What this guide will cover
You might have seen us referring to accounts as containers for transactions and account groups as containers for accounts. Continuing with this notion, budgets can be described as containers for transactions that meet a certain criteria.
Budgets allow you to keep your spending in control. You could create one major budget and just stick with it, or you could create individual budgets for each spending type (Groceries, Transport, Kids, Entertainment, etc).
Table of contents
- Creating a budget
- Entering transactions into budgets
- Transferring money between budgets
- Modifying a budget
- Re-ordering budgets
- Deleting a budget
Creating a budget
The first step in regaining control over your spending is creating a budget. To begin, switch to Budgets section in MoneyWiz. On Desktop, it's the fourth icon on the sidebar, counting from top, looking like a stack of coins. On Mobile, it has a label, allowing you to identify it easier.
Click on New Budget to continue. You'll be asked for the following information:
- Name: your own name for the budget. If it's for food-related expenses, you could call it "Food" or "Groceries".
- Amount: the maximum amount of money you're willing to spend on this. By default it'll use your local currency but you can change this now by clicking on the currency code - any transactions made in different currency will be re-calculated before being placed in the budget.
- Accounts: it'll default to selecting all of your accounts. Here you choose which accounts to monitor. In order for transactions to be included in this budget, they need to be coming from the accounts you select here. For our Food budget, we'll select only private accounts, excluding business accounts.
- Categories: here you choose which categories to monitor. Similarly to accounts, in order for transactions to be included in the budget, they need to be categorised as at least one of the categories you select here. For our Food budget, we'll select all food-related categories.
- Tags: another criteria for the budget. Here you can define what tags do transactions need to have in order to be included in the budget. If a transaction does not have at least one tag specified here, it will not be included in the budget. If you're new to MoneyWiz, we recommend leaving this field empty until you get familiar with tags feature (you can always change this condition later).
- Icon: we offer dozens of icons that you can use to make the budget more descriptive on a quick glance. If you don't pick one, we'll choose the standard icon.
- Start date: when your budget is supposed to start. Only transaction on or after this date will be included in the budget. Please note that you can choose a date in the past.
- Repeat: here you can decide whether your budget should repeat on regular basis. When a budget repeats, it'll be replenished with the amount of money you've set at the beginning.
- End date: (only visible for non-repeating budgets) the date on when your budget should end.
- Frequency: (only visible for repeating budgets) how often should your budget repeat. You can type any digit instead of the default 1 and you can click or tap on the Months indicator to change it to Days, Weeks or Years.
- Rollover: (only visible for repeating budgets) if you leave this disabled, MoneyWiz will not check whether you've overspent or underspent your budgets - they'll always be reset with the same amount of money. If you enable this, MoneyWiz will monitor this and adjust your following budget allowance accordingly (budget allowance will be reduced if you've overspent your allowance or increased if you had some money left).
- Carried balance: (only visible for repeating budgets with Rollover enabled) you've set your budget to repeat with a certain amount of money on regular basis but perhaps you already have some sum of money you want to allocate in the budget as an extra.
If you save your changes, your budget will be created and if MoneyWiz finds any transactions that meet the budget criteria, it'll immediately place them in the budget. Don't see transactions you expected to see?
Entering transactions into budgets
You can enter transactions into budgets manually but you don't have to. As soon as MoneyWiz notices transaction meeting budget criteria - no matter how the transaction arrived into your database - it'll be placed in the budget. It all happens automatically and works great with our Online Banking accounts feature.
Nevertheless, there is a way to enter transactions into a budget manually. Please note though that it's no different from manually adding transactions into an account. To begin, just use the + button in the bottom-right corner of the Budget register. You'll be presented with a regular transaction entry dialog. You'll only be able to choose from accounts and categories that the budget monitors. After you create the transaction, it'll be placed in the respective account and - if it meets budget criteria - in one or more budgets. Don't see transactions you expected to see?
Transferring money between budgets
Once you have more than one budget in your database, you can transfer money between them. This will be useful for example if you've saved up some money on Transportation budget and wish to transfer this to Entertainment.
To begin, just tap on the + button in the bottom-right corner of the screen and choose Budget transfer. You'll be asked to enter the source and target budget for the transfer. When you complete, you'll notice that the source budget allowance has decreased and the target budget allowance has increased by the specified amount.
Modifying a budget
A lot of information can be changed after a budget has been created and MoneyWiz will re-calculate your budget each time you introduce a change. To modify a budget, you can:
- (Desktop): double-click on the account name in the sidebar or right-click on the account name in the sidebar and choose Edit,
- (Mobile): tap on the pencil icon at the top of the screen and tap on the account you wish to edit.
Please remember that MoneyWiz will re-calculate your entire budget period (from the Start Date to today) after making any change. This makes budget modifications very flexible (you don't need to re-create them from scratch) but it also means that if you modify the budget allowance, it'll be changed not only for current budget period but also for all previous and future periods.
Re-ordering budgets is very easy. All you need to do is:
- (Desktop): click and hold on the account name in the sidebar then drag it to desired position on the list,
- (Mobile): tap on the pencil icon at the top of the screen then tap and hold on the little handle that appears next to each account box and drag it to desired position on the list. To finish making changes, tap on the pencil button again.
Deleting a budget
If you wish to delete a budget, you should:
- (Desktop): right-click on the account name in the sidebar and choose Delete,
- (Mobile): tap on the pencil icon at the top of the screen and tap on the red delete button next to the account you wish to delete.
Don't worry - deleting a budget does not delete transactions you see inside.