Budget Just Plain Worthless


J Davidson

It is amazing that after years of creating Money, now '04 they cannot create
a program that will just be consistent with budget numbers. I have
reinstalled all data from scratch, recreated budgets, tried most of
everything. However, after budget numbers are set then the reports show
totally different numbers as being set for the budget. There is no
explanation as to why. That is just incredible for Microsoft, otherwise I
like it over Quicken, but still inexcusable.




Totally agree that the Money budget is worthless. And it
seems (from the "What New in 2004" sumary of the users
manual) that they did not even try to improve this?

Rob Schneider

Agreed. I find it basically impossible to set a budget, follow a
budget, or understand what's in/out when that budget info is used in
other things, e.g. Lifetime planner.

The good news is, I guess, that Microsoft hasn't seen to even try to
improve it else if they had tried and this is what we get then I'd be
even more disappointed.



Derrick Cole

While I've had my share of problems with the budgeting feature in Money (the
one I absolutely loathe is when "phantom" budgeted amounts appear in your
otherwise pristine setup), either I'm approaching budgeting waaaay to
simplistically, I'm lucky, either, neither or both.

First off, I've become a disciple of the approach to budgeting outlined in
this article
.. Note I have no relationship to Microsoft other than being a customer.
This article put to bed about seven (yes, 7) years of fruitless aggravation
in the pursuit of a "budget". The result is a simple, non-anal-compulsive
approach to creating a spending plan that promotes not spending more than
you make.

Thus, I have only a handful of Categories in Money, and even fewer Budget
Groups. The categories I do have are primarily for tax reporting purposes
and categorical differentiation (Gross Pay: Self, Gross Pay: Spouse, that
sort of thing; if there's interest, I'll share my list in a follow-up). My
budget "balances" in that my total budgeted inflow equals my total budgeted
outflow. I know in a given month how much I've spent, how much I have to
spend, etc. Of course, there are some trade-offs (like having to lump
contributions to retirement with long-term savings, etc; the only
work-around I've considered is actually having multiple Money files - one
for Commitments, one for Short-Term, etc, and treating transfers between
"colors" as expenses in one and income in another).

While your mileage may vary, the approach I've adopted works, and works for


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