New Style Budget

Kidglove57's Avatar


19 Nov, 2020 07:43 PM

@mhoggie has previously been very helpful regarding the merits of New Style v Mixed Interval Budgets. He has also commented that the New Style budgets become very slow as data accumulates within them. I totally appreciate his preference for "Mixed Interval".

However, since we are now approaching the start of a new calendar year ,I am trying to work out my options. I have tried both budgeting types in some depth and the "New Style" still suits my own budgeting philosophy better.

To avoid the New Style slow down issue, could I simply start afresh with a "2021 Budget" rather than rolling the old budget data forward? Or is it solely the weight of historic transactions that is slowing things down for long term users, rather than the length of the time period that the budget covers?

Very grateful for any insights!

  1. 1 Posted by mhoggie on 19 Nov, 2020 09:05 PM

    mhoggie's Avatar

    just a user,

    Thanks for the kind words. Here is some conversation with MD I had earlier in the year. I'm not aware they have fixed the issue with the "New Style" yet. Checked it again and it takes almost 30 seconds to open with my 10 years of transactions. It seems to be processing your entire database every time you click on the new budget Tab. I would stick with the method you are comfortable with. Just be aware about the slow startup once you have a few years of transactions. Hopefully, they'll do a fix on that some day, along with allowing you to set up a budget that will automatically extend to future months.

    Here is some of the discussion we had earlier in the year. I've not heard anymore status.

    I did some testing on a blank MD database and imported checking account transactions a year at a time from 2020 back to 2010. Each time I checked the access to the new style budget listing and started to notice a delay after a couple of years of checking transactions were imported. Each year contained roughly 1000 checking transactions and after a couple of years import, I noticed an additional second of delay to open up the new style budget per year I imported. What I mean by delay, is just clicking on the new style budget shown in the left panel and timing the delay before the budget listing was presented. After I imported 10 years of checking transactions the delay was up to 5 seconds. That is only with one checking account transactions, without other checking or savings transactions, credit card, etc that would normally be in my active database. So I do think they need a different strategy on loading the new style budgets, especially since the current MD policy is to keep all transaction in the active database with no archive feature. On my active database, I have over 23000 transactions, so it's easy to see how that would cause a 15 second delay to open the new style budget listings. They probably need to set some options to control the starting date range for the budgets to limit processing time. They can add that to the other features they have been considering to improve the budget features.
    Thanks, Mike

    From MD support, Maddy
    Thank you for sending your file, Mike!
    I’m sorry to keep you waiting, but I’d like to run your query past the development team who may be able to provide further information.

    Thank you for your patience! We'll keep you posted.

    Maddy, Infinite Kind Support

  2. 2 Posted by Kidglove57 on 19 Nov, 2020 10:55 PM

    Kidglove57's Avatar

    Thank you very much for your helpful response.
    1) I have only imported 12 months of data, so of course I am not seeing these delays as yet.
    2) Day to day I work off a saved (2020) “Budget Year to Date” report, so in fact I am not opening the underlying budget screen itself very often. But I can see that any delays in doing that would get annoying i.e. when making any major budget amendments.
    One question please. I do not find the knowledge base very helpful in clarifying this and would benefit from your real life experience. When I get to 31 December 2020 will my New Style budget
    A) come to a halt, so that I need to create a new budget version for 2021 (which I think is what you are saying above?).
    B) Will the months Jan to Dec 2021 simply become available complete within the existing Budget?
    Thank you again for your active participation in this community.

  3. 3 Posted by mhoggie on 20 Nov, 2020 12:49 AM

    mhoggie's Avatar

    just a user,

    One of the issues with the "new style" budget is that you have to copy the balance each month from the prior month. There isn't a feature to set a budget for anything beyond a month without selecting each month and coping it to a new month. The "old style" budget allows you to set a budget for any period of time so your budget just continues unless you change the budgeted amount or the time period. If you run a "budget" report on the "new style" budget, it will only show the months where you have set the budget. The "old style" works best because once you set a budget, it can continue on indefinitely if you don't set an end date.

  4. 4 Posted by Kidglove57 on 20 Nov, 2020 07:52 AM

    Kidglove57's Avatar

    Thank you very much. Copying the budget forward has not, thankfully, been too much problem for me. I simply populate the full 12 budget months at the beginning of the calendar year (yes it takes that little bit longer!) and then only amend individual entries as strictly necessary).

    What had been puzzling me in the New Style budget was how to pre- complete any months beyond Dec 2020. However, I have rather belatedly just realised that clicking the arrow in the blue bar at the top of the budget will advance it into next year. I can see now just how many lines would build up over the years in the datasheet that underlies this and why that might really slow things down.

    I feel very silly now - how strange that the simplest things can be the ones to trip me up. Anyhow, this discussion with you has made me dig deeper, so I am grateful to you.

    Thinking aloud - I am wondering whether the following might help:
    1) Save the completed, full year, 2020 Budget report to pdf to store in my general financial records.
    2) Delete my 2020 budget from Moneydance
    3) Start a brand new budget for 2021
    4) And so on, year by year, thus reducing the budget data stored and hopefully preventing the slowdowns that you have mentioned. Maybe not, given the experience that you reported to Maddy?

  5. 5 Posted by mhoggie on 20 Nov, 2020 09:44 AM

    mhoggie's Avatar

    just a user,

    As far as I was able to determine, it's not how many records you have in your budget that causes the delay when opening the "new style" budget, but simply how many total transactions you have in your MD database. I know that doesn't make any sense because why would the size of your database affect the "new style" budget feature. But it does. It appears like MD is looking through your entire database when you open the "new style" budget so it can show you a list of all categories and any related transactions. I think that would be fine if they provided an option to engage that process once you have the budget open, but it does it every time you open the budget without any indication of what is going on other than a growing delay time which at some point you think your application has frozen. So deleting your old budget will not help with the delay issue. I also suggested to MD that they provide a feature where you could set the budget to only open with your active budgeted items instead of opening up all categories each time. That might fix also fix the delay issue. But to date they have not changed anything. Even the MD developer has commented that he prefers the "old style" budget, so I guess someone else was writing that part.

  6. 6 Posted by Kidglove57 on 20 Nov, 2020 10:08 AM

    Kidglove57's Avatar

    Your reply was timely as I had, for an experiment, just this very moment:
     (1) duplicated my 2020 Budget and in the screen that appears
    (2) renamed it 2021 and then
    (3) deleted all the 2020 months entries from it.
    I had hoped this might cure the slow down problem by having the budget only look for 2021 transactions!

  7. 7 Posted by Kidglove57 on 30 Nov, 2020 09:43 AM

    Kidglove57's Avatar

    @mhoggie. Hope you will not mind me coming back on this again? I had some spare time, so I recreated my 2021 Budget on your preferred "old" multi interval basis. I can certainly see the merit in it!
    As per our discussion earlier in the year, I remain concerned as to just how many budget lines may accumulate per category over time (as budget figures change/one-off amounts are added).
    A thought. Would it work to simply use the "duplicate budget" tool each new year? The new year's budget would then be named accordingly (say Budget 2021) and cleaned up so that the budgeted numbers apply just to that year. The previous year's budget would of course be saved, together with any relevant reports relating to them., in case of need.
    I would be very interested as to whether you see any downsides to that approach.

  8. 8 Posted by mhoggie on 30 Nov, 2020 06:30 PM

    mhoggie's Avatar

    just a user,

    Yeah, I can see the benefit of having an option to copy a previous budget depending on how you use your budget. What I do on generic budget lines is just change the amount as need and just let everything roll over to the new year as is. But I do add additional budget items for those fixed amounts like insurance and social security payments that change during the year. Those mostly change in the new year but some change midyear. I just add another entry with the new amount with the new start date and edit the existing one with stop date. I leave all the entries in place for at least a year and just delete them when I don't have any need to run a budget report to include those dates. There is so much MD could do to enhance the budget feature, but I haven't seen any interest to do so for the past few years. So I don't think anyone with MD uses that feature or they would instantly understand some of the issues we complain about. But I still like the MD product and haven't found another product that gives me the features MD does. Occasionally I look at other products, but I find them lacking. So I am happy with the MD workarounds that I use to make MD work for me. I think MD's weakest feature is investments, but I use that feature minimally so its not an issue for me.

  9. 9 Posted by Kidglove57 on 30 Nov, 2020 07:43 PM

    Kidglove57's Avatar

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I can appreciate it does not necessarily meet your use personal case.
    What I had in mind for my situation was to:
    1) Go to Tools menu
    2) Select Budget Manager
    3) Select (say) "Budget 2020"
    4) Click "Duplicate Budget"
    5) Rename the duplicated budget from "Copy of Budget 2020)"to "Budget 2021"
    6) Go through each budget line in Budget 2021, deleting any redundant lines and altering the others so as to start 1st Jan 2021.
    7) This way the Budget reports based on "Budget 2020" stay valid and new reports can be created based on "Budget 2021"
    Anyway, that's my thinking!

  10. 10 Posted by mhoggie on 30 Nov, 2020 08:13 PM

    mhoggie's Avatar

    just a user,

    Yeah, I see how that can work. Just remember when you use the Budget report you can only specify one budget. So if you want to run the budget report for the last 12 months next Mar, you won't be able to include the prior month info. So I think just keeping one budget is the best.

  11. 11 Posted by Kidglove57 on 30 Nov, 2020 09:00 PM

    Kidglove57's Avatar

    Yeah - great point.!
    I think it will work for me as I exclusively use calendar years for budgeting. But agreed - if I needed to run a 12 month budget report mid-year this would not work!

    I run separate tax category reports for UK tax reporting (6th April to 5th April).

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