Anyone know of a cheap, simple, cash forecast tool / app?
I have been using YNAB for several years now and have made peace with its lack of a forecasting tool, however I’ve recently found myself wanting one again. Here’s why:
With the current pandemic situation, I’ve had to trim the budget a bit, and what I’ve realised is that some budget categories are carrying a positive “floor”, ie, over the future months / years the available amount will never hit zero. This is probably caused by various amendments to that category, it may have been split off from a broader category for instance. What this means is that some of my dollars think they have jobs but in reality they’re just lazing about on the couch waiting for a day that will never come. These dollars need jobs, but to give them jobs I need to identify the freeloaders.
This is where the forecast comes in. A cash forecast for a single category that accounts for planned spending vs planned budgeted funds will identify any positive floors. For example I could select my rent category and see that the available funds is never projected to go below $500, that would be $500 that could (should) be diverted to another category.
Now I could just zero the category and start fresh with accurate numbers, but that runs the risk of the opposite problem, getting to a month where an additional payment is made and not having enough to cover it.
This is not a feature request, I accept that forecasting is not YNAB’s thing, but does anyone know of a good, cheap, standalone app that could do this for me? I could do something in excel, but, like some of my dollars, I’m lazy!
Why do you think the category balance would be any different? The exact same information is used to put money back as is used to identify the freeloaders.
http://forecast.calcitout.com/ will do what you want if you find it easier to go that direction.
I have actually lobbied for the feature you seek under the guise of a multi-outflow Goal. The canonical example is a Birthday or Subscription category. The naive approach of a category per person or service is likely to tie up more funds than necessary. (The "freeloading" dollars, as you put it.) More details here if you're interested:
In the interest of another voice, you might make a feature request, perhaps under that context. I would shy away from using the word "forecast", however. That tends to be misunderstood as a different problem due to the frequency it is brought up around here. (My apologies for doing so as well.)