I don’t see anywhere to set up my income sources and pay periods so I can base my budget off of it? I’m coming from Mvelopes and I see I can set-up a budget and I see I can set-up fills, but I don’t see anywhere to set-up income sources. Maybe this program is just lacking that. Maybe I’m just going to have to be doing a whole lot more figuring in Excel that Mvelopes used to take care of for me? In Mvelopes I set-up income sources/pay periods/amounts (this has nothing to do with the transactions being entered into accounts or envelopes being filled just shows how much money is projected to come in each month so I can base the budget off of that). Then I would set-up a budget to match the income I will have each month (and I could set it so I could see a year at a time). Then when we actually got paid I would input the transaction into our checking account to show the deposit and then use a fill template to allocate the income into the proper envelopes. The templates were set-up/balanced against the budget so that I know that the income/budget/fills will all balance. It doesn’t look like Good Budget works like this. Do I just have to manually add up all the income and make budget and fill plan in excel that matches that and then this doesn’t have any income sources set-up and I just put in have to set-up the budget to match excel (which shows how much income I have to work with) and then do pre-set fills (which I also have to plan in Excel so I make sure they cover the entire monthly budget across the year with bi-weekly pay periods). I’m hoping there is an easier way or I’m missing something
Remember that, by design, GB only wants to work with money you currently have in your possession. You can schedule income and expense transactions as well as envelope fills for the future and/or as recurring events, but that’s it. Recurring transactions will only show the “next” action, not all subsequent actions. So you could put in a recurring bi-weekly income transaction but it will not extrapolate out past the next payday to, for example, project your total income for a future month. But I agree with you, budgeting future expenses should be done in conjunction with future income.
FWIW, I use an Excel spreadsheet to do the projection and planning for the upcoming month. Just like Dave Ramsey says, income at the top, followed by expenses until the balance is zero. Then I use those totals from the spreadsheet to do my initial Fill on the first of the month.
Yes it’s another tool, but on the plus side I have a running history of all months envelope budget amounts for years now, which GB doesn’t provide. GB tells you how much you spent every month but not how much you budgeted (only knows the current envelope amounts).
(I’m going to somewhat haphazardly respond to different pieces of your message in the hope that I can answer some of the questions, but do ask more if you’re still wondering)
I see I can set-up a budget and I see I can set-up fills, but I don’t see anywhere to set-up income sources.
There are two types of Fills in Goodbudget, Fills from existing money and Fills from Income. There are also two types of Income in Goodbudget, Income that just goes into “spare money” (Unallocated) and Income that Fills your Envelopes directly (the same as in the last sentence). So it’s sort of like a venn diagram. You set up your Income in Goodbudget by choosing either of the two Income routes.
As kschedler mentions, you can schedule Fills or setup Quick Fills (essentially templates) to get the same allocations to happen periodically and automatically. I think the fundamental difference is that the budgeting piece aren’t directly connected in Goodbudget. Like when you go to set up your budget, it’s not like you type in “I make ####” and Goodbudget helps you make a budget from that amount. It sort of works independently, where you set up your Income(s) and you set up your budget, and you can use them to help plan each other, but they’re not directly connected. It gives you a bit of flexibility (e.g. you can budget for more or less than you make fairly easily, as they’re independent, or quickly change the budget around), but is a little less connected and may be a bit confusing given where you’ve come from.
Excel can continue to be a tool for you to plan your allocations / what you’re doing with your Income, and kschedler has described several times how well a forward-predicting strategy like that works for them. Personally, I just play pretend in Goodbudget itself, putting different numbers in the allocations of scheduled Fills to see what might happen, and then adjust them on the fly if things turn out differently. It’s really up to you and how you want to budget!
As another person that is giving Goodbudget a try after the Mvelopes shutdown, it would be really nice if GoodBudget had the capability of income and budget forecasting/planning. For now we’ll have to resort to using an Excel spreadsheet for these functions, but it’d be nice if this functionality were added to make the product more useful. Mvelopes was nice in that one product could support all aspects of the personal/family budgeting process and we didn’t have to cobble together multiple things and make sure nothing got out of sync.
Yah I agree. I had to set-up my whole budget in Excel and a fill plan and figure out all of the calculations over the year to make sure all my envelopes were going to be fully funded (since we do a monthly budget and get paid every 2 weeks so we have a couple months with 3 pay periods) and that everything balanced. It was so nice that Mvelopes did all that for me and that I could easily see that everything balanced across the year. It took me hours and I had a headache by the end of it.