How do you avoid negative envelope balances for envelopes that you spend differently each month?

One more question :slight_smile: I have things that I spend every month but the amount I spend each month changes. For instance when you buy makeup, those items last different amounts of time. Maybe the average over the year is $50 but some months it’s $25 or even $0 and others maybe it’s $90. When I used Goodbudget in the past I just would have $50 in that envelop which meant a lot of the time through the year it showed a negative balance.

What do people normally do to avoid this?

I have a similar envelope that I set up as an annual spend. I filled it with some Unallocated funds right away, then scheduled my Fill to “Add” the average monthly amount and roll over the difference. Some months it’s built up a lot and others it’s nearly empty. If I need something and there’s not enough, I know I need to pull some money from another source. Would that work for you?

Oh yeah, that’s a good idea. I never thought of making it an annual envelope. It seems so obvious now that you said it!

Another option you could try, if it makes more sense for you to have that Envelope as Monthly, is to have your monthly Envelope Fill Add the budgeted amount to that Envelope rather than Set. That way if you don’t spend the money in a month, or if you have some left over, it’ll accumulate for the next time you spend more than the average amount in a month.

All depends on what works best for you!

Another option is to set the envelope to the maximum you are likely to spend each month. If you never spend more than $100, then set it to $100, each month you will essentially put back in what you spent the previous month. It’s probably not a good choice if you are trying to control discretionary spending, and it’s not as good as the other options if you prefer to budget the same amount each month.

I use it for my power bill. We have a system where the power company holds our account in credit and automatically tops up $150 when we run out of credit. Some months there is one top-up and some months there are two. I keep $300 in the envelope so the worst case is covered.