We budget monthly, but get paid at least 8 times a month (2 hubby 6+/- me).

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  • Updated 8 months ago
we like to budget for the month but get paid up to 7 times a month. when i go to add a new income i would like to see what i have already added to that envelope. 
ie we add $100 to groceries from hubbys first check. spend $50 when other checks come in i only want to add $300 to make up our budget but it will show that there is only $50 in there to make me think i have to add $350.00 
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Sarah Wenger

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Posted 8 months ago

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Alex Park, Official Rep

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Hi Sarah,

It sounds like you're asking if there's a way to see how much an Envelope has already been Filled in a given month so that when you allocate future Incomes, you don't accidentally over-Fill your Envelopes past their monthly budgeted amount. Currently the best way to see if you've previously Filled an Envelope is to use the advanced search feature on the Web, adding filters for Date and "Fill from Unallocated" or "Income" (if you Fill from New Income), but there is currently not a way to be alerted from the Fill screen if you've already Filled an Envelope that month. I've added your request for this feature to our features tracker for future consideration.

In a case where you are budgeting on a monthly basis but are paid multiple times throughout the month, it can be easier and simpler to add your Incomes all to Unallocated and Fill your Envelopes once a month. We have a guide for handling this sort of scenario in our Help Center here. But if you would prefer to Fill each paycheck as you have been, you can use the advanced search feature to see if you've previously Filled your Envelope(s).

Hope that helps!
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Wayne Woodbury

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Hi, Sarah.  I can see a couple of ways to handle this.  My preferred method is to get a month ahead on your income so that you only fill your envelopes once at the beginning of the month.  This might take a little discipline.  I record my income and put it all in "Unallocated" throughout the month.  Then, on the first day of the month, I fill my envelopes with the money I earned during the previous month.  This allows me to do one fill per month.

Another method is to use a series of Quick Fills.  If your income is consistent (every check is the same amount on the same day of the month), then you can set up a quick fill for every check with preset envelopes and amounts for each check.  The first check might all go to rent/mortgage and groceries and the second check adds more to groceries and pays for gas the the phone bill, etc. 

Alternatively, you can set your quick fills to go by dollar amounts by breaking your income up into fourths.  If you expect to make between 4,000 and 5,000 each month, establish a budget that is closer to the bottom end of that and divide it into four equal parts, say 4,000 divided into 1,000-sized chunks.  Set up four quick fills (number them one through four) and when you receive income, add it to your Unallocated envelope.  When you have 1,000 or more in Unallocated, do Quick Fill 1.  When you have reached 1,000 in Unallocated again, do Quick Fill 2, and so on until Quick Fill 4.  At the end of the month, you should have a little left over in Unallocated.  I find that odd things happen during the month that cause me to spend more in some envelopes than on other months.  You can do a custom fill at the end of the month to cover odd expenses or to transfer than money into savings.  If you can build up enough savings, then when you have a month's income in savings, you can switch to monthly fills as described in my first example.

I hope these ideas are helpful.

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John Vander Stel

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Hi Sarah,

There is one other way to do this that I use, myself, since I too have multiple incomes that come in at different times throughout each month.  That way is to do a monthly allocation out of unallocated on the first of each month, much like Wayne, except that you are leaving the unallocated envelope with a negative figure that is equal to the amount of all incomes that will still be coming in throughout that month.

As long as you never pay out more than the total of your envelopes throughout the month, you should have no problems. at all, because with a fully funded monthly budget, there will always be a certain amount in your budget that never actually gets paid out throughout a full year because not all bills come due on the same day of the month, and many are only paid once every number of months or even only once per year! 

In that way, a fully funded envelope budget actually creates a certain "buffer" amount (due to cash flow) that never gets spent to cover the many incomes that one has yet to come in throughout the rest of the current month.

As the month rolls on you would then simply deposit each of your multiple paychecks into unallocated as they come in throughout the month, thus moving that negative unallocated number in unallocated ever closer to zero, until you actually deposit the very last paycheck for the month.  At that time, your unallocated should end up equaling zero. (no longer a negative number.) Thus you end up zeroing out the negative number in unallocated and balance out your budget, without ever losing track of the accounting for how much income is still yet to come in for the month or the integrity of your budget! :-)

At any point within the month, it only takes a quick glance to see how much income is yet to come in for that month to completely zero out unallocated. :-)

Cheers! :-)

John Vander Stel
Grand Rapids, Michigan