Zero Out Unallocated Funds

Any idea how I can get rid of a negative unallocated balance? I’ve been really bad and haven’t used good budget in over a year but am trying to update everything to get back into it. I didn’t want to try and catch up on all my transactions over that long of a time (plus I had gotten my numbers off before I stopped anyway) so I basically moved things around and updated all my accounts and envelopes to reflect my current state of things. Now I have a negative unallocated balance though and I can’t figure out how to get rid of it without messing up other envelopes or my accounts. Obviously, I create an envelope that I just stick it in and not worry about it but that would drive me crazy. Any ideas?

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Welcome!! A negative Unallocated balance means you’ve put more money into envelopes than you have to spend. The only way to “fix” this, assuming your Account balances are accurate, is to put less into each envelope. Remember, Envelopes and Accounts represent the same money, just shown in different ways.
Do you fill all your envelopes at the beginning of the month, with the knowledge that you’ll be paid again? If so, try filling with less money but more often (like half now and half when you get another paycheck) to make sure your Unallocated stays above zero. If you were to spend the money in your envelopes and not have any additional income, a negative Unallocated means you’d be overdrawn.
Hope that helps!

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Hi Tiffany –

Had the same problem. Here’s how I fixed it. Go to upper left of your homepage and click on the plus sign for new transactions. Then enter new income for the amount that is negative in unallocated. Voila. You’ll see your unallocated is now zero. Let me know this doesn’t work for you. I do this every year on 12/31, and it tells me how much I overspent for that year.

Doesn’t that then also subtract those funds from the account you pick to fill?

Hi. Do you mean account or envelope?

TerpZone—you’re on the right track. This would register income/credit to an account, making your bank account balance go up showing money you don’t actually have. Since you’ve updated your accounts, I wouldn’t use this method because your balances will be artificially inflated and you could overdraw.

I agree completely with Tiffany.

dealing with the exact same issue right now and the stuff they’re saying doesn’t help me because like you I have all these old expenses and I know I have enough money in reality (more than -$1000!) rather than what my unallocated says, so I just created an extra envelope titled “the zero-out envelope” that I’ll just use hopefully this one time to get all this back on track and from now on just keep better track of all my expenses and envelope fills. Thanks for the idea!

Why don’t you just do a balance adjustment on your accounts so they’re all up to date, and then your Unallocated will be accurate (assuming your transactions have been entered)? And if you have transactions you haven’t entered, just download a file from your bank (I personally like QFX for the simplicity) and it’ll be easy to import them.