A few technical questions!

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Hi :) I have a few questions.
1. I’ve scheduled the envelopes to fill at payday AND once per month. How do I cancel the ‘fill on the 1st of each month’ option? Otherwise they’re going to ‘fill’ twice.
2. If an envelope fills accidentally, how do you remove the unwanted extra cash, which you don’t actually have?
3. I’d like each envelope to return to its allocated budget at the start of each month. Should I ‘set’ them all, apart from savings?
4. When there’s money left at the end of the month which I didn’t spend, I want to move it to savings. How best to see how much is/was left, retrospectively?
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Bernadette

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Posted 2 weeks ago

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Wayne Woodbury

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Hi, Bernadette.  I'm not familiar with a "fill on the 1st of each month" option, but there is a "start on the 1st of each month" option when you edit your envelopes.  If someone else knows something different than me, perhaps they can chime in.  If you are referring to the "start on the..." statement, that is not actually indicating a "fill" action.  It just means your budgeting period starts on that day.  Your green bars on your envelopes and the little black vertical line that indicates how far along you are in your budgeting period is based on that day.  No need to delete anything.

Question 2:  Just find the offending Fill transaction on your main screen and delete it like any other transaction.  That will undo the entire fill affecting all envelopes.  Note that if you did a "Fill from New Income," it will eliminate the income as well.

Question 3:  Using the "Set" option on those envelopes during your fill will top those envelopes off at the budgeted amount.  For savings envelopes, use the "Add" option so that the balance continues to accrue.

Question 4:  If you do a "Fill from New Income", you can specify a "sweep" envelope (look for it on the screen).  I don't use that option and don't remember where it is located on the mobile apps (it might just be at the bottom of your envelopes), but it is in section 3 "Review and Save" on the web app.  All excess money will automatically go into that envelope.  If you do a "Fill from Unallocated", then there is no "Sweep" option and all excess money will remain in the Unallocated envelope or you can manually specify the amount for that envelope based on the remaining amount after all of your other envelopes are filled.

On item to note is that after your fill transaction has posted, all amounts are fixed.  This means that if you edit the transaction, the Add/Set option is no longer there.  It also means that if you go back and add a missing transaction that occurred prior to the fill, the auto-calculations will not kick in and adjust your fill amounts.  You can manually modify them, but  all calculations are manual at that point.

I hope this helps.

Wayne
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Kamiel

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I’ve had Goodbudget for many years. I actually enter manually. My income is added into unallocated then once a month I distribute what is in the unallocated into each envelope. I have two envelopes called savings and long term savings on the bottom portion. The envelopes on top I select ‘set to budget’ and the envelopes on the bottom I select ‘add to budget’. I sometimes change amounts when needed.

For changing, go into your transactions to adjust. To cancel a reoccurring go into the future scheduled transactions and delete.
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Bernadette

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Thanks Kamiel, I'd prefer to enter data manually as you are doing, as it gives me more control. The salary payments will be automated into unallocated, but then I'd like to control the rest. Currently I have a scheduled payment for my salary, and again at the start of every month which fills from 'unallocated' I think - I don't want that, as my envelopes are going to fill twice. I'm brand new to GoodBudget and would like to keep using it, but I think it might be too complicated! When I first started using it, I kept accidentally filling the envelopes repeatedly, and then seemed unable to remove the unwanted 'fill'. The little clips on YouTube, but it seems that I need a few more to understand the full functionality of the app/site.

Thanks Wayne, the small black lines are confusing - if they represent how far into the budgeting period we are, why are they so far to the right, when it's only the start of February? So many questions :D 

1) & 2) The 'Fill from Unallocated' option doesn't seem to allow me to delete it. Perhaps I'm looking in the wrong place!

3) Thank you, I've set all my envelopes, although I'm not using the 'savings' envelope that's set up in the system, as it seems to contribute that cash to my overall budget, which is not accurate (for me). My savings do not contribute to my overall day-to-day spending budget - they are being set aside and left untouched and I will not be dipping into them for daily expenses.

4) If I can find the 'sweep' option, should that be done right before a salary deposit goes in? Or, do I need to create the sweep envelope myself, and allow that to rollover? Where is Section 3, 'Review & Save'?

Apologies, brand new to this, but once I'm up-and-running I should be okay :) I have a scheduled payment this Friday, so I'm waiting to see what's going to happen before I decide whether I'll keep using this tool. 


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Bernadette

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* The little clips on YouTube are helpful.
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Alex Park, Official Rep

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Hi Bernadette,

the small black lines are confusing - if they represent how far into the budgeting period we are, why are they so far to the right, when it's only the start of February?
This is because the black lines actually travel right to left, following the drain of the Envelope. Although the Envelope balance bars are horizontal, imagine them where the "top" is the right, and the "bottom" is the left. So the bar tracks their drain "downwards", or toward the left.

The 'Fill from Unallocated' option doesn't seem to allow me to delete it. Perhaps I'm looking in the wrong place!
When you click the Fill to open up its edit menu, on the right of the screen there should be a box titled "3. Review and Save" with a grey Delete button in it.

I'm not using the 'savings' envelope that's set up in the system, as it seems to contribute that cash to my overall budget, which is not accurate (for me). My savings do not contribute to my overall day-to-day spending budget - they are being set aside and left untouched and I will not be dipping into them for daily expenses.
If you're not using that Savings Envelope, you can simply delete it, or you can set its budget amount to 0 if you still wish to have a Savings Envelope / category; a budgeted amount of 0 will prevent it from entering your budgeting.

If I can find the 'sweep' option, should that be done right before a salary deposit goes in? Or, do I need to create the sweep envelope myself, and allow that to rollover? Where is Section 3, 'Review & Save'?
The sweep option is chosen when you create the Fill in the first place. You do not need to create a specific Envelope, you can choose from the set you already have. Section 3, Review and Save will appear on the right of the screen whenever you create a new Envelope Fill on the Web.

Hope that all helps!

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Wayne Woodbury

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No apologies needed.  Using a new tool always requires some adjustment, especially if you have been conditioned by a different tool.  I recommend sticking with it for two or three months so you can become familiar with the features.  I think you will really like this app.  I feel like some apps shield you from good accounting practices in the name of simplicity.  This can be dangerous as it can condition you to view your finances in ways that lead to later confusion or even bad practices.  I like Goodbudget because it teaches you good accounting practices while making them simple.

The little black line is a "time" line and shows where you are at in your budget period (month in your case).  At the beginning of the budget period it will be at the far right.  Each day it will progress a little farther to the left.  At the end of the budget period it will be all the way to the left.  When compared with the green bar, it allows you to see if you are on track with your budget.  If you are spending too fast, your green bar will end to the left of the black line.  If you are spending very little, your green bar will end to the right of the black line.  This is obviously not useful for envelopes that have only one or two transactions a month (like mortgage  or that type of envelope), but it is quite useful for things like groceries where you have a lot of transactions.

1) & 2) When you first log into Goodbudget (web version), you are placed on what I refer to as the main screen, but it is probably more accurate to say the "home" screen (I don't know if it has an official name).  On this screen, your envelopes are all displayed on the left and ALL of your transactions are displayed in the register on the right.  Once you click on an envelope, the register in the right-hand column will update to display only the transactions for the selected envelope and the name of the envelope and green status bar will appear at the top of the column.  From the home screen, you should be able to see your latest fill transaction.  If you did a "Fill from Unallocated", the icon in the Type column will be an envelope with an arrow pointing into it.  if you did a "Fill from New Income", the icon will be a couple of bills (i.e. dollar bills) reflecting new income.  If you click on this transaction, it should open to the Fill screen where the title in box 1 will say "Fill from Unallocated" or "Fill from Income" depending on the type of fill you did.  Either way, in box 3, there should be a Delete button.  If you click that, it should delete the entire fill and every envelope included in that fill will have the balance adjusted back to the pre-fill balance.  Note that if the fill was from new income, that income will also be removed (your account balance will drop).

3) There are different types of envelopes in Goodbudget and I recommend using them as they help to separate your envelopes based on purpose.  For most of your envelopes, I would set them up as monthly (it sounds like you are using "monthly" as your budget period).  For savings envelopes, I recommend using "Other" envelopes.  I have savings envelopes for car repairs, family vacations, emergency savings, new car savings, and a few others (I don't track investment accounts in Goodbudget, so IRA's and 401K's are not listed in those envelopes).  I use Annual envelopes for Christmas savings and some others.  Goodbudget keeps the different types of envelopes in different sections and shows their balances separately.  This allows you to keep your daily spending envelopes (monthly envelopes) separate from your savings envelopes.  Furthermore, I group my envelopes (https://help.goodbudget.com/customer/en/portal/articles/1527794-how-do-i-group-my-envelopes-) to keep different categories of envelopes separate (i.e., Charity, Home, Automotive, etc.).  The web version will use these groups to split up your envelopes into groups and it not only shows the envelope balance, but it also shows a balance for that group of envelopes.  I, personally, like to see my "entire" budget, and using these features helps separate things out in a meaningful way.  I hope this is useful to you as well.  Note that the total balance of your envelopes should equal the total balance of your accounts (accounts and envelopes are just two ways of looking at the same pile of money, so they should be equal).  For this reason, it is hard to separate your savings out.

4) The sweep envelope is any of your envelopes you choose, but this is a matter of personal preference.  Many people may choose sweep into savings envelopes.  You indicated you are doing your fills from Unallocated, which does not have a sweep option.  You may want to consider setting up your monthly deposit as a Fill from New Income transaction.  If you do a fill from Unallocated, any excess funds are left in the Unallocated envelope.  You can leave the funds there or transfer them to another envelope of your choosing with a separate transaction.

Section 3 is visible on the web version only (the mobile layouts are different).  When you do a fill from the web version, the Fill screen is divided into three sections.  Section 1 (Fill From) is in the top left corner of the screen and is where you set the parameters of your Fill.  Section 2 (Fill your envelopes) is immediately below Section 1 and lists all of your envelopes.  This is where you specify how much will fill each envelope.  Section 3 (Review and save) is in the top right corner and shows information related to your fill, such as the remaining balance.  

Some final suggestions: The web app and the mobile apps display things quite differently out of necessity due to the screen size difference and input methods.  This is a good thing, but can sometimes lead to confusion and you have to figure out where to find things.  Above, I described the use of groups and envelope types to organize your envelopes on the web app.  The mobile apps display envelopes differently and don't support groups.  In fact, your phone has its own way of ordering envelopes.

I use the phone app when I am out making purchases, but I use the web app when I sit down to do my budgeting tasks or when reconciling accounts.  Because of that, I sort envelopes on my phone based on frequency of use.  Groceries and Miscellaneous Needs are at the top.  My Mortgage envelope is not even close to the top on my phone, because I don't use it when making purchases.  However, on the web app I sort my envelopes and categories based on importance and keeping envelopes properly grouped is far more important
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Bernadette

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Thanks so much to both of you for giving such detailed responses, I really appreciate it. I’ll try to stick with it, as I feel this could be a good tool for budgeting.