Managing multiple lines in a Mixed Interval Budget

Kidglove57's Avatar

Kidglove57

15 Jul, 2020 07:45 AM

As time goes by I get more and more category budget lines added. For example, as monthly bills increase from time to time or as one off bills are due.
This makes my Mixed Interval Budget screen look very "busy" and I can imagine that over a number of years the setup screen might become unmanageable.
How should I deal with this, please? When I move into the 2021 year should I just remove any redundant budgets lines that applied only to 2020 and do not repeat?
Thank you for your help! Setting up a full budget in Moneydance is so time-consuming (and poorly documented) - or maybe I am just too fussy!

  1. 1 Posted by mhoggie on 15 Jul, 2020 12:56 PM

    mhoggie's Avatar

    just a user,

    I just set an end date for any budget items that are short term. That automatically turns them off and you can keep them in your list unless you want to set a new start date.

  2. 2 Posted by Kidglove57 on 15 Jul, 2020 04:53 PM

    Kidglove57's Avatar

    Thank you mhoggie! This is really helpful.

    So to give a scenario - a bill increases by inflation every 1 January. I create a new line for the new increased amount and "turn off' the old budget line by setting an end date of 31 December.

    After 10 years I therefore now have 10 separate budget lines relating to the same bill category (9 of them closed). Would you go back and delete any of these to tidy up what will otherwise become a very busy budget screen?

    Thanks!

  3. 3 Posted by mhoggie on 15 Jul, 2020 06:40 PM

    mhoggie's Avatar

    just a user,

    Yes, I delete them once I notice they have expired. I use that method when I'm notified of future insurance premium changes. I just create a new budget item for the new amount for the 1st day it's paid and set the end date for the previous one to expire.
    I just set the budget bar at the top of the MD home page for the last 30 days, and watch the expense and income amounts as they progress. If I see something questionable in the popout totals, I go take a look and see what changed. Usually its an extra expense I incurred that month that I wasn't thinking about. That's what budgeting is about mostly, just being aware of your expense/income balances and adjusting as needed

  4. 4 Posted by Kidglove57 on 15 Jul, 2020 08:12 PM

    Kidglove57's Avatar

    Absolutely! Thank you.
    I was just concerned in case - by deleting outdated budget lines - I might upset reporting or other Moneydance "internals".
    Thanks for being such a help on these forums.

  5. Kidglove57 closed this discussion on 15 Jul, 2020 08:16 PM.

  6. mhoggie re-opened this discussion on 15 Jul, 2020 09:11 PM

  7. 5 Posted by mhoggie on 15 Jul, 2020 09:11 PM

    mhoggie's Avatar

    You might want to keep the old expired budget items if you are running a report for a past period. I'm guessing MD looks at the budget items for the period run, but don't know for sure. I'm just watching budget issues not more than a month or two in the past.

  8. 6 Posted by Kidglove57 on 15 Jul, 2020 09:38 PM

    Kidglove57's Avatar

    Makes sense - personally I work on a full calendar year budget. I rely on:
    1) A years projected report to be sure I am budgeting to live within income
    and
    2) A monthly “year to date” report to make sure I am staying in line with that
    So I would not delete any 2020 budget lines until I was well into 2021

  9. 7 Posted by mhoggie on 15 Jul, 2020 09:57 PM

    mhoggie's Avatar

    just a user,
    I did some testing and the older expired budget items will still show up on a budget report during the period they were in effect as long as you leave them in your budget. Otherwise zero budget will show for those months. So you want to keep the old expired budget entries in your budget listing until at some point you no longer need them for reporting. For me it makes little difference since I'm reviewing monthly, but yes, if you are running budget reports for "year to date" you still need the entries so the report will reflect them. This is good to know it works that way.

  10. 8 Posted by Kidglove57 on 16 Jul, 2020 07:55 AM

    Kidglove57's Avatar

    Thanks for doing the testing! That's very reassuring - and thinking logically, it's what would be expected. So I think I'll just have a clear out every once I am well into the following calendar year (since I monitor against both monthly and yearly measures).

    Another thing I changed as a result of this discussion with you was to match the budget start date to the actual date the bill goes out - rather than just making each one of them 1st of the month (not prorata). It certainly makes it a lot more accurate when viewing the budget bar in last 30 days mode.

    Indeed I had not appreciated the usefulness of budget bar or the popout until you mentioned it).

    By the way many thanks also to you for your regular reminders in these forums to consider Mixed Interval rather than New Style budgeting.

    Once all set up, Mixed Interval is certainly better. It's just more of a fag to create initially which had put me off (also I had assumed "new style" meant "better"!).

    In the setup process though I hate the way that only one category can be added to the budget at a time and the way the lines jump around the list as I change the category type and even before I have committed the change. Very clumsy UI.

  11. 9 Posted by mhoggie on 16 Jul, 2020 11:37 AM

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    just a user,

    Yeah, I kept struggling with the "new style" until I realized that it had too many issues to overcome. The biggest one being the abnormal delay in opening once you had more than a few years of transactions in your data file. The old style may be a little clunky to set up, but at least you have control of your budget and it opens up quickly. There still is the problem with budgeting loan payments and account to account activity, but I'm now comfortable with my work arounds for that problem. I really hope that some day someone with IK will take interest and time to polish up the MD budgeting feature. It wouldn't take much and it would be a needed asset for their software as they are currently losing the battle with Direct Connect.

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