Getting Started - Creating a budget

What type of budget should I create? -

Moneydance 2014 introduced the ‘new’ budgeting format for creating and working with budgets.

The old budget format was retained, and is referred to as the ‘Mixed Interval’ budget format. The ‘Mixed Interval’ budget format should be used when budgeting categories with different time intervals.

It is not possible to convert budgets created in older versions of Moneydance to the new Moneydance 2014 format. If you're using Moneydance 2012 or earlier, ‘Mixed Interval’ is the budget format you'll be working with.

How to create a budget -

Go to Tools —> Budget Manager, and select ‘New’
You can then enter the budget name and select the ‘period’.

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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.

Once you have created your budget, you have to close the budget manager window, then select your budget from the left sidebar column in the Moneydance window to access and edit it.

Setting up a budget using the ‘New’ budget format -

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The center column is the active time period being budgeted for; you'll see two columns of numbers. The left number is the amount (either income or expenses) currently in the category, while the right number is the amount budgeted for the category. To set the amount, click the right number (it'll be 0 if you haven't budgeted anything for that category) and enter the amount that you want to budget for that category.

You can easily set your budget based on past spending by right-clicking on the heading (the three letter abbreviation for the month followed by the year) of any of the time period columns and selecting one of the following options:

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Copy and rollover previous period: Sets this period’s budget as the sum of last period’s budget and the difference between the previous period’s spending and budget. For example, if last period’s grocery budget was $200 and you spent $150, this period’s grocery budget would be $250.

Copy previous period: Sets this period’s budget as the last period’s budget. For example, if last period’s grocery budget was $200 this period’s grocery budget would be $200, regardless of what your spending was in the previous period.

Use actual spending from previous period: Sets this period’s budget as the amount spent during the last budgeting period. For example, if last period’s grocery budget was $200 and you spent $150, this period’s grocery budget would be $150.

Using the 'Newer' Budget format View Filters -

You can locate these filters by viewing the budget register. The filters are at the top right of the screen, shown within a blue bar.

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All - Displays all categories in your data file. To add, edit, or delete categories go to Tools→Categories

Budgeted - Displays only categories that you’ve set budgeted amounts for the current calendar year

Active - Displays all categories which have been used this calendar year.

Setting up a budget using the ‘Mixed interval’ budget format -

Mixed_Interval_Budget.png

After selecting a budget in the left side bar, you can edit it by clicking on the “Edit” button in the upper right corner of the screen.

To add a new budget item, press the “+” button and enter the appropriate values for each column. You can print and copy the budget from this screen.

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Budget Name - Name your budget.

Calculate - See Calculating a Budget below.

Here's an explanation of each of the fields when creating or editing a budget line entry:

  • Amount - Enter the amount of money you'd like to budget for this category.
  • Category - Click on the drop-down menu to select the category you'd like to budget for.
  • Interval - Use the drop-down menu to select the frequency at which your budget will repeat. When selecting the interval, you can also choose whether you want the time period to be prorated or not.
  • Start Date - Select the date you'd like your budget for this item to begin.
  • End Date - Select the date you'd like your budget for this item to end. If you do not enter an end date, the budget will continue indefinitely.
  • Total Income/Expenses - Use the drop-down menu to the left of these values to specify the time period for which you'd like this information to be displayed.

Note that if you have an expense or income item that has an irregular interval or changes amounts throughout the year, you will need to enter individual line items for each instance, using the Start Date and Interval fields to define them. In this case you may find it easier to use the new budgeting format.

Calculating a Mixed Interval Budget -

To have Moneydance automatically calculate a budget based on your past spending, click the Calculate button in the Budget Editor window.

The ‘Effective On’ field is the date when you'd like your new budget to begin. In the Date field, select the range of transactions you'd like to have used in the calculations.

If you're using the “Custom Date” option, use these fields. The final field allows you to select the range you'd like to use when calculating this budget: Annually, Tri-Monthly, Bi-Monthly, Monthly, Semi-Monthly, Tri-Weekly, Bi-Weekly, and Weekly.

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Didn't find the information you were looking for? You can find more information about Moneydance budget features in this article.