Seting budgets using scheduled values

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  • Updated 9 months ago
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I've been doing a budget review this morning and I was just wondering if it's ever been suggested that the envelope budget amounts could be driven by the scheduled payments?

I have most, if not all of my direct debits and standing orders (i.e. my committed spend) already scheduled to come out of the correct envelopes/budgets. I've noticed this month though that this month, some of the monthly payments have gone up and this has meant I really need to look again at my budgets. I realised I should have been considering my envelope budgets as I updated the future scheduled payments.

And this got me to thinking, my Envelope budgets are basically my committed spend + what I forecast to spend, so why not build up the budget value from those two values. Automatically populate the committed spend and add a manually entered value for the forecast ad-hoc spend. This would also give you a great breakdown of your commitments by category and perhaps allow you to prioritise and control this a little easier?
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Jon Morgan

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  • curious

Posted 2 years ago

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Becky Huang, Official Rep

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Hi Jon,

Thanks for your thoughtful suggestion. I agree that it would be helpful for Goodbudget to suggest budget amounts based on your actual spending, so that your budgets are realistic. Where would you expect to see this information? When you edit your budget?
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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi Jon and John, 

Jon - That's a cool idea! Thanks for giving a little more detail on how you envision something like this working. 

It sounds like the basis of it is the idea of 'committed spend' vs. 'other spend'. Committed spending is automatically calculated based on scheduled transactions associated with specific Envelopes, while Other spending is manually entered. And, adjustments to scheduled transaction auto-update your committed spending. 

If that sounds like the right track, I'll add all of this to our request features tracker for future thought.

John - You're right that adjustments to scheduled transactions don't always require adjustments to the overall budget. That's especially true is you already are budgeting less than your income. In that case, increasing a scheduled item might be the only change needed. 

Thank you both!
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Jon Morgan

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That sounds about right Karisa, glad you like it :) 

That's a really intriguing point John... 

My observation is that a "time when one occasionally pays a bill from pocket cash that isn't actually tracked with GoodBudget" doesn't happen for me because I have an account called Pocket Cash which I use for things like this. Yes that might seem a bit OTT, but frittering of pocket cash is one of my black holes that I'm trying to get a handle on. So the only adjustment I'd make in this example is to switch the Account when my scheduled transaction occurs (and become's it's own actual entry.) But that's just me! LOL

As to looking back over previous transactions to adjust envelopes I think I agree with you but to clarify; My point here was that when you set up a direct debit or standing order you're committing to that spend -  you're required by the banks to make sure you have enough in your account to cover that transaction. So by treating the scheduled transactions in the same way you know what your baseline value of spend is. This very much does need to adjust your envelope fill amounts.

However, as you said you'd then have to look back over your other transactions and work out how much extra you need to put in that envelope to cover the more variable / ad-hoc spend from the amount you have available.  Karisa - as an additional idea, maybe there could be a way of flagging transactions that come from scheduled transactions so that when you're looking back over your transaction history you can kind of put these to one side and only look at the ad-hoc entries (sometimes along with their notes to understand them, as John quite rightly pointed out)
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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi Jon - I think I see what you're saying! So, like a toggle that allows you to hide scheduled transactions that have posted?
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Jon Morgan

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More like a flag/category so that you can treat them slightly differently in your review of previous transactions.

I was also reviewing my own set up this morning and realised that I've not been making use of the "Annual" envelopes as much as I could, and that doing so would tie very nicely into this scheduled transactions idea. For example, setting up Car Insurance as either a one-off payment or monthly payment, you're committing to that over a year. The Due Date is the renewal date after which your figures are likely to slightly change. By switching the focus slightly to drive a portion of the envelope's budget from these committed items you could also have the benefit of flagging up when renewals are due, creating almost a financial to-do list! You could even flag overdue renewals if you've not updated the entry for the next year...
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Karisa Russell, Official Rep

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Hi Jon - So you're thinking Annual Envelopes would be seen as 'Committed Spending', that would allow GB to generate scheduled transactions and upcoming expense lists. Is that right? I've added that to our request features tracker!
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Jon Morgan

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Hi Karisa and team, I just got reminded of this suggestion by someone liking it - is there any chance this might get considered to go onto a roadmap sometime? :)
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Alex Park, Official Rep

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Hi Jon,

Thanks for circling back. We're not working on this right now, but we'll be sure to come back to this thread with an update if it moves onto our Roadmap (https://goodbudget.com/roadmap/) in the future.
(Edited)
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Jon Morgan

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Thanks Alex, really hope it makes it to the dreaming area some time!! :D Appreciate the link to the roadmap as well, saves me finding it :)