Budgeting Blog

I was excited to see this blog just put out as a very recent user to Simplifi. As I break down Simplifi I have found the power of the solution to measure the results of the past, plan with an ability to forecast cash but where it is breaking down is Budgeting - both in measuring potential impact to avail cash in the next 20, 30 days etc for items that are non-bills/subscriptions.

Having said that, the blog is a fantastic view into the mind of the Simplifi team https://www.simplifimoney.com/blog/financial-fitness-for-real-life/?utm_medium=email&utm_content=001&utm_campaign=EMNLS01DR200707

While the method suggested isn’t as important to me - obviously every financial planner would tell you using a method is what’s important and following it - the question I have for the Simplifi team is that this blog speaks to analyzing expenses in a way we cannot do within the solution today that I’ve found unless you can point me in the right direction. Also, the blog continues to push the point that a proper budgeting capability is necessary. And PLEASE don’t point me back to Quicken. I’m done with client based solutions and just need this concept for Simplifi to be a complete cloud-based personal finance solution. (I’m not saying I don’t want other features/functionality - I just need this to justify the idea that cost I pay - otherwise, this is a cost I’d have to analyze as a want and not a need.

Best Answer

  • syrilmathai
    syrilmathai Member ✭✭
    Answer ✓
    @Coach Tappan Thank you. I should have said Option 1 was my preferred as well. I do like the upcoming bills as a part of the spending plan for exactly the reason you describe but also because it changes the discussion (at home) around discretionary spending. I should mention that that with Option 1 comes the need to have a good budget vs actual report across all categories. That would then allow me to just do an analysis of overall spend at category level. yes, I would want the ability to drill down too :)

Answers

  • Coach Tappan
    Coach Tappan Retired Coach ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    @syrilmathai Thanks for the thoughtful and useful feedback on our recent Simplifi Blog message. The challenge in this particular case is that we've found that our current users often have widely differing ideas of what a "proper budgeting capability" is, as this Community discussion thread illustrates. What is most useful for us at this point are pointers on what specific functions Simplifi currently lacks to manage users' budgeting needs. I can assure you we review carefully all of the ideas that are submitted here, and do our best to implement them when they align with our vision for Simplifi. We appreciate all of your insights!

  • syrilmathai
    syrilmathai Member ✭✭
    @Coach Tappan I recognize that there is a need to balance “screen clutter” but I would prefer to incorporate the budget concept into the spending plan.

    Option 1: use spending plan bills/subscriptions format as-is today:

    If you could set 3 columns for amounts: budget (what i set the upcoming bill to), actual or paid (what was recorded as paid) and a variance column +/-

    If the bills/subscriptions could also be grouped by category as a toggle versus by date, that would be cool but I’m fine with it as it is today.

    Before the goals section, I would like to see a ‘discretionary’ or ‘non-bill budget. The line items would be by category the budget is assigned to (note: need to be able to assign budget to a category or subcategory. Some people may have spends in a budget category beyond what they have for upcoming bills so they could add the additional dollars here. For instance, I may have a home warranty that I code to home repair but I would want to be able to plan a small budget amount for incidentals against that same line item, say if go to Home Depot to buy a toilet repair kit.

    With this section and the goals section, I would like to see the same columns ‘budget’, ‘actual or paid’, and variance +/- .

    Option 2: get rid of the listing of upcoming bills in the spending plan (since they are also on the upcoming page already) and just show categories with budgets assigned and categories that have actual spend that period but no budget.

    It’s hard to write in all the design stuff so I’m happy to get on the phone and discuss.
  • Coach Tappan
    Coach Tappan Retired Coach ✭✭✭✭

    @syrilmathai Thanks! That's just the kind of "specificity" we're looking for in suggestions posted in this topic. I understand all of the items you've requested in "Option 1," and I believe other Simplifi users might appreciate them as well. In "Option 2," it seems to me that the "listing of upcoming bills" is an essential part of the Spending plan, because it lists the items that have been subtracted from your monthly income to derive your discretionary budget. For example, a user might scan that list and say "Wait! I stopped paying for Hulu last month! It shouldn't be part of my current month's budget!" They could then "edit the series" directly from that list to stop it with the previous month. Otherwise, I think your suggestions are great! Please keep them coming!

  • Coach Natalie
    Coach Natalie Administrator, Moderator admin

    Hello @syrilmathai,

    Hey, I just wanted to write back and let you know that we're looking for Users who are interested in spending 30 minutes with our Product Team to discuss Budgeting by Category. If you are interested in this, please schedule an appointment using this link: https://calendly.com/simplifi-product/simplifi-planned-spending?month=2020-09

    Thank you,

    Coach Natalie

This discussion has been closed.