Unallocated Funds

Is there a way to eliminate certain accounts (such as savings) from the unallocated amount balance? Wouldn’t it be nice if in the accounts section if there was a simple checkbox that gave us the option to “do not include in unallocated funds” rather than having to find a work around?

Unfortunately that’s not an option today, although it’s been requested. I recommend you send an email to the admins to add your name to the list—the more people who request a feature, the more likely it is to be implemented.
In the meanwhile, I just have an envelope for the accounts I don’t want to include. I have one for each big savings account, and one that aggregates the balances of my small accounts, like this:

When I reconcile I just make sure the balances are aligned. It’s not perfect but it works. I’d still like to see that toggle though.

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I don’t believe they will ever implement this because doing so breaks the underlying accounting equation that must always be true in any ledger system: assets = liabilities + equity.

Assets in GB are your accounts. Liabilities are your envelopes (i.e. money owed/allocated for a specific purpose). Equity is your unallocated balance (i.e. money that belongs to you and not to some other purpose).

The total of your Accounts must always equal the total of your Envelopes and Unallocated. This is why GB automatically calculates Unallocated for you as Sum(Accounts) - Sum(Envelopes). The accounting equation is guaranteed to be true.

There are only two valid ways to exclude an account from the Unallocated balance. A) do not track that account in GB at all, and 2) allocate all its funds directly to a Goal envelope as Tiffany has done. Anything else throws the equation out of balance and chaos will ensue.

I thought of a way they could implement this that would keep the accounting equation valid.

If they created a second “virtual” envelope named something like ‘Off-budget’. Then give each account an On/Off-budget switch. Finally, automatically set the Off-budget envelope balance to the sum of accounts flagged as off-budget.

Relatively simple up front, but it adds a little complexity to transfers between on-budget and off-budget accounts. For example, moving money from an off-budget savings account to an on-budget checking account means GB would also have to move money from Off-budget virtual envelope to Unallocated virtual envelope. One transaction with two debits and two credits. It could also allow you to specify one or more envelopes to/from which money can be transferred.

Relatively simple from a data model POV, and valid from accounting POV. I cannot comment on the difficulty of implementation in their existing codebase.