Transfer money into another account, how to handle that in the Envelopes

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  • Updated 6 months ago
I am quite new to Good Budget and just want to figure this out.

At the beginning of each month I transfer a savings amount to a specific savings real bank account. The amount of money differs and when my annual sales bonus comes in the amount is higher than normally.

My normal bank account an the savings account are all added up in the total, so here the the move to another bank account does not really matter, which is fine.

But how do I then budget/fill an envelope for the month I get my bonus using the envelopes?
I could of course fill the "My Saving" envelope, but then I am unable to map against a real transaction because that actually took place as the move between accounts before.

Just filling the envelope for that month will state the intended/budgeted saved amount, but will not reflect the actual money put aside.

I would like to track the budgeted savings per months as well a the outcome.

How should I handle this?
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Tobias Persson

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Posted 6 months ago

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Tobias Persson

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So, just to be clear on what I would like to do:
  • I would transfer money between my accounts to reflect my real bank accounts
  • the budgeted amount to save can the the normal "bi monthly amount"
  • every month I would like to fill an envelope with the planned mount to save that month
  • when I made the account transfer, i.e. did my savings for that month, I would like the My Savings Envelope to show 0 and not the budgeted full amount, i.e. decreasing to the amount I actually did save/put away with my account transfer
Is that doable?

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Wayne Woodbury

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Hi, Tobias.  Welcome to Goodbudget.  I was a little confused by the statement "...normal banking account and savings account are all added up in the same total."  Does that mean you are not using multiple accounts in Goodbudget?  If you are only using one account in Goodbudget, are you not tracking your savings balance, or would you like to track that as well?  I'll try to give some suggestions for different scenarios.

Just to get the multiple accounts scenario out of the way (skip this paragraph if you are not using multiple accounts), understand first that accounts and envelopes are simply two ways of looking at the same pile of money.  They both reflect real money, it's just that the accounts are the banks' way of looking at your pile of money and your envelopes are your way of looking at the same pile of money.  Envelopes just reflect your intent for that money.  In order to move money between accounts or envelopes, you use a Transfer transaction.  An Envelope transfer reflects a change in your intent for the money, but does not impact account balances.  An Account transfer reflects a move in which account your money resides, but does not change your intent for the money and therefore does not impact your envelope balances.  The total sum of money in your combined envelopes should always match the combined sum of your account balances.

Now, if you only have one account set up in Goodbudget and want it to reflect your actual checking/spending account balance, the best solution I can think of is to record an expense on the date the money is transferred to your savings account.  This expense will subtract the the transfer amount from both your Savings envelope as well as the Account balance.

If you have automatic transfers set up with your bank accounts, they I recommend you set up Automatic transactions in Goodbudget as well as this will save you the time of manually recording each one.  (Automatic transactions are done by clicking the "Schedule This..." check box at the bottom of the transaction screen.  This can be used for scheduling a known future transaction, or repeating multiple occurrences of the same transaction.)

If you want both your savings and spending account balances to be combined and tracked in Goodbudget (i.e., one account that reflects the total balance of the two bank accounts), I recommend some trickery using multiple envelopes.  I would set up a monthly envelope for your savings budget and a second Goal envelope that contains the total sum of your savings account.  When you transfer money from your spending account to your savings account, you simply record an Envelope transfer from your Monthly envelope to your Goal envelope.  This will empty out the monthly budget envelope and money will accumulate in the Goal envelope over time.  You can schedule this transaction also so that you don't have to manually record it each month.

There are a lot of little things that Goodbudget can do to "customize" the way you manage your finances.  However, if you find you like the product, I recommend paying for the premium features.  This will allow you more accounts and envelopes and give you greater flexibility.  I have found it to be well worth the nominal cost as it has helped me to control my spending and I've paid for the software many times over in how it helps me control my spending.

Good luck, and please post any additional questions.  I think there are a lot of people that manage their money the way you do and would benefit from the discussion.