Track castrack cash envelopes AND checking transactions

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  • Updated 1 year ago
We are using a debt snowball method that uses a combination of cash envelopes AND a few debit transactions/regular bill pay. What is the best way to track in Goodbudget? I’ve tried a few ways and don’t like any of them. Lol

I’ve tried separate envelopes for everything- but that is a LOT. I tried a single envelope for all debit transactions. Not sure i liked that, either.

Suggestions appreciated!
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Posted 1 year ago

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Photo of Wayne Woodbury

Wayne Woodbury

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How you set up envelopes is rather personal, but I recommend you create more specific envelopes for areas you struggle with and are trying to control.  Areas that you already have in control can be grouped together.  You may also want more detailed envelopes for areas that are under control, but not greatly understood.  For example, how much do car repairs really cost you and how much is that truck or SUV costing you in gas.  Knowing some of those details can help you make other decisions.  It's not just about getting out of debt, but meeting all of your financial goals and spending your money on the things that are the most important to you (e.g., is your Starbucks habit keeping you from that romantic getaway or buying a nicer car). 

I have a few recommendations that have been helpful to me:
  • I recommend you create envelopes for different types of expenses (don't track your medical expenses in the same envelope as your automotive expenses).  
  • Track variable expenses in different envelopes than your fixed bills (keep a separate envelope for car repairs and car payments).  
  • Keep savings envelopes separate from regular spending envelopes.  For example, car repairs and gasoline are better kept separate envelopes.  Gasoline you spend roughly the same amount every month.  Top that envelope off every spending period.  But car repairs come irregularly.  That is an envelope you may want to add a sum of money to each month and carry over the balance to the next month so that you have sufficient money set aside for when you need the odd water pump or transmission rebuild.
  • Another thing that can save you a lot of time recording transactions is to use scheduled transactions for the expenses that are fixed, like loan payments or insurance payments.  That way they are automatically recorded for you.
I know this is rather general advice, but I hope you find it useful.