This is my first complete month for using GB and I am just wondering something. What does “Unallocated” actually include? I have two account: a checking and a savings. Does “Unallocated” include my saving? If that is right, for me, it does not make sense since I am trying to build up my savings. Should I be using the “Income” option instead?
Unallocated = (Total of all Account balances) - (Total of all Envelope balances)
Income just adds to an account balance, and therefore increases your Unallocated balance until you have allocated that money to an Envelope.
If you have a savings goal, just create a Goal envelope and add to it from your current Unallocated and future Income. Some people treat their Unallocated as their savings/reserve. I personally aim for a zero Unallocated balance so I have many Goal envelopes for Emergency Fund, Christmas Fund, Slush Fund, etc.
I don’t have a specific goal. Just want to increase the savings and not count on it for regular expenses. But I guess I could do like you and set up “goals”. It is just hard for me to think of allocating all of my available funds. I know, the money is still in my saving. I am just of a generation that dis not thing that way. I am in a generation that remembers a 6% or more income on the balance in a savings account. Those were the days
I’ve found it better/easier to track all my accounts in GB. Checking, Savings, Wallet Cash, PayPal Balance, etc. Anywhere I have money that can be spent I create a GB Account. That way I can record transfers from one account to another, and see all my purchases in one place no matter how I paid for them.
Given that, I’ve found it cleaner to allocate everything to an envelope and not leave anything Unallocated. “Unallocated” to me just says “I don’t know what to do with these dollars yet”, whereas putting them in a goal envelope declares those dollars as having a specific purpose.
Put another way, my Savings Account at the bank isn’t just my long-term savings and everything else is in Checking. It holds most of: long-term savings, emergency fund, accumulating funds for large-ticket items, funds for Christmas (which get moved to Checking in December), etc. Basically, if it’s not something I plan on spending in the current or next budget period it’s probably in my Savings account, but I allocate that single balance across multiple envelopes along with all my other accounts.
But I’ve been using GB for many years now and have worked out a system that is best for me. In your case, just starting out, especially if you want to treat Savings as “out of sight, out of mind” so you don’t rely on it for regular expenses, it’s probably better to just delete that account from GB and ignore it for budgeting purposes.
You don’t need to have a certain goal in mind, you just want to assign the money to an envelope so it won’t show up as Unallocated. In my case (exactly what you’ve described), I just have an envelope labeled “Short Term Savings”, and I make sure it’s equal to my savings account balance. I have automated my interest deposits as a “Fill From New Income” so all I have to do is adjust the value when it actually posts, and I’ve also automated transfers from checking to savings, although that requires both a scheduled Transfer and a separate scheduled Fill. That way, both the savings Account and the savings Envelope stay aligned. I use a Goal envelope with a goal of $0.00 so I’m always ahead!
Yeah 6%, Now I just use savings as a “thou shalt not spend… ever!”