Green bar does not reflect spending correctly in any envelope and number below spending says 0

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  • Updated 6 months ago
We are new to Goodbudget. We've filled all our envelopes from income and have started logging expenses yesterday. However, the green bar above each envelope is still completely full (so showing no "emptying") and although the top bold number seems to adjust correctly, the faint number below it says 0 (where I assume the initial filling amount of the envelope should reflect). It says "Great, you're ahead by 0" which... of course we are not. I have the feeling we have logged income and expenses incorrectly, although it doesn't seem like it on the transactions list in the envelopes. Any ideas?
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Justine Spalke

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Posted 6 months ago

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Wayne Woodbury

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Hi, Justine.  Welcome to Goodbudget.  The green bar shows how well you are doing compared to your established budget.  The 0 below the bold number indicates you have not set a budget amount for that envelope.  To set a budget amount for an envelope, select the Add/Edit button at the top of the Envelopes window.  This will display all of your envelopes with an "Amount" column to the right.  Fill in each of the boxes you want.  The box to the right of the envelopes will reflect the total amount you have budgeted for your envelopes.  If you leave the amount at 0, any balance above 0 will be greeen, but the inverse is not true, in that if you go overdrawn in an envelope it will not show red.  The green and red that shows up on the status line for each envelope is related to that budgeted amount.  There is also a little black vertical bar that will show up and show you where you should be for the month (or whatever period you chose for your envelopes).  As each day passes, that little black bar will move a little farther to the left until the last day of the budget period when it will be at the far left.

To help get you started, Goodbudget has some "Getting Started" videos at https://help.goodbudget.com/ (you can get to this by selecting the Help|User Guide menu option at the top of the screen.  There are five very short videos at the top and a plethora of articles on various subjects below.  I found them very useful when I was getting started and I think they will bring you up to speed very quickly.  Also, feel free to post questions here.  Goodbudget support is very good to respond and we have a great community of people that are eager to give support an information.

Good luck.

Wayne


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Justine Spalke

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Hi Wayne, thank you so much for your detailed response! That was an obvious mistake. I had created envelopes already when I discovered the videos and skipped to - what I thought - was the more relevant next step. I have added the budgeting amounts per envelope and it's all doing what it's supposed to do. Thank you so much again!
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Wayne Woodbury

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I think you had the right idea as doing your Fill is really the finalization of your budget for the month.  It was just understanding that one step.

Now that you are this far, here are a couple of topics that might help you use the product more effectively (just some items I found particularly useful early on):
  • Quick Fills (https://help.goodbudget.com/customer/portal/articles/895062) - Goodbudget allows you to save and use custom Quick Fills so that you don't have to enter everything every month.  These can be useful if you have multiple checks for which you do independent Fills.
  • Set vs. Add on the Fill screen (https://help.goodbudget.com/customer/portal/articles/1427081) - Use Set to top off an envelope.  This is useful for envelopes that you have a fixed amount you spend each month, like Groceries or Gasoline.  Use Add for the envelopes that you want to accumulate money.  Examples might be Car Repairs or Emergency Fund.
  • Scheduled Transactions (https://help.goodbudget.com/customer/portal/articles/1477653) - There is a Schedule This check box on the transaction screen that allows you to do two things: schedule a single transaction for a future date so that it does not reflect in your envelope balance until the date of the transaction, and create repeating transactions.
Sorry if you are already familiar with those.  I'm just trying to be helpful.  :-)

Good luck.