Why does a negative envelope balance, i.e. an overspend compared your fill, end up as an addition to my Unallocated amount

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  • Updated 5 months ago
I ́ve done a budget I think works for the long run and then filled envelopes for the next month as required. This month I did fill certain envelopes to more than the long-term budget due to costs occuring in this month only. So far so good.

I then actually still overspent on some of the envelopes, and that is showing up in red to allow us to replan and/or rebudget next month based on actual spendings. All good.

But, the negative envelopes amounts is actually adding to the stated Unallocated amount.
That seems strange to me, or at least I don ́t understand what that means. It would seem like the more I overspend for a specific envelope, the more Unallocated money I get, which seems really counter-intuitive.

Any ideas on how to see this or set it up differently?
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Tobias Persson

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Posted 5 months ago

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Alex Park, Official Rep

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Hi Tobias,

It sounds like you've gotten your budget set up the way you want to, and that you've gotten the hang of budgeting and Filling your Envelopes in Goodbudget -- great! But it also sounds like you're getting confused by the amount in your Unallocated. First, your Unallocated should not be affected by making transactions in your other Envelopes, whether their balances are negative or otherwise.

If you have an Unallocated balance, either positive or negative, this usually means that you have a different sum of money in your Account(s) than your Envelopes. You can read more about Unallocated, where that money comes from, and what you can do with it in our Help Center here.

But if you're still confused or have further questions, would you send us an email at support@goodbudget.com? That way we'll be able to see your household in more detail and provide you more specific help.
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Tobias Persson

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Nope, not confused. Since the Unallocated is defined as the amount available from my accounts - what is allocated/put in my envelopes, it states how much of my money that is not yet ”accounted or planned for”. Right?

If a get a new income and dont fill my envelopes differently, my Unallocated sum goes up accordingly.

The weird thing happens when I overspend the filled amount in an envelope though. Then that minus is somehow adding to the Unallocated total. Looking at others having the same issue, it turns out there are a few experiencing the same thing.

I would be glad to see some solid explanation on how this should be interpreted and possibly setup differently.
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Alex Park, Official Rep

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Hi Tobias,

It sounds like you're understanding how Unallocated works correctly, but it sounds like you're saying you're experiencing something different, where going negative in one Envelope is changing the balance of your Unallocated. Again, spending from your Envelopes should not affect your Unallocated balance, whether your Envelope balance is negative or positive.

If your spending is affecting your Unallocated, this is not the correct behavior -- would you be able to send us an email to support@goodbudget.com with your Goodbudget household email address? Being able to see your household and transaction history should better allow us to understand your situation and provide you with assistance.