Starting a New Budget Period

Newer user to GoodBudget and want to love it but I think I’m missing something. We set up our envelopes and accounts, filled envelopes and entered transactions for the past month. All is great. It’s a new budget period or “month” and we’re ready to do our budgeting…now what? (We get paid every 2 weeks, so that’s the period we set up.)

For example, let’s say in the first half of August I budgeted $200 for food; everything went great, but now it’s the second half of August, and I know I’m going to Costco for a once a month stock up so I’ll need $300. My envelope is still set for $200 every two weeks, so when I do an envelope fill it adds $200, even though I want $300. If I edit my envelopes, it says “next period starts Thursday 8/11” - which just confuses me entirely because we would already have entered a new pay period since then. (I think maybe that was when we initially set up the budget??) I’m a little scared to change it since every button I push seems to make a bigger mess and I’m worried I just have to delete everything and start from scratch.

I’m fairly sure that I’m making this harder than I need to, but something isn’t clicking for me. Any help is greatly appreciated!

You have a few options that I think could work here, but the easiest seems to be to continue to use scheduled Fills for the two biweekly budget periods, but add money from another envelope or Unallocated to cover your Costco trip. You can transfer money between envelopes or out of Unallocated pretty easily, and for one-off things that’s usually best. If you often do a big shopping trip at the end of the month, you could set up a separate Fill for the 20th (or whatever) that only adds that $100 to the existing total in the envelope. That would make your monthly budget $500, but with two scheduled $200 “payday” fills plus a third $100 “Costco” fill.
You can have many Fills and they can all be different, so you could have a separate one for each paycheck.
Would that work?

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Don’t edit your envelopes unless you actually want to change the quantity or sizes of your envelopes. If you change your Food envelope to $300 this cycle then you’ll have to change it back to $200 the next cycle. You want to keep an envelope at the “normal” amount and just add extra to it when there are exceptional periods.

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Welcome to Goodbudget! I think Tiffany and kschedler said most of what I would have, so I’ll just clarify one thing.

That is weird! You should see a future date, rather than an old one here. Feel free to send us an email to so we can take a look with you.

Thank you so much @Tiffany and @kschedler; I will tinker with this info and I think maybe it will make better sense with your suggestions.

@karisa: Yes, it confuses me a lot, although in the grand scheme of things it’s likely not that important. But I don’t need any more confusion than necessary. :upside_down_face: I took a screen shot and will send an email to support so maybe I can get that resolved as well.

Thank you again all!