Managing personal & joint accounts

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New user. My husband and I manage our own money and also contribute to a joint account from which common expenses (household & children) are paid. I am wanting to manage my own money, but also track our common account and expenses - ideally with him able to access and monitor that account too. I have set it up such that our joint account is a category within my own account - but it would be nicer if I could go further and streamline it into two seperate budgets/user accounts which were linked such that I could pay money from one (my personal account) into the other (joint account) with each one having it's own set of envelopes and reports.
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Jessica Hafner

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Posted 3 years ago

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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi Jessica, 

Thanks for the suggestion! I can see how that would be helpful. 

Currently, Goodbudget isn't built to handle multiple budgets, but there a ways to create some separation in your Envelopes so that you can easily see which Envelopes are yours. To do that, try using Envelope Groups. 

To create a Envelope Group, format the Envelope's Name with a colon, so that it looks like this *Jessica: Cell Phone*, *Jessica: Lunch Money*, *Joint: Rent*, etc. 

You can read more about using Envelope Groups here:http://help.goodbudget.com/customer/portal/articles/1527794

Hope that helps!
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krispyokreme

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I tested this out, and unfortunately it is not a good solution for managing personal and joint accounts.

First of all, the Android app doesn't group by Envelope Groups at all. Each envelope within the same group just shows up separately and interspersed throughout other envelopes. In the web version, it does kind of group by Envelope Group, but doesn't group together envelopes in the same group if they have different durations. So if I can't look at the Jessica monthly envelopes together with the Jessica bimonthly envelopes or with the Jessica annual envelopes (I have to scroll through Joint monthly, Joint bimonthly, etc. just to get to the various Jessica envelopes). Ideally, I would like a way to filter my app/web view at any point by envelope group so that other envelope groups don't clutter my view.

Second, the Android app also doesn't group by Envelope Groups in the reports. And in the web version, I don't like that I can't just look at the report for one group only. So if I have a group that makes up 1% of the total budget, its 3 equal subgroups will show up as 0%, 0%, 0% instead of 33%, 33%, 33%. So if I can't see what percent of my personal money I'm spending on shopping, but instead I can only see what percent of mine, his, and our money combined I am spending on shopping, which is a useless number to me.

Third, in the web view, on the Add/Edit envelopes page, the Your Monthly Budget section does not break down by envelope group. For example, if my SO and I are contributing a combined $3000 a month into our joint bank account, then when we're allocating money to our joint envelopes, we want to be able to see that the envelopes from the Joint: group add up to $3000. And if we each plan to spend $1000 a month for each of our personal expenses, then we want to see that our respective personal envelope groups add up to the right amount. But instead, the Your Monthly Budget just shows that our total monthly budget is $5000. So then I have to manually take a calculator and add up the amounts from each of the envelope groups to make sure each group is adding up to the right amount.

This is not a great experience for joint/personal budgeting. I wish Goodbudget would design features with couples in mind, like certain aspects of the apps Honeyfi and Honeydue. (I don't like those two apps because they require me to sync to my bank accounts and won't let me manually input expenses and have limited capabilities in creating custom budgets. This is why for now I'm sticking with Goodbudget, but there are certain aspects of those other two apps when it comes to couples with shared finances that I would love to see in Goodbudget.) I would love to manage multiple accounts (in particular: his, hers, joint) and be able to filter all views (envelopes, total budgets, reports) by account, and be able to very easily (with a couple of taps in the app) switch between accounts (so I can view my personal account, and then view our joint account). And it might also be nice to allow privacy to be set (so I can only see my personal account and the joint, and he can only see his personal account and the joint). Can this currently be accomplished with the "accounts" feature in Goodbudget?
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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi @krispyokreme,

I agree that using Envelope Groups to represent Accounts is not a good solution. Goodbudget doesn't link Envelopes with Accounts, and so using this work-around to create that kind of separation is not perfect, and it's tricky to maintain. 

The way GB is designed to work is that you pool all money that you're tracking in your Accounts in one pot. Then, you can disperse that money to Envelopes that you can spend from. The Envelopes don't represent Accounts, but instead areas where you'd like to monitor. As you spend from the Envelopes, you assign that spending to the Account you spend from. 

I actually would argue that Goodbudget does design with couples in mind. However, it seems that some of your trouble comes from the fact that Envelope Groups do not carry over to the mobile app, and since you're using them as Accounts, it makes reading the app difficult to read and reporting not as useful. This is where the Plus Version I think would be helpful, because you would be able to do more filtering with Accounts in the mobile app. 

Hope that makes sense!
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krispyokreme

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Hi Karissa,

Thanks so much for the prompt reply.

So are you saying that with the Plus Version, I can filter any view (both in the app and in the web version) by Account, including reports? And how would that help with viewing separate budgets, if envelopes can't be associated with accounts? When I'm viewing my own personal budget, I only want to see the envelopes for my personal budget (like my personal shopping budget should obviously be allocated separately from his personal shopping budget), without having to look for them amongst a long list of my, his, and joint envelopes.

As the OP suggested, I believe the only feature that could really serve the financial need of most millennial couples (who typically have both joint and personal budgets, and it is not just assumed that a couple 100% shares all money in "one pot") is allowing multiple budgets. Each budget would have its own separate set of envelopes, transactions, and reports. I would gladly upgrade to the Plus Version if it allows multiple budgets.

At the very least, the bug with Envelope Groups should be fixed in the mobile app. The mobile app (at least on Android) is completely blind to envelope groups and just shows every envelope as a separate envelope, and even its reports do not group the envelopes. And both the app and the web version should allow filtering by envelope groups. The web version allows filtering by account, by transaction type (transfer, income, expense, etc.), by date, by status, by individual envelope, so why not by envelope group?

Thanks!
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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi @krispyokreme,

Thanks for posting! You can filter by Account in the reports on the web, but not in the mobile reports. On mobile, however, you'd be able to drill down into a single Account (like Checking or Credit Card) to see only the transactions that are associated with that specific Account. That's true of the web also.

You are able to filter by Group on the web. To do that, you'll click on the 'Advanced' search link, and then use the Envelope drop down to select the Group header from the list. 

Finally, I've noted your suggestion to completing the Group feature out to mobile. As someone who using them extensively, I agree that having Groups on mobile would be helpful!

Thanks again