How to deal with Christmas Bonus? Savings Goal or Watchlist?

PatrickTheBrewer Member
edited March 2022 in Using Watchlists
How do you account for a bonus into your spending plan? I typically will spend the bonus over the next couple months on specific items. Ive come up with 2 options and wondering if one is better then the other. I suppose both would require ignoring all the transactions from the spending plan....

1. Setup a savings goal for the amount of the bonus. Whenever a purchase is made that I want to use the bonus for I withdrawal from the savings goal. 

2. Create a tag called Bonus and a Watchlist in order to track the expenses...Ive messed around with tagging the income as the bonus as well so it shows the actual amount in the watchlist. Not sure if thats better then not tagging the actual bonus and only tagging the expenses the bonus is used on. 

Best Answer

  • Coach Natalie
    Coach Natalie Administrator, Moderator admin
    Answer ✓
    Hello @PatrickTheBrewer,

    Thank you for posting your inquiry regarding your Christmas Bonus to the Community, although I apologize that you have not yet received a response.

    Hopefully other Users come along with some great feedback and advice on how they have, or plan to, handle this type of situation in Simplifi, however, to be sure that I fully understand what you're looking to do, are you specifically wanting to track the expenses against the bonus?

    If so, I think that the Tag option would be a safe bet, and I would definitely suggest tagging the actual bonus as well, that way everything is accounted for all under that one Tag. Otherwise, if you're not looking to specifically track the expenses against the bonus, you can just leave the bonus to be included as extra "Income" in your Spending Plan, and then just track any spending like normal. 

    I hope this helps, but please let me know if you have any questions! :smile:

    -Coach Natalie


  • Thanks for the response! I am looking to track the specific expenses against the bonus so going with the tag option like you mention seems to make the most sense.
  • I have been using the watchlists for Bonus since this original post. The problem now is that a watchlist does not show the remaining amount left to spend. Its has lots of other info like ytd and 8month average but now that its a new year its not calculating all the money spent last month. I have 8 transactions tagged to this bonus over 2 months and i have to manually add them up to see how much is left to spend. 
  • Coach Natalie
    Coach Natalie Administrator, Moderator admin
    Hello @PatrickTheBrewer,

    Thanks for posting back!

    I think I get what you're referring to, but I just want to make sure that we're on the same page -- the reason you can no longer determine what has been spent total towards the Watchlist is because the YTD amount started over as of this month, and there are no other data points to gather that information from (without manually adding), correct? 

    If so, I can definitely see how this could become a problem with Watchlist tracking. I did find an existing Idea post that you may be interested in checking out and adding your vote to:

    You may also consider creating a new Idea post requesting that a collective total be added to Watchlist cards (in addition to/instead of the monthly total and the YTD total), as I'm not finding an existing one and I think it would be a great idea to vote on.

    Please let me know if you have any questions! :smile:

    -Coach Natalie
  • Thanks for the response Natalie! 

    Yes I need a total amount remaining before reaching the target amount. There is an orange line in the graph with the target amount but each month is calculated separately. It just needs one more data point showing the total amount remainIng to spend before reaching the target so that would be the difference between my set target and the total spent. Not just by month but all time. Should be an easy equation for the software to calculate. 

    Currently I have to add up the months totals and subtract from the target count to get this number.

    The watchlist almost works perfectly with the tags for this bonus situation. Or really anytime I want to use a bucket that i can pull money from over a period of time. I made one for money my kids received as well.

    I originally was tagging the actual bonus to be attributed to the watchlist as well but that really made things screwy because the graph was negative and made it even harder to see how much was left to spend. Not sure how you would fix that and it's not a big deal I guess since I know the bonus is for x dollars I just set the target to that amount and know the money is is my checking account to pull from. I just tag the purchases I make Xmas bonus to keep them in the watchlist and ignore from spending plan.

    I did vote for that feature suggestion as it's essentially the same thing. A remaining amount value for a watchlist. Please please please add!
  • Mrsterry
    Mrsterry Member ✭✭
    Just wanted to thank you for asking this question and coming back to update progress! I'm struggling with a similar issue - figuring out how to mark items as paid from savings (which includes bonus), rather than the month's spending plan. Just ignoring it from spending plan helps the month 'look' healthier, but then doesn't accurately account for my purchases over time OR help me realize how often I'm dipping into my savings to cover purchases. I'm going to try making a 'savings' tag so I can create a watch list and collect all those items in one place. 
    @PatrickTheBrewer if you find you're successful with your bonus or change your approach, I'd love to hear about better ways you find to manage this. Thanks!! 
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