Can you direct a transaction to take money from another envelope once the first one is empty?

HI there, let’s say I budget $200 a month for Household expenses like repairs, trips to Lowe’s, etc. This month I have an annual household expense that comes up for AC maintenance. I would like to track it to Household but it will far exceed what is in that envelope…I have also set up a Misc envelope because something unexpected usually comes up each month. Can I direct it to take from a 2nd envelope after the 1st one is depleted?

You have a couple of options here. It sounds like you’ll know, when you pay for this service, how much is in each envelope. If that’s the case you can “split” the transaction and use both the remaining “household” money and money from “miscellaneous”. Just choose “split to multiple” when you choose an Envelope.
A second option would be to draw the entire expense out of “household”, leaving it in the red, and then do an Envelope Transfer to move money from miscellaneous to household. The advantage of this method is that your reports will accurately reflect the entire expense as a household expense even though it went over your monthly budget, but it does require two transactions.
Finally, since you mention that this is an annual expense, you may choose to create a separate envelope for these. I have one called, creatively, “Annual Expenses”. I use it for everything from subscriptions to auto registrations to seasonal HVAC maintenance. The advantage is that the money is separate from my monthly envelopes so it’s easier to manage, but it isn’t broken down by category (which is fine for me but maybe not for you).
Hope this helps!


Tiffany, this was SOOOO helpful. I am new to GoodBudget and budgeting in general, so this really helps me. Thank you!!!


I use one annual envelope for irregular expenses, too! I love it because I have my budget set to contribute an average amount to that envelope every month all year, and that way the money is already there when my expenses come up. I estimated all my known irregular expenses throughout the year, then rounded that up so I’ll hopefully have enough in case costs go up.

1 Like