Debt Planner "Budget Vs Actual" Idea

After taking some time to learn how the Community “Debt Planning” Sheet works. I have just one issue I am running into that might be more of an enhancement than a problem.

It requires many things to be named the same, which sort of requires the user to be good about labeling Transactions, defining Categories, and creating a Monthly Budget for it all to “just work”.

The column “January Budget” looks into the Monthly Budget(or Categories in the same way Monthly Budget does) to define how much is budgeted to that category for that month. The actual looks at the Transactions sheet and looks for credits(?, transactions that lower its balance) to determine what the actual is.

This causes confusion in two places. We are encouraged to classify money going into a debt account(credit card, loan) as a “Transfer” so that it can be viewed as debt reduction. I have my Category sheet ignore “Transfer” but “Debt Planning” keeps does not follow that rule[1].

Another consideration is many of my debts are local banks and otherwise poorly integrated financial instuituions that require me to track account balances manually.

The enhancement I would suggest would be to allow for an option where the “January Actual” ican be counted from the debit(?, money out of my bank with the Category matching the Account Name on the “Balances” sheet) This would essentially keep the balance updated with the manual changes to the entry in the “Balances” sheet and also properly account for the money used to pay the balance from the Transaction sheet.

Credit cards (such as PayPal and Venmo branded cards, or in my case Capital on Tap) would get some updates on the Debt Planning sheet without needing to import transactions, as the Beginning Balance and January Actual are the main focus for how to follow debt payment plans. I personally use CashFlow Index (CFI) by setting rank to “=IFERROR(G8/D8,100)”

[1] I use a few cards as truly revolving for CC rewards(not on the Debt Planning sheet) and classify both sides of that transaction as a “Transfer” and the CC rewards as “Income” . They are not paid off and I count the minimum monthly payment in my budget because it does have a due date that it comes out of my bank.

Hey @luke.brumfield! We’re days away from publishing an update to the Debt Planner as a product (not community template). It will be live very soon for both Sheets and Excel. I’m eager to hear what you think.

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