🤔 "Rollover Adjustment" in the new Savings Budget

Thanks again for all the feedback, @aronos & @matta. You have provided food for thought and have helped clarify my thinking.

I agree that we should track discrete contributors to budget errors. We can still roll them up into a total compensation factor, but they should be discretely visible as component parts.

I built up a worksheet where we can game out various budget errors and see if they are compensated for properly. If you want to make a copy and play with it, it is available here.

There are six sheets in the spreadsheet each testing out a potential problem scenario:

  • Scenario 1: balanced budget with no uncategorized transactions + balanced transfers. I think this one is pretty straightforward… Expected February result is slightly unfavorable savings due to net negative actuals should yield unfavorable Savings, but no Rollover Adjustment.
  • Scenario 2: Not-balanced budget with no uncategorized transactions. Expected February result is artificial savings due to imbalanced budget ($200/period) should be corrected by Rollover Adjustment on same scale.
  • Scenario 3: Balanced Budget with uncategorized transaction(s). Expected February result compensates via Rollover Adjustment for uncategorized transaction(s).
  • Scenario 4: Balanced budget with no uncategorized transactions and balanced transfers. Expected February result: slightly unfavorable savings due to net negative actuals.
  • Scenario 5: Balanced budget with no uncategorized transactions and unbalanced transfers. Expected February Result: transfer unfavorability makes Available lower (less funds to fill envelopes).
  • Scenario 6: Balanced budget but not all categories configured for Savings rollovers. Expected February result: Rollover Adjustment must compensate for vanishing Groceries rollover in Feb period.

Did I miss any scenarios we should be accounting for?

Scenario 6 is the biggest headscratcher for me :thinking:. Because Groceries isn’t tracked as “Savings”, this Available amount vanishes in the subsequent period. It is confusing but I believe this means that the true budget is inaccurately deflated in the subsequent period— i.e. the user’s total Savings is -$45 but should really be -$35.

Overall, I think we land at a formula that looks something like this:
Rollover Adjustment = Net Budget - Net Actuals (only categories with Savings enabled) + Net Actuals (all categories)

This formula :point_up: seems to work for uncategorized transactions, partially tracked Savings, and unbalanced Transfers.

Really curious to hear what you think— would :heart: any additional feedback you have.
Thanks in advance,

P.S. With this tool & workflow, I’d like to stay away from leverages account balances, @matta. There are timing and category-to-account linking issues that are fussy there. That said, the new Savings & Debt template (that @heather & I demoed in a webinar today) does allow you to assign accounts to categories and confirm that there is enough money available to fund listed virtual savings categories.