#312 new

Display periodic usage in "budgets" tab

Reported by Gilles | March 12th, 2012 @ 03:11 PM

This is a feature request.

An issue with budgets in MoneyGuru is that the current interface makes it hard to follow whether the budgeted amounts are enough in practice. The "budgeted" column in "profit & loss" has only a limited use since:

  • If an account is over-budget, the budgeted value is always zero. Not only is information lacking, it also hides the fact that there is a problem (as discussed in #57 and #68).

  • In past periods, all budgets are assumed to be consumed, and displayed as zero. My understanding is that the budgeted value is a function of the remaining time in the period, so as to calculate available money in the period when the budget is over a longer time. I don't understand the exact function, but the effect seems to be that past period without remaining time always have a budget of zero, even if there was an underspend in that period.

Virgil has explained the issues linked to the "budgeted" column in "profit & loss", and I agree with him that it would result in incoherent totals if negative values were allowed.

However, I think that the right place to provide the information to track one's budgeting is in the "budgets" tab. In this tab, the period indicator is visible, but not used as far as I can tell. My idea would be as follows:

  • Rename the "amount" column into "repeat amount";
  • Add an "amount" column that is the budgeted amount over the currently selected period (i.e. if the repeat amount is 100$, the repeat is 1-monthly and the period is "Jan 2012 - Dec 2012", the amount is 1200$).
  • Add a "spent" column that is equal to the "current" value for the budgeted account in "profit & loss" over the same period.
  • Add an "available" column that is similar to the value of the "budgeted" column in "profit & loss", but can be negative. This provides the currently missing information to see if one is over- or under-budget in the selected period.
  • Add a "total budget" line at the end of table that sums each column. Amongst other, it will give an indication as to whether one is spending overall more or less than budgeted.

I hope that my explanation is clear, and that my request makes sense. In any case, I thank you a lot for all the good work you but into the application.

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