Goal envelopes - differences between envelope budget and actual spent amount

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Hello,
I am using the Goal envelope to track my holiday spending and I can't seem to correctly track my expenditures.
For example, I create a Goal envelope with a size of 1000$ for a holiday and I then fill it with 1000$, so far so good. Now, during my holidays I see that I need to expand the envelope (yes, it always happens...), if I add money to the envelope, say 500$, without changing it's budgeted amount (still 1000$), I will no longer know the money spent but only the remaining one.
The only way to know the money spent is to run a report on the envelope. Is there a better way to track one-time envelopes like holidays?
It feels to me that this kind of envelope should have a budget which is automatically linked to the amount the envelope is filled with. Does it make sense?
Thanks
Paolo
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Paolo Gradassi

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Posted 4 months ago

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Wayne Woodbury

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Hi, Paulo.  I've run into some of the same issues as you and may have a couple of ideas.  This really boils down to personal preference and what works for you. 

I have a Christmas category and set up Annual envelopes instead of Goal envelopes.  I don't put due dates on those envelopes as that changes they way the Fill options work if I put extra in an envelope (by not adding a due date, Goodbudget just calculates the monthly I need to put in that envelope each month...adding a due date changes that calculation based on previous deposits to that envelope, which I don't like for this envelope).  I have one for every person on my Christmas shopping list along with some general envelopes for work parties, groceries, holiday dining (we like to eat out on those heavy shopping days when we are too exhausted to cook :-).  My budgets for those envelopes are more of a guideline than an exact amount, but I plan on spending everything in each of those envelopes.  As a result, they are at or near $0.00 by the end of December.  I zero them all out before I do my first Fill of the year on January 1.  That method works well for me.  It's a lot of envelopes, but they are simple to manage.

An alternative for you might be to create a separate spending envelope.  When you are ready to start spending, transfer the money from the savings envelope over to the spending envelope in a lump sum.  That will give you better visibility into your spending vs. savings.  You might even try having multiple spending accounts that you can divide your savings into when the time comes.  I sometimes will redistribute money from one envelope into multiple envelopes and I will use the Fill from Unallocated feature to do it.  I just record a negative amount on the envelope I am transferring from and positive amounts on the envelopes to which I am depositing the money.  If you have any money in Unallocated when you do this, be sure to write the amount down as you will want that amount to remain untouched when you are done.

I hope that helps.  If not, maybe someone else will chime in with additional ideas.

Good luck,

Wayne