Author Topic: Budgeting: Tracking payroll deductions  (Read 3749 times)

FiguringItOut

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Budgeting: Tracking payroll deductions
« on: July 09, 2015, 01:15:25 PM »
I should preface this by saying that I am a true believe in YNAB program and it is this program that got me on track with budgeting, understanding my outflows, and actually putting my finances in order.  So I keep a detailed budget and track everything in there.

For those that keep and track detailed expense budgets how do you track items like FSA or HSA payroll deductions, transit deductions, dependent care flex?

I have my transit costs deducted from my paycheck on pretax basis and deposited into a transit credit card of sorts that I then use to purchase my train ticket.  Essentially, this bypasses my budget and does not show as an expense (since it is not shown as 'income' either').  But then I don't have a true cost my transportation reflected on my budget.

How do you handle these?


NotJen

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Re: Budgeting: Tracking payroll deductions
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2015, 01:29:44 PM »
Day-to-day, I don't track them.

I add them in when I look at my year end summary (or, this year, monthly since I started my journal here).  I use MS Money for daily income/expense tracking, and Excel to look at my yearly summary.

For example, last year from my paycheck, I put a total of $600 in my FSA and paid $600 for health insurance.  In Excel, I added $1,200 to the income that MS Money said I received.  Then I added $1,200 to the 'Healthcare' line in my expenses.

FiguringItOut

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Re: Budgeting: Tracking payroll deductions
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2015, 01:35:55 PM »
Day-to-day, I don't track them.

I add them in when I look at my year end summary (or, this year, monthly since I started my journal here).  I use MS Money for daily income/expense tracking, and Excel to look at my yearly summary.

For example, last year from my paycheck, I put a total of $600 in my FSA and paid $600 for health insurance.  In Excel, I added $1,200 to the income that MS Money said I received.  Then I added $1,200 to the 'Healthcare' line in my expenses.

Thanks NotJen.  Do you feel that this method is skewing your income numbers? 
I could do the same thing you are doing but set it up in YNAB.  But, I feel like my "income"=paycheck.  Or at least that's how I've been looking at it.  I get that my "income" is also transit, 401k, healthcare deductions, etc.  But I don't track my health insurance premiums, so I don't know if showing my transit and HSA deductions as income (but not premium payments) makes sense.

NotJen

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Re: Budgeting: Tracking payroll deductions
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2015, 01:54:46 PM »
No, it doesn't skew my income because it *is* income. I do the same with 401k contributions and taxes. My income vs savings vs expenses won't come out right if I don't include them.

You do have to show it on both sides. You include it as income and also as an expense (or savings for 401k), and it is a wash.

2lazy2retire

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Re: Budgeting: Tracking payroll deductions
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2015, 02:08:53 PM »
never look at the pay slip - all deductions gone and best forgotten. Don't even include my 401K contributions when calculating savings percentage as part of income

abhe8

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Re: Budgeting: Tracking payroll deductions
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2015, 02:43:42 PM »
This. I agree. I just put in income into ynab that I see on my paycheck, not the stub. HSA, 401k, insurance, pension, taxes - none of that goes into ynab. I have no use for it there. Ynab it just to budget my monthly spending.

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boognish

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Re: Budgeting: Tracking payroll deductions
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2015, 03:02:19 PM »
I think it would be nice to include insurance deductions to give a complete picture of healthcare, but generally speaking, it's a lot of work for information that has no impact on your budget. Especially when a glance at your paystub will tell you everything you need to know.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 03:04:34 PM by boognish »

johnny847

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Re: Budgeting: Tracking payroll deductions
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2015, 03:17:55 PM »
I use YNAB. I don't have any deductions for things like FSA, HSA, 401k, etc. I do have tax withholding as does (almost) everybody else.

I like my YNAB to be tax accurate. That is, for every paycheck, I enter the gross amount as income. Then, I enter as an outflow the taxes withheld for federal and state (I have separate categories for taxes).

If I had a pre tax transit flex account, here's what I would do:
Suppose a paycheck for $3000 gross, $100 in transit account contributions, and $300 in Federal withholding. I'd enter $3000 as income, $300 as an outflow in the taxes category, and a transfer of $100 to my on budget transit flex account.
Then in the transit flex account I would track the expenses incurred.


ender

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Re: Budgeting: Tracking payroll deductions
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2015, 04:38:50 PM »
We use YNAB to track our monthly spending, then a spreadsheet to track yearly cashflow/savings.

So in our case, if we are intending on spending $3k a month, then so long as we make more than $3k after tax it doesn't matter - any additional, whether 401k/HSA/cash savings/IRA would be calculated on our spreadsheet.

We did this since we have variable monthly savings (ie we're done with 401k/IRA for 2015 already) and this is the only way we found to get yearly cashflow to be intelligible.

celticmyst08

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Re: Budgeting: Tracking payroll deductions
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2015, 05:07:29 PM »
We use YNAB for, well, budgeting... basically only for things that go in or out of our bank accounts. Stuff that never hits our accounts in the first place (HSA, insurance premium, 401k, etc) isn't tracked there. However, I do keep an Excel spreadsheet to track our net worth and monthly spending/saving, and I do factor in the payroll deductions back into our net income there.

FiguringItOut

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Re: Budgeting: Tracking payroll deductions
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2015, 09:12:49 AM »
Thank you everyone.
I'm still playing with my YNAB, but am leaning towards not complicating things unnecessary with tracking deductions. 
Need to give this some more thought