We want your feedback on the Spending Plan!

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Comments

  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2023

    I understand @Brandon Roop 's concern, and that is that the spending plan page only shows by calendar month. If they get paid one out of three months, that means two out of three months the spending plan is going to show them over budget if they spend $0.01. I can't say this affects me, however I am open to supporting (if it went to a vote) more flexibility in dates/length for the spending plan.


    Rob Wilkens

  • ajbopp
    ajbopp Superuser ✭✭✭✭

    Got it. That makes sense.

    Anthony Bopp
    Simplifi User Since July 2022, not an employee, not an influencer

  • EL1234
    EL1234 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2023

    Maybe it would be useful to be able to manually override the total amount you plan to spend (after bills and subscriptions). For example, if I have some extra income one month, I don't necessarily want to spend it all. And if I have less income the next month, that doesn't mean I need to spend that much less, if I didn't spend it all last month.

    That would also help for those who don't get paid monthly (eg: every two weeks, every four weeks, every quarter, etc.)

  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭

    @EL1234 You could always use a custom savings goal to put aside what you don't want to spend.


    Rob Wilkens

  • EL1234
    EL1234 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @RobWilk that's a good idea if I want to put it towards savings, but what if I want it to be part of my spending plan for the next month? Can I then "release" it from the savings goal and consider it income?

  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2023

    @EL1234 I don't understand why people want roll-over, but there are people who do. You can vote on that idea elsewhere. In short, what is in the spending plan isn't what you really have, it's your balance and cash flow chart that affects what you can spend. If you spend based on the spending plan you can wind up overdrawing your account if you have expected income that didn't come in yet. IF you go over on the spending plan, no one cares but you.


    Rob Wilkens

  • SRC54
    SRC54 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Brandon Roop

    That's an interesting quandry you have Brandon getting paid quarterly, which is very rare as far as I know. How to work around that is the question.

    You could record your pay in your checking account (or Savings Account) as a transfer to a manual paycheckk account and then each month "pay" yourself 1/3 of it as an income for the Spending Plan. And of course, you have your taxes, health plan, retirement plan every quarter as well. I keep up with those but some don't.

    I probably would just use the Spending Plan as a Spending Plan and not worry that I have negative leftover in months 2 and 3 as long as my spending stayed even each month so I had some leftover each quarter.

    I know this is not ideal for you, but it is an idea.

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

  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good Idea @SRC54 . Having the quarterly paycheck deposited into Savings and then scheduling a monthly or biweekly transfer from Savings to Checking does seem like the only solution that would really work for @Brandon Roop with Simplifi's current structure.

    Chris
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    New to Simplifi in 2021.
  • Lytol
    Lytol Member ✭✭

    How would you use rollover abilities in the Spending Plan?

    We often have transactions where money is ear-marked for one month, but if those funds aren't spent, we need a way to apply the funds to the following month. For example, if I pay my gardener $200/mo, but he doesn't cash the check until the following month. We used YNAB prior to Simplifi, and they did a phenomenal job at zero-based budgeting and rollovers were a crucial part of that.

    How would having rollover abilities benefit you?

    Zero based budgeting is the goal IMO. If you have extra funds at the end of the month, it would be great to be able to apply those to the following month without losing transaction-based income (i.e. entering a custom income amount).

    What other features/abilities would you like to see added to the Spending Plan?

    I'd like to be able to add one-time income (bonuses, Airbnb income, etc) within each month's spending plan; currently, it seems that we can only add "recurring income" from the spending plan. As a workaround, I create future transactions for the one-off income but they are marked as "Received" immediately, and it's an awkward interplay between "Transactions" and "Spending Plan" to track them properly.

  • altChristopher
    altChristopher Member ✭✭✭

    Soon we will have a year of feedback. I am curious what the next step is.

  • Diver4242
    Diver4242 Member ✭✭

    For example, we transfer $1,000 each month to our vacation bucket at Ally bank savings account (please recognize the buckets there!). That levels out our irregular vacation spending to a solid monthly number. When we take a vacation, say we spend $3,000, we just transfer that money to checking so it doesn't affect our monthly cash flow. So, we'd like Simplifi to handle this like Quicken does, to roll over the unused amount to the new balance, and let us set the correct balance in case it's out of whack or at least to start up correctly! We also do this with holiday savings, property taxes, education savings, next vehicles/vehicle repairs, etc.

  • umwi
    umwi Member
    1. How would you use rollover abilities in the Spending Plan?

      It would be nice to automatically adjust planned spending categories by the amount exceeded the previous month. Grocery shopping is a great example, where the schedule sometimes doesn't quite work out to be exactly monthly. I should be able to shop on May 31st for the month of June and be able to easily shift those funds out of my June budget and into my May budget.
    2. How would having rollover abilities benefit you?

      Right now managing this is manual (I add some to the current month and take away from the next month).
    3. What other features/abilities would you like to see added to the Spending Plan?

      Please add the ability to set brokerage accounts as a Savings Goal.

  • I'd like to be able to assign multiple categories/sub-categories to one Planned Spending expense (both One-time and Monthly). I would use this to create more flexible Planned Spending options that group categories/subcategories that aren't structured together in my categories architecture.

    For example, I would create a Guilt-Free spending that includes dining out, uber rides, and shopping, and other entertainment.

  • lol10
    lol10 Member
    1. How would you use rollover abilities in the Spending Plan?
      1. I have savings goals for a lot of spending categories so I can set aside money each month, sometimes I use all of it sometimes I don't, so now anytime I spend against it I have to go in and hide from the spending plan and also withdraw from the goal which is cumbersome and ripe with errors. I would much rather be ablet to designate a goal as something to rollover so that I can continue to save and spend against it naturally.
    2. How would having rollover abilities benefit you?
      1. much less manual messing with every transaction and savings goals
    3. What other features/abilities would you like to see added to the Spending Plan?
      1. the ability to contribute to a savings goal and not have it impact the spending plan. if I have a balance of money at the end of the month if I don't contribute it that month I can't allocate it to a particular goal, but the problem is I don't always know what's going to hit against it by the 30th of the month so I often have a remaining balance. Also, if I want to take money that's just not currently put towards a particular goal, I can't do it without blowing my spending plan, or deleting the goal and recreating it which is cumbersome

    Please be as specific as possible. We look forward to your feedback! 

  • Diver4242
    Diver4242 Member ✭✭
    edited July 2023

    For larger variable expenses, what we do is as follows. We do this for vehicle (repairs & saving for replacements), vacations, holidays, etc. I'll use vehicle as an example.

    We have an automatic transfer of $500 set up for the end of the month to our Ally vehicle repair/replace bucket. If, during the month, we have a $300 brake job, I'll edit it to be a $200 transfer, zeroing out that expense in our budget. If there's no unusual/unplanned/variable expense, I'll let the $500 transfer.

    We don't do this for gasoline, it's a normal budgeted/spending plan expense that we want to monitor each month. Doing it like this allows us to keep our spending regular and normalized each month, and focus on the trending for regular stuff like groceries, dining, etc with no surprise expenses to throw us off track.

    If Simplifi could accommodate something like that, especially automatically, that would put it far ahead of other tools.

  • KDillow
    KDillow Unconfirmed, Member

    I would use a rollover feature for many things in my spending plan. For instance, I have some bills or regular expenses that are only once a quarter or every 6 weeks. For instance, my personal care spending includes getting my hair colored, which is only once every 8 weeks. Rather than go over budget one month and under budget another month, I'd prefer to rollover my planned personal care spending. This would also more accurately reflect the amount available in a month.

  • Ability to merge spending accounts of both people in a shared space or for them to create a new "joint" spending plan. My husband and I thought we'd be able to do this which is why we signed up. Having to separate spending plans/budgets instead of a family budget isn't useful to us.

  • I would not use the Rollover features.

    I'd like to see "Available per day" added to the web version's Spending Plan page.

  • nanoviking
    nanoviking Member ✭✭

    How would you use rollover abilities in the Spending Plan?

    To budget for non-monthly expenses like vacation fund, gift fund, or home/auto maintenance fund. Would also use it to manage/track long term spend trends - am I consistently over or under spending in a category? There's also currently no way to check net income after all planned expenses (including "leftover" money in each category) - rollover would help here too.

    How would having rollover abilities benefit you?

    Without rollover I will leave simplifi, plain and simple. I need to be able to plan long term expenses. The savings goal might be a place to do this but not being able to interact with transactions and creating an artifical savings account that affects displayed balance in actual account is gimmicky. Would be far better to just build in a rollover envelope system into spending plan (or auto forward leftover budget to next month spending availability).

    A automatically spend plan leftover money forwarding feature also helps for biweekly paychecks that result in high and low earning months - if extra earnings float I won't be left with artificial negative spend months on the metric report.

    What other features/abilities would you like to see added to the Spending Plan?

    Net income tracker that accounts for planned spend as an expense (whether actually spent or not)

  • nicko
    nicko Member ✭✭✭

    Please add the notes feature to spending plan. This would make it much easier when two people are actively engaged in the budget on a daily weekly basis to know what went were. Thanks Simplifi Team!

  • The biggest thing I would like to see is that a rollover ability would be allowed on the spending plan. If a full budget doesn't get spent in a month, that positive amount should get rolled over and show in the next month. If you go over in a category, that amount should be deducted from the next month.

    Please add this capability soon! It would make Simplify an AMAZING software for budgeting and helping people progress with their money in the long run!

  • kelgar3457
    kelgar3457 Member

    I would like to see the ability to add notes to a planned expense in the spending plan. Also, the ability to add a one-time instead of recurring expense to the spending plan. And finally, the ability to add custom frequencies - for example, every five weeks, every three weeks, every six weeks, etc.

  • EL1234
    EL1234 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Here's a thought: When creating a series or entering an upcoming transaction, allow me to select whether it should be counted as a Bill, or as part of Planned/Other Spending.

    Another idea: if there is a Planned Spending for that category, don't count it as a bill, instead, count it in the spending plan.

    This would greatly help consolidate and track when some transactions for the same category are assumed to be "bills" and others "planned spending", and give everyone the flexibility to track things the way that makes sense for them.

  • EL1234
    EL1234 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2023

    In terms of rollover: after a month is over, I would like to review my spending plan. For all categories that were not 100% what the estimate was, I'd like to be able to click a button to either:

    1. Adjust (raise/lower) the spending plan to the amount that it actually was, or
    2. Rollover the extra funds to the next month, or subtract them from the next month if I "overspent"

    I think that would help a lot in keeping a budget flexible enough that I can buy things at the end of the month for next month, and vice versa, and also handle spending that isn't exactly the same every month but you'd like it to average out to a specific amount, etc.

  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭

    The problem with that vision of rollover, is if you exclude expenses from the spending plan you will wind up with extra money you don't have rolling over each month.


    Rob Wilkens

  • EL1234
    EL1234 Member ✭✭✭✭

    It depends how you use it, which is why I'd like it to be an option and not automatic.

  • Wooloomooloo2
    Wooloomooloo2 Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2023

    I absolutely cannot fathom the spending plan at all. Ironically, Simplifi is one of the most complicated finance apps I’ve ever used, and I work in finance myself, in tech.

    I had a huge surplus in our budget in June because my wife is a teach and gets paid over 10 months, with the final month covering months 10, 11 and 12, so basically 3 months salary. This month we’re spending some of that on a vacation. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to convince Simplifi that we have more to spend this month than the sum of my paychecks for THIS month.

    I did try some of the hacks people suggested, like creating a fake goal and stuffing the excess money from June in there, and then “withdrawing” from it this month, but withdrawing from a goal does NOTHING to your “available to spend” balance, so all month I’ve been greeted with a negative left to spend amount, despite planning 2 months ahead.

    I really love Smplifi’s reporting, it’s easily the best of any web-based Finance tool, and honestly quite a lot better and certainly more modern than Quicken’s. However the planning and budgeting is truly terrible. I’ve read this entire thread and almost no-one actually likes it. It seems quite complicated to have bills, subscriptions, transfers, planned spending, goals and watch-lists all as seperately defined things. Also the idea that when you spend money previously accumulated and put in as a goal, you have to then manually exlude that spending from the plan, seem ludicrous. Why have any plan at all if the only way to balance your budget is to simply not include spending in it.

    I’ve paid a year’s subscription, but at this point it’s the sheer amount of time I have to spend on this app to get it to make any sense to me that’s making me yet again look elsewhere for a solution. One thing I found that makes me think this will never be fixed was a [moderator] response to this exact question back in 2020, 3 years ago..Here is their full reply…


    Ah alright! Yea - I understand now. Basically, the idea behind savings goals is to provide a way of setting aside money from a savings/checking account or multiple savings/checking accounts for a specific purpose. Once you achieve that 'goal' - you can take from it with the 'take from' button - this will put your money back into your account so that you can spend it on your vacation/car/wedding/etc. It is essentially a tracker of which money you have set aside for specific things. It would be nice if this was automatic and you can assign a transaction to the 'take from' amount as you suggested. Unfortunately - goals is largely a manual process still. But thanks so much for the feedback! Automating your 'take from' amount is a great idea! I'll be sure to pass it along :)


    “I’ll be sure to pass it along seems to be a familiar phrase”

  • Diver4242
    Diver4242 Member ✭✭

    I'm losing faith in Simplifi as well. I really love the tool and it's potential. I think they could grab the market from the other budget/cash flow tools like YNAB, Mint, EveryDollar as well as overall personal finance tracking (Personal Capital/Empower). They are so close, but I'm not seeing progress in these big frustrating problems. As you note, they understood the problem back in 2020, but still no progress. It's a mess, and should be "simplified". I worry because in the end, this is the Quicken company, and look at the track record for the flagship/legacy software, which I've used since the very earliest days and had to give up on because of a lack of progress there, and continuing degradation. C'mon Simplifi team, take the lead!

  • Everyone has great ideas and passion for rollovers, I'm not as experienced as others. The thing for me that would help spending plans is being able to plan off of a tag, I have a petty cash or fun money budget which can comprise of a number things in a single month ( electronics, co-payment, shopping) it changes monthly. But there is no way I can create all those items ahead of time. So I'm stuck having to create watch list to see what I spent but it doesn't help me with planned budgeting.

    Please include the ability to budget planned spending based off of tags. I seems like the functionality are so close to one another that this can happen.

    Thank You

  • cdorsi
    cdorsi Member
    1. I would find the option to use fiscal year (i.e. I can specify the start date of my budget year and Simplifi will remember and honor it) budgeting more helpful than rollover. In my personal account I have a lot of expenses that only happen 1-4 times per year, so they throw monthly spending plans off and I have to turn them into savings goals and then make the actual payments excluded to not blow a monthly spending plan, so yearly would be much easier. Also, I'm a treasurer for a non-profit, and Simplifi would be great for managing and sharing our budget and tracking expenses, if only it allowed for a fiscal year (in our case July-June) budget/spending plan; monthly is worthless to us.
    2. I suppose with rollover from the monthly spending plan I would exclude less big one time expenses and recuring large bills that only get paid 1-4 times / year.
    3. I could really use the ability to exclude a portion of a split transaction from the Spending Plan. I often pay expense that are shared with others and would like to include my portion the spending plan, but exclude the amount I paid for someone else from my spending plan. I'm often not paid back in the same month as the expense, so the reimbursement doesn't balance out the extra expense on my card in the Spending Plan for either month. It would also be nice to have planned spending that's for multiple categories combined, such as Dining & Drinks + Groceries, since those are generally related. However, that's less useful than excluding only portions of split transactions or having the option to choose between monthly, calendar year, and fiscal year budgeting/spending plan.