Categories Totalling Subcategories

Jesse Geiger's Avatar

Jesse Geiger

24 Sep, 2015 10:09 PM

Hello, I'm new to MoneyDance
I'm wondering if this is something that I'm missing or if it's something not included in the most recent Money Dance build for Windows but it seems that my subcategories are not totaling into their parent categories for my budget. Example, I have a $100 Shopping Budget but if I enter $20 in Shopping:Music then that cost is not counted against my parent category budget. Is there something I need to turn on for this? I'm surprised if this isn't included.

Separately, it seems that the Mac build may have a bit more functionality like working status bars for amount spent against a budget. Is that true? I'm basing this statement off of the marketing screenshots vs what is happening on my version.

Any help would be appreciated.

  1. 1 Posted by Ian L on 29 Sep, 2015 07:58 PM

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    Hi Jesse,

    Could you send me the contents of your Moneydance console? I need this to verify the version you are using. Here's how to get the logs:

    1. In Moneydance, click on the Help menu and select the Console Window option. This will open the console messages window.
    2. In the console Window, Click the Copy to Clipboard button at the bottom to copy the text in the console.
    3. Paste the text from the message window into a text file (preferably saved with a .txt or .rtf extension) and attach that file to your response here.

    Infinite Kind Support

  2. 2 Posted by Jesse Geiger on 29 Sep, 2015 09:35 PM

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  3. 3 Posted by Ian L on 30 Sep, 2015 02:04 PM

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    Can you try upgrading to the latest version of Moneydance from here:

    and see if that fixes the issue that you're seeing?

    Infinite Kind Support

  4. 4 Posted by Jesse Geiger on 30 Sep, 2015 03:19 PM

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    No, still doing both issues. I attached a screen shot from a budget to show what I am seeing. It's completely possible I set something up wrong. I live overseas so I earn my pay in USD but spend in mostly Ugandan cash.

    This problem is livable, but I wish I could I give a generic "$100 in Shopping" budget and then detail my actual spending to see how that shopping budget is actually spent month to month. That way I can get detailed historicals but "flexible" budgets. Am I making sense?

    Thank you for your help!

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Tom Freeman on 30 Sep, 2015 11:21 PM

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    I can replicate that the subcategories are not totaling up in the budget. I want to check with the lead developer about how this is meant to work. As each line is set in the budget I am not sure it was intended to total up to the category or set by each sub category.

    Tom Freeman
    Infinite Kind Support

  6. 6 Posted by Jenny on 15 Nov, 2015 04:05 PM

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    Hi, any update on this discussion? I am also new to MoneyDance, and trying to create a budget. Following the MoneyDance User Guide, I'm trying to follow these instructions: "Copy and rollover previous period". I can't find anyplace with this option. I've filled in budget amounts for January, and I want it to roll it over to Feb. I've clicked and right-clicked on everything on the screen.

  7. 7 Posted by Ian L on 17 Nov, 2015 03:04 PM

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    The budget screen does not roll up the subcategories by design, since you are able to set amounts for the category and subcategories independently. However, you should be able to see the totals on the Budget report. I just checked this, however, and noticed it's not working correctly in that report. I'll file a bug ticket to get that fixed.

    Jenny, if you click on the date header at the top of a budget interval, you'll see the rollover option. I've attached a screenshot showing the button.

    Infinite Kind Support

  8. 8 Posted by jeffrey.falgout on 13 Jan, 2016 09:50 PM

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    The budget screen does not roll up the subcategories by design, since you are able to set amounts for the category and subcategories independently.

    Would it be possible to have the all of the subcategories that do not have an independently set amount roll up?

    For instance, let's say I have the following categories:

    • Flex
      • Flex:Books
      • Flex:Groceries
      • Flex:Restaurants
      • Flex:Clothing

    I assign $300 to Flex and $150 to Flex:Groceries.
    I spend $30 on Flex:Books, $80 on Flex:Groceries, $170 on Flex:Restaurants, $40 on Flex:Clothing.

    The budget reports $300 budgeted/$240 actual for Flex, $150 budgeted/$80 actual for Flex:Groceries, and does not report $0 budgeted/$30 actual for Flex:Books (since it got rolled up into its supercategory).

  9. 9 Posted by Ian L on 14 Jan, 2016 02:22 PM

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    I don't think it would be possible to do that in the budget viewing/editing interface, since then you'd have no way to add to that budget if you decided too. However, we should be able to do that in the budget report. I'll add it to the ticket.

    Infinite Kind Support

  10. 10 Posted by Jennifer on 19 Jan, 2016 03:09 AM

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    I'd like to be able to do this too - for example, if I have a "Hobbies" category and spend more in "books" than I budgeted, but less in "cycling," then I'm still under budget for hobbies overall, even though I'm overspent in a subcategory. When I look at the budget report it doesn't appear to have category totals, unless I'm doing something wrong (which is likely, since I just started using Moneydance about a month ago).

  11. 11 Posted by D.B on 02 Apr, 2016 10:12 AM

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    I would also like to request the budget roll-up feature. I want to use it in the same way as Jennifer describes.

    "I'd like to be able to do this too - for example, if I have a "Hobbies" category and spend more in "books" than I budgeted, but less in "cycling," then I'm still under budget for hobbies overall, even though I'm overspent in a subcategory. When I look at the budget report it doesn't appear to have category totals, unless I'm doing something wrong (which is likely, since I just started using Moneydance about a month ago)."

  12. 12 Posted by JaTS on 16 Apr, 2016 11:18 PM

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    I've been using money dance for about 2 years and the budgeting methodology always drove me nuts with the subcategories not "rolling up." The answer has always been, "Just look at the report," but honestly that doesn't help, because it doesn't show how things are effected in the planning stages of the budget nor does it help conceptualize how much is being spent on the Category.

    To me the whole point of a subcategory is help further see where money is going in a certain Category, while retaining a budget on that area. The other users make excellent point about categories such as Hobbies, Entertainment, etc. If decide I want to spend $50 a month on Entertainment and I track how much I spend on Books, Movies, and Music as subcategories in Entertainment, I shouldn't have to budget out specifically $10 for books. Or If I do budget out all the subcategories, I don't see why money dance can't understand that it all part of that total $50. Additionally if I set the total Entertainment Category as $50, but only allocate $40 to all the subcategories that leaves $10 in the entertainment category as flex money if I bust a subcategory budget. I can't plan my life down to a dime on subcategories, but i'm pretty good generally predicting over-all categories.

    One thing that I find extremely useful is the ability to roll over unspent money in categories/subcategories. This does allow me to budget $100 a month to Vacation and see that it build up to 1,000 after 10 months.

    I guess what I'm saying is I find the budgeting aspect of Moneydance the weakest aspect of the software, so much so I've thought about changing accounting software. I realize the changes would require an overhaul of the interface and budgeting software, and that takes man-hours of coding, but I think in future updates it would really strengthen the power of Moneydance for the common user.

  13. 13 Posted by jacki21uk on 18 Apr, 2016 02:30 PM

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    I just wanted to add my agreement to the above posts. I am new to Money dance, and I do like it in general, but I simply don't use the budgeting feature. I want to budget for my main categories, not my sub categories. For example I budget a sum off money each month for hobbies and leisure activities and as long as I keep in budget overall, it does not matter if I spend more on books but less on concert tickets.

  14. 14 Posted by Ian L on 18 Apr, 2016 02:55 PM

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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your input. I'm looking at doing some focused work on the budgeting interface soon, and I've added the ability to roll up subcategories to my list of specific things to look at. i'm sorry the budgeting interface doesn't work well for you right now. Hopefully we can improve that in the near future.

    Ian L
    Infinite Kind Support

  15. 15 Posted by Beth on 23 Jun, 2016 05:24 PM

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    I'm glad to hear this is being worked on. Any update as to when we might expect some resolution? I'm brand new to Moneydance, still in the initial stages of verifying that this is what I want to stay with, and I'm definitely finding the problem described above to be the most frustrating part of the experience. Everything else is good enough that I *think* I'll probably purchase when my demo runs out, but this is the reason I'm not certain yet.

  16. 16 Posted by Jurek on 26 Jun, 2016 09:57 PM

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    I would like to add my voice to the request for improving budget roll-ups. The main reason I bought MD was to have my own tracking of all financial categories as automated as possible and as as close as possible to what I would have in company management accounts, basically have it all in control and with summaries and high level views at a click of a button, the second reason was to have software aid in my budgeting. MD is satisfying the first requirement very nicely (despite UK banks not allowing statements downloads automation, which is not your fault but a real pain) the latter goal is a bit of a disappointment .. once I started really using it I still have to keep my old Excel method. Overall you have the best piece of software in the market, but please improve your budgeting module, otherwise someone else will develop a better programme soon. Give it to some use cases testers and listen to their feedback.

  17. 17 Posted by Szymon on 05 Aug, 2016 02:05 PM

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    same for me, it's should be vary basic feature that the subcategories sums up. When the fix of the problem can be expected?

  18. 18 Posted by matthew.preston... on 17 Sep, 2016 11:01 AM

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    Same for me. I'm not always going to know how my category budgeted spend will be split between the subcategories (for example: I'm looking at my holiday budget. I know I have, say, £1000 to spend in the year, but would flex that between expensive accommodation / cheaper travel or vice versa). Ideally I'd want to budget at the total and assign expenses at the subcategory level.

  19. 19 Posted by ghettopeter on 17 Nov, 2016 09:13 PM

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    i will also add my voice to the request for rolling up categories in the budget screen.

  20. 20 Posted by mwerezak on 08 Dec, 2016 03:18 AM

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    I would like to say that the scheme of setting amounts for the category and subcategories independently allows for no flexibility in spending and is not realistic in many cases.

    I create fine-grained categories so that I can track my spending precisely, however that does not mean it is feasible or desirable to budget right down to the same level of detail.

    If it is not an option to allow rolling up the categories in the budget screen then please make it so that I can define a separate set of categories for budgeting and a mapping between transaction categories and budgeting categories.

  21. 21 Posted by JRM on 04 Jan, 2017 01:25 AM

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    I would also like this feature.

    This confirms my general rule about financial software that each offering has That One Thing that is annoying and that the dev doesn't fix, due to philosophy, technical restrictions, etc. There is always That One Thing. For Personal Capital, it's no custom categories. For MoneyDance, it's no subcategory roll up. For Quicken, it's their proprietary sync code that just .. doesn't .. work. I .. I just don't understand how this is a feature that could be missing. Really?

  22. 22 Posted by Chewie on 31 Jan, 2017 03:39 AM

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    Another +1 to adding this feature. I agree with the comments that it is both helpful to track spending at a sub-category level (detailed analysis), but I would like to budget at the category level.

    I spent considerable time setting up budgets in Moneydance with the assumption that it would work this way, and unfortunately, I have given up on tracking budget information in Moneydance (I have resorted to Excel for now).

    Overall, I'm very pleased with Moneydance! Keep up the good work.

  23. System closed this discussion on 02 May, 2017 03:40 AM.

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