We want your feedback on the Spending Plan!

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Comments

  • madtown88
    madtown88 Member
    mverbree said:
    The spending plan is excellent, only thing I would like to see is a way of adding a Transfer section for example a re-occurring transfer to a brokerage.  I track these as bills now, just would like these separated into its own section.  I also do a number of re-occurring transfers to and from family members, putting money into savings accounts, etc...
    This is exactly what I've been looking for as well. +1000 votes :smile:
  • DannyB
    DannyB Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Taylor-Brill

    I came to the same conclusion above... just not as quickly or concisely nor as well laid out as you do.

    I have done the same as you in how I use Simplifi and would like to see Savings Goals become more robust with additional functionality as you describe.  If you search through this forum (if you haven't already) you will find your ideas are shared by others.  An example is being able to tie a specific transaction to the related savings goal here and here.

    I'm hopeful your ideas added to others will be adopted by the development team and we will soon(er rather than latter) see additional more robust Savings Goals functionality.
    Danny
    Simplifi user since 01/22
    Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer
  • Havensd74
    Havensd74 Member ✭✭
    1 - I wouldn't use roll over abilities in the spending plan.  I use the spending plan to track monthly cash flow only.

    2 - Roll over abilities would not benefit me.  

    3 - I would like to see the ability to add a retirement goal instead of just savings goals.  A retirement goal would allow me to track monthly contributions to a retirement account.  
  • This is a silly question. Go through all the feedback you have already received in forums about this topic. It has been asked for over and over again for a long time, often with silly responses like "this is an interesting idea," as if it wasn't something that should already exist. This is basic functionality that limits the useability of Simplify and should have already been implemented.
  • d312c257
    d312c257 Member
    3. I wish the spending plans were including in cash flow projections.
  • DannyB
    DannyB Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi @bobluck
    It took me a few months to get used to what you are experiencing with savings goals and payments of an actual expense.  You are exactly right to mark the actual expense "ignore in spending plan."  However, the adjustment comes in realizing that this expense is visible in your spending plan in that you have shown and paid the expense out of your spending plan in the months leading up to when the expense comes due through the monthly contribution to your savings goal for that expense.  Ignoring the actual payment to exclude it from the spending plan in the month it is actually paid keeps you from duplicating it since you have already accounted for the payment in your savings goal.

    I agree that it would be a step forward to figure out how to charge the expense against the savings goal saving, in essence, automating the process of accounting for the expense outside of the spending plan and closing the loop of saving (planning) for an expense and making actual payment.
    Danny
    Simplifi user since 01/22
    Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer
  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2022
    @DannyB,

    Not to open up a whole other - off topic - can of worms, but with your current understanding of Savings Goals, what would happen if you set your Savings Goal to this?


    Would it do the exact opposite as what you described in the prior post?  i.e. Would you need to actually include each of the actual payments instead of clicking “Ignore from Spending Plan” on each one?

    I suspect that right now, you have “No, ignore it” set for each of your Savings Goals.  I’ve not been sure what to set it to.

    [edited image to reduce size]
    Chris
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    New to Simplifi in 2021.
  • DannyB
    DannyB Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi @Flopbot

    I think I get what your asking and I'll try a response:

    First, according to the help article on Saving Goal(s): "Please note... ignored Goals will show as grayed out in the Spending Plan, and their contributions and withdraws do not impact the Spending Plan in any way."  I interpret this to mean that if a Saving Goal is marked "No, ignore it" anything contributed and/or held in an ignored saving goal will be truly ignored by Simplifi's spending.  And I interpret this to mean that when the money in this ignored SG that expenditure will also need to be marked ignore in the spending plan since the funds for this expenditure is "invisible" to Simplifi. 

    Next, to account for my annual non-monthly expense, either fixed (i.e. property tax, property insurance, quarterly taxes) or flexible (i.e. birthday and Christmas gifts, Auto service/repair, travel expenses), I mark each SG "Yes, subtract it."  This makes SGs and contributions to the SGs visible and accounted for in my monthly spending plan.

    Here are a couple of my SGs.  The Birthday & Christmas SG is spent as we go along (Non-monthly Flexible Expense).  The 4th Quarter SE Tax is a set amount due on a certain date (Non-monthly Fixed Expense).

    Both are marked "Yes, subtract it"



    By marking them to be subtracted they become part of my monthly spending plan and are accounted for in my monthly expenses.  Here is what this looks like:



    Because I am making "payments" to these non-monthly expenses through my monthly contributions I can ignore the actual expenditures when paid in the real world.  My contributions to the SGs are equivalent to making a monthly payment to the actual payee - contributions are virtual payments.  

    I hope the development an integrated way to handle these non-monthly routine expenses that will simplify this process.
    Danny
    Simplifi user since 01/22
    Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer
  • I second @Flopbot's response in general.
    Flopbot said:

    1. How would you use rollover abilities in the Spending Plan?  I would certainly use the ability to rollover BOTH overages & underages for specific Spending Plan items - not all - from one month to the next in the Spending Plan.  I used this in Quicken Desktop and really liked it - although the rest of the budget module in Quicken left some to be desired.  Here's an example of how I'd use it.  This month, I had to purchase a Wi-Fi Router so this is what shows up in my Planned Spending for Entertainment (which includes Electronics).  If I had rollover active, I'd be able to see that next month - if I didn't spend any money - I had a negative balance of $125.75 over.  The following month would be $115.75 over.  And so on.  By keeping an eye on this number over the course of several months, I'd have a pretty good idea of whether I had too much or too little budgeted for Entertainment - if it's always negative, then I need to budget more.


    2. How would having rollover abilities benefit you?  For me, in Quicken Desktop, it helped me know if I had too much or too little budgeted in any given category.  The way that Simplifi is set up doesn't really give a clear big picture of how my budget is doing.  There are too many oddities like this that I just can't seem to plan for.

    3. What other features/abilities would you like to see added to the Spending Plan?  The two that I'd want to see the most would be:

    (A) The ability to EASILY move unused money from one Spending Plan item to another (click here).  I feel this would become especially critical if you added the ability to rollover amounts from one month to the next.  Using my example above, if I realized I wasn't paying down the "Entertainment" category fast enough, then maybe I'd want to move $50 from my "Clothing & Shoes" category to get it done faster.  Along with this, I'd love the ability to see a record of when this was done, which was something that was lacking in Quicken Desktop.
    I would like the option to choose to apply over/underspending to the next month's category or automatically rollover to the starting place for next month. YNAB does this well.

    I would also like the Spending Plan to have a feature to auto-apply an amount based on past spending, upcoming spending, or past spending plan amounts.
  • multiple tags to a transaction
  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2022
    @greywind, by “multiple tags”, do you mean with the existing Tags feature; the one found when editing a transaction.  Or, do you mean adding something new like a new #hashtag feature?

     If you mean the former, then you can currently add two tags to one transaction.



    [edited image to reduce size]
    Chris
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    New to Simplifi in 2021.
  • Pmrussell892
    Pmrussell892 Member ✭✭
    Need the ability to hide it because it makes zero sense and is never indicative of what I can actually spend for the month. Please allow me to shut it off. I only use cash flow forecasting. 
  • I would love to be able to customize the dates of my spending plan - I budget by my credit card cycle since we pay that off every month, so that is where all my transactions happen. I don't like only being able do just by the month. 
  • drlegran
    drlegran Member
    As our Team works hard to continue growing and improving the Spending Plan, we'd like your feedback!
    1. How would you use rollover abilities in the Spending Plan?
    2. How would having rollover abilities benefit you?
    3. What other features/abilities would you like to see added to the Spending Plan?
    Please be as specific as possible. We look forward to your feedback! 

    Within Planned Spending of the Spending Plan view, the ability to rollover unused funds for certain categories is critical. I'm referring specifically to the feature request originally posted here: https://community.simplifimoney.com/discussion/114/rollover-unused-spending-plan-money-edited-10-merged-votes/p4

    Please see my answers below.

    1. I'll use a category of mine as an example, Pet Boarding. As I prepare my future spending plan for 2023, I review planned and unplanned spending, along with my watchlists, to determine if I need to create new planned spending categories. In 2022, we spent $1,600 on boarding, but we didn't spend $133.33 every month on boarding ([1,600 / 12 = 133.33]). However, I still want to account for that spend as I progress through the year by budgeting for it as a planned expense within my monthly cash flow. If we didn't board our dogs during the first four months of the year, then in May, we should have $533.33 available for boarding. This would help us plan for trips better, and account for the spend in a planned manner, as opposed to having a random $533.33 expense in the Unplanned Spending section of the Spending Plan feature. This applies to many of our budget categories, in which we aren't spending money on these categories each month, but rather throughout the year. It's difficult to account for unplanned spending in Simplifi, so having the ability to rollover unused funds to the following month within the Planned Spending category - as opposed to having it be released to "available funds" - would be HUGELY beneficial for planning.
    2. I've explained the benefits above in point #1, but the primary benefit is being able to plan for certain expenses throughout the year that you aren't necessarily spending money on each month - AND - avoiding having these expenses fall within unplanned spending.
    3. For now, this is the BIGGEST feature I need within Spending Plan.

    You've had hundreds of users request this feature, and it looks like your Product Team has been "considering" this feature for almost two years now. Perhaps even longer. 

    PLEASE LISTEN TO YOUR USER BASE. Other personal finance and budgeting platforms have this feature. 

    Not listening to your users and requested features is how you LOSE SUBSCRIBERS.


    Thanks.

  • 1. I would probably want the rollover to apply to the next month in the checking because that's what it will do in your actual account. Then, make it clear what was leftover after all the planned spending so you can make a decision on that "extra" money. Move it to savings, pay down debt, let it roll, etc.
    2. Rollover would be a benefit because you can see what you have leftover from the spending budget for other items.
    3. As a feature, I would like a custom way of building the spending plan. Personally,  it would be more useful to me if it was broken down by pay period. It's a lot easier to digest and make adjustments in smaller chunks.
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    #3 ^^ Me too, but I may have already said that.  In my case, I get paid monthly but not based on 1st of the  month


    Rob Wilkens

  • ffurja
    ffurja Member
    A couple of comments:
    1) I would not use the roll-over function

    2) I would like to see a 12 month view of the spending plan with actual versus planned on a single screen versus have to tap forward or backward using the arrows.

    The 12 month view can be customized to look at a TTM of actual to plan.  A calendar year view of actual to plan and forecast for future months.
    1. How would you use rollover abilities in the Spending Plan?
    I personally wouldn't use rollover cabilities. I think the ability to have recurring transactions and build that into "where my money is going to go" covers my uses. For instance, in Mint, I have a rollover amount for the dentist because I only go twice a year. Simplifi Spending plan with recurring transactions handles this use case. 
    1. How would having rollover abilities benefit you?
    See above.
    1. What other features/abilities would you like to see added to the Spending Plan?
    I would like to be able to view my forecast expenditures through the current month. As an example, we are halfway through December, and if I have spent less than typically expected in a month, then I would like it to forecast that as my expenditure in certain categories. I would expect this to be reasonably advanced, like if less is money is spent on dining then more would be spent on groceries. 
  • Chrobrego
    Chrobrego Member ✭✭✭
    Rollover is an obvious feature. Mint already uses it along with YNAB and several other apps.  Just allow it to be enabled for each spending category.  For example, if I'm disciplined in my 'Eating Out' category, I want any monies saved to be rolled over into the next month. This frees up Income to be used for other things such as saving.  
  • mblank78
    mblank78 Member ✭✭
    The ability to add planned spending based on tags would be great. Example: you have a vacation planned and you will spend money in many different categories. You would like to keep track of the overall vacation (using a tag) and where you are spending money (using categories) on vacation. Currently can use a watch list for such things using tags, just would be nice to have that incorporated into spending plan to better plan for these expenses.
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Oh that would be so much more useful to  have planned spending based on tags.   For example, let's say i have regular 'dining' expenses and 'dining' expenses as a part of a planned thing like vacation, i might only prefer to have the vacation 'dining' planned.  Or, let's say i have normal electronics expenses, but one electronics expense was a longer-term planned purchase (like a computer or tablet), I could flag just that one purchase (or anything related) rather than all electronics purchases.  If this isn't an idea to be voted on it should be


    Rob Wilkens

  • DannyB
    DannyB Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @mblank78 at the risk of getting off topic, for many years now, I have established a "Vacation" category in my budget with an assigned amount we plan to spend on vacation.  Rather than try to use a vacation tag to identify vacations expenses from various categories, all I need to do is assign all vacation expenses, food ("eating in" or" eating out"), hotel, campground fees, fuel costs, etc to the Vacation category.  As all these expenses are planned for and used during vacation trips it doesn't affect my routine expenses in such categories as fuel, food, etc. The advantage for me is that I can capture all these vacation expenses in one place and control how much I budget and spend for vacation(s) in a year.
    Danny
    Simplifi user since 01/22
    Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer
  • Coach Natalie
    Coach Natalie Administrator, Moderator admin
    Hello @mblank78 & @RobWilk,

    Thanks for the feedback!

    There is an Idea post requesting Planned Spending Items based on Tags that I'd definitely suggest adding your vote and feedback to. 

    https://community.simplifimoney.com/discussion/1688/add-option-to-create-planned-spending-expenses-based-on-tags#latest

    -Coach Natalie
  • ALC
    ALC Member

    1. What other features/abilities would you like to see added to the Spending Plan?
    Ability to display smaller cards in the spending plan.
    The entire Simplifi UI is gigantic. I am currently viewing the webpage at 80% and I still can't view the planned spending cards without excessive scrolling. I can see a total of 4 spending planned cards at a time. Why are the cards so large? You can easliy eliminate 50% of each card by removing the empty space. It is much more useful for me to be able to see all of my planned spending together, on one screen with minimal scrolling. This visually captures the information in a very clear, easy to digest way. 
  • DannyB
    DannyB Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2023
    Hi @ALC

    You make a good point, the spending plan cards could be smaller and still convey the same info they do now comfortably. I would suggest that you create a Feature Request for this idea. (Forum Home page> + New Post>New Idea>select category>Feature Request).

    I have a 17" laptop screen and a 24" monitor and I run Simplifi in Chrome browser.  Depending on how I size the Chrome window I can see up to 9 Planned spending cards whichever screen I use.  But on my 10" Surface, yep, only 4 cards are visible at a time.
    Danny
    Simplifi user since 01/22
    Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer
  • SRC54
    SRC54 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2023
    OK, I haven't commented on this topic because 1) I haven't thought much about it and 2) I'm probably an atypical user.  Here's my first comment.

    I don't find the Savings Goals useful because I always spend less than income, and I leave the residue in my main account.  I don't move it to my savings accounts until I am ready since I don't like to move it back for various reasons.  I fixed this for me by marking my checking account as a savings account.  This way I see it increase in my reports and since I make a decent interest in my balance for this account, I can afford to leave it there a month or so.  Of course, when I reset the account, it goes back to Checking, but I re-designate it again. When the balance gets over a threshold, I do move some to savings.

    I know I could use the Savings Goals and I have tried them, but I didn't like how they worked.  I prefer real savings accounts over virtual ones.  I certainly understand that others need that psychological push. But for me, I would prefer that whatever is left over at the end of the month was designated Savings instead of Income After Bills and Savings.

    Steve
    Quicken Simplifi Since 2021
    MS Money/Quicken Classic Since 1991

  • pst
    pst Member ✭✭✭

    1. How would you use rollover abilities in the Spending Plan?
    2. How would having rollover abilities benefit you?
    3. What other features/abilities would you like to see added to the Spending Plan?

    1. I would schedule expenses that span over months. For example, lawn care is paid 3 times throughout the year but I already know how much it is going to be. So I could set a monthly expense that is ${YearlyCostofLawnCare} divided by 12. And roll it over. On months that I don't have to pay, the amount accrues. Then when I pay a third, it assigns it to the spending plan.

    2. I would be able to see around the corner and budget properly. Avoid surprises. There is no way to do this that I know of right now and it's quite crippling actually. How does anyone use Simplifi to plan any recurring expense that doesn't fit within the scope of a month?!

    3. I want to be able to say to Simplifi: "I pay this much for lawn care or chimney maintenance every year, please help me make sure I've set money aside for these expenses". And let Simplifi do it for me.
  • Chrobrego
    Chrobrego Member ✭✭✭
    The spending plan should include some option so that I can include my credit card payments.