Annual Goal Not working

I have several annual goals that work fine. I have one that I just completed and am ready to start on it for the next year. I make this payment once a year.

The goal is to have $107 by next April. This means about $8.91 each month. This has been working this whole past year. I made my payment in April for the $107 and then started the goal over again.

The problem is that it is saying I need to fund it for the whole $107 all at once now.

It should be saying that I need to fund it by $8.91. I Think I might have clicked on something last month that gave it the whole $107 at once and now it won't let me reset it.

I deleted the goal and created it again and that didn't help.

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  • Delete whatever goal you have now. Create a Save By Date goal in the MAY budget area, and ensure the year on the date is 2021.

    Like 1
  • Not sure this is related, but I'm struggling with a spend by date goal that should be yearly as well. I started budgetting a couple of weeks ago and I have a some yearly bills throughout the year. As I just started, some are closer than others, eg. I know I have to pay car insurance in July, so I set the goal accordingly.

    Now I already know next year's bill will be the same, and I wanted to put that goal in, but if I put a spending goal in July for July next year, my current goal is lost and I have to recalculate what I need now and budget is al confused.

    Of course, the simple solution would be to wait for the July 2020 to be paid and start a new goal in August for the July 2021 bill. However, for some goals, I do not want to wait to put them in as I've got the information at hand now, and the time to put them in, and might not have time or feel like it later. And before you know it, a bill sneaks up anyway. Is there a way to do this? I feel the new goal types are sometimes a bit clunky! 

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Elien C You're correct, only a single goal is allowed. You might combine the remaining amount through July 2020 with the yearly amount (Aug 2020-July 2021) as a new, combined total due July 2021. It's not the same thing, but it may give you what you want.

      Personally, I'm not a fan of the spending goal AT ALL. I feel it is very likely to go against my priorities. I mean if the goal works out that I can budget $100 this month, but I feel it's important enough to reallocate from lower categories in order to spend more, that's a good thing (Rule 3!). However, in the following month, that category -- that was JUST demonstrated important enough to revise the plan is going to get even less than it did last month. It's not certain that category is still important, but the likelihood is high that it is. I prefer to examine the latest priorities across the budget, with the likely result that some other lower priority category is going to be reduced so I can stick with the $100 figure -- or even bump it up! (Again, $100 was insufficient in light of recent priorities.) Reducing it unilaterally as the Spend By Goal does is going to be exactly backwards the vast majority of the time for me.

      Additionally, it's well known that priorities shift over time. As I see it, it's very likely that the amount that's commensurate with my priorities 11 months ago is very out of date. Even after 6 months, I'd want to rethink things a bit.

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      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Elien C I agree with dakinemaui and for a bill, I would use a target balance goal. You want to have saved $X in July 2020 and $Y in July 2021. 

      It doesn't solve your issue of setting up the next year goal now but it corresponds better to what you want. You aren't planning on spending any of the money between now and July, you are planning on saving the money. 

      And some might say you can do it without a goal, but it doesn't matter.

      Like 1
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Ceeses I completely missed this was for a bill. The Save by Date goal is a good call.

      FWIW, you could do the math and set up a monthly funding goal that would work for both bills. (Math is just Remaining amount needed divided by the remaining time.) As long as you don't reallocate from this category, you're good to go.

      For example, if the July 2020 bill is $600, you currently have $500 Available (after budgeting May), and the July 2021 bill is $740, then that is a remaining total of $840 spread over 14 months or $60/month starting in June (next month). You will have $620 saved by July, so no problem there.

      Like 1
      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui In defence of the Spend by Goal. I can think of 2 examples where this type of goal is useful for me: Christmas and Gifts to school friends. In both cases, I want to control the overall spending but I don't care about the exact split between items.

      I'm fine spending a bit more on Christmas gifts in September but then I want to reduce the Christmas food expense to keep the overall Christmas spending within the target. In that case, having the goal reduced from October to December is exactly what I want. The Christmas category didn't get a higher priority overall, it was just a time opportunity.

      Same with gifts to school friends. If I find a gift a bit more expensive for one friend, it's fine but only if I then buy something less expensive the next time.

      If I keep buying more expensive gifts, then it's a clear indication I need to reevaluate my priorities / what I need overall for that category. But if 1 gift is more expensive, it doesn't mean I need to reevaluate the whole category.

      Like 1
      • Elien C
      • elien_c
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Oh I could do that, do my sums on what I need over 14 months instead of 2+12 and based on what I budget today already. I did as follows: Bill is $600 in July 2020, so I budgeted 300 now and will budget 300 more, and then from August onwards, I wanted to do $50/month for the July 2021 bill.

      To be able to set and forget, I need to budget $550 right now and put monthly funding at $50. I'll see if that works within the budget, but I think so. 

      Pros: set and forget as I would like to see it, and already correctly reflecting the monthly 'weight' of this expense from next month onwards. That's good, as I want to take a closer look at some recurring bills and see if we can save somewhere. I can do this for all my yearly/quarterly bills and work towards a budget template. I figured that would have to wait, as some categories are now a bit inflated because of how close some bills are. 

      Cons: Depending on how close the bill is, you need sufficient room in your budget to put a big chunk in already, to create more room in your budget later on (in this example, 550-50-50-... instead of 300-300-50-...) Suits me as we've got enough buffer to do this and I'd rather fund them a good way towards that upcoming bill already and have a realistic view on my 'real' current savings/emergency fund, but not suitable for people living paycheck to paycheck. 

      Con: If I put this as a monthly funding, I can't allocate some windfall or roll with the punches in these uncertain times without that pesky orange indicator or without being off without realising. Imagine, in August, I don't get paid or less than usual (self-employed here), but as I know we are getting a tax return in September,  I want to do 0 in August and $100 or more in September. Monthly funding will not like that in August, and forget I did that in September. Target balance by Date would be more suitable here in that case. Is there a downside in Balance by Date that I am missing? 

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view
      Ceeses said:
      In defence of the Spend by Goal

      Oh, I agree it has its place. Another example frequently cited as justification was a vacation category where one needed to spend before the target month (e.g., flights). 

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view
      Elien C said:
      Depending on how close the bill is, you need sufficient room in your budget

      The startup issue is more about sufficient startup capital than "room in your budget". The latter I equate more to ongoing budget entries fitting into your income constraint.

      I think it's best to use startup capital to put the nearest-term True Expense (TE) at the steady state level: next months budget entry equals the outflow divided by the *nominal* time (e.g., 12 months for a yearly recurring expense). Repeat for the next-nearest TE, etc. until startup capital is completely allocated.

      The main issue people have is startup capital is fully allocated before getting the ongoing monthly demand within their income constraint. That doesn't seem to be the case for you, fortunately.

      That approach would have you budget $500 now, assuming you'll be able to budget $50 in July before the outflow. If not, then $550 now.

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  • Elien C said:
    f I put this as a monthly funding, I can't allocate some windfall or roll with the punches in these uncertain times without that pesky orange indicator

    Sure, there are always consequences when changing budget entries from the "nominal" levels. A windfall either accelerates something or allows you to fund something lower on the priority scale that previously was unfunded.

    If you reallocate from a time-bound category, you need to be OK with the ramifications of increased funding moving forward BEFORE you reallocate. In future months, you will need to cut funding elsewhere. 

    In short, doing either of these has a ripple effect elsewhere in the budget that goes beyond editing this category's goal.

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  • Elien C said:
    Is there a downside in Balance by Date that I am missing? 

    If you're not spending before the target month, the Save By and Spend By goals behave identically.

    Again, the main downside is anything other than the nominal budget value will impact more than just this category. There's obviously a reason you would do that, so it is what it is.

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