By Brooks Rimes
MaxiFi Planner calculates a Discretionary Spending (DS) amount, which is defined as the amount we can spend other than for housing, taxes and Medicare Part B premiums, which are considered fixed spending.
Quicken is a useful tool to monitor actual discretionary spending so the allowance is not exceeded. This article will describe how to use a custom Quicken report to do this.
Steps to create a Quicken Discretionary Spending Report
- Start Quicken, then on the top menu click Reports, Spending, Spending by Category.
- Change the title to: “MaxiFi Discretionary Spending Report”.
- Click on the Categories tab. Select the option button “Include only transactions with selected categories”.
- If you see a category of “Not categorized”, you could search for and assign categories for all expense transactions that are missing them. Or, you could uncheck the box to exclude transactions without categories, but your report may be incomplete.
- Next, scroll down the Categories and uncheck each one of type Exp (expense) or Sub (sub-expense) that is a fixed expense. This would include Mortgage, Property Tax, Maintenance of the house, Utilities (gas, electric, water if these have been included in Housing set up), Fees (including HOA) and Insurance (including Homeowners) and Taxes (Federal or State), Medicare Part B and any Special Expenses that you included in MaxiFi inputs.
- In the “Date Range” dropdown, you may wish to set it to “Last Year” or “Year to Date”.
- Click the Ok button to see the report. “Overall Total” at the bottom should represent your total discretionary spending.
- This total can be compared to the Discretionary Spending amount on the MaxiFi Income and Spending Report.
- Click on the “Save Report” button in the top menu to save the report for future use.
- Optionally, you can click the Export button in the top menu to send the report to Excel (*.xlsx) to perform further analysis, such as adding a column to calculate the percent of spending for each category compared to the Overall Total.
Steps to create a Quicken Fixed Spending Report
- Follow the steps above with these differences: #2 save as “MaxiFi Fixed Spending Report”. #5 click the “Clear All” categories button, then scroll down, this time checking the Fixed categories that you unchecked above (Mortgage, etc.).
- Click the Ok button to run the report. Compare the amounts to the 3 columns in the MaxiFi Spending Overview Report for Housing, Medicare Part B Premiums and Taxes.
- If there are any discrepancies, you can research at a more detailed level with the MaxiFi Housing Report and MaxiFi Taxes Report.
- Save this report as “MaxiFi Fixed Spending Report” for future use.