Move rolled over money from a category to savings

Hi guys,

I jump straight away to an example so it's easier (I hope) to understand my problem:

I have a grocery shopping category of $250 per month, so let's say that I budgeted $250 in December.

I get paid once a month on the 6th. So, on January 6th, before entering my inflow transaction (salary), I check how much money I have left and I want to move the available money to a savings category. Then when my inflow comes, I budget another $250 for January.

The problem is that when I move, let's say $25 because I spent $225 in December (let's make it easy and not count what I have spent in January before the 6th). Now the grocery budget column goes in minus -$25. Why? I didn't spend them, I simply budgeted them somewhere else.

I have set up a goal of $250 per month and now I need to budget $275 to reach it. I am struggling to understand it.

Am I doing something wrong?

Another solution that I thought is that maybe I need to first enter the inflow transaction. Budget $225 for the month ( so I reach the goal) and I have $25 available to "budget" into a savings category.

Is this the way to do it?

Thank you!

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  • Move the money out in December instead

    Like 1
  • To answer your question about why it went negative, it's because when you "move money" from one category to another, it's like saying "Ok, I initially budgeted $250 here, but now I either didn't use it, or it's a lower priority than something else that I needed to overspend on, so I'm moving it from being budgeted in groceries, to being budgeted in savings." 

    Basically, like satcook said, if you move it  in December, it won't affect this month.  And if you decide to move it in this month, you can still just budget the $250 if that's what you need on a typical month.  (if the budget column is negative you can select the category and then type "+ 250"  (plus sign, and then the amount you want to add)  it will do the math for you.

    One thing a lot of people will do at the end of a month is go though some of their categories that they don't need to roll over into the next month, and sweep them all into a savings category.   That can be one way you increase your savings... by moving extra from those categories with remaining balances which you don't need to carry forward.

    Like 1
    • Bruce I totally agree with everything you say. My problem is just to understand what to do the first days of the month until I get paid again. I could cheat and write every expenses in the previous month until I get paid. Or I could calculate how much I spent in the first days and move remaining money in the previous month budget so I don’t screw up the current month. Both ways seems a bit clunky to me and not straight forward...

      Am I missing something? 

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      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 3 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Helter Skelter The thought process you go through when you get paid is, "What does this money need to do before I get paid again?"  With that understanding (and if you're in "paycheck-to-paycheck" mode) then you look at the month, and the next 6 days of the next month, and see what has to be covered.  This means that if you typically purchase some groceries in the first week of the month, then you'll have to account for that in your budgeting decision.  

      One thing that is strongly recommended  is to get to the point where you are one month ahead, so that the money received this month isn't actually budgeted until next month.  Then you have the security and luxury of budgeting it all in one fell swoop.  Makes it much easier, and less frustrating.

      If you can get to that point now (with "startup capital" ie Emergency Fund, or Income Replacement fund, if you have at least a month's worth in there) then I'd recommend it.  If that isn't an option, create a new category called "Income for Next Month" (INM) and put whatever you can save into that, and it will grow, and as it grows, you'll be closer to being a month ahead.  Once you have enough in there to budget a full month in advance, then the workflow will change.  At that point, at the end of the month, you can then move the money from INM into TBB and budget everything into the next month.

      Like 3
    • WordTenor
    • Can we agree that goals are dumb and immature? Sure.
    • WordTenor
    • 3 mths ago
    • 2
    • Reported - view
  • Helter Skelter said:
    the grocery budget column goes in minus -$25. Why? I didn't spend them

    A positive value puts money in the account, and a negative takes it out. Budget entries only reserve money for spending. The Activity column will automatically change when you actually spend (enter a transaction).

    Like 1
  • Thank you guys for the replies. I really appreciate your help! satcook Bruce WordTenor dakinemaui I would move everything in December but the problem is that I get paid on the sixth of every month so I would be without money budgeted for groceries the first five days of the month. But I still would like to see how much I am able to save until I get paid again. Does it make sense? 

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      • MadDog
      • Navy_Blue_Pegasus.2
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Helter Skelter If you budgeted $250 in groceries for December and did not use all of it, let that amount stay in the category and roll over into January. You will have that amount of money available until you are paid again on Jan 6. You can input the actual transactions with the actual dates. 

      When you first start, it can be a bit clunky to wrap your head around what needs to happen when your next payment is in the next month. Until you are a month ahead, there are two options. One budget all of your money in the current month but know that it has to take you to the 6th of the following month. Any money left over in the current month will roll over as available until your next paycheque. Once you get that paycheque, repeat the process. 

      Second option is to budget what you need until the end of this month. Put any remaining money into a holding category (Next Month Income). When the next month rolls over, you pull the money out of the Next Month Income category by putting a negative amount in the budgeted column. That will move the money to TBB. Budget that money in the categories you need until you get paid again. 

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  • If you have $25 in the category immediately before budgeting your check, you can decrease the budget entry in the previous month by $25. Either use the built-in calculator or the Move Money tool. This will carryover enough to cover the purchases made prior to your paycheck.

    I also agree with others that the ultimate solution is to have the current month covered with funds received last month.

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  • WordTenor said:
    A monthly needed for spending goal

    This is probably the best short-term solution, as it will only ask you for $225 if there is already $25 when you budget your check on the 6th. Long-term, this goal doesn't work well when you're a month ahead, but you can switch when you get to that point.

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