Spending Plan - show totals for paid/spent vs upcoming/left with a progress bar (edited)

tngzng
tngzng Member
edited December 2023 in Feature Requests
Spending Plan is the reason I use Simplifi. I find it very helpful to see the average amount I can spend daily for the remainder of the month.

I would find it even more helpful if I could visualize my target spending rate for the month against my actual spending in a time series graph, similar to the image below. (The dotted line represents target spending, while the solid line represents actual spending): 
  

Would other Simplifi users find this helpful? Would this be a relatively easy feature for Simplifi's team to add? 
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  • LWrathBudget
    LWrathBudget Member ✭✭
    edited June 2022
    The Spending Plan is one of the best features of Simplifi, so I spend a lot of time on there. I would love to see what I've actually spent vs what's planned but not paid yet. For the Income after bills and savings, I'd like to see the total amount of what I've actually received or paid vs what is upcoming. And for the Planned spending, I'd like to see the total amount for all categories of spent vs left. This could also just be a report if it would be too much information on the actual Spending Plan. Thanks for reviewing my request!
  • Shawberry
    Shawberry Moderator admin
    I like where you're going with this. I was wondering if you could maybe elaborate on a specific situation for yourself where you felt seeing this difference would have been useful? 
  • LWrathBudget
    LWrathBudget Member ✭✭
    @Shawberry That’s a good question — This would give me a quick, overall picture of what my financial situation is for the month. It would come in handy when trying to budget mid-month when some expenses have been paid, but not others. I’m coming from years of zero-based budgeting, and I’m trying to compromise a bit with this app, but I still want to be able to see what money from the Spending Plan is planned, but not paid yet and vice versa. I hope that makes sense. If I think of any other examples, I’ll post!
  • PhilipC
    PhilipC Member
    edited August 2022
    Maybe I'm missing where this may show up in an easy clean way but I would love to see the plan vs actual on the bills. This is shown very clearly on the "Planned Spending". 

    What I'm thinking is watching for transactions that may start to creep like phone bills, or subscriptions that increase price that are missed via other ways.
  • DannyB
    DannyB Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LWrathBudget and @Shawberry

    Ha, ha, ha… when I was writting this idea I was thinking I should do a search in the forum to see if it's already been suggested… and here it is!

    @Shawberry here is an actual realworld example: Over the past couple of weeks I have been in conversation with our financial advisor about how much we need to start drawing from our retirement accounts. One of the final decisions was when to start the draw - start now in March or wait until April. I wanted to see what was left that we needed for March. Having that information in summary form as @LWrathBudget is suggesting and as I try to show in my mock up would have made that info easy enough instead of having to go into each dropdown and do an estimate of what was still left to pay.

    Danny
    Simplifi user since 01/22
    Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer
  • altChristopher
    altChristopher Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2023

    • I like this.

  • I love having the reminders that will show future cash flow. I would also love to see in my plans spending the projected amount or maybe whether I'm behind or ahead in terms of spending. That would help me decide whether I need to go out to lunch today or need to wait a couple of days!

  • ajbopp
    ajbopp Superuser ✭✭✭✭

    I believe this is already available in the Spending Plan page

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

  • DannyB
    DannyB Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2023

    @blantonlewis

    Or perhaps you want something like this:

    [removed self-referencing link to merged thread]

    Danny
    Simplifi user since 01/22
    Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer
  • altChristopher
    altChristopher Member ✭✭✭

    I wanted to see my spending plan by month total vs. my actual. I know categories will go off, but I want to ensure I am within a band of outcomes. Here is how this would ideally work:

    1. Memorialize the spending plan for the current month when it starts (read: record it somewhere) - call it "plan".
    2. Show me how I perform to plan over the past months.
    3. Give three numbers: Plan (from #1), Actual (Actual $$), Forecast (Current Plan Remaining + Actual)

    If I could have 10%, 25%, 50% bands shaded, that would be nice to have (not needed as other stuff more pressing)

    This would show six months back and six months forward as a default.
    Give me badges for hitting my plan… (Love badges)

    I would not do this until after rollover spending and the project cash flow goals features are done to eliminate rework.

  • bc1656`
    bc1656` Member
    edited May 2023

    Would be really useful if there was a way to see how much of monthly bills and subscriptions have been paid vs how much will be charged in the coming days for a particular month.

    Right now, when you open up the bills drop down it just shows the total of your bills for the month. Let's say for example 7k due this month. Would be much more helpful if when you opened up the bills header it said, 7k in bills this month, 4k already paid, and 3k not yet paid. That way you know what's coming out of your account in the coming days.

    Not an issue if you only use one account... But if you have several bank accounts and several credit cards, it's harder to get a big picture view of your overall cash position without using a spreadsheet, which defeats the purpose of Simplifi.

    Because this feature does not exist, I have to manually add up all the bills that have already been paid vs what’s outstanding, plus planned spending in a spreadsheet to see if my actual cash position for the month aligns with what Simplifi thinks is available in the available spending tab. A tedious process that could be easily avoided if the developers would just sum the data that's available in the Bills and Subscriptions tabs.

    If you start the month with a cash balance other than zero, or if you hide a transaction, the amount available will never match your account balance. Not a big deal if you have a cash buffer in your account, but if you don't you can get in hot water. Would be much easier to just do some simple math… checking balance is 10,000 I have 3k bills & subs outstanding, 2k planned spending outstanding, 1k saving goals… I'm good.

    On a related note, would also be great if there was an option to sort the items in bills and subscriptions by category rather than that just have them sort by date. Thanks!

  • dkelleybrew
    dkelleybrew Member
    edited November 2023

    It would be great if you could see your actual spending (total expenses) for the month within the spending plan page itself, along side the other existing categories: income after bills & savings, planned spending, and other spending. It appears you can only see the actual spending (total expenses) for the month on the Dashboard page or the Reports page.

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

    @dkelleybrew I might agree, even though i'm "used to" the way it is. I think 'income' should be one box, and another box could sum up bills, planned spending, and other spending to get total spending, then it could subtract total spending from income to get "what's left". Note that this total spending, in my book, would include future (within the month) recurring bills since that's "known spending."


    Rob Wilkens

  • @RobWilk yes, I would agree the most important aspect is being able to take what's known or planned for the monthly budget (i.e. including bills, subscriptions, etc.), take what has actual been spent so far for the month, and coming up with some kind of "what's left/remaining" summary for the month.

    In whatever fashion that could be displayed/presented would be a great add. Right now, anything specified as "planned spending" is used to calculate if you are under/on/over budget, regardless of what was actually spent for the month in each category.

  • sharan
    sharan Member

    the question total amount left in the budget not as whole left over

  • sharan
    sharan Member

    This feature is available in mint but even after paying monthly there is no feature here. sorry to say this

  • gulfcad
    gulfcad Member ✭✭

    Simplify uses recurring bills that are separate from the planned spending section. Also bills are deducted from income and not shown in any spending budget. It would be nice to have a summary of what was budgeted for the month versus what was spent (including recurring bills and a income section). In the Reports section I can only get a pie chart of the amounts spent by category in each month and nothing on what was budgeted. I would like to see better budgeting planning and reporting in Simplify. It just seems to be a partial budget planning system currently. Even the Mint product was further along in this area. Any possibility of enhancements?

  • K.W.
    K.W. Member

    Simplifi's spending plan has a different mindset from a budget. After using the software for a week, I actually think I like the spending plan much better than a standard budget. It's structure reminds me of a phrase I heard once. There are known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. This is how I view the spending plan. We have bills we know about. We have spending we know we have to make for the month, and we have unexpected spending. Once I shifted my view point, I really like how the spending plan lets me know how much I have available for the unknown unknowns.

    For a more traditional budgeting experience, I recommend the watchlist feature. You can create custom lists for a single expense or a group of categories. I think watch lists actually provide better information than regular reports when tracking your spending. I made watchlists for a few of my "problem" category to better track spending. But I also made a watchlist for every single expense category. The watchlist report quickly shows me monthly averages and trends, features which are lacking on the actual spending and net income reports.

  • CatBot
    CatBot Member ✭✭

    I'm also adjusting my mental models to the Spending Plan and Watchlists, and I think there are just a couple tweaks that would help me hugely to see if my spending is on track:

    1. A wee bit of color or other UI design to the Watchlists to indicate if getting close to going over or over (match the design on the Planned Spending tiles tiles, and maybe enhance both — a $1 overage is much less of a problem than a $200 overage)
    2. Add a 12 month and Year to Date target to Watchlists (this would be so helpful!)
    3. Ability to see on both Spending Plan/Watchlists targets to actuals over a longer time period than one month (90 days, 180 days, and 1 year would be my preference). I was trying to get at this with

  • gulfcad
    gulfcad Member ✭✭

    Thanks K.W. and Catbot…will take a look at the Watchlist and see what can be set up. Have only been using the software for a few days since I had to move over from Mint since it is going away. Thanks again!

  • DannyB
    DannyB Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi all, welcome to Simplifi!

    @gulfcad I think @K.W. nails it pretty good. His “known knowns…” can also be put in terms of fixed spending (known knowns) and flexible spending (known unknowns). And I like the unknown unknowns as falling into the Available.

    In any case, Simplifi is not Mint and works on a different approach that won’t really work with the approach found in Mint and many other more traditional budgeting apps. If you can make the adjustment I think you will find that Simplifi is a great personal money management tool.

    Danny
    Simplifi user since 01/22
    Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer
  • As a Mint user for 12 years I really liked the Mint "Budgets" screen which gave, for each time period chosen - month, Year-to-date, etc. - 1. Total actual income and total budgeted income, 2. Actual income by category and budgeted income by category, 3. Total actual spending and total budgeted spending, 4. Actual spending by category and budgeted spending by category. All of this was in a "list" format, so that income and spending totals as well as most of the income and spending categories could be viewed on one screen.

  • floridaeast
    floridaeast Member
    edited December 2023

    Hi there, I'm a long time Mint user evaluating Simplifi and Monarch Money as a replacement. One of the most useful Mint feature to me is the daily progress bar on the budgets. I understand there is no budget in Simplifi, that's fine. I'm using only the Spending Plan with one Category (Groceries) to monitor my discretionary spending over time (doing the same with Mint in the Food & Dinning Category). In Mint it's easy to see if on a given day I'm over / under my discretionary spending, see here the light vertical black line (for 12/6):

    In Simplifi, it's almost there on the Dashboard, if you mouse over the left side of the bar you see what you have spent to date (12/6), see here:

    But

    1/ It's a bit cumbersome; you have to mouse over

    2/ Simplifi does not have the daily progress bar to show either you are under / over your budget on a given day.

    Is there a way that Simplifi could implement this feature request, see here is red:

    BTW [removed] has this feature.

    Regards,

  • I made a similar comment yesterday for the same type of request. Even worse, I realized that after the month has passed, you need to manually 'release' the remaining funds from each category. You then lose any indication of planning spending and whether you were over or under that plan. So I can't look back on Nov spending and see that I underspent in. I can only see the overall total spent for the month.

    Kinda frustrating but yes also being able to quickly see what my progress in a category is would be very helpful.

  • Akf
    Akf Member
    edited December 2023

    [removed self-referencing link]

    I am a recent convert from Mint and while I do like how the spending plan feature helps me understand what I will have left at the end of the month, it’s very static. The daily spending visualization that Mint had got me in the product almost daily because I could see the progress, it showed me something new each day. Simplifi’s daily available spending number does change each day, but it would be a relatively easy improvement to visualize how it compounds over the month. Mint visualized it as daily spending each day compared to last month as a line chart, where keeping the line from going up was a pseudo-goal, but it could just as easily be a line tracking the banked funds, were keeping the line going up is the pseudo-goal (unplanned spending makes it go down.)

    it would be a great widget for the dashboard or an alternative view for the spending plan screen.

  • collin.snow
    collin.snow Member
    edited December 2023

    Please add summary progress information for Monthly Spending Plan!

    "Are we making progress against our planned spending and how do we know? Right now it is possible to answer this question at the category level, but not in summary for the entire monthly plan.

    Another question that we look to answer is "How much money is left for use in our spending plan (in total)?"

    As former MINT users this information was prominently displayed at the top of the page and then each budget category was displayed underneath. This feature is missing from simplifi and would be of great benefit to the community if added.

  • UrsulaA
    UrsulaA Superuser ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2023

    I see that this idea is active and resembles yours. Vote for it.

    [removed link to merged thread]

    Simplifi User Since Nov 2023

    Minter 2014-2023

    Questionable Excel before 2014 to present

  • floridaeast
    floridaeast Member

    So I've been using Simplifi for a month. It's a good tool. There are new unique features compared to Mint which I like. But still it's missing the Daily Spending Bar (on the Spending Plan web + mobile App) which allows to see if on a given day I'm below or above my discretionary limit; is there a way this can be added soon? Monarch Money has it, see here:

    Until Simplifi implements it, I need to use both solutions…

    Thank you for your consideration.

  • ajbopp
    ajbopp Superuser ✭✭✭✭

    @floridaeast I'm not sure if this will help in your situation or not. I use two special tags - "Discretionary" and "Non-Discretionary" that I apply to every purchase I make. Then I created a Watchlist for each of those two tags, and set a target amount for them.

    This will then create a card in the Watchlist section of your dashboard that will show your total discretionary spending (you may have to edit the name of the watchlist to something funky as they are sorted alphabetically, I believe, so on the web app it may not show by default without scrolling).

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