Break down Annual/Bi-Annual Expenses to a monthly amount in Spending Plan [edited] (6 Merged Votes)

AAAAHHHHHHHH
AAAAHHHHHHHH Member ✭✭
edited February 2022 in Feature Requests
There was a previous post here asking how to save for bills that are due less frequently than once a month. The best example is auto insurance, which is a large bill that hits semi-annually or annually. The workaround was to use a Savings Goal that you could manually add to and pull from on the month that the bill was due. This requires me to manually keep track of what funds are for what, which is what I'm trying to avoid by using Simplifi.

Since Simplifi already knows the schedule of my bills, I think it should perform the calculation to make all of them monthly bills, similar to the savings goal, and reduce my available cash just like a normal monthly bill in the Bills section of Planned Spending. When the bill comes due, it should tell me that I need to reduce my spending by only the monthly calculated amount and not by the full total of the bill. I am envisioning words like "You have saved $X towards this bill" (with $X being the savings from previous months) being underneath bills that I am saving for but are not due that month. It shouldn't require any manual interaction for the user because Simplifi has the dates and amounts already saved.
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  • Coach Nicole
    Coach Nicole Administrator, Moderator admin

    Thank you for the suggestion!

  • Coach Paco
    Coach Paco Moderator admin

    @Sqyer Great suggestion!

  • Coach Natalie
    Coach Natalie Administrator, Moderator admin
    Hello @AAAAHHHHHHHH,

    Thanks for posting this to the Community!

    I have gone ahead and turned this into an Idea post so that other Users can vote on it. Please be sure to add your vote as well!  :)

    You may also consider adding your vote here: https://community.simplifimoney.com/discussion/191/add-budget-with-ability-to-plan-for-yearly-expenses

    Thank you,

    Coach Natalie
  • AAAAHHHHHHHH
    AAAAHHHHHHHH Member ✭✭
    Thanks Coach!
  • htc630
    htc630 Member
    Certain transactions occur in lump-sum format, but really reflect costs over longer periods of time. For instance, I pay for my car insurance every 6 months - while the cost is incurred once, it should really be amortized over the 6 month period. Similarly, I pay for my child's education at the beginning of the year, even though it should be spread over 12 months.

    Reflecting this in budgets / trends / etc. would show a better picture of one's ongoing financial profile, rather than showing large lump-sum payments at odd intervals!
  • Stu
    Stu Member
    Please allow us to amortize infrequent bills as monthly allocations.  The current method with clunky savings goals is too time consuming, when it could easily be calculated based on the amount and frequency.  For example a recurring annual payment of $1,200 should automatically deduct $100 as a bill every month.  These items are bills, not something I choose to save for (which savings goals should be - voluntary with your leftover money), so please let us treat it as such so our savings goals aren't cluttered with amortized savings goals for insurance payments and property taxes.
  • This would be such an amazing feature and I'm blown away that there isn't an easy solution to it. Without amortizing infrequent costs, it makes the monthly view quite an inaccurate picture of my spending.
  • paulrevere
    paulrevere Member
    edited June 2022
    Even as simple as a check box and text input to show you want to split the cost up over the next x number of months would be trivial to code and invaluable to use.
  • KK_swifty
    KK_swifty Member
    Great suggestion!

  • DannyB
    DannyB Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi all.  Just to make sure we all acknowledge that however annual or semi-annual recurring expenses are accounted for in Simplifi, we still actually have to save the money from month to month so it is available to spend on the due date.  Also we need to keep in mind that in the month one of these bills come due we will need to account for the actual extra and large expenditure in a way that doesn’t throw off our spending plan for that month.
    Danny
    Simplifi user since 01/22
    Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer
  • justRick
    justRick Member
    I'm pretty flexible on how to accommodate annual expenses, but I need to have something.  I'll track a few threads and hopefully hear if/when that happens; once that feature is added, I might come back.

    I know the product team doesn't report to you, but if you have a way to let your leadership know that this missing feature looks like it has cost you a few other renewals since 2020 (not counting me), they can at least evaluate where that feature should be in the priority list.  
  • pst
    pst Member ✭✭✭
    This is very important. I am very much looking forward to this feature. 
  • cfields
    cfields Member ✭✭
    If we combine @AAAAHHHHHHHH's suggestion of simplifi "amortizing" expenses that are not monthly (which would be based on a re-occurring expense you set up), with @DannyB's caution that the money really needs to be saved - don't we end up with  a "spending goal?"  Take homeowners insurance, for example, paid once/year.  Simplifi knows I need to set aside 1/12 of that amount each month.  What if you could link the monthly transactions which set money aside for homeowners insurance to a spending goal for homeowners insurance?  When you pay the bill, which simplifi will recognize, it resets the goal to $0.   
  • ajbopp
    ajbopp Superuser ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2023
    For regular but infrequent expenses, it seems to me an easy solution (not necessarily the best) is to add some functionality to setting up a recurring bill. A checkbox confirming I want to add pro-rated amount to my monthly spending plan to accommodate a bill I need to pay for once a year would be a start. These sorts of things could then be added to somthing like a watch list that sends an alert if I haven't got what I should have for this time of the year to take care of the expense when it comes due. (Yes I know that's a nightmare algorithm to implement - that's why we need developer input as well).

    Anthony Bopp
    Simplifi User Since July 2022
    Money talks. But all my paycheck ever says is goodbye

  • jandv
    jandv Member

    One workaround could be to split the transaction into multiple parts (i.e. 12 for an annual subscription) and manually update the dates, but unfortunately split transactions can't have different dates either.

  • I HAVE BEEN WAITING ON THIS FOREVER

    would be probably the biggest improvement i could think of

  • I pay for Life and Disability Insurance once a year. I want a good way for Simplifi to help me save 1/12 of the money each month. Normally this is called an escrow account.

    I doesn't make sense that if I add a bill for once a year then the Spending Plan is greatly higher for that month when my income is constant each month. Doesn't everyone need this feature!!

  • +1 for this

  • Set a expense in a series to happen at different months in the future besides the default of monthly and have the amount applied equally to the months leading up the expense so you can budget for known expenses that happen outside a monthly cadence. For instance I know I will pay for a subscription every 6 months of $600 dollars. If I set the recurring period to payment every 6 months, $100 dollars is budgets every month for that subscription up until you pay the $600 in month 6.

  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2023

    Deleted original post - I misunderstood the post (didn't have coffee yet)

    One way to accomplish this is to set a savings goal for the 6-month charge, make regular contributions to the savings goal to reach the 6-month amount, and withdraw from your savings goal when it is due. However, i think if you wanted to use the savings goal as a spending plan credit in the 6th month, you'd need to transfer it back and unhide one side of the transfer to have it treated as income that month.

    It's a little more work, but it's do-able.


    Rob Wilkens

  • It seems people are having to use savings goals to support recurring bills that do not follow the normal cycle of a savings plan.

    If recurring bills were fixed to better handle frequencies that do not match the spending plan (which is monthly), then I don't think people would need to work around this by using a savings goal.

  • Lee B
    Lee B Member ✭✭

    I am a new Simplifi user seeing if I can replace Mint. I would like to add my 'vote' for 2 important features for me

    1. Per this thread, to be able to pre-pay an annual amount and then be able to include 1/12 (or 1/5, etc.) of that amount in each of the following 12 months as a monthly expense. I did this in Mint be splitting the annual amount into 12 transactions and putting each of those 12, split transactions in their respective future months.
    2. per number 1, to be able to put different dates on split transactions. Not only for pre-payments, but also for cash withdrawals from ATMs that take multiple months to actually spend the cash. PLUS, I want to see the split transactions SEPARATELY in my list of transactions that shows the date and category I assign to each split! I don't want to see 'Kroger $200 — split —'. I want to see the following in my transactions list:
      1. Kroger $100 Groceries
      2. Kroger $50 Medicines
      3. Kroger $50 Home Improvement

    Thanks!

  • the_scottster
    the_scottster Member ✭✭✭

    I have a bunch of bills I get once a year - property tax, insurance, etc.

    I'd love to be able to show this spending as occurring throughout the year vs one time.

    Long time Mint user jumping into Simplifi-world!

  • +1 from another former Mint user for "Breaking down Annual/Bi-Annual Expenses to a monthly amount in Spending Plan". I agree with the orgincal post - what is the purpose of the spending plan if it is not accurately reflecting spending/required safings over time. This worked really well in Mint with budgets and I would now love to see a similar solution in Simplifi!

  • The fact that Simplifi has been out for this many years and still ignores one of its most significant failures is impressive. Most people budget outside of 30-day cycles, and we need a way to help track this. I've seen the suggestions to use the savings feature, but as it has its issues, it is useless for this task. I am constantly debating switching away from Simplifi, but I continue to hold out for these features to be fixed.

  • dee
    dee Member
    edited December 2023

    would love to be able to split the transaction over multiple dates over multiple months, if you buy a service to use over coming days and months. The split transaction doesn’t allow to change dates. I need to delete the original transaction and manually add the transaction on date of service. Not very intuitive. Mint does a good job of this.

  • exmintuser1
    exmintuser1 Member
    edited January 5

    I've read a few (closed) threads on this and not seeing exactly what I'm looking for. Ultimately I think it would unfortunately require quite a refactor on how split transactions work, but what I'd like to be able to do is put different dates on split transactions so when I pay my annual car insurance I can push it into the next 12 spending plans evenly instead of some big amount once a year.