Budgets & Foresight

Iain Pendry's Avatar

Iain Pendry

05 Jun, 2022 03:54 PM

With the incorporation of Money Foresight into Moneydance, there is a great opportunity to significantly improve the integration between reminders, budgets and Foresight. I intensely dislike the "reminders" functionality of Moneydance, particularly when setting a budget basically does the same thing, albeit more accurately. I would really like the option for Money Foresight to use a particular budget as it's source of estimating data, not reminders, or perhaps create an estimate of spending over the last few months and use this. The alternative is having reminders for everything .... and the lack of a "Skip All Reminders" button just means an endless load of clicking to dismiss unwanted reminders even if you haven't used Moneydance for a week or so. The last thing I want is more reminders....

  1. 1 Posted by mhoggie on 05 Jun, 2022 06:19 PM

    mhoggie's Avatar

    just a user,

    I don't think you want to mix the Foresight and the budgets. Foresight is a account balance forecasting tool specific to dates of the reminders, and the Budget app just gives you a way to see how the money is spent. For instance, you can't budget a loan payment easily, but you can set a loan payment reminder that Foresight will pick up.

  2. 2 Posted by Kevin Stembridg... on 12 Jun, 2022 10:26 PM

    Kevin Stembridge's Avatar

    Hi Iain,
    Could you elaborate on how budget items are more accurate than reminders? To me, it seems the other way around. For example, how would you budget for buying groceries every 4 days. (genuine question, I don't use the budget feature, so I'm not sure how accurate it can be).

    I'd also love to see it being easier to skip lots of reminders in one go. Not necessarily "skip all", but maybe a "Skip Selected" with the option of selecting all.

    Other than that, is there anything else about reminders that you dislike?

  3. 3 Posted by Iain Pendry on 13 Jun, 2022 08:18 AM

    Iain Pendry's Avatar

    Hi Kevin, I'm happy to. Or at least to try to.

    I have budgets set up in Moneydance which cover pretty much every category I spend in, and I use the feature in Moneydance which tells me how much I have spent over the last few months to help to set the budget. I find this is pretty accurate in estimating how much I will spend in a particular category, excepting exceptional items.

    Using reminders to do this, for example setting reminders weekly for food, fuel, household maintenance, pet food, socialising, clothes, etc, in order to try to enable Foresight to realistically predict what my balance at the end of the month would be would mean - for me - a lot of reminders. At the moment I have reminders set up for all of the major reoccurring spends such as mortgage, insurance payments, loans etc,, but this results in Foresight hugely under forecasting what I will actually spend, because the limited reminders I have set up don't cover all of the expense categories...

    My budget however does, and does a pretty good job of tracking what I actually spend in a month. So for me, the optimum solution would be for foresight to take it's data from budget categories, either as one off month payments, such as mortgage, or for a linear spend during the month. For example, if my family grocery budget is £500 a month, it would be useful for Foresight to assume I will spend £16.67 a day on food, and predict this going forward to the month end. Ditto for other budget categories, all with a reset at month end.

    Perhaps I am not using Foresight in the way it was intended, or my way of planning is different from others. I know you wrote the original tool, and no criticism was intended. It's simply for me, the budget figures give a good view of how closely I am controlling my spend so it would be useful to use those as a source of estimated spend for the short term. Hope this helps.

    Regards, Iain

  4. 4 Posted by Kevin Stembridg... on 23 Jun, 2022 10:14 PM

    Kevin Stembridge's Avatar

    Hi Iain,
    Sorry for the delay getting back to you and thanks for the description.

    I can recommend an approach that I think would suit the way you currently work with a bit of upside and a bit of downside.

    If you're happy that your current budget items are accurate, then you could create a reminder for each budget item for the same frequency and amount and your forecast would be accurate over the long term. You don't have to have granular reminders if you don't want but it means your forecast over the next month is not going to be very accurate.

    Then if you want to know how accurate your reminders are you can see that in the Tools -> Foresight Review window.

    The accurate forecast is the upside. The downside is having to skip reminders. (Let's hope Moneydance are reading this :) )

    Hope this helps.
    Kevin

  5. 5 Posted by Cindy on 10 Jul, 2022 02:05 PM

    Cindy's Avatar

    I just want to be able to use foresight with older versions of MD. Is this not possible anymore?

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