Keep track of money owed to me by another person

What is the easiest way to keep track of money owed to me by another person? I have some family members who I routinely order things online for them, and then they pay me back; they usually pay me back after I have made the purchases; right now I am just using a separate envelope for them, but then it sits negative most of the time, and I think that’s throwing off me being able to see how much unallocated money I have.

Well, there’s a couple things here.

First off, you have spent that money, so in the basic GoodBudget sense it should affect your unallocated balance. You don’t have that cash laying around anywhere to spend elsewhere. The fact that the envelope is sitting negative means you should probably add more to it to accurately reflect the money you have available to spend.

That said, if I was to attempt this in GB, I would create an account named “Receivables”, and every time I purchased something for someone else that I was expecting to be paid back, instead of an expense to an envelope, I would do an Account Transfer from Checking to Receivables. Make sure to name it appropriately and/or add sufficient notes so you can track down who owes what.

In accounting terms, money owed to you by others (i.e. Receivables) is an Asset. In GB, Assets are your Accounts. So purchasing something for someone else who will reimburse you fully is simply transferring money from your Cash/Checking/Savings to your Receivables. Your Unallocated balance will remain unchanged, your available Cash/Checking/Savings will decrease accordingly, and you will have a record of what is owed to you in Receivables.

This is similar to how I manage my Projected Income each month. It sets some people’s hair on fire to think of adding money to GB that you don’t actually have in your possession, but that just makes it more fun :smiley:


I forgot to mention that whenever someone pays you back, you simply transfer that amount from Receivables back to Cash/Checking/Savings.


I create a separate envelope, when I make the purchase, say with my credit card, the purchase comes out of this envelope, say “purchases for others”. This will make this envelope negative which is what it should be. When I receive the money for the purchase then I just add it to this envelope, bringing the balance to zero. If there’s multiple people with multiple purchases every month, then that balance may always be negative, but that just shows me how much money people owe me.

If there are multiple people owing me money than I would create sub-envelopes with their names. This way I can track exactly who owes me what.

This whole process has nothing to do with my unallocated envelope. Just make sure your total envelope balances equals your total account balances.