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Help > Budgets
Budgets let you control your expenses and plan your savings. You can set weekly, monthly and yearly limits on specific expense categories, and receive alerts whenever you exceed those limits.
How do Envelope Budgets and Rollover work?
Rollover simply means carrying over any money available in your budget to the next period. Enabling Rollover for a budget allows you to budget money you have today to a category, but spend it a later date.
Let's say you have a budgeted $100 for a category this month but spent only $75. Then $25 rolls over and your available amount for the next month would be increased by $25. Similarly, if you spend $120, then the next month leaves you with $20 less available.
Envelope Budgeting
Envelope budgeting is a popular style of budgeting that lets you allocate your available money into different categories (virtual envelopes). Money is allocated (or budgeted) into separate categories as and when it's received. Any amount leftover in the envelope simply carries over (or rolls over) to the next period. At any time, you can see the "Available" amount of money in a budget to know how much money you can spend for that category.
Rollover / Envelope budgets are great for categories that you want to save for over a period of time, or categories with uneven or sporadic spending.
  • Travel is typically a sporadic expenditure. You can budget a fixed amount (say $200) every month and simply check the available amount to see how much you have saved up at any time you plan to take a trip.
  • Utility bills are a variable expenditure. You can budget a fixed amount every month and allow any surplus/deficit to rollover.
  • If you want to keep money aside to make a big purchase later (say buy the latest iPhone worth $1000), you can start budgeting a small amount (say $20) every month. That way you won't allocate it to any other expense. At any time, you can check the available amount in the category to see if you have saved enough to make the purchase.
What does "To Be Budgeted" mean and how is it calculated?
To Be Budgeted (TBB) is the amount of money you still have available to allocate to your budgets.
TBB = Money Available - Money Allocated
We support several ways to determine how much money is available to be allocated to your budgets:
  • Account balances =
    Account balance at start of period
    + Income earned during current period
    + Transfers during current period
  • Income earned in current period
  • Income earned in previous period
Different allocation methods work better for different situations. Typically, if your primary goal is to spend less than you earn, you should pick one of the Income based allocation methods. If you follow Envelope or Zero-Based budgeting, you should allocate based your account balances.
Why are some of my transactions not being tallied in the related budget category?
Budgets only include transactions of the following types:
  • Expense
  • Refund
  • Paid for friend
  • Shared bill
Other transactions are not counted towards your spending, in Budgets as well as Insights.
Can I exclude certain transactions/accounts/tags from my Insights and Budgets?
Buxfer does not support excluding transactions or accounts from Insights/Budgets. Excluding data can sometimes cause confusion and not lead you to see a complete view of your finances.
If you wish that a certain transaction not be counted as an expense, please edit it and change it's type to a "Transfer". Transfers only affect your Net Worth, and are not counted as expenses for Insights and Budgets.
Why are transfers (e.g. ATM withdrawals, credit card payments, mortgage payments) not included in my Insights and Budgets?
In strict accounting terms, transfers are not expenses, but a simple movement of assets from one account to another. The same applies to ATM withdrawals, credit card payments or mortgage payments. For example, when you take a mortgage, you receive an equivalent asset of the real estate property. The subsequent mortgage payments are simply a movement of assets: you pay cash, and get home equity in return.
By default, Buxfer will identify transfer-like transactions and exclude them from your Insights and Budgets. In most cases, this is the desirable behavior. But we do let you manage things differently if that's what you would like.
To have a transfer affect your Insights or Budgets, please follow these steps:
  1. In the destination account of the transfer, edit the transaction to be a 1-way transfer i.e., a transfer from "No account" to the destination account.
  2. In the source account of the transfer, add an equivaelnt transaction of "Expense" (or edit the type to "Expense" if such a transaction already exists). You can then tag this transaction and it will show up in your Insights and Budgets.
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