How Total Income/Adjustment is Calculated for Set to Budgeted and Set to Specific

Set to Budgeted (formerly known as Resets) and Set to Specific amounts are somewhat strange creatures. With our most recent release, we are slightly changing how these work based on your feedback.

The Problem

Many of you indicated that you occasionally forgot to reset your envelopes at the beginning of the month (or other budgeting period). This meant that you were spending along for awhile, recording transactions and then realized that you needed to run a reset.

If you were using the Refill or Add Specific Amount rule, this was not a problem. You added money following this rule and everything was just as you would expect.

How It Used to Work

However, the way Set to Budgeted and Set to Specific amount used to work, we would set the envelope amount to your budgeted amount (or set it to the specific amount) by adding in the difference between what was currently in your envelope and what your budgeted amount was.

BUT, this meant that if you had spent money since the beginning of your budgeting period, this amount wasn’t reflected in your balance.

How It Works Now

We’re changing that so that now when you use Set to Budgeted and Set to Specific Amount, EEBA goes back and figures out the total of all transactions logged in EEBA since beginning of day on the date that you are resetting/setting the amount. It then automatically adds in the appropriate amount so that as of the beginning of day, your Envelope will have the amount you specified in the Set to Budgeted or Set to Specific.

An Example will clear everything up… (right?)

  • Your groceries budget is $600 a month and your budgeting period is monthly
  • On 10/1, you carried over $100 from the previous month. Normally you would have reset your envelope on 10/1 by adding $500 into it. But you forgot.
  • On 10/1, you spend $20. On 10/5 you spend $30. Your ending envelope balance is now $50 (= $100 – $20 – $30)
  • On 10/6 you realize that you forgot to set your Groceries budget to budgeted amount at the beginning of the month.
  • So you create a backdated Income transaction, dated 10/1 which resets the Groceries budget.
  • EEBA calculates that to get to $600 on 10/1, you need to fill your Groceries envelope with $500. EEBA does this by taking your current balance of $50, adding back in the $50 that you spent in the interim and subtracting that amount from your $600 budget

So your total amount added for the Groceries envelope is $500, and your current balance in Groceries as of 10/6 is now $600 – 50 = $550. This is exactly what you would have wanted by starting off with $600 on 10/1.

Some More Notes (Advanced)

In the case where there are no transactions on or after the date of your Income/Adjustment, everything works exactly as it used to. An amount will be added/subtracted from each envelope such that the final amount in the envelope is exactly what you set as “set to specific amount” (or the reset amount).

In the case where you go and backdate the transaction, however, EEBA will try to calculate so that as of the beginning of that day, the envelope had that balance in it. As explained above, this is meant to help people who are using Set to Budgeted but sometimes forget to do the reset the day of—and want to do the reset (or set specific) later on, but backdate, and still have the right amount in the envelope as of the first day of the month taking into account what has been spent in the month so far.

Another tricky thing is that if you do two “set specifics” (or set to budgeted) on the same day affecting the same envelope, because EEBA calculates it back to the beginning of the day, it will ignore that first set specific and add the same amount in with the second transaction.

Because Set to Budgeted and Set to Specific should still work exactly the same if there are no transactions on or after the date of your Income entry, if you enter the transaction today and don’t backdate (and if you don’t also put in future transactions) it will still calculate the same way as it used to.

Comments, Questions?

We’d love to hear your thoughts about this. Leave a note below or email [support at eebacanhelp.com]!

4 Comments

  1. I would love it if you guys could make it possible to sweep all overages into a specific envelope with a refill. For example, if I had a budget for gas, groceries, and credit card, and at the end of the pay period I had a little left in the gas and grocery envelopes, I could refill all of the envelopes to their starting points and the amount that was previously left in the envelopes would be swept into the credit card envelope. Could you possibly do something like this?

  2. Hi Brian,

    There is in fact a Sweep option. Select the “Specify…” option when adding money to your envelopes, specify the actions you want to use and then pick a Sweep envelope. You can Remember the refill and apply it again in the future. Hope this helps!

  3. I think the sweep only works if you are receiving income or are bringing in extra money from your unallocated funds; you can’t currently sweep extra/remaining funds in your existing envelopes in that case you need to do an envelope to envelope transfer.

    So I would too concur with Brian, there is no option to sweep from one envelope to another at the end of the month even automatically (though it can already be done by doing a simple envelope to envelope transaction).

    The other option is for some people they might want to have their remaining extra funds returned to the un-allocated funds for reallocation at a later time possibly, that is not yet possible either.

  4. Hi Shannon, we are working on functionality that would allow you to schedule an envelope transfer as well as schedule Incomes. I believe, if ‘m understanding you correctly, that this would solve your first issue. But I don’t have a timeline for it yet.

    Regarding un-distributing funds, you should be able to do a “negative” distribution. If you specify the amount as negative when you’re distributing from Unallocated, that will put money back into unallocated.