Reconcile & Unallocated Issues

I frequently reconcile my accounts (monthly) because I have a lot of work reimburseable expenses I just want to skip the budget altogether, making my credit card accounts and bank accounts frequently not representing my actual account statuses (because money is coming back later to my bank account from my company to cover certain expenses).

But whenever I reconcile my accounts, it changes my unallocated funds, and currently that pot is super bloated. I think one of the things that affected this most largely was when I created savings accounts. For example, I put my 529 college savings account into the budget in February - it has thousands of dollars in it - and it changed my unallocated amounts. But that money was just supposed to reflect what I already had in that account and towards my future savings goal.

So my question is twofold:

  1. How do I update account balances without affecting my unallocated?
  2. Is there a better way to reconcile my credit card and bank account balances without throwing around my unallocated so much?

This isn’t in order, but the first thing I notice is your savings/retirement accounts. In order for them not to show up in Unallocated, you’ll want to create a corresponding envelope for those funds. This allows you to track the balances while still showing the money as unavailable. The envelope and the account should have the same balance.
Next you mention work expenses; personally I track these separately in two envelopes: “to be reimbursed” (when they’re spent) and “submitted for reimbursement” (when I send the report). That way I keep everything on balance.

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K, that makes sense, and I was just reading up on another forum thread about how you make an envelope for your savings accounts so it doesn’t look like that savings money in your unallocated budget is available. I thought I was doing that using “goals”, but it seems maybe this isn’t the case? In short, all my savings accounts - I have like 4 - are in Goodbudget, but appear in my envelopes section under “Goals”.

I also don’t understand why I need to put in “previous balance” when I reconcile my accounts. Do I put in what is currently in Goodbudget as that savings account balance there? Btw I’m doing it this way just to get around having to track to the dollar things like all my different interest accruals in every account every month. I just prefer to update in Goodbudget every month what the account balance actually is, but this seems to be way more complicated than I’d hoped - I’m probably making it harder for myself than I need to be…

… and then once I reconcile it, there’s the amount cleared… If I click “clear”, it’s in the negative tens of thousands “cleared”. lol. What do I do.

Is there a way to allow all expenses to automatically clear? I’m realizing I have been clearing nothing, so this must be part of my problem.

So “previous balance” is the last reconciled balance and is necessary to be sure the account is still balanced. For example, since I reconcile by statement my previous is last month’s balance, and current is the amount in the statement to be reconciled. GoodBudget looks at all cleared transactions to be sure there’s reconciliation from that balance to the current one.
And you can certainly do one large transaction for all your interest and so forth, but it needs to be account specific so you can reconcile. Clearing is just the step before reconciling, so if you choose not to clear any transactions they will go straight to reconciled when you finish the process.