Varying expense

Every year I have expenses that vary. I’d like to be able to increase my grocery budget in Nov and Dec, for example. Anyone have any good ideas of how to do this?

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Personally, we have different fills for when our daughter is at home and for when she’s away at college. I just have them scheduled to drop at future dates and we alternate depending on where she is. Maybe that would work?

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Hey there - Tiffany’s approach is a good option! If you don’t schedule your fills, then you can manually adjust your budgeted amount when Nov starts. Then, you’ll just fill your Envelopes with that new amount afterward.

Hope that helps!

I would like an option to plan one month in advance and just sent in a suggestion to add this to the Edit Envelopes view (under Android, which I mostly use). It would be helpful since I don’t want to modify the current budget before the month’s up, and I know there will be changes.

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The way I do this is to plan my next budget month in Excel using tables that provide envelope totals, then just prior to filling my envelopes for the new month I make any adjustments to the envelope sizes first.

Over time the envelopes have mostly settled down to where I rarely actually change any. If I want to add an extra $200 to groceries to account for Thanksgiving, for example, I will just fill that envelope with the extra funds above the “regular” amount. I’ve still planned it all out in Excel, though, because I also budget based on projected income and the spreadsheet allows me to plan everything ahead of time.

That’s a good workaround if another tool needs to be used. I would like to not rely on using Excel plus Goodbudget, as I’ve made it a habit to make GB work for me in isolation of other tools, like keeping notes in my Evernote.

But if push comes to shove, I’ll have to consider it. So thanks! Helps to know how others budget.

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Yes, I wish GB was the one tool to rule them all, but it just isn’t. At least not the way I budget. I use Excel for planning and GB for tracking. The main advantage of tracking in GB is uploading QFX files from the bank to reconcile and correct the activity I’ve entered manually and to see the burndown during the month. The main advantage of planning in Excel is preparing for changes without messing up the current month. Excel also remembers all the plans, i.e. every month is a new worksheet in my budget workbook, where GB only really cares about the current plan. Neither one is sufficient for me by itself.

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I must admit, I actually do use a separate bill tracker to support what GB doesn’t do well, which is to identify varying bill expenses across the whole year and actually mark a bill as paid.

The Pending Transactions, when scheduled, only shows one month in advance and there’s no way to distinguish whether the recurring tx is accurate for the next month. (Sometimes my workaround for varying expenses is to schedule a $0.00 recurrent transaction and edit the future month when the time comes.). GB doesn’t help me look at just my bills over a 12 month period, which I feel I need.

I have put all of my bills in a “group” by naming the envelopes like: “Bills: Mortgage”, “Bills: Water”, “Bills: Electricity”, etc. By doing this, the web version of GB groups them together as a category in the interface and in the reports, making it easier to see total spent on “Bills” for the past year.

I also use “equalizer” payments when I can, e.g. Gas and Electric, so those stay unchanged for the better part of a year. The only bill left that varies month to month is the city (i.e. water, garbage, recycling) and it annoys me that it changes all the time, so I just set it to the average of the past 12 months and it’s good enough. I don’t bother with the recurring txns for anything that varies month to month, I just wait for the invoice and enter a one-time scheduled txn by hand.

Looks like you’ve gotten it down to an art! That’s why reading these forums are so good!

I mixed it up a bit differently than yours, with Food:, Home:, Utilities: Cell Phones:, Kids:, etc. Successful budgeting for this family of 5 is challenging but I’m so much better at it now!

I do love those equalizer payments, though…godsend! Don’t know how I could live without that!