Better debt tracking in Goodbudget

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  • Updated 1 year ago
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  • (Edited)
I have a set of envelopes in a group entitled Post 20th. One of those envelopes is funded with 88.00 each month and that money get transferred out to a debt envelope (bit like running a credit card that is not paid in full each month). However that entry does not show up on my reports. Investigating further I find that there is "insufficient data". Why is this please? The report is "Spending by Envelope" and the envelopes in question are all monthly expense envelopes.

Thanks
Colin
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Colin Grant

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Posted 3 years ago

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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi Colin,

That's a good question! Transfers between Envelopes do not get counted as 'expenses' so you won't see those in your spending reports. The Spending by Envelope report should only show you expense transactions.

I hope that makes sense!
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Colin Grant

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Thanks Karisa, but how does that work in the credit card not paid in full scenario? I transfer cash from bank to credit card (not reflected in envelopes therefore) and then transfer cash from credit card budget envelope to credit card outstanding balance envelope. Does that mean an expense does not show up in my budget reports because it is recored as a transfer between envelopes?

Thanks as always
Colin
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Chi-En Yu, Official Rep

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Thanks, Colin and Tanveer, for weighing in.  It sounds like debt envelopes in particular are the most important type of envelope you'd want excluded from reports in order to reflect debt payments as expenses instead of transfers.  I can certainly see how that would be useful and could change the report results significantly.  Thanks for helping us understand.  We haven't had an awesome way to deal with debt in Goodbudget thus far, and any path to awesomeness would require us to address these kinds of issues well so that debt tracking and reports aren't at odds with each other.

Your note about "in my world anyway" is part of the core issue for coming up with a great approach to debt for Goodbudget.  In some "worlds," where people are paying down existing debt, debt payments are expenses.  And in other "worlds," where people pay off all their balances in full every month, debt payments are transfers.  When we combine the complexity of those two kinds of "worlds" with wanting to make Goodbudget simple, we sometimes have to make a tough choice.  That's not to say I don't want to come up with a solution that's both simple to use and complex enough to handle both kinds of worlds well.  I'd love to!  We're just not there right now.  Not a consolation, I know, but I hope this helps you understand.
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Tanveer

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I understand. Just to elaborate on the "worlds". Not all debts can be paid in full. I understand credit cards are debts which should be paid in full. But, other debts such as auto loans, mortgages do not fit in the "pay in full" category. Hence, my suggestion of option to exclude envelops from reports (This can be option in either the report screens or when creating a new envelop). 

In addition, when monthly debts are paid in full, there are no "Envelop Transfers" involved, only "Account Transfers" (as explained in http://help.goodbudget.com/customer/en/portal/articles/1114587-credit-card-payments). So, the "world" where monthly debts are paid in pull would not be affected by this. Is my understanding right?
(Edited)
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Colin Grant

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I am with Tanveer on this - a paid in full credit card is already recorded in the envelopes re spending so to record the settlement transfer in reports would just create a duplication. Therefore the current practice with CCs is correct. But then there are the instalment debts where the payment needs to be specifically budgeted for each month. True this can be done by paying out of a monthly expense envelope but that does not allow one to run the loan account like a bank account. This is, or will become very shortly, a huge issue for me.
(Edited)
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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi Tanveer & Colin, 

Tanveer, you're right that in the situation where you pay off the CC every month in full, you bypass using Envelopes when paying the CC payment by using an Account Transfer. Therefore, excluding Envelopes would not make a difference in this case. 

Colin, I understand your point here. I think we've talked about this earlier in this thread where there are pros and cons to either method of tracking debt. And, like Chi-En said, we haven't come up with a great solution that can accommodate both  "worlds" well, and give you all of the pieces of info you'd like to see all in one place. A better debt solution is something we dream about, but we aren't there yet. 
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Colin Grant

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I understand Karisa, but is it really such a stretching ambition? Other software I have seen (and more than one) does it by having off budget accounts to which money can be paid/transferred (call it what you like) from an on budget category. Seems an ideal approach to me.
(Edited)
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Becky Huang, Official Rep

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Hi everyone,

We've been working on a new debt tracking solution within the Goodbudget webapp, and are looking for beta testers to provide feedback. If you're interested in becoming a beta tester, please email beta@goodbudget.com with your Goodbudget username.

Thanks!

Becky