I’m looking for a better way to manage my money that is more than budgeting and tracking expenses. Perhaps a next level to that: something that tracks my short & long term goals together with my monthly budget, and tells me how/when I can reach them, especially if I have more than one goal with their own target dates (ex: buy a house, holiday, invest, etc). Something that can answer questions like: What happens when I go over the budget for this month & how will my budget look like for the next months? How far should I adjust my target date? What if I have an unexpected but not emergency expense, how can I squeeze that in with other saving targets?
By the way, I’m in the UK but I also want to know if a tool/site/app like this already exists outside the UK. I have tried apps here like YNAB. However, these are created to be budgeting apps. They tell me how much money I’ve spent so far and how much I have left to spend until my next payday. I guess I’m looking for the next level? I was wondering if there’s a better way to do it. Thanks!
How much do you know/like excel? You can make a budget for months/years into the future and plug all the info in and calculate what you are asking.
you should set your goals and then intermittently adjust or correct them based on your progress. Like if the goal is save up money to go on a trip in 6 months thats pretty easy to do. If the goal is buy a home in 5-10 years or retire in 30 years that takes more planning.
I think a good idea is to set benchmarks for yourself that you can compare against. I might look at the goal for the home every year or so to make sure i’m on track and the retirement I would adjust the goals every 5-10 years or so depending if my financial situation had changed and/or at major events. Things like marriage, kids or empty nesting can adjust those goals or expectancy.
Id use excel.
There’s a UK personal finance subreddit that may have suggestions.
In the US, Mint does a lot of what you’re asking for – e.g. letting you create custom savings/debt paydown goals and track monthly progress towards them. I don’t believe it’s available in the UK.
If you are using YNAB to it’s fullest and have sinking funds and savings goals, it can do most of what you are looking for. What it does not do is project full monthly budgets into the future (because you don’t count chickens before they are hatched.) But it will manage several long term goals, adjust as you add more or less into those categories.
These kinds of things are somewhat easy to do in Excel if you have the time.
Note, I said time not know how. Most things can be solved with a Google search but may take a few different searches to get you the exact answer you need.
Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such fantastic info being shared freely out there.
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