For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc? - Page 4 - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #46 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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I can't and won,t control my wife's spending by arguing or verbal abuse .She works and works hard and doe's very well.

However, as the spending continues.......I just increase my 401K contributions.Which is now up to $650.00 per pay period (26 per year)

I know it seems PA but I have explained this to her if you do X........I will do Y

55
I don't think it's P/A...depends on how you conveyed it.

If it's something like "If you do X, then I will have to do Y, so that Z doesn't happen..." e.g., if you spend $50k on window coverings, I will have to reduce our mortgage payment to the minimum so we can pay off the credit card in less than a year" then I don't see it as P/A. It's a simple explanation that when one event occurs, it may become reasonable to take some action differently than previously planned. No more P/A, than saying "If it rains, I will bring an umbrella".

On the other hand, if "Y" is interpreted by the listener as extreme/negative, then it may come across as an ultimatum: "If you spend $50k on window coverings, then I will divorce you". That's not P/A. That's just A.

Money, money, money, why do we choose to screw our heads up about money? At birth, we have no concept of it. It isn't one of the four spheres of life. Thus, it is artificial, e.g., not created in nature. I don't think the purpose of society was to make us slaves to the mechanism for value exchange.

When I grew up in the 60s, the assumption was:
1) Select your chosen lifestyle
2) Figure out the annual income required to sustain it
3) Get education/learn skills/whatever, to achieve #2
4) If #3 seems unattainable, reduce lifestyle expectation to make #1 fit inside what you really can earn.

There was also an assumption that everybody would make dumb mistakes in their 20s but have them cleaned up by 40...spoken by some, assumed by most. A 40 year old with debt other than a mortgage was cited by financial journalists as someone to avoid getting close with. Things have changed...the percentage of folks going into retirement with debt has risen, from 2% in 1970, to 28% in 2015 (US BLS stats).

There was also an expectation, stated overtly, that the Big Picture concept here is to focus on being wise with money for as long as you need to - and then stop. "Money is like oxygen, as long as you have enough, there's no need to worry". Worrying about money in retirement is not a pleasant prospect, since there's a lot less you can do about it!

I made, IMO, an above average number of dumb mistakes including getting fired/laid off frequently...lots of time with no income. I recovered, but not by age 40...at 40, I had zero net worth.

Max out that 401k...when you're 67, you'll be glad you did.


As for communicating with the wife about money - I believe that we have done well enough that the time has arrived to stop putting time into money. I have never told her what/how much to spend. All money discussions have come from her and with so much emotion stirred into the pot that I am unable to discern what she really wants. I tire of endless discussions that begin with me not knowing the purpose, and ending with me not knowing the purpose. Her answer to every money concern seems to be to spend more time with Quicken, although I have recently discovered that in all that time, she has never once evaluated a report produced by Quicken - she simply believes them.


There are three kinds of business. Your business, my business and God's business. Whose business are you in? -Byron Katie
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post #47 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 11:08 AM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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I don't think it's P/A...depends on how you conveyed it.

If it's something like "If you do X, then I will have to do Y, so that Z doesn't happen..." e.g., if you spend $50k on window coverings, I will have to reduce our mortgage payment to the minimum so we can pay off the credit card in less than a year" then I don't see it as P/A. It's a simple explanation that when one event occurs, it may become reasonable to take some action differently than previously planned. No more P/A, than saying "If it rains, I will bring an umbrella".

On the other hand, if "Y" is interpreted by the listener as extreme/negative, then it may come across as an ultimatum: "If you spend $50k on window coverings, then I will divorce you". That's not P/A. That's just A.

Money, money, money, why do we choose to screw our heads up about money? At birth, we have no concept of it. It isn't one of the four spheres of life. Thus, it is artificial, e.g., not created in nature. I don't think the purpose of society was to make us slaves to the mechanism for value exchange.

When I grew up in the 60s, the assumption was:
1) Select your chosen lifestyle
2) Figure out the annual income required to sustain it
3) Get education/learn skills/whatever, to achieve #2
4) If #3 seems unattainable, reduce lifestyle expectation to make #1 fit inside what you really can earn.

There was also an assumption that everybody would make dumb mistakes in their 20s but have them cleaned up by 40...spoken by some, assumed by most. A 40 year old with debt other than a mortgage was cited by financial journalists as someone to avoid getting close with. Things have changed...the percentage of folks going into retirement with debt has risen, from 2% in 1970, to 28% in 2015 (US BLS stats).

There was also an expectation, stated overtly, that the Big Picture concept here is to focus on being wise with money for as long as you need to - and then stop. "Money is like oxygen, as long as you have enough, there's no need to worry". Worrying about money in retirement is not a pleasant prospect, since there's a lot less you can do about it!

I made, IMO, an above average number of dumb mistakes including getting fired/laid off frequently...lots of time with no income. I recovered, but not by age 40...at 40, I had zero net worth.

Max out that 401k...when you're 67, you'll be glad you did.


As for communicating with the wife about money - I believe that we have done well enough that the time has arrived to stop putting time into money. I have never told her what/how much to spend. All money discussions have come from her and with so much emotion stirred into the pot that I am unable to discern what she really wants. I tire of endless discussions that begin with me not knowing the purpose, and ending with me not knowing the purpose. Her answer to every money concern seems to be to spend more time with Quicken, although I have recently discovered that in all that time, she has never once evaluated a report produced by Quicken - she simply believes them.
I believe you and I are relatively the same age (60) and we approach budgetary concerns similarly.

Our debt has been reducing but not at the pace I would like

After paying for Education for all 4 of our children (257K) not including additional financial support i.e. autos, cellphones, ins, food.

Not much at the time was going into savings or reducing debt. In fact debt was growing.

Next came the weddings for our two girls.

The first budget was set for 20K knowing what we do for one we had to do for the other. Nope 27K was spent. Now the next one come in 8/17.

What my wife fails to recognize is this..... I want to retire at 66 yrs and 3 mos which gives me full SS benefits not a day more.Working longer only contributes to the system that I will not live long enough to see a return on.

Plus we need to continue improvements on our home to make it maintenance free far as long as we are able to live independently and paid for.

Given the family history on both sides of my parents I should live to apx 84.

I don't want to work to 72 retire and die at 75.Very often men work deep into their life expectancy and die shortly after because their lifestyle has not adapted to the change.

If my wife wants to continue to spend at the same rate she can work till she drops and support me.

I have told her this in the kindest way I can.

55

Endeavor to persevere for your love and happiness

Give up on yourself and others will follow

Last edited by just got it 55; 08-07-2016 at 11:28 AM.
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post #48 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 11:52 AM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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Probably not. When you use a card, debit or credit, the merchant is charged a fee by the issuing bank. 1.5 to 2.5 percent for purchases that equal a week of groceries. For very small purchases, a fixed minimum fee.

Used to be that the prevalence of card usage was driving up prices...that was when fees were typically 5-7%. In the Western World, merchant contracts prohibited different pricing for cash vs. card, so merchants routinely uplifted prices by enough to mostly cover these fees.

As electronic banking came to its full fruition and internet competition arose, the fees dropped to today's lower levels. Plus, the regulations for handling cash, in most jurisdictions, became more strict. So, for most merchants, it's more expensive to handle cash than cards nowadays.

But still, when you use a card, your bank smiles.
Fine by me so long as I pay the same and get cash back I have heard they may start having two prices on merchandise. One for cash and one for credit. Could be interesting
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post #49 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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After paying for Education for all 4 of our children (257K) not including additional financial support i.e. autos, cellphones, ins, food.
About what the education for myself and my 3 siblings cost back in the late 70s to early 80s...undergrad anyway. The cost of college hasn't really been rising all that fast, what's risen is the expectations for cell phone per student instead of one shared phone in a 4-person apartment. That's real stuff, though...nowadays, texting is an expected method for students to communicate with classmates and profs...the phone's needed.

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Not much at the time was going into savings or reducing debt. In fact debt was growing.
Our society *sigh*...in the 60s and 70s, everybody my age that I knew of, had begun earning money in their young teens. Babysitting, lawn care, whatever. If we wanted something, we instinctively thought about how much it would cost and how many more lawn care customers we needed. I paid 80% of my own college by repairing electronic stuff, my brothers and sister did stuff, too...a few of us took out student loans because we could not earn enough to cover it all, and none of us finished in 4 years...but at least we kept the student loans low.

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Next came the weddings for our two girls.

The first budget was set for 20K knowing what we do for one we had to do for the other. Nope 27K was spent. Now the next one come in 8/17.
Based on stories I've heard locally, that's pretty reasonable.

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What my wife fails to recognize is this..... I want to retire at 66 yrs and 3 mos which gives me full SS benefits not a day more.Working longer only contributes to the system that I will not live long enough to see a return on.
Have you done that calculation? As I recall, delaying the taking of SS past FRA (Full Retirement Age) increases the per-month SS payment by a larger amount than the penalty for taking it early.

However, you have to run the numbers...if, by delaying one year, you increase the income by $100 per month ($1200 per year), how many years will it take to recover the one year that you got nothing from the system?

I've run calcs for a few different folks, and the crossover age varies a lot depending on how much you've contributed. For me, it's about age 88 (comparing starting to draw at age 62 versus 70), for someone else it turned out to be age 72.

You can cease working before taking SS...that's basically what I've done...I'm actually getting a biz started, but it's slow going. You can live by adding debt, or burning cash. I'm not against the reverse mortgage concept, either...folks across the street are 70, had a huge mortgage and reversed it. The one offspring says he doesn't care about them giving him the house anyway, he cherishes their love, not their money.

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Plus we need to continue improvements on our home to make it maintenance free far as long as we are able to live independently and paid for.
You and I think alike. I'm putting in way more labor on the land than I'd like to, but the end goal isn't any sort of "beauty", but rather, low maintenance...and easy maintenance, so I can turn it over to day laborers.

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Given the family history on both sides of my parents I should live to apx 84.
That's useful info.

So far, I had a grandparent live past 100. Of his seven offspring, six died in their 80s, but all of them were either morbidly obsese, smokers, or suffered serious organ cancer in their early years, so all were compromised. The youngest is still alive at 85 and capable of being active...a bit of added degradation due to 40 years of smoking, but that ceased 15 years ago.

My dad's in his 90s. His older sister died at 98, and had never seen a doctor since age 20, due to religious beliefs. Had she seen a doc and treated it, the breast cancer might not have done her in.

So, I'm figuring I have to at least be OK financially living to 100.

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I don't want to work to 72 retire and die at 75.Very often men work deep into their life expectancy and die shortly after because their lifestyle has not adapted to the change.
Very wise thinking.

The 90 and 100 year olds I've known worked their entire lives - but doing something they loved. Mostly musicians. That's what I'm trying to establish, a business I enjoy, so that income doesn't feel like work.

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If my wife wants to continue to spend at the same rate she can work till she drops and support me.

I have told her this in the kindest way I can.
Sounds like you're stating your preferences and being nice about it...and that's about all anybody can expect, isn't it?

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55

There are three kinds of business. Your business, my business and God's business. Whose business are you in? -Byron Katie
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post #50 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 09:02 PM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

College is indeed rising in cost significantly. DD25 thankfully chose one of the cheapest schools in the state. I had saved $23,000, which would have paid for my college 3 times over 20 years earlier. By the time she started in 2009, college at her cheap school was $17,000 a year. By the time the fourth year started, it was $20,000 a year. We ended up with $60,000 in loans to cover the 2 3/4 years left to pay for after the 529 fund ran out, and she and I split the loans. But it was increasing 5% to 10% every year for no good reason.
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post #51 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 09:10 PM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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Originally Posted by just got it 55 View Post
I can't and won,t control my wife's spending by arguing or verbal abuse .She works and works hard and doe's very well.

However, as the spending continues.......I just increase my 401K contributions.Which is now up to $650.00 per pay period (26 per year)

I know it seems PA but I have explained this to her if you do X........I will do Y

55
My husband and I both work and our money goes into a joint account. However he puts money into his retirement fund from that and I don't. I have only what my employer contributes. Maybe I should do the same and pay into my own out of our combined income.

Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness.
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post #52 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 09:18 PM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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My husband and I both work and our money goes into a joint account. However he puts money into his retirement fund from that and I don't. I have only what my employer contributes. Maybe I should do the same and pay into my own out of our combined income.


Yes you should, especially if there is a tax break associated with any contributions.
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post #53 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-08-2016, 05:54 AM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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'been in counseling for over a year. Counselor says she has really deep-seated fears...and believes they are a good thing to have! Thus, change on that matter is unlikely. Therefore, counselor says, I need to concentrate on "taking care of myself". So, my objective is to make some sort of tangible line that says "I will handle everything on this side of the line, you handle everything on that side of the line."
I like this idea, but I don't understand why you need her to stop using her software to achieve it. My take is that how she manages her side is her choice.

What am I missing?
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post #54 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-08-2016, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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I like this idea, but I don't understand why you need her to stop using her software to achieve it. My take is that how she manages her side is her choice.

What am I missing?
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I like this idea, but I don't understand why you need her to stop using her software to achieve it. My take is that how she manages her side is her choice.

What am I missing?
Drawbacks to the software:
Currently, she does data entry and expects me to run reports. Data entry is not being done per accounting standards, therefore reports don't come out in a useful way. She then asks me to fix the data entry. Project would be weeks, and it's unlikely she'd follow the new procedures later. Currently, I am declining to get involved, she's not happy with this.

As things go forward, assuming a split:
She spends 10-15 hours per week with the software. Between this and her penchant for shopping at 5-6 stores for groceries, thus consuming more time, our "couple time" presently is about 2-3 hours a week, which she chooses to fill with money discussions. I want more couples time.

The original reason for the question was to come up with different ideas on how to handle money, to present to her (she asked) that are different from "enter every single transaction and study them repeatedly".

There are three kinds of business. Your business, my business and God's business. Whose business are you in? -Byron Katie
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post #55 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-08-2016, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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College is indeed rising in cost significantly. DD25 thankfully chose one of the cheapest schools in the state. I had saved $23,000, which would have paid for my college 3 times over 20 years earlier. By the time she started in 2009, college at her cheap school was $17,000 a year. By the time the fourth year started, it was $20,000 a year. We ended up with $60,000 in loans to cover the 2 3/4 years left to pay for after the 529 fund ran out, and she and I split the loans. But it was increasing 5% to 10% every year for no good reason.
Are you looking at tuition and books, or the entire cost to support a student at an out-of-town school?

I went to a school in the midwest, and in my six years, the auto industry collapsed, causing state income tax revenue in several states to drop by over 50%. To compensate, all the state schools in the area increased tuition dramatically.

In my case, my first semester's tuition for 16 credits was $320. In my senior year (5 years after freshman) it was $3600. More than 10X increase. Food and rent went up about 20% in the same period of time. My overall cost to attend college was around $15k to $22k per year, for everything...food, rent, phone, some socializing...tuition and books was less than half that.

I paid for a nephew to go to the same college, ending 5 years ago...his annual costs were about 30% more than mine were back in the 1970s.

I googled avg cost for 4-year college (all expenses together, not just tuition and books) and it looks like $20k is "average", although I didn't study this website in detail to see how they derived the figure:

https://trends.collegeboard.org/coll...sector-2015-16

Another major change is the expectation that students work. When I went to school, 90% of the employees at book stores, restaurants, etc, within 1 mile of campus were students. I had the chance to visit my alma mater recently and visited a few old haunts (those that still existed) - the employees looked like they could be the parents of students, but no visible evidence of students working while going to school.

I'm not trying to say any of this is good/bad, I am merely looking at evidence and data.


There are three kinds of business. Your business, my business and God's business. Whose business are you in? -Byron Katie
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post #56 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-08-2016, 02:12 PM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

Nah, most of the students worked. Mine worked at Best Buy, and then at Lowes. Unfortunately, the $2000 or so she earned each year didn't even make a dent in the cost.

Our lovely governor slashed spending on schools, too - public as well as college, which didn't help. That one, I just don't get. You slash funding to public school, double the cost of college, and then blame all the people out of work since you can barely get a job without a degree, and slash welfare and benefits on top of it.
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post #57 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-08-2016, 02:47 PM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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College is indeed rising in cost significantly. DD25 thankfully chose one of the cheapest schools in the state. I had saved $23,000, which would have paid for my college 3 times over 20 years earlier. By the time she started in 2009, college at her cheap school was $17,000 a year. By the time the fourth year started, it was $20,000 a year. We ended up with $60,000 in loans to cover the 2 3/4 years left to pay for after the 529 fund ran out, and she and I split the loans. But it was increasing 5% to 10% every year for no good reason.
College for children makes it near impossible to save for retirement but what's the alternative, make your kids be 80K in debt before they have their first job? It puts so much pressure on you in your 50s and 60s to try to save for both. All the while, I find myself wanting so desperately to work less and wind down my career instead of having to push for promotions so I somehow can get the money I need. I feel myself only wanting to just rest...not go to work and be put under so much pressure not go home and face the every growing "honey do" list ...just to rest and do nothing.

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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post #58 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-08-2016, 03:00 PM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

I dunno about the rest of you, my Ex divorced me and all the budget and financial issues were solved, at least for me. I make as much money as I want, I buy what I want, when I want it. I decide if I want primo or regular. Now I have more money than I ever had at any other point in my life. I actually have a saving account - with real money it. In my married life, I felt that every time I had two dimes to rub together someone (guess who) was bumming a quarter off of me.

At the center of every moMEnt of my life is ME!
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post #59 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-08-2016, 03:14 PM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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Drawbacks to the software:
Currently, she does data entry and expects me to run reports. on and study them repeatedly".
Data entry?? Is there software or accounts ANYWHERE that does not allow for downloading transactions?
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post #60 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-08-2016, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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Data entry?? Is there software or accounts ANYWHERE that does not allow for downloading transactions?
1) I am unaware of any software that downloads your cash expenses. This is a big deal to her...tracking every quarter that goes into a vending machine! Based on a quick look at her software, it's 75% of the transactions that she spends hours on nightly.

2) Trust: she does not like the idea of letting anything automated touch our bank accounts. Given the proportion of personal info that is stolen this way, I sort of side with her.

However, there's no need to use software on a personal computer - every bank account web site that I know of allows you to assign categories to each expense shown on the web interface.

3) But still, I think drilling down into every category is silly. Do that only if the last month's expenses seem "high", then figure out which things went up.

Don't fix it unless it's broken.

There are three kinds of business. Your business, my business and God's business. Whose business are you in? -Byron Katie
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