aeonlight's Avatar


23 Jun, 2018 02:34 AM

I believe this problem has been raised multiple times. The envelope budgeting still doesnt work and it's almost 1.5 years since I've started using moneydance. I have so much data embedded in moneydance that it's hard to even switch to another software. I feel kind of trapped in it and there's no way out. Is there a workaround that you all are using?

  1. 1 Posted by quotient on 23 Jun, 2018 02:47 AM

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    Hi, aeonlight. I'm just a user, not product support.

    I use a set up that pretty well matches Quicken's Savings Goals. From another posting, this is what I'm doing:

    I used savings goals in Quicken. I use "savings goals" in Moneydance. So far as I can tell, they work exactly the same way.

    I have some expenses that are annual in nature, and large. I want to budget for those large expenses. Here's what I do. For checking accounts, I have a parent account (call it Total Account) that functions only as a totalizer account; the balance of the Total Account, exclusive of the child accounts, always remains $0. I have four child accounts of the Total Account, one called Taxes, one called Insurance, one called Balloon Payment, and one called Checking Use. All my outside deposits and outside payments are transactions in the Checking Use account. Monthly, I transfer money from Checking Use into each of the other three child accounts; I calculated the amount transferred monthly to the child accounts to be the amount of funds needed to pay the annual expenses from each when those payments are due. I transfer money out of the appropriate child account into the Checking Use account when the payments are made. For me, this system works well, and works exactly as it did in Quicken.

  2. 2 Posted by aeonlight on 23 Jun, 2018 02:56 AM

    aeonlight's Avatar

    Hi, for me, basically I have 2 accounts to manage. my personal account and a joint account for my family. In the past I used to use YNAB for almost 3 years and I was very reliant on envelope budgeting to gauge my spending. I understand the above method, that would mean I have to create child accounts for all the spending categories under 1 parent account right?

  3. 3 Posted by quotient on 23 Jun, 2018 12:50 PM

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    Yes, you'd create child accounts for all the categories or groups of categories that you wanted to set aside funds for. Creating child accounts is very easy and they appear in the side bar in a tree format.

    You can have as many Parent Accounts as you want, so likely you'd have a Total Personal Account with it's child accounts and a Total Joint Account with it's child accounts.

    Note that none of this is automatic; that is, you have to determine how much money you want to transfer to each child account and how much money you want to transfer out of each child account.

    I was concerned about reconciling my checking account, but found it to be very easy. You just reconcile the Total Account (there's a setting to include child accounts) and then do the normal reconcile procedure.

  4. 4 Posted by aeonlight on 26 Jun, 2018 03:24 AM

    aeonlight's Avatar

    Have you tried the roll over budget function as well?

  5. 5 Posted by quotient on 26 Jun, 2018 12:05 PM

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    Sorry, I have not tried the roll over budget function since I use "Savings Goals" for my spending money management.

  6. 6 Posted by TJ Finlinson on 29 Jun, 2018 11:08 PM

    TJ Finlinson's Avatar

    I'll put in my 2 cents for what it's worth.

    I have experimented with several different methods to get 'savings goals' in Moneydance. Things have worked okay, but eventually they become to cumbersome, and I always end up going back to just using Moneydance as a electronic check register and keep track of savings goals and my budget in a spreadsheet.

    I have recently had some financial experiences that have motivated me again to look into a way to establish savings goals with Moneydance, but only if I could find a more sustainable method. I looked through many of the older support discussions and came across one about Envelope budgeting that said they were looking into using asset accounts to do an envelope systems. So I took to setting up a dummy MD file to see if I could come up with something.

    I'm attaching an outline PDF of what seems like a decent solution and also the Sample MD file I was playing with. I'd love feedback and suggestions. I'd love to see MD finally add something for savings goals and envelope budgeting to the software.

    You should be able to unzip the MD file and then restore it when you are in moneydance

  7. 7 Posted by Kevin Stembridg... on 07 Jul, 2018 10:57 PM

    Kevin Stembridge's Avatar

    Hi folks,

    A couple of years ago I started implementing a Savings Goal feature in Money Foresight. Actually, I completed the feature on a development branch but ultimately decided not to add it back to the main branch. I never released the feature. The reason being that I think Money Foresight already provides the ability to manage Savings Goals without adding any extra features.

    I would love to get a better understanding of what you all have in mind when you think of a Savings Goal feature and I'll start by describing how I see things.

    For me, a savings goal is just a given amount at a given point in the future. You may have a specific purpose in mind for that amount (e.g. college tuition) or you may not (e.g. rainy day fund). You will likely have multiple savings goals of varying amounts and dates.

    Given that definition, I don't think there is any need for a purpose-built feature or to segregate money in separate accounts. You only need to be able to forecast your account balances.

    Let's say you have a savings goal of $10,000 in 6 months time. Just enter a transaction for that amount in an account register on the appropriate date. Your forecast will then tell you if you will reach that goal or not.

    Again, I'd love to hear how you think of Savings Goals and if my suggestion doesn't meet your needs.


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