthly expenses are in $$ and what our remaining budget is. That way, I can allocate some $$ from the starting budget to things like “entertainment” when money is spent, and see how much $$ for the month is remaining for entertainment, or whatever.
Basically, I want to use something better than a pen and paper to keep track of where the money’s going.