Changing Budget Amount
Okay - something that is perplexing me. We budget for pre-school every month. In the Summer the amounts are different - then it becomes regular starting again in September.
September - May - I need $4,000 on the 1st of every month
June & July - I need $1,000 on the 1st of the month
August - I need $2000 on the 1st of the month
I would like to keep everything for the school in the same line item/goal so I can track annual spending accurately. Is there anyway to change the goals for each month? Right now - my July goal is $1,000 - but I need to have $2,000 in August and $4,000 in September - when I go to August to adjust the goal it changes July, and if I change for September it changes July & August to the September goal.
Am I doing anything wrong? Is there a way to adjust the goal for pre-school to reflect what it actually is every month?
I would normalize to a consistent amount every month. You don't have to scramble when the price goes up and makes planning in your other categories easier (again, because they are working with a more consistent pool of funds). The idea is you build up a surplus in the low months and draw from it in the high.
The nominal amount is the yearly total divided by 12, but that presumes you're "on track" as far as reserves. Much like an escrow increase on your mortgage, you can get back on track all at once or over time. Assuming you have $0 in the category left after the July 1 contribution and outflow, and you're looking to budget starting in Aug. you have 2 options:
- Budget $8000 in August (getting on-track up front) and then $3334 every month thereafter.
- Budget $3800 from August until next May (2021), then switch to $3334 in June 2021.
I've also assumed you can budget in a given month's area on or before the outflow occurs. If any of these assumptions are incorrect, let me know, and I can revise accordingly.
Additionally, you might make a feature request for a multi-outflow goal. There have been requests for it starting right after launch years ago, but with the new attention being paid to goals, perhaps there's a chance for them to do something more complex than they do at present.
The example typically cited is a Birthday category, but of course it works for this scenario, utility bills, etc. There have also been some recent threads about it if you want to read those.
Mullen Madhouse said:
Is there a way to adjust the goal for pre-school to reflect what it actually is every month?
FWIW, you can set up 12 scheduled transactions for the particular amounts, which create implicit goals in the month of each outflow. Obviously the required budget entries will be all over the map, so it's not what I would do. It is an option, however.
Additionally, you might want to date these transaction for the end of the previous month if this category is not budgeted with previous month's income.
As dakinemaui mentioned I think setting up scheduled transactions will help. But you could also create a category group for daycare and then create separate categories for each under that group. That gives you the ability to see the whole picture but also budget per period. This is what I did for my sons university. I initially it as one lump category but then I realized I didn’t need ALL the money in September 2018. Some of it I don’t need until January 2021. So I split it and then actually I split one level further between tuition and living expenses since he is paying for the living expenses but I am managing the money for that. As each category completes I hide it.