#TipTuesday: Using Savings Goals to break down annual/bi-annual expenses in the Spending Plan

Coach Natalie
Coach Natalie Administrator, Moderator admin
@DannyB provided a wonderful workaround (available here) for breaking down expenses that occur less than monthly to a per month amount in the Spending Plan, and we want to make sure everyone gets to see it!

The best way to break down these types of expenses to a per month amount in the Spending Plan would be to use a Savings Goal:
  1. Create a Savings Goal for the expense using the total cost of the expense as the 'Goal Amount' and the broken down per month amount for the 'Monthly Contribution'.
  2. Elect to have the Savings Goal included in the Spending Plan; this will add the 'Monthly Contribution' amount to the Income after bills and saving section of the Spending Plan each month. 
  3. Whether you contribute to the Savings Goal or not, the 'Monthly Contribution' amount will still be included in your Spending Plan; if you'd like those funds to be set aside from your account balance, however, you'll want to be sure to contribute each month. 
  4. When it comes time to pay the expense, you'll want to ignore the transaction from the Spending Plan, as the accumulative funds for the expense have already been allotted in the Spending Plan by way of your Savings Goal; you can also withdraw to "spend" for the Goal if you'd like, as using this option will not impact the Spending Plan.
Please be sure to check out our Support Article here for more details on using Savings Goals in Simplifi, as well as our Support Article here for more details on ignoring transactions from the Spending Plan. 

We'd love to hear from you on how this method works for you, as well as any other methods that you've identified to accomplish this type of scenario in Simplifi! 

Comments

  • LWrathBudget
    LWrathBudget Member
    This is what I've been doing as well! I hope in the future that Simplifi can simplify this a bit :) . If the Savings Goals were incorporated into the Spending Plan a bit more and/or if there was a way to mark a transaction as being part of a Spending Goal, that would reduce the steps. I already tag the transactions that are part of a goal so I can keep track of the total amount spent. Thanks for posting -- glad to see I'm approaching this similarly to others.
  • LtDan1912
    LtDan1912 Member ✭✭✭
    I applaud @DannyB for the effort he's put into making Savings Goals work for him, although I wish it didn't have to be this way.
    Warning: Constructive criticism coming:

    I wish savings goals acted more like an "account" so that I could easily see a ledger of my contributions and when I spent from a goal. 

    If I am not *on top* of my contributions and an expense hits, I get this mix of some bills that came from the goal and some that didn't which adds confusion.

    Did I miss contributing? Did I miss choosing to spend from my goal? Did I forget to tag it with the goal name to indicate I did? Did I forget to mark it as "Ignore from Spending Plan"?

    It's too much to keep track of when the system should do it for me.
    Dan
    Simplifi (2022-Present)
    YNAB (2014-2022)
    Mint (2010-2014)
    Quicken (1999-2010)
  • DannyB
    DannyB Superuser ✭✭✭✭
    @LWrathBudget and @LtDan1912, I agree with your critiques of doing it this way, it is an awkward work around.  I would love to see the developers add the ability to automatically roll over set amounts in planned spending instead.

    Having a ledger for savings goals could be very helpful.  Most of my SGs will be used all at once when the bill comes due.  But a couple of them are used randomly through the months and these would especially benefit from a ledger to track spending.

    I have all savings goals set up to Subtract in my savings plan which adds them to a list each month and allows me to take into account this irregular spending on a monthly basis.  

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

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