Left over money and credit card payments

I have been using Tiler for several years, but I have two ongoing problems I can’t seem to resolve on my own.

  1. I always have money left over at the end of the month
  2. I don’t know how to budget for credit card payments in my monthly budget

For item one, I have attempted to manually add a Misc Income transaction at the start of the new month with the leftover balance in my chequing account… however, this manipulates my Yearly Income statement as it isn’t NEW money; it’s just leftover money.

For item two, I have to keep manual track of what is in my chequing account, what is in my budget in Tiller and what my credit card payment is and then re-adjust my monthly budget categories to account for the payment.

Please let me know how you address these two items.

For question 1, the amount left over is automatically tracked in the Monthly and Yearly Budget tabs as “Actual Cashflow”. At least that’s how I look at it as it’s my cashflow that I’m concerned about moreso that what’s left in the account.

For question 2, Credit Card Payments are a Transfer, and should have two entries; one leaving your bank and one as the credit on the Credit Card. This should be a transfer as you’ve already tracked the expense from your credit card transactions the first time around. Otherwise you’ll be doing a double dip. The only exception would be if it’s a credit card that Tiller doesn’t track, then it would have the credit card payment as an expense.

I think what’s tripping you up is how you think of the cash flow through Tiller, IMHO. I’m not claiming my way is right, but here’s a general way I look at the budgeting -

I use the Monthly Budget to see my spending for the month. I use the Categories tab to set my limits. I use the Balances tab to see what I have left in my account. I’m focused on the big picture, not what is in every account. The Budget tab shows me what I spent, and what’s left in my cash flow. I can easily modify the Category tab to make adjustments to my budget as necessary.

If I wanted to know what I had ‘left over’ every month, I’d probably move what I have from checking into savings and have that account track what’s left.

So we got an understanding of what you’re trying to do, but not a why? If you could share why you’re trying to do what you’re doing, hopefully one of us could give you some suggestions.

Devon

Thanks for your response.

My problem is that when I start a new month, two fundamental sections of my Monthly Budget are already wrong -

Planned Cash Flow (because it doesn’t account for money still in my main chequing account leftover from last month) and Expenses because it doesn’t account for the amount in my main chequing account I need to transfer to my Credit Card.

I use the Transfer category for my Credit Card transactions, but those totals exist in the previous month, when the transactions occurred and not in the new month when I pay the bill.

I had to set up a separate, manual tab in my spreadsheet that accounts for these two issues, and it’s tedious to maintain every month. I have set up an “actual cash flow” row, which accounts for what is actually in my chequing account at the start of the month versus the “budgeted income” or “planned cash flow” amounts, and then I insert a calculation for my Credit Card payment per my statement and then have to re-do all of my budget categories every month to account for the credit card payment.

I think the incorrect cash flow situation would be resolved by having the ability to “roll over” amounts at the start of each month. I am not sure how to address the second issue.

What’s left in your checking account is not cash flow. Cash flow is a transaction that happens either deposits or payments for a specific period of time.

What you could do about your credit card if you’re trying to keep everything in the same month is to pay your card before the monthly statement closes. That’ll also help your credit score too because you’ll show either a zero or very low balance.

In my head, right or wrong, I treat a budget, spend and cashflow as one distinct entity, and what’s in my accounts as something completely separate. I’m wondering though if something like YNAB (You Need A Budget) where every ‘dollar’ you have is assigned a ‘job’ might make budgeting easier for you? My budgeting is more for overall tracking and guidance of my spending to make sure that if I want to change something (move and buy a new house, buy a new car, etc.) is within in my budget, but I normally have enough cash on hand at all times that I’m not worried about rolling over what’s left from one month to the next. Personally, I would be tracking what’s left over as savings, and start each month fresh and not consider ever dollar I have left as cash flow.

Devon

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Hi @razzing thanks for sharing here. These two presented problems definitely make sense.

I think @DevonB is right in that the amount left over shouldn’t be counted as planned cashflow for the next month.

I’m curious what you’re really trying to solve with that money that’s left over at the end of the month? Is it about understanding your savings or something else?

As for the credit card payments I understand the concern there that the money for the payment is going to leave the account and reduce your balance, but the expenses have already happened and been counted (when you used the card and categorized those transactions) so you wouldn’t want to double count that payment as another expense.

I’m wondering if that problem is also due to wanting to make sure that you have enough balance to cover everything you need to cover?