Hi there, new to Goodbudget and having a frustrating first day setting things up, and maybe this app is just not what I need - I would like to be able to add my paycheck in, and pull from it for each “envelope” and view what I have spent out of my paycheck and budget for each envelope and have the SPENT amount come out of my unallocated funds. Instead it seems like the only way to view your budget is is to pull ALL the budgeted funds for each category out of my paycheck/unallocated funds first, and then manually add up what I have left in each envelope/category to see my big picture of what I havent spent yet. I hope this is making sense. All I want is to see how much I’ve pulled so far out of my paycheck/unallocated funds, and not add all of my paycheck to categories immediately after I enter it, and have no way to see what I have left unless I add all of the remaining amounts for each category together. This seems so simple, maybe I’m just completely missing something. Thanks for any insight you can give.
I think I see what you’re saying, that you want to know how much is left over at a glance but you don’t see that in the Envelope side, right? I’m assuming you have multiple sets of envelopes so the overall balance per category isn’t helpful?
At its heart, Goodbudget is an envelope budgeting app so the whole idea is to assign all your money in advance and then try to stick to those categories to stay on budget, but we’ve all worked out “hacks” to make it work for us.
In your case, it would seem like an option might be to enter your paycheck as a separate account, then spend from there—using the Account balance to see how much of your paycheck remains. It will make reconciliation more difficult, but if you want to see how much is left over specifically after each check that could be an easy way to do it. When you get paid you would dump your excess funds back into your primary account and have the “paycheck” account only represent that one check.
It sounds like what you’re looking for is more of an expense ledger than an envelope budgeting system, but Goodbudget is flexible enough that you could probably tweak it to fit your needs.
TL/DR: The envelopes show what you could spend (future plans) and the accounts show what you have left (current status)
Thanks so much for the quick reply. I’m seeing this envelope way of budgeting is common among money tracking apps. I guess my main desire is to see how much money I still have throughout the month and decide where to put it, in savings or pay more debt down, while seeing what I spend each month in my categories…food, clothing, personal care etc. Thanks for taking the time to see if it could work like I want it, I think I understand what you mean about the reconciliation part, and not sure that will be best. Maybe I’ll try it out for a month and see if it helps me.
Here’s another thought. What if you put the entire paycheck into its own envelope, then instead of spending the money from an account you did an envelope transfer from the “Paycheck” envelope to the one where the expense belonged? It would be working backwards a bit, but the amount in the envelopes would actually represent what you’d spent and the “paycheck” envelope would show how much you still have left. At the end of the month you’d still have to charge off all those expenses but you could do it as a single adjustment if you wanted to. Again, not as designed but maybe a useful workaround?
Ah yes! Interesting thought! I might try it like its designed for a bit and see if maybe there is something to this envelope budgeting. Glad to understand this workaround if at the end of this month I’m feeling like I still need it the other way. Thanks for all of your help.