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Social Security Benefits to Increase by 1.3% in 2021 / Plus - Budgeting for Next Year

edited December 2020 in Other Investing
Dug this Full Story up this morning while working on my 2021 budget numbers.

Reconciling the end-of-year numbers (cash on hand vs remaining liabilities) is always a nightmare. But after doing all the number crunching, I’m ending 2020 with a $6 (six-dollar) surplus. Yikes! Pretty darn lucky. It’s usually off by more. :)

25 or more years ago I learned how to budget-out for a year in advance. Began keeping written records on 8 X 11” sheets of loose-leaf paper and have been true to the methodology. A cover-page tabulates the year’s projected income from various sources along with the year’s budgeted expenses.. These need to balance. Much is on auto-pilot. But about a dozen separate pages are used for tracking the major anticipated outlays (travel, home repair, new computers, etc.). A contingency fund is also built-in for unanticipated expenses. Without getting too specific, the approach builds in a generous sum of “pocket money” every month so that there’s no need to record smaller purchases like motor fuel, groceries, incidentals.

A written approach like this has to be considered a dianosaur by today’s standards. But “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Curious what approaches others use (including the “Hail Mary” plan) in budgeting expenses?


  • Pre-historic myself hank.
  • I also use paper.
  • Free version of OpenOffice spreadsheet called Calc from Apache works for me.
    The mission of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is to provide software for the public good. We do this by providing services and support for many like-minded software project communities consisting of individuals who choose to participate in ASF activities.
  • I have three excel workbooks. One is a weekly picture of my investment shares and current value. This one also keeps a weekly picture of my bank and credit account balances. A second simply records my yearly income sources and amount, RMDs, estimated taxes and insurance. A third is my cash flow at two main banks with yearly summaries of income and expenses very broadly categorized. I've done this weekly since 2004 so it take very little of my time. At my age it really isn't so important anymore since my new income far exceeds my expenses so I end up with new money in the cash flow. Since excel isn't so hot for this application I use the smf add-in to track stock info at Yahoo.
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