The Money Mustache Community
Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: ZMonet on August 20, 2018, 05:26:23 AM

We track our spending using Mint so I have a good idea of what our actual spending is. Sometimes things don't seem to get fully/correctly accounted for in Mint though and, of course, there is cash. Is there an easy way to doublecheck your spending by backing into the number? I was thinking of taking our salaries as the starting point (we don't have rental income and dividends are reinvested) and then subtracting out savings/investments, federal/state tax, FICA, etc. to get to the number. Is there an easier way to arrive at that number by looking at my last year's tax form? I was thinking one of the lines might represent that number.
Thanks in advance!

Depends how complicated you've set up your finances. If all your paychecks go through a checking account (or two) you could look at the statements. Compare the difference between the first and last statement for the period you care about. Add up all the paychecks and figure out how much of it disappeared by comparing the to the first number.

Depends how complicated you've set up your finances. If all your paychecks go through a checking account (or two) you could look at the statements. Compare the difference between the first and last statement for the period you care about. Add up all the paychecks and figure out how much of it disappeared by comparing the to the first number.
+1
In  Out = Accumulation. That equation works for thermodynamics, weight loss or gain, and the subject of this thread.
The tax return alone will not provide the answer.
Zmonet, does that make sense?

Are usually take my net income (you can get that on the tax form as long as your income is pretty straightforward) and subtract out what I saved that year. Or whatever other timeframe you’re using. That is how much you spent. How you handle pre tax estimates could vary when calculating your savings rate. But it should come out neutral if you’re just looking at your spending.

Depends how complicated you've set up your finances. If all your paychecks go through a checking account (or two) you could look at the statements. Compare the difference between the first and last statement for the period you care about. Add up all the paychecks and figure out how much of it disappeared by comparing the to the first number.
+1
In  Out = Accumulation. That equation works for thermodynamics, weight loss or gain, and the subject of this thread.
The tax return alone will not provide the answer.
Zmonet, does that make sense?
Yeah, it makes sense. I was just wondering if there was a line on the tax form (e.g., Line 41) that I could use to make things easier. Yes, I do get that my salary  taxes/FICA/etc.  savings should equate, roughly, to my spending.

The way I do it is to add up the outflow from my checking accounts, and minus that from my net income. Then I try to even out the spending between my spouse and I. The other thing is I do look at the taxes to make sure one of us isnt paying too much more than the other.
I may try the Mint thing one day.