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Adjusted balance

How much do i *really* have?
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(+4, -2)
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My wages get paid on the last friday of the month. On the first day of the month I hand over a cheque with my rent. At some point in the month i get my monthly travel ticket. My bank balance at the ATM goes up and down as things go in and out. But that doesn't tell me how much i really have.

I'd like the ATM to adjust my balance to take account of regular income and spending, and show me how much money I actually have to spend.

My disposable income is at a certain level per day/week/month. In a sense, it trickles in at a constant level over the month. The balance should reflect this. That way, if I spend more than I'm supposed to, I can see it more easily because my adjusted balance is lower.

sadie, Jul 09 2002


       Don't you have a current account for recurring expenses? And a savings account for your, well, savings?
[ sctld ], Jul 09 2002

       Or you could just work it out yourself, you fool!
yamahito, Jul 09 2002

       You could do this for your elf with Excel (or, indeed, any other spreadsheet application), and the service that banks provide for large customers does a similar thing. It takes into account any credits or debits due to take effect within three days, seven days, or whatever, but only if it knows about them, which is the difficulty with your requirement.
angel, Jul 09 2002

       Pen and paper, where art thou?
I always know exactly how much money I have & I haven't bothered balancing a chec(k/que)book in years. I simply use a pen and paper to update my economic forecast & it takes 10 minutes every 2 months. Taxes, on the other hand - I do a tremendous amount of types of writeoffs which lead me to file in the neighborhood of 20 pages of Tax Forms, so those little bits which add up to lots get put in obscure places by *the one who insists on the place looking clean* whom I live with... now *where* are those *other* papers?!
thumbwax, Jul 09 2002

       For those who don't wish to muck with spreadsheets, Quicken, or bits of paper stuffed into odd places by those who insist on keeping an orderly appearance in your dwelling...   

       [sctld] has already mentioned keeping multiple bank accounts. Make one account exclusively for "disposable income". Make another account for "anticipated expenses". Make a third account for "savings". If you have money left over, start an account for "foolish investments".   

       Sit down one evening and make a list of all your recurring expenses and recurring income. Based on your income and obligations, choose a sensible fraction to dedicate to savings each month. This is the hard part, but you only need to do it once per year or so.   

       Once you total all the recurring expenses, you know how much of your income to transfer out of the "disposable income" account and into the "anticipated expenses" and "savings" accounts. Faithfully perform these transfers every payday.   

       Now destroy all your credit cards except one. Put that card in a locked box and bury it in the back yard. Use a debit card or check book for all your purchases. Now your bank balances tell you exactly how much money you actually have to spend. Q.E.D.
BigBrother, Jul 09 2002

       sadie, I hear you. I have the same issues. My bank likes to confuse me with a dual 'current balance' and an 'available balance.' It annoys the heck out of me, since there's no rhyme nor reason to how long or short deposits take to show. While they can pull money with an ATM transaction and have it show up immediately, deposits take forever to post. I swear they do it just to get more fees out of me.
RayfordSteele, Jul 09 2002

       I could so do with one of these, seeing as my urge to by stuff on impulse is quite strong, could it make sure that you only withdraw from this availiable income.
kaz, Jul 09 2002

       //I swear they do it just to get more fees out of me.//
Absolutely they do. If I give you a cheque from my account and you immediately pay it into yours, the funds will disappear from my account three or four days before they appear in yours, even if we use the same branch of the same bank. In the interim, the bank is rolling the money over to get a few pounds in interest.
angel, Jul 10 2002


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