Keeping checking and savings accounts straight. Here is an over simplified scenario.
There is $1000 in checking. It is budgeted as $200 for Gasoline, $300 for Groceries and $500 for rent.
In Savings there is $1000 budgeted for Emergency fund (EF).
I blow a tire on my car, and it ends up costing $250 which I put on my credit card, and pull from the EF envelope. A few days later I pay a medical bill again on my credit card, and pull the $200 from my EF envelope. I buy some groceries for $50 also on my credit card using money from my Grocery Envelope. I then pay $20 for gasoline from my checking account out of the Gasoline Envelope. Now my credit card bill comes due, and I have to pay $500 on it.
Do I have to go back through all my expenses and figure out how much to transfer from savings in order to pay that bill? Or is there an easier/better way?
Thanks for help with this!
It depends a bit on how you have your envelopes set up. If you have an envelope for “emergency fund” that includes all the money in that account (a good idea, so the funds don’t look unallocated), I’d expense those unexpected transactions out of that envelope and the regular ones (groceries, gas, etc.) from their normal envelopes. When the credit card bill comes due, you’ll do an account transfer from your savings to checking for the amount spent from “emergency fund”, then one from checking to the credit card to cover the full payment. Your monthly spend in the emergency envelope, which you can get from the reports, is the amount you need to transfer from savings to checking.
Once you’ve done that, your emergency fund envelope will still hold less than you targeted, so you can start refilling it as the funds become available.
Does that help?
Reports! That is helpful. In real life, I actual spent money from several categories in savings. So, I will still have to add those numbers together. However, reports greatly simplifies tracking those down. Thanks for the tip!
If you’re using savings money from other envelopes, consider tagging those transactions. Adding, for example, #Savings to the notes line will allow you to search for that tag across multiple envelopes. Maybe that will help too!
Actually I remember another way that was alluded to here on the forums (I think). If I just take the totals from the Envelopes tab I basically set it up so that the “Every Two Weeks” is my checking, and the “Annual” + “Goal” are my Savings account. So, If I just total those two numbers (Annual and Goal totals) I have how much should be in my savings. Whatever the difference is, determines how much to move to checking (or move to savings). This seems to be a simpler method.