Which do you do to "pay a bill", Fill the envelope, or add transaction ?

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I am new to this. Trying to figure out the exact process. I've created my envelopes, as they're supposed to be your normal, regularly due bill and expenditures. I then went in an "fill the envelopes" from my bank account. But then when i go to the account tab, It does not reflect the change where i filled the envelopes, or paid the bill as I assumed it was supposed to. Do you have to do Add Transaction to pay that bill, and assign it an envelope, instead of fill the envelope? Just confused on how this process is supposed to work. 
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Dustin Gay

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Posted 1 year ago

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Wayne Woodbury

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Dustin, welcome to the group.

First, your envelopes are simply your plan for your money.  It is the way you view your money.  Your accounts are the way the banks view your money.  Both are just different ways of looking at the same money.  Therefore, if you transfer money from one envelope to another, this will not change your bank account balance and will not be reflected in your accounts.  Likewise, if you transfer money between accounts (e.g., transfer money from your checking account to your savings account or from checking to a credit card), it does not effect your envelope balances.

Only expenses and income will change both an envelope and an account balance because you are increasing or decreasing the money you have.  When you record an expense, it will ask for an account as well as an envelope so that both balances are affected. 

When you record a transfer, you choose either an Envelope or an Account transfer.  An envelope transfer will prompt for a "from" and "to" envelope and an account transfer will prompt for a "from" and "to" account.

I recommend you check out the online User Guide at https://help.goodbudget.com/.  This will give you a great introduction to the product with very little time investment.

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Alex Park, Official Rep

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Hi Dustin,

It sounds like you're wondering why Filling your Envelopes increases your Envelopes' balances but doesn't decrease the balance of your Account. This is because in Goodbudget, Envelopes and Accounts represent two views of the same pool of money -- Wayne gives a good description of this concept above. In summary, Filling your Envelopes does not actually move money from your Account to your Envelopes, but instead divvies up the money in your Account into different categories.

Paying a bill, on the other hand, *should* remove money from your Account, as well as an Envelope. You seem to guess at it in your original post, but when you pay a bill or make a purchase, you record this in Goodbudget by going to "Add Transaction" and selecting an Envelope and Account to withdraw money from using that screen. Paying a bill will draw money from one of your monetary categories (Envelopes) that make up the total pool of money you have (your Account).

Hope that helps!

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Wayne Woodbury

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Thanks, Alex.  I've been looking for simpler ways to explain this and your explanation does that.  I over-complicate things sometimes.