Annual envelope of $60 on the website calculates as $2.50/mo in edit envelopes! Please fix.

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  • Updated 4 months ago
When going into edit envelopes on the website, if one enters $60 per year into an annual envelope without a due date, it insists upon calculating monthly as $2.50/mo!  Obviously it should be $5.00/mo.

If one does an envelope refill with those settings from unallocated, it will correctly calculate the monthly for that envelope as $5.00/mo and then always show a $2.50 overage!

This has happened consistently for many months and it had me rather frustrated, futilely running in circles trying to make it all balance correctly under "edit envelopes" but it never worked!  Now I finally discovered why!

Please finally fix this stubborn bug.
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John Vander Stel

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  • very frustrated

Posted 3 years ago

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Chi-En Yu, Official Rep

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Hi John,

On this problem -- That certainly sounds like bad math!  I tried to reproduce it on another household just now, and "Edit Envelopes" on the web showed me that $60 per year splits out to $5 per month for an annual Envelope without a due date (good math).  So I suspect there's something going on with the specific Envelope you're working with in your household.  Would you send an email to support@goodbudget.com with your household username and the name of the offending Envelope?  Then we can take a closer look at your stubborn bug.

Also -- it's good to hear from you!  I want to send my personal thanks for all your involvement and input over the years to help make Goodbudget (and previously, EEBA) the best it can be for all of us.

Thanks!
Chi-En
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Wayne Woodbury

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I've been seeing the same problem, specifically when a Due Date is set on an annual envelope.  Here's a screen shot from today (March 7):

I have an existing balance in the envelope, but it is only around $23.  With seven months to go, I don't think 1.33 monthly will get me there.  I've seen this problem since I started using the program, but it has never been a priority to me.  Additionally, the fill screen does not automatically calculate what is needed to meet the goal (it appears to take the amount that was originally calculated on this screen).  It would be nice if the Fill screen could automatically calculate an amount based on the current balance and the due date.
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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi Wayne, 

Thanks for posting! Annual Envelopes with due dates can be a bit complicated. The suggested Monthly amount (1.33) is calculated based on how much you've filled into the Envelope for that year (not the actual balance) and how many fill opportunities you have left to reach your goal. Without seeing your Household to confirm, it sounds like you've already filled into the Envelope an amount of about 120.69 since October 1, 2018, so therefore you need to add in 1.33 each month to reach your goal target of having saved a total of 130 between Oct 1, 2018 and Oct 1, 2019. This is assuming you're on a Monthly budget period.  

The Fill Envelopes page will show the same suggested figure. 

Does that answer your question? Thanks again
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John Vander Stel

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This initial report of mine was from 3 years ago, so I had to do a double take!

I reported something, many years ago, about GoodBudget (or the previous app with the old name), where the sum of all "budget" envelopes actually listed wrong!  At the time, I presumed that it was a rare elusive binary math error that I ran across many years ago when coding in BASIC. 

When it had happened, long ago, in a program I wrote in BASIC, I researched the problem and actually found a reference to that specific binary math problem.  After verifying the problem was indeed a binary math error, I was forced to write a rounding routine to filter all sums in my program to fix that problem, just in case those particular elusive numbers ever caused that problem, ever again.  (It was a financial program, so it was very important for it to work extremely accurately.)

In that particular incident, the sum was displayed with an error deep in the 100ths and 1,000ths or 10,000ths of the sum.  In that case, it listed the sum of a bunch of specific whole numbers in the form of "96.0000009"!  It was frustrating and only happened with one specific combination of numbers, at the time.   

The only way I could duplicate that effect in GoodBudget (or the old app), at the time, was to purposely use all of those exact numbers again.

Back then when it actually happened in the GoodBudget (or the older app by a different name), I simply changed the budget numbers slightly to work around the problem, due to how busy it was, at that particular time.

I later reported the problem to the support staff, but I no longer had the specific numbers that actually caused the binary math error, so the staff was never able to duplicate the problem on their end.

It could be that the original error that was reported earlier in this string was another one of those elusive digital math errors.  Who knows!

I don't know if newer versions of programming languages later were ever built with an internal routine to automatically correct for those elusive and rare digital math errors.

That is just another incident I can recall from memory about coding mathematical programs in a primitive proprietary version of BASIC, long ago.  That experience, many years ago, may draw a possible parallel to what sometimes happens in modern times with strange math errors in some numerical programs.

Cheers!

John Vander Stel
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Wayne Woodbury

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Thanks John and Karisa.  I'm not so worried about the minor amounts resulting from floating point math errors as much as I am the business logic behind the feature.  Karisa, your explanation was perfect.  I have deposited $122 in that account since October 1, 2018.  The amount specified dictates how much you want to put in an envelope through the course of the year, not what you want the balance to be on the due date.  I expect a goal envelope is just the opposite (it calculates monthly deposits to reach the goal using the current envelope balance).  I need to play with annual and goal envelopes a little now that I understand how they work a little better.  I may have an enhancement request, but I need to figure how it fits into the current logic.

The first is an "Auto" option in the Quick Fills for goal envelopes to automatically calculate the monthly amount needed to meet the goal.  With this option, you would have an Add, Set, and Auto button on the Fill screen.  If you have an unexpected bonus that you add to that envelope one month or can't afford to add to it one month, it would automatically adjust the fill amounts for future fills to stay on track.

Another is a new kind of envelope; a "Maintenance" envelope.  This would be a type of Goal envelope that has a goal amount that you want to achieve, and a monthly maximum fill amount.  A quick fill could be set to add the set monthly amount to the envelope until the goal was achieved.  If there was an expense to the envelope after that, the quick fill would resume adding money to that envelope until it reaches the goal again.  This would be useful for something like a car repair envelope or an emergency fund.
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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi Wayne, 

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll clarify a few points. 

If you have an unexpected bonus that you add to that envelope one month or can't afford to add to it one month, it would automatically adjust the fill amounts for future fills to stay on track.
Goals and Annuals with due dates already to this. But, again, it's based on how much you've filled into the Envelope, rather than the balance. So, any time you add money, the suggested fill amount that you see on the Fill screen (on the Add/Edit screen) shows how much you need to fill into the Envelope to reach your savings target. It automatically adjusts when you add more or don't add anything. Let me now if I'm misunderstanding your point here. 

It sounds like the Maintenance Envelope you're proposing focuses on helping folks keep a specific balance in an Envelope. For example, if I have a Rainy Day fund that I want to keep 1000 in, Goodbudget will help me save back up to that target if I spend 250 on car repairs. Is that right? 

Thanks again!
(Edited)
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Wayne Woodbury

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So, will custom Quick Fill amounts also adjust based on a an extra or missing payment to that envelope, or just the default Fill amounts?  I haven't experimented a whole lot with this, but when I have added a new annual envelope, my custom Quick Fill did not automatically add anything to that envelope.  However, my test may be flawed as I may have added money to that envelope after the specified Due date.  It appears that once the custom Quick Fill is saved, the amounts for each envelope are set and do not adjust automatically.  (I'll do more testing to verify the behavior.)

Your description of the Maintenance envelope (Rainy Day fund) is exactly right.  Once my Rainy Day envelope is full to the specified limit, I would like that money to go to my "sweep" envelope (e.g., Unallocated or Long-Term Savings) if filling from new income, or remain in Unallocated if doing a Fill from Unallocated.

Thanks,

Wayne
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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi Wayne, 

Thanks for clarifying! I did misunderstand you. But, I just did some testing and I can verify that Custom Quick Fills will automatically adjust to account for additional or missed fills going to your Annual or Goal with a due date. However, this only works if the amount selected to go into your Goal or Annual with a due date equals the budgeted amount. If you've specified a number that is not your budgeted amount, then that will override it, and your Quick Fill will always opt to put in that specific number. 

Hope that made sense!
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Wayne Woodbury

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That makes perfect sense and is a clever way of handling customizations.  I'll play around with it.