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Question: How should I enter vehicle (car, truck) expenses in the software?

Answer:

There are a number of ways to enter vehicles into the software, depending on the situation.

Asset side:

Personal Items. Most people will want to enter the current market value of the car, or an average value, as a Personal Item on the Client Info > Assets & Debts screen.

Payment side:

On the payment side, you have a choice of entering the car loan as either Debt, or as Living Expenses, or as a combination, depending on which method best reflects the situation.

Debt. Entering the car loan as a debt accurately reflects the payments on the current car. If a party were, because of changed circumstances, going to rely on public transportation in the future, then this would definitely be the way to go. Or, if you were submitting financial reports for the court that you wanted to match the Affidavits, you would enter the loan information as a debt. Or...

Living Expenses. If the party will continue to purchase similar vehicles and maintain a steady monthly car payment, then the best way to reflect that is simply to enter the monthly car payments under "Living Expenses." Or...

Debt and Living Expenses. Enter the current vehicle loan as debt. Then enter payments on future vehicles as Living Expenses. Be sure to have the Start Date for that Living Expense be whenever the current debt is paid off. This method comes closest to approximating the actual cash flows. But it reflects a level of detail that may not be necessary in all cases.

Some states will also have a place for monthly payments on the Financial Affidavit. That number may or may not flow through to the Budget Report. Please check how it works in your state.