Budget transfers

Donna's Avatar


23 Feb, 2020 06:01 PM

Budgets are made to determine how much income you expect to receive, what expenses you expect to have, and how much money will be left at the end. While I would also love to see budget transfers as an option, I don’t think this is a true accounting function. I have come up with a workable alternative to including budget transfers in your budget.
Say for example that you make a monthly payment for a prepaid funeral on your credit card and you have set up a funeral account which tracks how much is outstanding. If you record the expense as a transfer, it will increase your credit card balance and reduce your funeral account balance, but it will not appear on your budget. It will appear on your income & expense report as a transfer out, but it won’t show where the payment came from.

I want to show my funeral payment as an expense in my budget, while still decreasing the funeral account balance. I have categories called “mc:fixed:funeral” and “working” as well as my funeral account 88888 – funeral. My budget shows an expense under category “mc:fixed:funeral”. When recording the expense, I use the split function to show the expense on my credit card and then make an adjusting entry to record the transfer – see attached screenshots.

Unfortunately, “working” will appear as a credit at the bottom of your budget and all three splits will appear on your income & expense statement. If Moneydance makes the budget changes I have suggested, there will also be a workaround for this.

  1. 1 Posted by mhoggie on 24 Feb, 2020 03:10 AM

    mhoggie's Avatar

    just a user,

    That's the sort of work around I also use record payments to credit cards or transfers to other accounts. I just create an extra category which the budget can use and then use a null category to offset the double payment. Works great. That type of work around works great everything but mortgages and loans where you have them set up in MD. To get around that issue, I just set up an automatic transaction to transfer funds to a holding account where I can add a split to capture the budget activity, then I make the mortgage or loan payment from the holding account. Works good. Speaking of budgeting, I've never seen any budgeting program that doesn't allow you to budget loan payments. MD is the only one I find that prevents you to budget a car payment or mortgage payment if you have them built in MD. If you don't build the loan in MD, then no problem to budget. So I think that's something they do need to address.

  2. 2 Posted by Donna on 27 Feb, 2020 02:02 PM

    Donna's Avatar

    The whole budget system needs work! I basically use the same workaround for loan payments as I do for credit cards or transfers to other accounts. I set up a loan payment as an expense, then manually enter the split shown in my bank account, and a reverse entry for the whole amount to offset the double entry. Either way, we arrive at the same result. One thing I do like about the loan account is that it shows at a glance how much is outstanding in principal, interest, and number of payments.

    Thanks for commenting.

  3. 3 Posted by dwg on 27 Feb, 2020 07:53 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm fellow user.

    I understand the desire for many people to have cash flow budgeting I just don't quite know how you would deal with revolving lines of credit like Credit Cards. The problem I see there is that you can be carrying debt in those accounts as well as current expenditure, so it is quite conceivable that a transfer you make could represent clearing current period expenditure (which you do not want budgeted as it is counted in the current budget against individual expenses) plus a portion of paying down long term debt (which you would like to budget for).

    If you think requests for Budget improvements goes back a long way look at the requests for Investment improvements.


  4. 4 Posted by mhoggie on 27 Feb, 2020 08:52 PM

    mhoggie's Avatar

    just a user,

    Yes, the investment issues are numerous. I have my setup halfway working so I just leave it alone. You can get your head spinning wildly trying to deal with all the investment details. Lots of issues.

    The budget application issues should be fairly simple. You just want options to set it up to track any way that helps you understand where your money is going and how it compares with related income. As a retiree, I use it to follow money flow changes that might cause me a problem down the road. I'm don't need to carry balances on my credit cards anymore, but I use them like cash for various reasons and budget the activity. In my case, I don't need to budget the specific item that is charged on a specific card, but how much each card is used. When I was younger, it would be more important to follow the actual expense types because I did carry balances from time to time. I guess the biggest budget issue to me with MD is the inability to easily track transfers and loan payments. There is no budgeting tool I have every looked at that doesn't allow you to track your mortgage payments or car loan payments. Those are basic budget items that any personal budgeting tool should account for. The loan is set and the payments are the same each month. You just want to be able have your budget subtract those payments from your expected income for the period involved. You don't need to track the changing principle and interest each month, just the total payment. MD doesn't allow that. Of course, if you want to budget those payments, just don't build the loan in MD. But then you loose the details of the loan. So it makes no sense why that isn't a part of MD. A few years ago, you could budget the total loan payment, but a change was made and that all went away. And lots of issues with the new style budget. I have the MD budgeting application working well for me with a couple of work around methods to account for loan payments, but it would be sweet if they could address some of the basic issues. I hate to see new users posting questions about the budgeting application that could be fixed so easily.

  5. 5 Posted by dwg on 27 Feb, 2020 09:09 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    Yes I agree that fixed loan payments should be pretty straightforward to allow for in budgeting, and regular savings I would think would flow from that as well. I think it does come down to how to deal with transfers to Credit cards and the like that is the sticking point, you need to avoid double counting on one hand and allow for debt repayment on the other. I would think the starting point might be to see how other programs address this sort of issue in order to gain an insight.

    For Investments I have found I have to keep data in Moneydance and also data in a related spreadsheet in order to keep all the needed information.

  6. System closed this discussion on 28 May, 2020 09:10 PM.

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