Irregular Envelopes

For context: I budget monthly and I have monthly, quarterly, and annual envelopes for all the various repeating/periodic expenses. Everything else is treated as a “Goal” envelope. I have been using Goodbudget for years and this is the most efficient way I have discovered for handling my budgeting.

My “problem” comes in with my various irregular expenses. Something like “Pool Service” where I may normally have a full drain/refill/startup every two or three years, but may randomly need something fixed or replaced in between. These are not large expenses I want to save up for a little each month, just something I will budget for when the need arises out of my monthly total. In practice, this leaves me with a large number of Goal envelopes which are usually empty.

I can delete these envelopes when not in use, but then my reports have these “DELETED” decorators in random places, and then when time comes again to use that envelope I have to create a new one. It would be great to see in the reports just a “Pool Service” category where it was used, but not see it in my list of envelopes when it isn’t being used.

Goal envelopes work great, especially for persistent balances like emergency funds, or long term savings goals like a new car or travel. For these irregular categories they are the best option, but I end up accumulating more and more over time. Pool Service, Landscaping, Oil Changes, etc. I wish there was a way to hide them when not in use for a particular month without deleting them.

And even for goals that are one-off, such as having the house painted, where I do want to save up over time… once the goal is accomplished I don’t need that envelope sitting around anymore, but if I delete it the reports are forever tagged with “DELETED”.

Hey there

Thanks for posting! It sounds like you’re hoping for a way to clean up your Envelopes list by removing ones you don’t use frequently (or at all) but that you don’t necessarily want to delete. It seems like maybe a ‘Hide’ feature is what you’re after? That way, you could hide those less frequently used Envelopes from view, but still be able to unhide them when you need to use them, and also, still have them show up in your reports.

Does that sound right? If so, I’ve added that to our request tracker for future consideration.

In the meantime, you could try Grouping those less frequently used Envelopes into a ‘Hidden’ category, and then collapsing the Group from view. Unfortunately, collapsing a Group isn’t sticky, so you’d have to do it each time you log in to Goodbudget. But it would help to quickly reduce the number of visible Envelopes on the screen for a short period of time.

I hope that helps!

Thanks! My original thought was a new “Irregular” or “Transient” type of envelope that was only visible on the envelopes page as long as it had a nonzero balance, but a manual toggle to hide/unhide would also work.

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Thanks for the extra details! With your idea, I’m assuming the “Transient” Envelopes would always show on the Add/Edit Envelopes page and any Fill screen regardless of their balance in case you need to make adjustments. Does that sound right?

Yes, something like that.

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