More envelope woes (monthly)

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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Have a month;y envelope to which I allocate money for groceries. When I set the envelope up I transferred in 83.11 and subsequently spent 7.18 leaving a balance of 75.93. However the envelope says I am ahead by 0.00. I don't understand that?

Thanks
Colin
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Colin Grant

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Posted 3 years ago

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jeremie

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Did you set a budgeted amount when you created the envelope?

Because if not, Goodbudget can't know if you are ahead or behind for this month and will just show 0. Transferring money into an envelope is not what sets up the monthly budget amount, the value you set when you create/edit the envelope is what determines the "envelope full" amount.

You should see your budgeted amount on the web as the number below the envelope amount: http://help.goodbudget.com/customer/en/portal/articles/1434697-how-much-do-i-have-left-in-my-envelop...

If it's 0, you need to set up your budgeted amount by editing the envelope: http://help.goodbudget.com/customer/en/portal/articles/1397028-add-edit-or-delete-envelopes
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Colin Grant

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Thanks, yes I see that. I just think the "ahead by 0.00" is confusing or at least it is until someone helpful like you comes along, Jeremy. Trouble is the envelope is funded throughout the month (I have more than one pay day) so setting a monthly budget does not work. Maybe I need a weekly envelope?
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jeremie

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The wording could be improved, I agree. As I see it, you have two choices:

- If you live week-to-week, you can set your budget period to weekly or 2-weekly and refill your envelopes every week/2 weeks. Make sure to budget enough so that you can also pay bills that are due at the end of the month.
- If you have enough saved up to last a month, you can set your budget period to monthly and then just fill your envelopes once a month. Whenever you have income, it just goes to Unallocated and you have to make sure there is enough there for the next monthly refill.

What I would absolutely not do is fill your envelopes monthly if you don't have enough money in Unallocated. Goodbudget does seem to support negative amounts in Unallocated, but you'll lose all ability to track how much money you actually have right now which is super-risky.
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Colin Grant

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Absolutely. I like being able to go negative in the budget categories but not in Unallocated, for the reason you mention. Yes, I guess I could use last months income to fund everything - I prefer not to do that though, although I always have a surplus/buffer available. The complication comes in that I am paid monthly 4 times per month. The biggest payment is on 20th so that is effectively the date my budget period starts. Another comes in on the 1st with the remaining two being every 4 weeks. 
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Becky Huang, Official Rep

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Hi Colin,

It sounds like you're referring to the ahead/behind line. Is that right? That line represents where the balance of your Envelope should be if you were 'on track' with your spending. It's basically a pacer to help you moderate your spending throughout the month based on the budget amount that you give it.

If you receive multiple incomes per month, we typically recommend keeping a monthly budget and filling your Envelopes to full with last month's income (http://help.goodbudget.com/customer/portal/articles/748971). That way, it makes it easier to manage your Envelope balances, make sense of the ahead/behind line, and the money you receive for the current month will be your new surplus/buffer.