Ability to mark just one side of a Transfer to Ignore from Spending Plan (edited)

RobWilk
RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
edited June 2023 in Feature Requests
For Credit Card Payments, I use transfers, I think that's what's supposed to be done.

However, if i uncheck 'ignore from spending plan' on a transfer, it includes both sides of the transfer in the spending plan (netting $0).  That is pretty useless as far as the spending plan goes.

Would be nice if i could uncheck just one side of a transfer, so it could be included in the [spending] plan with meaning.  (If I transfer $1, I want to be able to have $1 deducted from the spending plan, not +$1 and -$1 or $0.)


Rob Wilkens

4
4 votes

Completed · Last Updated

You can now ignore or include just one side of a Recurring Linked Transfer with the new "Transfers" bucket in the Spending Plan!

Comments

  • bbertchie
    bbertchie Member ✭✭✭
    @RobWilk I set mine up as recurring bills. The offset category I use is transfer to the specific account. This way it works they way I need and is excluded from the available to spend but still listed as a bill for cash flow purposes
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @bbertchie By 'offset' category do you mean you have a transaction that is not a transfer but instead has whatever the offset category is, and then maybe have a separate payment received thing in the credit card account when it gets there?


    Rob Wilkens

  • bbertchie
    bbertchie Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 2022
    @RobWilk this is a scheduled bill for my Amex account. Since I don’t know the amount, I put it in as a penny to recur every month. Then, when I do know how much I’m going to pay, I edit the reminder ( not the recurring series). This way my cash flow projection takes into consideration the amount of the payment from my checking account this payment is then excluded from my reporting on the Amex account, the payment is credited to category credit card payments which are also excluded from spending plan and reporting. It’s how I found Simplifi works for me and what I want it to do. Also, I could never get transfers to work properly for me so this approach solved that. 



    [edited image to reduce size]
  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @RobWilk,

    I'm still learning how CC's truly affect Simplifi and the Spending Plan.  With that said, here's a post explaining how I set up my CC's (click here) starting in April 2022.  I've been using this method for awhile now (~8 months) and it still seems to be working well for me.  So far, I haven't found any issues with this method.

    That I know of, there are two (2) ways to handle CC payments in Simplifi...
    1. Using "Transfer to..." category.
    2. Using "Credit Card Payment" category.
    With what I know so far using "Transfer to..." makes sense if you have BOTH accounts linked to Simplifi while "Credit Card Payment" makes sense if only one account is linked to Simplifi.

    When using either way, Simplifi automatically checks these two boxes on any associated transactions ON BOTH ENDS (like you noted)...



    @DannyB understands this better than I - and does a much better job explaining it - but I believe your statement "so it could be included in the [spending] plan" is unnecessary.  With a CC, in theory, all your spending is already reflected in the Spending Plan (as Planned Spending or Other Spending) so you want the transfer to be completely ignored on both sides (netting $0) or else you'd be run the risk of being double charged - for lack of a better term.

    Stated another way, the Spending Plan already knows you purchased 7 Twinkies, 9 Doughnuts, 3 Milkshakes, and 1 gallon of Pepto-Bismol on your CC.  If you look at the Spending Plan, you should be able to find all these things in there.  When it comes time to pay off your misdeeds at the end of the month, then you don't want that credit card payment to show as a second negative hit to your Spending Plan.

    I guess the one exception would be if your CC isn't in Simplifi which would mean that Simplifi wouldn't have logged the initial transactions in the first place.  Then, you would want it to show.

    Please do let me know if I'm misunderstanding something.  Do you have a use-case that I'm missing?
    Chris
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    New to Simplifi in 2021.
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    "Yes and No" I agree and I do not agree.  Right now I'm paying off my charges as i make them, so this is a complete non-issue at this time.  But 1 year ago, I had a bunch of unplanned charges and was carrying $10,000-20,000 in debt....  When I was budgeting, month to month, the spending plan's "How much is left" and "amount per day left", I wanted it to factor in to my monthly budget the amount I used to pay off pre-existing debt (not paying charges made that month). 

    i.e. If I paid $1000 towards debt reduction, I wanted that to come out of my amount per day left.  But if I spent $30 at taco bell that month, and paid that off, that was separate and should only be deducted from monthly spending plan once. 

    Really the amount per day left is what i was most interested in.

    And really the way quicken did it was ideal where it had the amount left in checking account(s) until next scheduled deposit, which i believe it either broke down per day or told you how many days were left so you could use a calculator to figure per day out (I forget now, it's been a couple of years since i used Quicken).

    -Rob


    Rob Wilkens

  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @RobWilk, not sure if this gets close to what you need, but if you use the Mobile App on iOS - unsure about Android - have you checked out the Simplifi Widget?  There's one that shows the "Available to spend" amount along with a per day amount right on your device's homescreen.  On iPhone or iPad, if you long hold the screen until all the apps wiggle, you can click the Plus button at the top and then search for Simplifi's widgets.  Right now, there's only one displaying for me though I'm pretty sure there were others in the past.

    Thinking out loud here, but I wonder if you could create a "CC Debt Payment" category and enter a pretend transaction (doesn't match reality and your bank account) for $1,000 (see screenshot)?  You could make it recurring and adjust the amount that you want to pay down per month.



    By doing this, it would certainly hit your Spending Plan and since Simplifi doesn't use old, non-pending transactions in your register to come up with this number (second screenshot), I don't see why this wouldn't work.  Yes, this would be a workaround, but I could see it potentially being a suitable one.  I'm sure there is something I've got to be missing here.



    P.S.  I think your idea fits well into a larger scale concept of users wanting Simplifi to develop a better way to "Hold the users hand" (not meaning that as a negative) through the common processes of paying off/down CC spending/debt.  There are a lot of post types (ideas, discussions, & questions) in this forum related to the need for a super easy to implement/follow/modify approach towards CC; one that would make it exceedingly simple to see how Simplifi wants you to handle CC's and what your next step should be to either pay off your CC in full or to pay down your outstanding CC debt.  If Simplifi went so far as to offer suggestions, that would be phenomenal (ex. If you do Option A, you will save $_.  If you do Option B, you will save $_.).
    Chris
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    New to Simplifi in 2021.
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Flopbot - The CC Debt payment idea is a good idea if you take advantage of the functionality in simplify where 'cleared transactions' don't affect the balance -- but if a net worth report/graph forecasts balance backwards in the future this could be a problem...  

    Again, my request to simply allow one side of a transfer 'not' to be ignored from spending plan, this would prevent this problem.


    Rob Wilkens

  • DannyB
    DannyB Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    This is an interesting conversation but I'm not sure I'm getting the need for the original feature request, or I'm at least non understanding what is being asked for. 

    Why would you not want a transfer to be seen on both sides?




    Danny
    Simplifi user since 01/22
    Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    DannyB said:
    This is an interesting conversation but I'm not sure I'm getting the need for the original feature request, or I'm at least non understanding what is being asked for. 

    Why would you not want a transfer to be seen on both sides?




    Because a transfer that is included in the spending plan will ALWAYS have a $0 value (+/-).  If I want to include it in the spending plan, i want the amount tracked in the spending plan as a virtual 'expense'.


    Rob Wilkens

  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2022
    @RobWilk, don't feel ganged up on here, Danny and I are just trying to learn how your idea would work so we can know if we want to vote for it too.  Awhile back you made a comment about the importance of really considering what you're voting for - and possibly even downvoting an idea if necessary.  Your comment really stuck with me for some reason and caused me to do some good thinking about how I was approaching the voting and how Simplifi's development team would approach it too.  Thanks for being in the forum!


    If Simplifi implemented your idea, how would you get past the problem of being double-dinged in the Spending Plan for your daily spending.:

    The Spending Plan already knows you purchased 7 Twinkies, 9 Doughnuts, 3 Milkshakes, and 1 gallon of Pepto-Bismol on your CC.  If you look at the Spending Plan, you would find all these things in there when you make the original purchase (in 'Planned Spending' or 'Other Spending').  When it comes time to pay off your misdeeds at the end of the month, then - if the one side of the payment transfer isn't ignored - the payment would debit the Spending Plan again (in 'Bills' or maybe 'Other Spending' depending on how your CC's are set up).  If the original purchase was $42, the payment would be $42 and the Spending Plan would ding you for $84.

    Sorry if I'm not understanding something about your idea.  I'll try to keep thinking through this one.
    Chris
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    New to Simplifi in 2021.
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Month-to-Month (again, rollover doesn't exist and may never) I would only include paying for prior month's debt, not current debt.

    Vote it down if you want, it was an idea, that's all.


    Rob Wilkens

  • Coach Natalie
    Coach Natalie Administrator, Moderator admin
    I understand what @RobWilk is getting at. If you have existing credit card debt and want to work towards paying it down by paying more than you actually spent in a given month, being able to track that as an expense in the Spending Plan without the income side of the transfer offsetting it would be essential. I think this would be especially useful for those that are new to Simplifi and have existing credit card debt that has not been tracked in Simplifi.  

    Although we have a request for a debt payoff tool (see here), I think being able to ignore one side of the transfer from the Spending Plan would also be a good way to go about this. Furthermore, having the ability to ignore part of a split transaction would also be helpful towards this (see here), as you'd be able to split the payment transaction, ignore the part that was already tracked as expenses in the credit card account throughout the month, and include/count as an expense the extra portion that's going toward debt pay-down. 

    Just my two cents. :smile:

    -Coach Natalie
  • I have a credit card with an outstanding balance. I use this credit card for several recurring bills including subscriptions. I pay a set amount to my credit card every month that covers those expenses plus the interest charge and a little extra toward the principal.

    I must hide these recurring bills and subscriptions from my spending plan if I want to have a recurring credit card payment included in my spending plan otherwise these expenses are basically accounted for twice. I also want to be able to use both the spending plan and the projected cash flow and balances under the "Upcoming" section.

    The problem is, I've found myself stuck in a game of whack-a-mole:

    • If I setup a recurring bill using the built-in category "Credit Card Payment", it's not included in cash flow projections for the credit card account balance to be able to see potential future balance, but it is included in the spending plan to be able to see an accurate available balance at the end of each month.
    • If I setup a recurring bill as a transfer, it's included in projections, but it zeroes out in the spending plan so my available balance at the end of each month is artificially inflated. I could compensate by showing those expenses I mentioned earlier in the spending plan including a bill for interest but any extra amount going toward principal is still not accounted for and I'm still left with an inflated available balance.

    I've tried these "hacks":

    1. Create two recurring bills, one as a Credit Card Payment (never linked to anything) and the other as a transfer (linked). The problem with this approach is the Credit Card Payment becomes past due. I guess I could just ignore it. Or maybe I could try it the other way around. I think I did that already but I'm starting to lose track and lose my mind.
    2. Create just the transfer bill (it zeroes out) and create a planned expense in the spending plan using an expense category dedicated to the specific credit card. The planned expense acts as a placeholder which will never have any transactions because they'll be linked to the transfer transactions but at least the planned expense subtracts from your available funds, and you'll get an accurate number, and you can use projected cash flows because it's a transfer.

    So perhaps being able to hide the payment side of the credit card transfer is a solution. At this point, I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or if the app just can’t do what I need.

  • mrloadedpotato
    mrloadedpotato Member
    edited November 2022
    Another workaround is to setup 2 recurring transactions:
    1. Create a transaction that uses the built-in Credit Card Payment category. This is linked to the negative transaction for the source account e.g., checking. Show this transaction in the spending plan.
    2. Create another transaction using a custom category that is income. Name it something unique like "ABC Credit Card Payment". This is linked to the positive transaction for the credit card account. DO NOT show this transaction in the spending plan.
    Since you're not using the transfer category, it won't be zeroed out in the spending plan. Also, this works for me because I can use both the "Upcoming" feature to see my projected credit card account balance AND use the "Spending Plan" feature to see my projected checking account balance. Only issue is that the ABC Credit Card Payment will be listed in the income section within the spending plan, but it will be ignored at least. Not ideal but it works. I don't know what unintended consequences this may have on reports.
  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @mrloadedpotato, I’m still trying to understand how this particular idea might work. In your use case, would you actually need the ability to ignore one side of the transaction based on a split?

    Example:

    Total CC Payment for November = $300

     Split A - $200 (Current Statement Spending) - Both sides ignored.

     Split B - $100 (Past Debt) - One side ignored.
    Chris
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    New to Simplifi in 2021.
  • mrloadedpotato
    mrloadedpotato Member
    edited November 2022
    @Flopbot, It depends on which method I use:
    • If I use the single transfer transaction, I need the ability to hide the positive side of the transaction in the spending plan.
    • If I use the workaround, I don't need that ability because the workaround uses two separate transactions, and I can hide the positive transaction in the spending plan. I'd prefer to use the transfer transaction because it's simpler, but it breaks the spending plan. Plus, categorizing a "deposit" transaction to a credit card account as income is just weird, but having the granularity and ability to ignore it and not ignore the payment transaction makes the spending plan calculate correctly.
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm both excited about this new feature, and — 6 months later, i am working simplifi a little differently than i was then.

    Back then I was just getting out of some "past debt" and when i was paying that off I wanted to count paying off any debt over a month old as if it were a deduction to my spending plan.

    Now, my debt is zero, and i tend to pay things off the same day the charges are made — the only time i might carry a balance now is if i finance something — and if i take like 12 months financing on something, that is an example of a situation where I would want to use this feature. With financing, i would ignore the original purchase from the spending plan, and count monthly payments as spending instead.

    Also, I could, for my purposes, use this to (maybe) take transfers from savings to checking as 'income' in the monthly spending plan, which would enable me to use the savings money set aside for long-term purchases to balance out in the spending plan.


    Rob Wilkens

  • Coach Natalie
    Coach Natalie Administrator, Moderator admin

    Hello All,

    Great news! You can now elect to include just one side of a Recurring Linked Transfer in the Spending Plan with the addition of the new "Transfers" bucket. Learn more about the new "Transfers" bucket here!

    -Coach Natalie

  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Coach Natalie Thanks, I appreciate this feature & have started using it for future months' spending plans.

    I do know, though, some people might be upset that an idea with only four votes got done before something with more. I do appreciate it, though.


    Rob Wilkens

This discussion has been closed.