Negative numbers after trying to reset

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  • Updated 9 months ago
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  • (Edited)
I’m having trouble getting my bars to go green. Ex:$10 budget in envelope and spend $2 “hmm negative number interesting”. I tried deleting everything from envelopes to transactions to get the unallocated to get to zero and redo everything but it didnt help.
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Posted 2 years ago

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Wayne Woodbury

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It sounds like you have not filled your envelopes.  Goodbudget is different than some other budgeting software that track how much you spend.  It behaves a little more like using real envelopes in that you have to put money in them before pulling money out.  

Setting up your budget allows you to tell GB how much money you want to put in each envelope each month.  Once you have established your budget, you will need to record your income and fill your envelopes.  The green bar will appear after you have filled the envelope and will move to the left each time you spend money.  There is a small vertical bar that shows where the green bar should be if you spent the same amount from that envelope each day of the month (it starts the month at the far right-hand side of the bar at the beginning of the month and progresses to the left each day until the end of the month).

The Goodbudget Help page ( has some short "getting started" videos up at the top of the screen.  I suggest you go through these as they will help you with the basics and they don't take much time.  Once you have the basics down, there are a lot of articles lower on the page that can help you with more advanced topics.

Good luck and let us know if you have more questions.


NOTE: Some apps let you set your budget limits and they tell you when your spending reaches the limit (kind of a bottom-up approach).  Goodbuget requires you to fill the envelope first and then shows the balance of the envelopes, which drop as you spend the money that is in them (more of a top-down approach).  The advantage to this method is that it doesn't just allow you to track your spending, but facilitates savings and planning for the future as you can create savings or goal envelopes that allow you to add to the balance each month.  You may be saving for a new car or a family vacation, or you may just be setting money aside each month for your Goodbudget subscription (it costs less if you pay annually).  It is not so much of a get-out-of-debt tool (although it is extremely effective at that) as much as it is a plan-and-achieve-your-financial-goals tool.
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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi Taylor, 

It does sound like your Envelopes haven't been filled yet. You can see how to fill them here:

Let us know if you're still having trouble filling your Envelopes!  
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Rachel Di Fonzo

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I have the same problem and followed the instructions in the link. My envelopes remain unfilled and when I add a transaction, I get a red negative number for the amount. This is not happening on my laptop. The problem seems to be that the information I enter doesn't save. I click on Save or Done  but when I go back to check, the envelopes are still unfilled. This is on my i phone. 
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Alex Park, Official Rep

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Hi Rachel,

Sorry to hear about the issues. It sounds like you're saying that the information you're seeing is different on your phone versus the website version. Would you send us an email at with screenshots of what you're seeing so we can take a closer look and provide you more personalized help?