Know any “Over-Spenders”?

Do you know any “Over-Spenders”? We’re grateful to have been recognized by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine in this month’s issue as “Best for Over-Spenders” among their favorite budgeting sites. Please share with anyone who could use our help! http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/BudgetingSites2010/5.html#top

Mvelopes Application Updates – 10/2/2012

Updates – Release Dated 10/2/2012

  • The top navigation bar is now intelligent in that it detects the width of the available space on the screen and will show as many options as possible. So if you access Mvelopes on a wide monitor, you will likely not see any items within a “More” listing.
  • Small tweaks to the look and feel of the top navigation on mouse-overs and selections.
  • You can now un-assign a downloaded transaction, that is to say that you place a previously assigned transactions from your financial institution, back into the New Transactions register.  This action is available using a right click. And can be performed if the transaction is selected from either the envelope or the account register
  • Added a specific year option to the Envelope Spending by Month report, so you can run the report for 2012, or 2011 instead of just a rolling 12 month period.
  • When assigning a deposit transaction to the Income Cash Pool using in-line edit instead of drag and drop, the Funder window now appears.
  • In preparation for the Windows 8 release, users who attempt to launch Mvelopes using Internet Explorer 10 in the Metro interface will be directed to launch the Desktop version of IE 10 which natively supports Flash content.
  • Resolved a bug where the Spending Plan was not being populated for the current month
  • Newly created incomes will appear in the Funding screen without the need to logout and back in
  • Resolved a bug which caused the funding and spent amounts not to be reflected on the envelope summary screens.
  • Manually refreshing accounts will now display any newly aggregated transactions without having to logout and back in.
  • Resolved a rounding issue in the Envelope Spending and Funding report
  • Envelope Spending and Funding report now have Planned and Funded amounts shown by default.
  • Resolved an issue where Split transactions were not showing their associated account in the exported PDF of the register.
  • Envelope Spending and Funding report now showing the correct planned amount.
  • Group name & envelope name are now displayed in the Envelope Spending and Funding report graph.
  • Group name & envelope name are now displayed in the Envelope Balance report graph.
  • Resolved bug where accounts were unselected while attempting to add them to Mvelopes
  • Resolved a rounding error seen while splitting transactions.
  • Resolved an error seen while editing the sweep envelope drop down.
  • The Envelope Summary preferences (open or closed) are now saved.

Planning ahead for Periodic Expenses

The other day I was chatting with a friend who was in a panic regarding not having enough money for the new tires that they needed for their car. It got me thinking about the challenges we all face regarding irregular or periodic expenses. It can be a little overwhelming to try to figure out how much money you should be setting aside for things such as auto or home maintenance. While working with Money4Life Coaching Members I generally try to walk them through the standard expenses that everyone can expect. Let’s use Auto Maintenance as an example.

First, we have oil changes. On average you will typically need 4 oil changes per year, depending on your mileage and driving habits of course. The cost of an oil change can vary depending on your city/state, type of car, and your your mechanic. Let’s use a rough estimate of $50 per oil change. That would mean $200 per year, or $16.66 per month.

Second, we have miscellaneous things like windshield washer blades, windshield washer fluid, light bulbs, oil, perhaps a car wash here and there. Let’s assume $50 a year for these types of expenses and supplies. You could also look at this as $4.16 per month.

Tires would be another expense that in most cases you can plan ahead for. People replace their tires every 3 to 5 years typically, again depending on their driving habits, mileage, etc. Tires can vary a great deal in price, but for this example let’s use a rough estimate of $100 per tire. Let’s assume we replaced our tires 2 years ago and we want to get new tires in about 2 years. Four tires would cost $400 and if we had 2 years to set that money aside, we would want to set aside $16.66 per month, for 24 months.

With just these minimum typical expenses, we have easily come up with a budget of $37.48 per month for Auto Expenses, or $450 per year for the next 2 years.

You would of course also want to take into account the age of your car, and the mileage. For example, there are manufacturer recommendations for certain services to be performed at 50,000 miles, 100,000 miles, etc. Your mechanic should be able to provide you with a list of those services and their cost.

The same type of exercise can be done for home maintenance, holiday expenses, etc. As you use Mvelopes you will become more aware of where exactly your money is going and you will find it easier to estimate these types of expenses.

-Jennifer Hickman, Director, Money4Life Coaching