Negative budgeting amounts

AxleRod's Avatar


04 Jan, 2017 04:55 AM


As the year just finished, I'm trying to adjust my budget from 2016 so that no expense category ends the year with a negative difference (meaning, I spent more than I budgeted for that area). I don't want to enter an adjustment as a transaction since that would misrepresent the amount I actually spent. When I entered a negative amount in the budget, the software appears to compute the absolute value, which is making the discrepancy worse.

For instance, let's say that car repairs this year exceeded the budgeted amount by $550, but I underspent in the groceries, entertainment, and restaurant category by $100, $200, and $300 respectively. If the monthly budget for each of those items is greater than the year's total difference (meaning, I underspent in entertainment by $200 but the amount budgeted in December is $230), I can subtract from December's budget and add it elsewhere without problem (meaning, I reduce December's entertainment budget from $230 to $30 and add the $200 to car repairs line in December).

However, if the amount that I want to "transfer" from one budget item to another exceeds the monthly expenditure, the budget includes this as a positive value, leading to more money being allocated than if I had just put $0 for the month (meaning, I want to transfer the $300 from the restaurant surplus, but the monthly allocation is only $140. When I remove the $140 for this month and try to remove another $160 by putting a "-$160" in the budget, it appears think the month's budget is +$160 instead of -$160.)

This can be done by adjusting several months' budgeted amounts, but I'd rather solve this once than go through the rigamarole every year.

  1. 1 Posted by Kidglove57 on 20 Mar, 2017 12:37 PM

    Kidglove57's Avatar

    @AxleRod Just wondering if you received a response from Moneydance support to this?
    As a new user I have exactly the same issue and I really cannot work out the logic - or simple workaround - for it.

  2. 2 Posted by Alex Roddy on 20 Mar, 2017 04:38 PM

    Alex Roddy's Avatar

    I haven't heard anything from them in the 2+ months except for the generic,
    auto-generated "thank you for your submission" email.

  3. 3 Posted by Kidglove57 on 23 Mar, 2017 10:46 AM

    Kidglove57's Avatar

    At the moment I cover this sort of scenario by keeping a general contingency fund in my budget and (in the above specific scenario) covering any overspend in other categories from there.
    I guess it keeps me honest about what I really need to allocate to specific expense categories in the future!

  4. 4 Posted by Kidglove57 on 24 Mar, 2017 07:56 AM

    Kidglove57's Avatar

    Sorry Alex - of course what I said above produces exactly the error that you were complaining about!

  5. 5 Posted by Neil Buchanan on 01 Apr, 2017 01:36 PM

    Neil Buchanan's Avatar

    I've just come across this problem too. It is disappointing if the software treats negative expense budgets this way - they are occasionally necessary for me.

    Infinite Kind - a response would be gratefully received.

  6. 6 Posted by avp2 on 10 May, 2017 09:54 PM

    avp2's Avatar

    This also happens for budget bar totals - negative budgeted amounts cause expense categories with negative totals to show as positive values. This is pretty annoying if the negative amount is in a child category (of another category), e.g. a "contra" type expense category where the total, and budget, amounts would normally be negative.

    As a work-around to make parent totals show right, I make the budgeted amount for normally negative total child accounts positive - usually 1$. Of course, the child category's budget then is bogus, but usually such categories are not important to budget bar by themselves.

    BTW, this bug has been around since at least 2011.

  7. System closed this discussion on 09 Aug, 2017 10:00 PM.

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