Having different budgets for different months and planning ahead??

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Any way to budget by month instead of an on-going budget?? Let me explain...

I've used EveryDollar for nearly two years and with that app you can toggle between months. With EveryDollar, you use zero-based budgeting to take all the income from the previous month to pay the current month's bills. If you want to plan ahead and start working on NEXT month's budget, you can toggle to the next month and start adding in income and expenses. Each month's budget is completely separate and not interdependent on the previous/next month's budget (with the exception of sinking funds). Since we're using money from the current month to plan for next month's expenses, sometimes I like to get ahead and pay bills in advance (since I already have the money), but I want to record those transactions on the NEXT month's budget. For example:

Paycheck #1 comes in on December 1st in the amount of $2500. I'm holding on to this money to use for January's expenses. January's mortgage  ($1200) is due on January 1st. Instead of waiting until January 1st, since I have the money in the account already, I would like to pay the mortgage today (December 21st) and track both the paycheck income and the transaction on JANUARY's budget.

On a similar vein, the money that has come in as income during the month of December, I want to set aside for January. If I record the transaction as Income in GoodBudget, it now shows those funds as being unallocated for THIS month of December. I do not want this. I want them to be considered unallocated funds for January

Please advise on how I can make GoodBudget work with what I'm looking for. So far I'm very satisfied with GoodBudget, and it seems to have everything I want, except for the ability to toggle between monthly budgets. I would like to make a sincere plead for this to be something that the app's developers consider including very soon!! Pretty, pretty please!!!
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Sarah Tisdale

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Posted 3 months ago

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Sandra L. Milo

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I'm curious, if this is the way you want to plan your budget, why you left Everydollar? 

It's really not the philosophy used in GoodBudget nor YNAB  In YNAB you can work around this a bit by creating a savings category for  "Next Month's Expenses" but you still can't say that a payment made Dec 21 is Jan 1.  YNAB is about the money you have right now (not in the future) and how you really spend it.

You could also add a savings line in GB to accumulate cash for next month.  However, since your only two choices are to fill from new income or from unallocated (not from an envelope), you would have to wait until the 1st day of the month, move the money from the savings envelope to unallocated, and then fill.

Alternately, you could adjust your budget and pay the mortgage on the last day of the month instead of the 1st. 
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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi Sarah, 

Thanks for posting your question! I'm glad to hear you're mostly happy with how Goodbudget works, except for this one thing. 

Because Goodbudget relies almost entirely on rolling balances (that's true of both your Envelopes and Accounts) there's no true separation between months like in Everydollar -- and we don't have plans to change that. In Goodbudget, filling your Envelopes is process by which you close out one month and start a new one. 

It sounds like you're saying adding your income to Unallocated isn't sufficient because that money isn't truly for the next month. I would argue and say that, while it is possible to use your current month's income to fill into your Envelopes, we do advocate for filling your Envelopes with your previous month's income. To do that, you'll have to build a one month cushion first. But, that is the goal of Unallocated and it sounds like that matches up with how you hope to use it. 

You can also try Sandra's suggestion of creating another Envelope where you can stash your income until you're ready to use it. That way, your income is out of the way and can be safely set aside until you're ready to use it. 

Hope that helps!
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Adding some feedback: You can fill from an envelope by using the fill from unallocated option and have the amount from Unallocated be zero by adding a negative amount to the envelope you are filling from.  If you create an envelope named Unallocated:Next month, it will sit right below the default Unallocated, and allows you to see a running balance, just like other envelopes ( you can use whatever you like instead of Next Month).
if you really want to go ahead and enter next month's transactions, you can.  They will come out of the envelope balance.
To accomplish what you want with your mortgage payment, enter the 1st as your date, and enter the actual date in the notes?

in general, we need to remember that Goodbudget and other apps are designed with certain features and qualities in mind.  It is best when you leave one app behind, to truly leave it behind and give the new app a fresh look without expecting it to do everything the old app did.  There is a reason you left the old app... don't take it out on the new one.