Envelope Sweeps and Transfers

New to GB. Moved over after nearly 20 years with Mvelopes.

Some of my envelopes are monthly funds that are static (like mortgage) where I know how much I spend and it is the same every month. So, I allocate funds and spend them all each month.

Other envelopes are longer term (like vehicle registration) that come at different times in the year, so I set aside $x each month and then expense out of that envelope whenever those bills appear.

Finally, I have funds that are variable each month (like grocery, entertainment, etc). I have a budget for these each month. Sometimes I underspend and sometimes I overspend.

I have two situations that I want to know how to manage in GB.

  1. From time to time I need to move money from one envelope to another. For example, I decide that I want to move some money from “entertainment” to “clothing” because I want to buy a new shirt and I plan to skip going to the movies. How do I transfer money from envelope to envelope?

  2. Similarly (and the answer may be the same), at the end of the month I like to go through my envelopes and transfer any remaining balance in several of my envelopes into several of my other envelopes (usually different envelopes each month depending on my goals). How would I accomplish this?

I’d note that in Mvelopes, the answer is the same for both questions. They called it “Sweep” which would show all my envelope balances and I could just enter either a deduction or an addition to any envelopes. As long as the in/out equaled zero, I could save and the funds would move.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Also, plug for auto-import of transactions. I know it isn’t in the development roadmap, but it is the main reason I didn’t jump to GB a long time ago. I dealt with all the clunkiness of Mvelopes for that one feature alone. Losing it is a huge, but that is a rant for another day.

Hey, welcome to Goodbudget.

You can transfer money from one Envelope to another using an Envelope Transfer (instructions here).

Transferring money to or from more than one Envelope is a different process and requires using an Envelope Fill. What you’ll do is “Fill” Envelopes you want to transfer money into, and “negative Fill” Envelopes you want to transfer money out of. For example, if you’re moving 50 from Envelope A as 25 into Envelope B and 25 into Envelope C, you’d put -50 in for Envelope A and 25 for each of Envelopes B and C.

A quick addition—while I see you’d prefer auto-import, you’re aware of the Import feature, correct? It’s very easy to import a number of transactions from a .qfx or .csv bank download. While it isn’t exactly what you’re asking for, it does eliminate the step of recording your spending manually, if that’s important to you.
Personally, I keep track better when recording transactions becomes second-nature, and prefer to have my budget and banking uncoupled. But as is true for all aspects of budgeting, everyone has their own preferences.

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