Multiple budgets?

Hi. I’m trying out Goodbudget. So far it seems quite good, though a bit different to what I’m used to. Is there a way to have more than one budget? I like to have my personal spending budget separate from my family budget.

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Hi @Dexter - Thanks for giving Goodbudget a try!

Though Goodbudget works best as a way to keep track of a single consolidated budget, you can also use Envelope Groups to organize your Envelopes so that they mimic having multiple budgets. So, using your example, you’d organized your Envelopes like this:

  • Family Budget: Groceries
  • Family Budget: Eating Out
  • Personal: Eating Out
  • Personal: Fun Money

This will let you keep track of the balance for each individual Envelope, as well as for each group as a whole. You can read more about using Envelope Groups here: How do I Group my Envelopes? | Goodbudget

Hope that helps!

Thanks. I’d hoped to avoid that as it becomes complicated accounting for when the family budget or my personal budget owes the other budget money. That’s not a deal breaker though.

What are some methods Goodbudget users use to track reimbursements? A common situation in our household is that we will buy coffee and hot chocolates for the family. Hot chocolates get categorised to the children’s casual eating category and the coffees get paid back by my partner’s and my personal spending money, which is not in the family budget. Do negative values in a category carry over to the next budget period?

I think Splitting a transaction is the way to manage your hot chocolate and coffee. You’d enter the transaction, let’s say $30 at Coffee People, and the account from which the payment was made, but then Split the transaction so $10 comes from the kids’ envelope and $20 from you and your partner’s envelope. That way you can easily reconcile the account and the expenses are charged to the correct parts of your budgets.
The values in your envelopes can carry over or be reset per your preference. When you create an envelope Fill, you’ll be asked whether you want to “Set” or “Add” an amount to an envelope. Using “Add” means the new money will just go in, so any negative amount would be included. “Set” resets the envelope to exactly the amount you’ve budgeted.
Some examples:
I budget $100 for Movies. This month, I spend $75. If I choose to “add” $100, I’ll have $125 next month. If I choose “Set”, Goodbudget will put in just $75 so I’m back to $100 at the beginning of the next period.
Likewise, if I spend $125 this month and end up negative, “Add” $100 means I only have $75 for the next period.
Hope that helps!

Thanks @Tiffany. That makes sense. I guess my question was mainly whether any negative budget categories carry over, it sounds like they do?

They do! Until you refill your envelopes, nothing at all will change. If you have a Fill set for the first day of each budget period (and you’ll probably want to), you’ll choose which behavior you want the Fill to use and it will either replenish enough for one budget period’s supply OR just add a set amount, which could theoretically leave you STILL in the red if you were more than 100% “overdrawn” in that envelope.