Budgeting parent categories

Emily's Avatar


09 May, 2024 09:17 PM

Is there a way to make a parent budget category's spending include the sum of its child categories' spending?

With most of my budget categories, I want to budget for the parent category, but still put transactions in subcategories for use in other reports. From what I can tell, parent and child categories currently have completely separate budgets, so for example, spending on prescriptions isn't counted against my total healthcare budget.

Does anyone know of a way to make this work?


  1. 1 Posted by blair1966 on 29 May, 2024 02:16 PM

    blair1966's Avatar

    I'm just a new-ish user, but it seems that this has been an issue for years now.

    There was some hopeful conversation going on in this post from 2015 to 2017, and I think maybe the budget bars are now working as desired (at least SOMETIMES). However, the budget page itself isn't what one might want/expect.

    I have to head to work, but I'm going to play around with this more and will try to post what I find, later today or this week.

    This is the only issue I find annoying about this software. I'm really liking everything else and so far I have found the support to be excellent.

  2. 2 Posted by Richard on 06 Jun, 2024 12:16 PM

    Richard's Avatar

    As a returning user, I am somewhat disappointed in the progress made in the aspect of the program.

    I would suggest taking it one step further, in that Parent categories could be budgetted as suggested above, or child categories be budgetted, and the Parent category budget reflect the sum of the child category budgets.

    Another upgrade that I would find useful would be the option to rollover budget categories independently, not just choosing one rollover method for the entire budget. For example, Groceries would generally be a "use it or lose it" category, so would simply be a copy from previous period, while our daughters discretionary spending would be rolled over, allowing her to save up for things.

    If there is a way of doing these things that I am missing, any advice would be much appreciated.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Maddy on 07 Jun, 2024 01:53 PM

    Maddy's Avatar

    Thank you for contacting Moneydance support.

    Which budget format are you using?

    There are two types of budget available within Moneydance, and you can read about them both in this section of the knowledge base.

    Go to Tools —> Budget Manager, and select ‘New’. You can then enter the budget name and select the ‘period’.
    Selecting either Weekly, Biweekly, Monthly or Annually will create budget using this time period, and the 'Newer' budget format.
    Selecting Mixed Interval will create an older style budget, which can have categories with different time intervals.

    I would recommend using the 'Mixed Interval' format. Using the budget type, you can amend the start and end date for each budget item, and they're not set as the specific month/year etc.

    Please note the budget feature picks up all expenses based upon the categories used. So you could not limit the budget to one account for instance, unless you built a separate set of categories to only be used by that account.

    Using the Foresight feature under the Tools tab on the other hand, will allow you to predict your future balances for just one account based upon your current balance and your reminders.
    For further information please refer to this article of the Knowledge Base.

    I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions or need more assistance.

    Maddy, Infinite Kind Support

  4. 4 Posted by tony.cooper655 on 29 Jun, 2024 01:37 AM

    tony.cooper655's Avatar

    Old style is the best

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