Budgeting Stocks and Shares

Greeting all,

I have various pots of money whose value fluctuates quite quickly, as a result, I don’t update them (I used to do a monthly “interest earned” to update the value.

For instance, I have regular stocks and shares account with Hargreaves Lansdown, I created an account (like a current account) and added the appropriate transaction which I labelled as “deposit”. My issue is however I’m not sure how to use an envelope to reflect this account and its fluctuations, do I fill it? Leave it empty? And also what am I do if I sold a share and withdrew the money, if I hadn’t updated the value then this would leave me with an inaccurate account balance.

Do any of you use GB for your stocks and shares? Should I not have made an account and just made deposits as transactions, and withdraws as income/credit?

Any advice would be appreciated.


Goodbudget isn’t ideally set up to manage stock portfolios, but it’s possible to track the balances if you wish. In this case, I would make an account for your stock as you’ve done, but you also need to have an envelope filled with the same balance in order to keep those funds out of your Unallocated value. When you sell, you would do an account transfer from the stocks account to your checking account (or wherever) as well as from the stocks envelope to Unallocated (or elsewhere).
To manage monthly fluctuations, it’s probably easier to just manually adjust the balance of the account (using the Edit function) to its new value and rename the resulting line item, then adjust the corresponding envelope, rather than entering transactions and deposits.
Hope that helps!

If you’re ok with having an Unallocated balance, then you would just not create an envelope for these funds. Create your account, update the balance monthly, and it will always be part of your Unallocated funds. Record deposits and withdrawals as Account Transfer between Checking and Stocks accounts.

I personally do not put any investment accounts in GB as I never use them to fund transactions. I just record purchases as expenses to my Investing envelope, and sales as Income.

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As Tiffany said, at this time, Goodbudget isn’t really designed to handle investments or other types of mostly off-budget accounts with fluctuating values.

However, off the record, I track my retirement accounts in Goodbudget, and I do so by using Debt Accounts…but in reverse. That way the money stays off-budget and you don’t have to deal with Unallocated and updating both an Envelope and Account when there are changes. It’s still not perfect, because you have to cue the fluctuations manually (I do so quarterly…or less, because I forget), but it should work.

(The reason I say this is off the record is because I want to be clear I’m saying this as a Goodbudget user and not from my position as a staff member! This is definitely a “hack” or workaround, and isn’t intended design, so I’m obliged to say that since it’s not supported, other updates we might make very well might prevent this as a future option. But for now, that’s what I do.)


Now there’s an idea… Budget Accounts (i.e. accounts which add to Unallocated balance and can be used for transactions) vs Off-budget Accounts (i.e. accounts which do not affect Unallocated balance and can only be used in Account Transfers. That would cover this situation plus Savings accounts that people don’t necessarily want to create a shadow envelope for, etc.

Let’s make it happen :smiley:

How would I go about doing it in reverse? Do you leave the monthly payment and due date blank? And when you amend the balance is that just via edit or a transaction? Seems like a viable solution :thinking:

The Due Date field is optional, so I let it be, and I just put 0 for Monthly Payment!

As for updating the balance because of fluctuations, you can just go to the Edit Accounts page and manually update the number in the Current Balance field. And then deposits (like if you’re buying some stocks) would be “Debt Payment Transactions” paid from your checking account or wherever.


Personally, I track a number of investment accounts and I do what Tiffany says, accounts with related envelopes. The envelope balances always matches the account balance. This has worked very well for me.

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