Goal Reached vs Envelope Depleted

I’m fairly new and it’s possible there is a fundamental I am missing here, so forgive me if so.

How can I distinguish envelopes that I have not yet fully filled, VS those envelopes that I have already filled , but am now in the process of drawing from?

e.g. I have an envelope that represents Christmas shopping. I fill it up (yay). Then I find a good gift and I take money out to pay for it. I don’t need to fill it back, but it looks like I haven’t achieved my goal yet.

Obviously I can look through transaction history, but is there a more intuitive way?

Thanks in advance.

I’ve asked for something similar before and haven’t found a good way to fake it

I’m not sure whether it exactly meets your needs, but in this example I would likely use an Annual or Goal envelope for the deposits until I’d reached my spending goal, but then transfer all those funds into a “regular” envelope that rolls over the balance each month and draw down from there. I assume that after Christmas you’d start adding funds to the envelope again until it was time to shop for the following year?
Alternately, you could reduce the “goal” by the amount you’ve spent, but that seems like it would become cumbersome if you have several transactions to account for.
And finally, just to mention it, you’d said you could look through the transaction history but the Reports function would give you that information much more quickly. If for example I’d allocated $500 for Christmas then found a gift for $50, the envelope would show I’m $50 short of my goal but Reports > Spending By Envelope (when adjusted for the appropriate date range) would show $50 spent. Those two totals should offset each other, and while I agree it’s a little cumbersome at least you wouldn’t have to add the figures up manually.
Not sure if any of this helps, but I hope so!

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Thanks, that’s really helpful and I get the thought process. I appreciate the response. It also occurs to me that when the goal is met, I could set the goal to $0 and just carry the balance as a surplus, drawing as needed.

LOL, that is a MUCH simpler and more elegant solution! :smile:

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Using Due Dates on your Envelopes should get you what you’re looking for. You can see a longer explanation here, but long story short, when Envelopes have Due Dates, they’ll smartly adjust their budgeted amounts/fill suggestions based on how much you’ve filled in the past, regardless of the actual balance.

So in your example, if you have a Christmas Envelope with a Due Date and a budgeted amount of 100, and Fill it with 100, even if you spend that 100, it’ll tell you you’re done with that Envelope until you pass the Due Date listed.

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Thanks @Alex–now I’m curious…I assumed that the algorithm needed me to have the goal value in place ON the due date (so if I spent some, I would need to replace it before that date). Your answer sounds like the due date is a one-and-done achievement, is that right?
What happens when you DO pass the due date? In this example, would I just set a new Christmas Fund due date for the same time next year on, say, 12/26?

Your new understanding is right. An Envelope with a Due Date only cares if the target was ever reached, not when it was reached.

So to use an Annual Christmas Envelope as an example, if you had a budgeted amount of 100, if you’d Filled/Transferred in at least 100 between December 26 of the previous year and December 25 of this year, it would say you’re done, regardless of it the balance was -10000 or 5000 or if it’s July 12 or December 24.

For all recurring Envelopes (i.e. anything not a Goal), once the Due Date passes, a new cycle begins. So from then on, the Envelope will try again to have you save up the budgeted amount, irrelevant to whatever it looks like at the end of the last Due Date’s period.

So back to the example Envelope, whether you had Christmas money leftover (balance of 50) or spent more than you expected (balance of -150), the Envelope doesn’t care, and will try to have you add 100 more before the next December 25.


Sounds like I’ll be adding some due dates then!!
Thanks for the clarification!


Perfect! Thanks @Tiffany and @alex