Virtual Accounts?

Hi all,

I would love to be able to create some 'virtual accounts' but I am not sure 
of firstly if it can be done and secondly how to do it.

Basically I put away amounts each month for certain expenses but dont want t
o have a bank account for each expenditure in order to see how much is curre
ntly available for that category.  I would prefer just to have one account a
nd lump all the items together and then using Money have it break the curren
tly levels of each down for me.

e.g I put aside 100 per month for car tags.  Since the car tags are only due
 once a year, I want to be able to see that i have the right amount in there
 but I dont want to open a seperate account with the bank just for this item
..

Another example would be my electricity bills.  I like to put away 200 a mon
th for this.  However, my electiricity bills in the winter are 100 and then 
in the summer are closer to 300 sometimes.  I dont want to budget this item 
each month because some months I will be over and then terribly far under in
 others.  If i could create what I all a virtual account I could alot 200 a 
month for electricity and see how much I have available, but the actual bala
nce is lumped together in one account with all the other items like this.

Have I explained this well?

Let me know what you experts think?

Thanks
Steve

0
6/20/2005 4:48:20 PM
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"Green-Wizard" <Green-Wizard@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message 
news:6D280557-BA41-4980-8315-A173BB7393E2@microsoft.com...
> Hi all,
>
> I would love to be able to create some 'virtual accounts' but I am not 
> sure
> of firstly if it can be done and secondly how to do it.
>

This is not something that should be done nor can be done properly. You 
should use the budget and categories feature instead, and keep an eye on 
your cash flow forcast. This way you know what is really going on and can 
learn to properly manager your money, instead of tricking yourself into 
thinking that you have less than you do. People who do what you desire 
typically have not learned basic cash management skills and are trying to 
fool themselves into thinking that they don't have money when they really 
do--just to avoid spending it because they do not have the self control 
required to avoid spending money that they knowingly have. No offense, just 
an observation. It is much better to learn to overcome this problem which is 
what a proper budget will help you to accomplish. If you really want to do 
this, maybe you should not use Microsoft Money. Or, just use it for the 
portion of the money you are not hiding from youself.

-Jeff 


0
jeffpNO (35)
6/20/2005 5:29:01 PM
In a short answer: No, Money doesn't do this.

This was initially how I thought to budget too. I believe it is called 
Envelope Budgeting or Bucket Budgeting. Initially it sounds like the easiest 
way to budget because it's easy to conceptualize having a bucket of cash and 
moving that cash from one bucket to another as you need it. One problem is 
that it doesn't work with credit very well and credit can become a powerful 
ally if used correctly.

Once you get used to using categorized budgets like Money you'll be happy. I 
bought a couple of books about creating a budget and that really helped to 
get me thinking in that way. I was able to categorize my budget into fixed, 
variable, discretionary spending, etc... and put Money categories in each of 
those. For example, with categories you can spend credit knowing that you are 
in budget and will have the cash available when the bill is due. It's really 
nice knowing this!

Money gives you more categories than you need, so I suggest first entering 
your accounts and about 3 months of past transactions. Balancing those out 
and then going through each transaction and assigning a category. After that 
you will have just about all of the categories you typically will use. Then 
make the budget based on those three months of past spending habits as well 
and adjust where you want. 

It took me about two weeks of working with money, ... saying "Crap"... 
exporting my data and starting a new file before I got it.

- S



"Green-Wizard" wrote:

> Hi all,
> 
> I would love to be able to create some 'virtual accounts' but I am not sure 
> of firstly if it can be done and secondly how to do it.
> 
> Basically I put away amounts each month for certain expenses but dont want t
> o have a bank account for each expenditure in order to see how much is curre
> ntly available for that category.  I would prefer just to have one account a
> nd lump all the items together and then using Money have it break the curren
> tly levels of each down for me.
> 
> e.g I put aside 100 per month for car tags.  Since the car tags are only due
>  once a year, I want to be able to see that i have the right amount in there
>  but I dont want to open a seperate account with the bank just for this item
> .
> 
> Another example would be my electricity bills.  I like to put away 200 a mon
> th for this.  However, my electiricity bills in the winter are 100 and then 
> in the summer are closer to 300 sometimes.  I dont want to budget this item 
> each month because some months I will be over and then terribly far under in
>  others.  If i could create what I all a virtual account I could alot 200 a 
> month for electricity and see how much I have available, but the actual bala
> nce is lumped together in one account with all the other items like this.
> 
> Have I explained this well?
> 
> Let me know what you experts think?
> 
> Thanks
> Steve
> 
0
Sebastian (20)
6/20/2005 11:04:03 PM
Sebastian,

What books did you purchase? I have been hoping for an Envelope Budget 
system for some time, but I'm willing to find ways to make Money work for me 
as is.

And in case MS is looking, an Envelope Budget Add-on would be great!

"Sebastian" wrote:

> In a short answer: No, Money doesn't do this.
> 
> This was initially how I thought to budget too. I believe it is called 
> Envelope Budgeting or Bucket Budgeting. Initially it sounds like the easiest 
> way to budget because it's easy to conceptualize having a bucket of cash and 
> moving that cash from one bucket to another as you need it. One problem is 
> that it doesn't work with credit very well and credit can become a powerful 
> ally if used correctly.
> 
> Once you get used to using categorized budgets like Money you'll be happy. I 
> bought a couple of books about creating a budget and that really helped to 
> get me thinking in that way. I was able to categorize my budget into fixed, 
> variable, discretionary spending, etc... and put Money categories in each of 
> those. For example, with categories you can spend credit knowing that you are 
> in budget and will have the cash available when the bill is due. It's really 
> nice knowing this!
> 
> Money gives you more categories than you need, so I suggest first entering 
> your accounts and about 3 months of past transactions. Balancing those out 
> and then going through each transaction and assigning a category. After that 
> you will have just about all of the categories you typically will use. Then 
> make the budget based on those three months of past spending habits as well 
> and adjust where you want. 
> 
> It took me about two weeks of working with money, ... saying "Crap"... 
> exporting my data and starting a new file before I got it.
> 
> - S
> 
> 
> 
> "Green-Wizard" wrote:
> 
> > Hi all,
> > 
> > I would love to be able to create some 'virtual accounts' but I am not sure 
> > of firstly if it can be done and secondly how to do it.
> > 
> > Basically I put away amounts each month for certain expenses but dont want t
> > o have a bank account for each expenditure in order to see how much is curre
> > ntly available for that category.  I would prefer just to have one account a
> > nd lump all the items together and then using Money have it break the curren
> > tly levels of each down for me.
> > 
> > e.g I put aside 100 per month for car tags.  Since the car tags are only due
> >  once a year, I want to be able to see that i have the right amount in there
> >  but I dont want to open a seperate account with the bank just for this item
> > .
> > 
> > Another example would be my electricity bills.  I like to put away 200 a mon
> > th for this.  However, my electiricity bills in the winter are 100 and then 
> > in the summer are closer to 300 sometimes.  I dont want to budget this item 
> > each month because some months I will be over and then terribly far under in
> >  others.  If i could create what I all a virtual account I could alot 200 a 
> > month for electricity and see how much I have available, but the actual bala
> > nce is lumped together in one account with all the other items like this.
> > 
> > Have I explained this well?
> > 
> > Let me know what you experts think?
> > 
> > Thanks
> > Steve
> > 
0
6/21/2005 9:11:04 PM
Reply:

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