I was looking at the savings budget hidden section and noticed this budget help section and it has a line about net accruals, but I had a hard time following the function in the cell. What is the net accruals supposed to represent. I thought maybe it was for transfers, but I am not sure now.
Hi Randy. TBH it was hard to follow that thread. What net accruals seem to be to me is a total summation of every transaction completed against income (even transfers). Why do you think it’s important to track that?
My situation is that I am divorced and in the near term my expenses have been higher than my budget and income so I have been doing this process which in hindsight might not be the best. What I have been doing is transferring money from savings to my checking account. I categorize the debit from savings as an external transfer and the money coming into my checking gets categorized to the given expense category to balance out the budget in that given category. There might be some better ways to do this… and I’m all ears.
The challenge is that if the budgeted cashflow is non-zero, the Savings Budget can create an artificial sense of saving money. Imagine you have no income and a $100 total expense budget all put toward Groceries. If you spent just $50 on groceries, your budget would show $50 of savings carried to the next month… but, without income, your cashflow and net budget would actually be -$50.
The hidden calcs you are finding are meant to keep the budget and honest and may be helpful to you given that your expense budget is larger than your income budget.
That explanation makes sense and I am starting to have a better understanding of the budget health section after reading that thread a couple times. I think my issue is this. This year I reset my budget and the following things have occurred:
I had an unexpected expense last year that occurred in 2022 and I moved some money from savings to checking to adjust the category since I keep my checking account balance small. I made the transfer in 2023 and when made the transfer I categorized the withdrawal from savings as “external transfer” and the deposit I categorized as the category that the original expense occurred in. I did this to offset the budget expense. So now I have an expense that occurred in 2022 that doesn’t show up in my budget for 2023 since I reset, but the deposit shows up in 2023 so now I have an over inflated budget amount for that category. Right or wrong that’s what I did. If there are suggestions on how to handle this in the budget tool moving forward I would appreciate it. For now I just did a manual adjustment to that category, but I could see that getting messy. Again, appreciate thoughts.
This year I closed a savings account and opened a new one and transferred funds to this new savings account from the closed account and also some funds from a savings account that I don’t have connected to tiller. I categorized these as transfers so the budget health section looks all jacked up. Any thoughts on how I should handle this?
I know the budget health information is a little incomplete. It was implemented as a thought experiment in response to the thread you read over. That section is hidden because it wasn’t fully realized though I believe some users find it helpful. I’m glad you were able to make some sense of it.
As for your two questions, there are no hard best practices for the scenarios you’re explaining. There are many different ways to slice the that are valid. I’d just settle on something that feels rational and helpful to you and move forward. The only person who will audit this data and the underlying methodologies is you.