Custom Balances Extension: Questions and Answers

dtd's Avatar


29 Sep, 2023 11:03 PM

Stuart Beesley has developed some amazing extensions (Toolbox!) for Moneydance, but I feel one needs a bit more attention and usage - Custom Balances.

It's on my top right on my summary page. To put it simply, it allows you to create balances to view, on your summary page.

But it's much more powerful than that.

It's basically a custom report generator. You can create your own reports to view, and flip through them with the group id filter (i.e. a group id identifies a specific report you made)

It's basically a custom view into multiple reports. You just add another group id (i.e. "CustomView") and you can see important lines from multiple reports you created.

It's basically a warning window - you can place in hidden rows that trigger if a problem value is found (i.e. too low, too high, etc) and it will suddenly show up, and even blink if necessary.

You can change colors, show title bars, separation lines, etc.

You can do ratios, percentages, and so on. You can show categories by timeline - i.e. how much did I spend on gas THIS MONTH, or THIS YEAR?

It's uber powerful.

That said, anything uber powerful might elicit "how do I do this or that" questions. So far, these questions have shown up in "strange places" or in threads with a totally different title. As Stuart's main tester for Custom Balances, I can certainly answer such questions, and Stuart will probably check in as well. We would also entertain suggestions for improvement, but we both think CB is fairly mature at this point.

So, feel free to ask about Custom Balances here. It's a FANTASTIC extension (IMNSHO - in my not so humble opinion)

Showing page 3 out of 9. View the first page

  1. 61 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 13 Nov, 2023 09:37 AM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    That’s not something that’s very easy to do (given how the code is currently structured).

    Perhaps one for the to think about sometime list.

  2. 62 Posted by dtd on 15 Nov, 2023 10:47 PM

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    Version 1038 of Custom Balances has been signed and released.

    You may wish to either upgrade or reinstall if you have an earlier version.

  3. 63 Posted by dtd on 08 Dec, 2023 01:24 AM

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  4. 64 Posted by he on 08 Dec, 2023 10:15 AM

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    I feel like a child anticipating Christmas morning. I'm not quite sure what to expect, but I think it's gonna be good, so thank you in advance.

    If I can be of any assistance for testing, please let me know.

  5. 65 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 08 Dec, 2023 11:16 AM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar
    • asof date balances
    • include reminders (upto date)
    • return cost basis / unrealised gains (cash)
    • config screen improvements.
  6. 66 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 09 Dec, 2023 01:09 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    @he, @dtd, @all,

    PREVIEW BUILD 1040 is now available from my site:

    - asof date balances - include reminders (upto date) - return cost basis / unrealised gains (cash) - config screen improvements.

    All current rows should be no different.


    This does need testing, especially the (asof date) cost basis / urgains (both avg cost control and LOT control) please...

    All feedback welcome. Thanks

  7. 67 Posted by he on 09 Dec, 2023 04:24 PM

    he's Avatar

    Thank you very much, Stuart. I really didn't expect my request to be done so soon.

    So far, I've been able to download and install the extension with ease. And I can also say that CB values calculated from the new version are identical to the old, as expected, even though my use of CB covers 17 accounts and contains somewhat complex calculations.

    I'll experiment with it and post my feedback here. Thank you again for your work on this.

  8. 68 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 09 Dec, 2023 04:43 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    It's one of those things... Your request made sense.. It required an asof date.. I have wanted to build asof balances, and cost basis for a while. So I took the plunge and did them all together....

  9. 69 Posted by Ray on 09 Dec, 2023 07:48 PM

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    Anyone find any YouTube tutorials on using CB. It looks like an awesome tool !

  10. 70 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 09 Dec, 2023 07:53 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    It is awesome!

    No, we haven’t made any tutorials. We’ve concentrated on building the tool. 😉

    Any questions, ask ?

  11. 71 Posted by dtd on 09 Dec, 2023 09:47 PM

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    The main tutorial is the Help/Information choice in CB itself. You can look at it and save it to your computer. It goes over every button/choice, and also provides some examples of how to create interesting balances.

  12. 72 Posted by Ray on 09 Dec, 2023 10:02 PM

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    Thanks guys. This tool is what Moneydance has been missing all this time...

  13. 73 Posted by he on 09 Dec, 2023 10:43 PM

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    Stuart, this is perfect, exactly what I need. I have nothing constructive to add -- it worked exactly as it should. Note that I've only tested the reminders, nothing else. But I can see value in the cost basis/unrealized gains part of CB and I'll test that next.

    The future reminders affect on an account, in its own row on the front page of MD, adds a lot of value to my use of MD. Thanks for doing this.

  14. 74 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 09 Dec, 2023 10:44 PM

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  15. 75 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 10 Dec, 2023 12:18 PM

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  16. 76 Posted by he on 10 Dec, 2023 12:36 PM

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    Sorry about that, I fixed my original post. I'll reach out to you via email.

  17. 77 Posted by robert.l.spauld... on 10 Dec, 2023 12:38 PM

    robert.l.spaulding's Avatar

    Question? Building Perpetual Ratios using relative periods or maths.

    Say I want spending on groceries for the last 365 days. I can build this query quite simply and it will always be current, but if I want to see this a a percent increase from the previous 365 days I don't see a way to make this an always current calculation. I may be missing something, but can math be done using the current period (ie last 365 days) compared to the same period exactly 1, 2, 3, ... periods prior?

    It would be great to not have to create 2 rows at all to have to come up with a % change from the same prior period. I see an automatic calculation of % change based on selected period and a checkbox for calculate change from last period. If month is selected than previous month, year than previous year...and so on.

    Also math on using another row is pretty cool, but math on current row would be beneficial as well. Say estimating taxes on capital gains.

  18. 78 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 10 Dec, 2023 12:50 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    @robert. Novel/interesting. I’ll let dtd comment first.

  19. 79 Posted by robert.l.spauld... on 10 Dec, 2023 01:24 PM

    robert.l.spaulding's Avatar

    While I"m at is with the questions, I used another row in a calculation for a spending increase from a prior period. Worked great, but hiding the prior periods row breaks the calculation. Would be great if hidden rows could be used in calculations without having to actually display the hidden row in the interface.

    I calculated a 17% increase in spending from a prior period, which required me to create a row calculating the prior period spending. If I"m only interested in seeing the spending increase as a % of last period, I it would make sense to not display the actual spending from last period as a row while still being able to use that spending to calculate the increase. Thanks

  20. 80 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 10 Dec, 2023 01:27 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    I’m guessing you can do this now by hardcoding row 1 with the prior period. Then row 2 with the current period. Then use maths on other rows using minus and then a divide by and return %?

    Would be interesting if you can get it to work this way.

    I can see it’s clunky!!

  21. 81 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 10 Dec, 2023 01:29 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    You can get round the hidden row issue by either:

    1/ auto hide when row <> x. And put a silly x

    2/ I’m not sure if use group filters would work?

  22. 82 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 10 Dec, 2023 01:30 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    I turn off hidden rows for speed. Could consider re-enabling… not sure.

  23. 83 Posted by robert.l.spauld... on 10 Dec, 2023 01:34 PM

    robert.l.spaulding's Avatar

    Some times we just need slapping around a bit.

    1/ auto hide when row <> x. And put a silly x

    worked to keep the calculation active while hiding it from the display. Thanks

  24. 84 Posted by dtd on 10 Dec, 2023 07:37 PM

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    @robert - on your last 365 days item and your previous 365 days to that (i.e. 366-730 days)... as you note, that would work for one day using Custom Dates for the second item.

    The issue is MD has a prescribed set of ranges for categories, and Stuart uses that for category choices. I just a day or so ago had a calculation where I wanted last 30 days, then 31-60 days (or maybe it was last 60 days instead) which basically matches what you are trying to do.

    Stuart mentioned a specific approach (i.e. create a last two months, or something like that), but given your query, I imagine that a general approach might be better, like a "rolling" Custom Dates which would match what the other categories do - i.e. adjust versus be static.

    But no, that doesn't exist at this time, but as Stuart says, Novel/Interesting. You also opened my mind to the concept of a general answer versus continually adding specific new ranges.

  25. 85 Posted by dtd on 10 Dec, 2023 07:39 PM

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    Stuart - as to turning off hidden rows (i.e. the "always" bit) - what if you didn't turn off rows that are referenced as a uor? - i.e. always is more like the "hide if <> x" which stays active for uor used rows...

    Of course the easier fix for you/me is exactly what you suggested.

    Group filters won't work because you turn off those rows if not in the visible group, which really does save calculation time.

  26. 86 Posted by robert.l.spauld... on 10 Dec, 2023 07:57 PM

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    Thanks for the explanation and I was pretty sure that would be what you would say. I've had the same request out for reports, that would not need to have the dates updated every time they were opened. This Year/Last Year is great, but Last 365 days has no matching prior period. Bummer. This kind of throws a wrench in my rolling % change on cost of living expenses vs what the nice man on TV is telling me about how good things are.
    My other idea was adding math to the current row not based on another row. Say calculating estimated taxes. Thanks for the awesome extension and all the effort. Software always moves forward in a meaningful way when written by smart people who actually have to use it.

  27. 87 Posted by dtd on 10 Dec, 2023 09:23 PM

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    First other idea: we already have math without a uor… I.e average by which is multiply/divide math and adj/by which is plus minus math. You can do a lot with that. Estimated taxes? Use average by with a value of 1/.xy where .xy is your tax bracket.

  28. 88 Posted by dtd on 10 Dec, 2023 09:26 PM

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    As for the first part of the comment, Stuart and I are actively discussing this, with our normal back and forth on what is the best way to do it… we often have totally different approaches, which causes a bit of back and forth, but that’s good because we usually end up with something better than either of our original thoughts.

  29. 89 Posted by dtd on 10 Dec, 2023 09:35 PM

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    Oh, and yes, you can literally put in 1/.28 or whatever versus getting a calculator. After all that’s what computers are for…

  30. 90 Posted by robert.l.spauld... on 10 Dec, 2023 10:32 PM

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    Thanks again was confused by the verbiage "Maths using other rows" preceding that setting, I'll get back to playing around, and let you get back to your back and forth.

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