#57 new
Virgil Dupras

Visual budget threshold

Reported by Virgil Dupras | August 17th, 2009 @ 08:23 AM

From GS

Can I make a suggestion for viewing budgets - in the Account screen, to have a line indicating the current monthly budget, that way you can easily see at a glance which months you went over, and which were under. Maybe you could also use more colour on the bar charts - say green when under budget, orange when between 90% and 100% of budget, and red when gone over - again it makes it easy to see how you are keeping to your budget.

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • Virgil Dupras

    Virgil Dupras September 5th, 2009 @ 07:10 PM

    • Tag changed from suggestion to feature

    [not-tagged:"suggestion" tagged:"feature" bulk edit command]

  • Virgil Dupras

    Virgil Dupras July 23rd, 2010 @ 01:01 AM

    • Milestone order changed from “0” to “0”

    Also requested in this thread

    It's good to have MoneyG 2.0. It works really well. However, there are still things to work on in order to make it really useful. Apart from all the work that is going-on at the moment, let me suggest this one:

    In "Profit&Loss" there is lack of information (column) that would be very useful!

    What information (column)?

    Working with MoneyG, setting a Month view, going to "Profit&Loss" tab, I can see how much I have spent thus far in a month, I can also see how much is still left in a budget, but what I cannot see, is - if I continue to spent according to what's left in a budget, how much I will be In or Out of the Total Planned Budget. This is because when I overspend in some category (account) of my Expenses - information in the Budget column goes to 0.00 - which is right, but then I do not see how much I overspent! (In real life it happens that you spend more and still there is a need to spend even more!)

    So, in the end I have to manually see how much I overspent some of the categories (accounts), compare to what is still left in the budget (in other categories), then compare it to the total planned budget figures... all this by manual calculations... Can we help here simply by providing some extra information???

    E.G., giving (an optional) Column with the information from the Budgets (the Set_Amount_in_Budgets for particular account)? AND In the TOTAL EXPENSES row have a SUM of the figures in this Column? Then I can see exactly how much was planned, how much I have already spent, and how much is still planned to be spent, so I can change things accordingly.

    That should work nicely, I think, for a Month view, Year view, and so on... and would help very much "to constantly make informed decision" :-)

  • frog

    frog March 2nd, 2011 @ 02:10 AM

    Am I right in saying that the budget feature currently only shows non-zero values in the profit & loss sheet for date ranges that include the future? i.e. once a date has passed, there is no budget info for it (except by looking in the Budgets sheet and manually adding up budgeted items?)

    To me it'd be really useful to be able to see how well the expenses matched the budget in the past, so that if the budget is unrealistic it can be updated, and so that bad spending habits can be easily seen (which I think is along the lines of what the original feature request is saying?)

  • Virgil Dupras

    Virgil Dupras March 5th, 2011 @ 03:13 PM

    Yep, you're right. That's why this suggestion was made. Although I personally don't have much enthusiasm for such a feature, I can understand why it would be interesting to a lot of people. I'd have to think of a gracious way to implement it.

  • frog

    frog May 1st, 2012 @ 10:45 AM

    I wonder if this ticket (and others like it, e.g. #68, maybe #85) would benefit from two different, essentially independent "budget" systems?

    As you've pointed out elsewhere, the way budgets are currently implemented is "moneyGuru is counting X $ in its budget forecasting for the current period (as shown in the transaction table and graphs)". This is pretty common for businesses/organisations, where spending is often very explicitly planned and perhaps quite predictable.

    I think a lot of people's personal budgeting style is to allocate a maximum amount for a category (very helpful as a psychological barrier to prevent overspending), and just try to keep within limits. This may also be combined with "envelope" budgeting for some (if that's a feature you're interested in implementing), depending on how strict they are about it / how tight the budget really is. You might even enforce envelope budgeting (not sure if that'd get in the way of some use cases though).

    For lack of better names right now, I'll call them "expected budget" and "maximum budget", but other names based on business/planned/expected/known/envelope/limit/absolute/allowable/available may be more appropriate, or perhaps the word budget should only be used for one or the other, with an entirely new term introduced?

    Anyway, as you've said before, I think it'd be quite difficult to combine them into one "budget" value, because they're really quite different concepts. But I don't think they're mutually exclusive either, and can probably be used side-by-side, perhaps letting you ignore the one you don't use... That said, having them both might give you some interesting information, like being able to measure the difference between the expected & maximum for a category.

    e.g. a "fun" category (eating/drinking out, movies, etc) out could have an expected budget for my regular lunches, coffees, etc, but also a maximum budget to let me justify but limit spending on random things that come up — even if there's $200 left in the maximum budget, if there's $150 in the expected budget then I know I only have $50 to play with for "anything else". And if I don't spend it, then its either savings, or available for other envelopes (with perhaps a "savings envelope" allowing you to always use the envelope system which may or may not simplify the implementation?).

    If you miss an expected transaction, then as per the current implementation, the expected budget is reduced, but the arbitrary limitation i've put in place for the category + time period remains. If I miss my weekly $20 movie trip with Bob, that doesn't change the $200 on my maximum budget.

    Maximum budgets would not be shown on the future graph (unless you want to get fancy and draw extra lines, slightly shaded, to show upper/lower limits for future spending based on your max budgets), because they're arbitrary limits, there to try to limit expenditure rather than an accurate estimate of expenses. If you're actually planning on spending it, then it goes in expected budgets, which are included in the future graph.

    There'd be no changes to the way the existing budget calculations work. There'd be new type of budget entirely, the primary purpose being to let you calculate/visualise the difference between actual expenditure and some arbitrary maximum that is a helpful psychological barrier for managing ones personal finances... again, it'd simplify/allow the implementation of envelope budgeting, and some "default/savings" envelope might also let you track savings despite your envelope budget if you don't spend to the maximums.

    It's probably something you'd want to keep hidden as a business user, unless you actually give employees an envelope budget for misc expenses or something like that.

    Anyway, that's my thoughts on how it might work — hope its useful if you're still considering anything related to this type of budgeting.

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