I’m in a pickle. We are transferring our bank accounts and credit card to another establishment. In addition, we’ve paid off a car loan (yay) and another credit card. After all my fine keyboard wizardry this afternoon the credit card account balance inexplicably shows a $+13000 posting, my 42 envelopes are all over the place and my head hurts. What do I need to do to start from scratch?
Yikes! First, take a deep breath…you’ve got this.
Do you really want to start from scratch, or just clean everything up right now? You CAN clear everything out and start fresh, but I don’t think you need to.
First, I’d get your account balances squared up. Don’t worry about the envelopes just yet, but instead edit each account so that the balance matches your financial institution’s records. That will create “adjustment” transactions in your ledger. Be sure than any outstanding charges/debits/checks etc. that have been spent but not cleared are reflected too.
Once that’s accurate, look at the envelopes. You may want to move money around, OR you may want to transfer any remaining funds from each envelope into Unallocated for now. If you do, your Unallocated balance should equal the amount in your accounts. Now you have one big bucket with all your money in it, and you can fill your envelopes with enough to finish out the month and get yourself back on track.
Is that helpful??
Oh y goodness, yes! Thank you! I really did not want to export the data and have it be disconnected from the live action in the account, but I couldn’t see another way. This way lets me preserve the transactions by redistributing the money in the envelopes, right? So some that are fixed - dear daughter’s wedding fund, for example, stays the same - but all are open for review. What a relief, and thank you.
But shouldn’t I move all the money in envelopes out to unallocated first? Does it matter?
Since the envelopes and the accounts represent the same money, just viewed differently, it shouldn’t matter whether you “dump” any envelope remainders into Unallocated or fix the account balances first. I recommend the accounts since that’s a summary of the money that exists, and then the envelopes because that’s how you’re spending the money. You could go back and forth, but adjusting the accounts will definitely change your Unallocated balance anyway.
In the future, if all you’re doing is opening a new account and transferring funds into it, I’d recommend an Account Transfer transaction to just move things from one to the other and leave everything else intact—you shouldn’t have to do anything in your envelopes at that point.
Hope that’s helpful!
Thanks for the quick responses. I’ve entered the new account balances, cleaned out the envelopes, and I have a HUGE negative unallocated. We paid off a car and a credit card, and I just realized that I deleted both accounts, not zeroed them out. Could that be the problem?
If so, what’s the solution?
For context, I’m $100,000 off!
A negative Unallocated just means you’ve put more money into your envelopes than you have on hand. Do you fill envelopes with money you know you’ll receive, but haven’t deposited yet? That would lead to a low Unallocated amount.
I suspect the deleted accounts may be to blame; when you delete an account you don’t remove the transactions associated with it. However, if your account balances are correct then the total of your accounts should equal the total of your envelopes plus Unallocated.
First, make sure your Totals at the top of the Accounts and Envelopes tabs match (ignore any Debt total for now). The total should equal the amounts left in the Monthly, Annual, and Goal subheadings. If these don’t match, talk to the Admins for an adjustment. If they do, then there’s a problem with the amount you have in your envelopes.
I don’t know if that helps, but hopefully it at least sheds some light on things.
Thanks Tiffany. I’ve cleaned out the envelopes so there’s nothing in them. I went to sweep it all into unallocated and that’s when the balance went through the floor. I’m fit to be tied, for sure. This is where it might be prudent to download the transaction data to Excel and wipe it all clean. what do you think?
Ugh–a wipe seems so drastic and I have to believe it’s something really simple; I wish I could see what you’re looking at!
Account totals are all accurate?
Envelopes are all zero? (How did you empty the envelopes? Did you transfer any remaining funds to Unallocated? Or did you have to fill negative envelopes FROM Unallocated?)
If those are both true, you may need to get @Alex or @Karisa to see what’s up; you should have an Unallocated total that is equal to your Account balance total UNLESS it’s the transactions from the deleted envelopes causing trouble. Have you tried just deleting those transactions?
To Tiffany and Alex:
100,000 thanks from the bottom of my heart and my wallet for getting me out of the befuddled mess I’d created for myself. Sometimes it’s the most obvious things…
You guys are top notch in my book and i love recommending you to friends and family. Well done!
I am having the same issue. I’ve spent the last 4 hours beating my head against a wall. I’ve changed how I enter things and deleted accounts so I’m sure that’s where the error is. My total balance at the top of envelopes and accounts is off by almost 100k which is reflected in a negative unallocated (no small amount).
How do I talk to admins to help me figure this out?
Hi Heather – shoot us an email at email@example.com with your Goodbudget household’s email address and we’ll take a look and try to help get you sorted!