Envelope balances

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  • Updated 4 years ago
I have a envelope for £8.57 which is fully filled and awaiting an expense to go through, also for £8.57, on the 24th Feb. However, upon looking at the green information ribbon at the top of the information panel to the right of the envelope it tells me a) that the envelope contains £8.57 and b) that I am ahead by £7.19. Where does the £7.19 come from?

Thanks
Colin
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Colin Grant

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Posted 4 years ago

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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi Colin, 

That's a great question! What you are referring to is the ahead/behind line calculation – which is determined by that little black line over your Envelopes. This line helps you stay ‘on track’ with your spending in each Envelope in relation to where you are in the budget period. Here’s how it works.

Let’s say you’ve budgeted 120 for your Groceries Envelope – and that you budget Monthly on the 1st. Goodbudget breaks up your budgeted amount by the number of days in the month – so 29 for February. Each day in this month, you can spend about 4.14 on groceries and stay ‘on track’ (120 / 29 = 4.14). If you don’t add any expenses to your Groceries Envelope for the first week of the month, Goodbudget will tell you that you’re ahead by 28.98 (4.14 × 7 = 28.98). If you’re behind, that means that you’ve spent more than that 4.14 per day. And so Goodbudget suggests that you stop spending for a few days to catch up.

Does that make sense? 
(Edited)
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Colin Grant

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Excellent reply, Karisa. Thanks and what a useful function.

Colin
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Colin Grant

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Thanks for this Karissa. That does make a lot of sense and I can see how it is useful when monitoring sporadic monthly spending, such as "eating out money" against the budgeted amount. But it is not so helpful with fixed monthly expenses. Let me try and explain. I have a bill paid monthly (once a month on a given day) the amount of that bill is variable so I budget more than I think I might need. All is well so far and come the due date my bill is paid and I am left with a balance in my envelope. I am therefore actually ahead of next month but the budget  tells me, via the ahead/behind line, that I am spending too fast which is clearly not the case. That can be very confusing or am I doing it wrong? 

I guess what it is reporting is the position that would prevail at the start of the next budgeting period if I did not top the envelope up but it is reporting it too early...if that makes sense.

Many thanks
(Edited)
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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi Colin, 

I think I understand what you're asking. It's true that for fixed expenses that are paid early in the budget period, the ahead/behind line will tell you that you're behind once you pay the bill in full. That could be confusing. 

Another Goodbudgeter suggested creating a 'Bill' Envelope feature, so that once the bill is paid, the Envelope would stay 'happy' and not suggest that you refill it - since it's typically a good thing that you've paid your bill on time.  

Would something like that work for you? If so, I can add your request as well. 
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Colin Grant

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+1 to that idea, Karisa