Monthly Envelopes

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  • Updated 4 years ago
We have discussed the monthly envelopes and the way pacing works. I am ok with that but feel that pacing has little to do with envelopes that are for fixed monthly bills as in this case the envelopes are either full awaiting payment or empty bill paid. Generally this is how they work although in the final analysis they do ask to be refilled a little early!

However when the envelopes are in a group and the group is collapsed the group pacing report is meaningless. I have a group where the envelopes therein total 948.94 and where as at today envelopes totalling 213.07 remain to be paid later in the month (the others have been paid). The collapsed group tells me I am behind by 375.93 and should stop spending for 12 days. That is clearly not the case, I am up to date and fully budgeted and can easily meet the next bill which is due on the 6th. In fact the Group is ahead as there is some surplus in there where I over-budgeted. Am I missing something or is this a bug?

Many 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 good question. I don't think you're missing anything. But, I think the heart of what you're saying is that there is a difference between your Envelopes that represent fixed payments (or bills), and Envelopes that represent categories that are meant to be paid incrementally over the course of the month, like Groceries. Is that right? Right now, Goodbudget doesn't know the difference between your Bill Envelopes and other types of Envelopes. So, it always suggests that I "Stop Spending" for an X amount of days when I pay my bills on the first of the month. Even though the fact that I've paid my bills is a great thing. 

I think it's fair to say those suggestions aren't as helpful when it comes to fixed expenses as they are for Envelopes like Groceries, or Fun, where it's a little more vital to know where your spending is in relation to your budget period, etc. 

Someone has suggested that Goodbudget distinguish between Bill and Discretionary Envelopes. Is that something that would work for you? 

Thanks Colin!
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Colin Grant

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Yes discretionary and bills need to be treated differently, Karisa. It is essential imo. To be honest I cannot see why all envelopes cannot be the same so they handle fixed bills by default with options that allow them to carry goals for fixed periods or indeed just open goals where there is a target value but no due date. The current process can be very confusing - it never helps when warning messages are not warning messages at all.

I guess I am saying that an envelope is just an envelope and whether it has goals, be they open or fixed period, should be no more than a user definable variable.

Regards
Colin
(Edited)
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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi Colin,

I think I see what you're saying. Although, I'm a little murky on what you mean when you say goals. Would you mind clarifying? Are you referring to an Envelope's budgeted amount? 

It sounds like you want for Goodbudget to more customizable in that folks have control over what the Envelope will do. Is that right? 

Thanks! 
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Colin Grant

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Hi Karisa,

I think you are a long way down the road now so probably the only option is to create a "bill" envelope. But if you look at some other platforms you will see that they do not have different types of envelope - an envelope is just an envelope but it can be user definable in that if the user wants it to have a goal (as in a savings envelope) one can be set up, as can a target date etc; it is all about switching on and off various sub-routines attached to the envelopes.

Even the creation of a bill envelope might have to be no more than one of the current monthly envelopes with an option to turn off pacing.

Hope that makes sense :-)
Colin
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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi Colin, 

Ah, I see! Thanks for clarifying. I have seen some other budget softwares that allow you attach goals, savings targets, due dates, etc. to the Envelopes. You're right, that would be a difficult direction for Goodbudget to go in, at this point. And, possibly not even the right direction for us. 

But, I do like your idea of being able to turn of the pacing for particular Envelopes to create a 'Bill' Envelope of sorts. That would be helpful for folks that are tracking fixed expenses, and don't want Goodbudget to tell them that they're behind, when they're actually on track and paying their bills on time. 

I've made note of your thoughts. 

As always, thanks again for your help!