Rollover Adjustment Warning Wrongly Displayed on Envelope Budget Dashboard

Great suggestion, @aronos. I had that mostly implemented but just made it work when there is no budget or actuals but there is a rollover.

Here is a first peek at it…

Hoping to have something shareable (beta quality) via Tiller Money Labs in a few weeks.

Randy

If you’re curious about the new Savings Budget (Prototype), @aronos, I published it last night in a beta form…

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@randy Thanks for the head’s up! I’m looking forward to checking this out. I haven’t touched my Foundation sheet in almost a year (and never really finished setting it up to begin with) so I’ll have to dig in with a fresh start when I get a chance.

At some point, I can imagine writing a migrator from Budgets History to the new format.

For now, unfortunately, you’d have to start over. That said, it’s easy to start a fresh Foundation spreadsheet from the Tiller Money Console. You could even use the Migration Helper workflow in Tiller Money Labs to pull over your categorization from your primary spreadsheet. From there, you’d just need to pull some budgets into the Categories sheets. You’d be ready for test in < 10 minutes.

Let me know when/if you give it a try.

@randy

I was thinking a migration tool would be pretty handy. I did install and mess around with this a little bit. I loaded my transactions from the server and just did a quick categorization for the last couple of months into some very broad (for me) categories.

My initial feeling is that I really like it. I especially like the journal, because being unable to track changes in rollovers (both in Tiller and my bank’s built in budgeting features) has been a long standing point of annoyance for me. I sometimes would even create “fake” transactions in my sheet that would move funds from one category to another so I would at least be able to look back and see what changed and why. This of course creates other issues, so I really love this feature, even if it was a mandatory byproduct of what you’re doing.

I’m having trouble understanding exactly what the “Rollover Adjustment” line is telling me. It doesn’t seem to correlate with anything I’m seeing in my sheet. (And I’d need a lot more coffee to try to decode that formula.)

While I think the Envelope Budget sheet is an absolute marvel, I’m really liking the simplicity and speed of this prototype. I don’t think I was using any of the functionality that was lost, even when in one case it may have made sense for me to do so. I even like the “delayed processing” of changes. Sometimes my fingers move faster than my brain and with the current sheet, changes would sometimes be written before I realized I made a mistake.

The main thing I’m not seeing right now that I hope is coming soon is displaying totals for groups. I know it’s fairly easy to get that by selecting the columns I want to sum, but having it up there for quick reference is very nice.

I’ll load it up with my real budget next week. This will take a while as I have a ridiculous number of categories that I’ll need to copy over budget amounts for, but it should be a good stress test and will give me a better idea of how it works in actual practice.

Thanks for digging in! I’ve been kicking this sheet around for almost a month now and your feedback is the first I’ve gotten, @aronos.

Let me address some of your points specifically:

  • Next time, give the Migration Helper a go. You’d be surprised at what it can pull over if you want to try something in a new sheet.
  • Sounds like it was relatively intuitive to transition to. :smiley:
  • I’m glad to hear you appreciate the simplicity of the new Savings Budget. Our team has long felt that we cast a little too big a net when scoping the Envelope Budget. It has a lot of powerful features but it is also challenging to get into for many users wanting basic envelope functionality.
  • I like the journal too. It was @peter’s suggestion. Initially, there as a history log entry for every change (e.g. B+30,S+100,B+50) but we simplified that to just show total changes since a) the box was overfilling & clipping and b) the change-by-change info is available in the Budget Journal sheet.
  • The history log wasn’t entirely a “mandatory byproduct”. We did need it to implement the changes to Savings, but the rows added for budget changes are purely for history purposes as the values are changed & pulled from the Categories sheet.
  • We will probably ultimately rename “Rollover Adjustment” and you can hide it easily via a check box in the hidden area of the sheet (if you don’t like it). It does serve an important function, however. It ensures that your rollovers are properly funded by comparing your income and expense budgets. If you budget $1,000 in income and $2,000 in expenses but only spend $1,000, your rollovers will accrue $1,000 in “savings”. But since your cashflow is zero— $1,000 in and out— the savings is totally imagined. The Rollover Adjustment flags and quantifies this issue. (To be honest, I haven’t done a ton of testing on it so it is possible there are still a few issues with how it is calculated.)
  • I agree that the “delayed processing” is nice. The honest truth is that those instant updates in the original envelope budget leverage an onEdit() call that is kind of crippling for performance. It was important to find a solution that honored the very-popular instant updates but in a way that was more performant and sustainable— i.e. didn’t involve running through a long code tree whenever a user changed a cell in any sheet in any spreadsheet.
  • We will get the Type and Group totals implemented. That isn’t too hard.

If you’re really considering migrating already. We should think through this. Might be easier that we think to do this without starting over completely…

I’m really grateful for the time you spent with the new sheet and on all the feedback!
Randy

Ok, @aronos… I just took a really crude swing at this.
Welcome to the bleeding edge!

I mocked up a spreadsheet that can help you manually move your Budgets History to the format used in the new Savings Budget (Prototype).

The quick and dirty instructions follow…

  1. Make a copy of the helper spreadsheet.
  2. Delete the sample Budgets History sheet from the copied spreadsheet.
  3. Copy your Budgets History sheet from your envelope budget into the copied spreadsheet.
  4. Delete the sample Categories sheet from the copied spreadsheet.
  5. Copy your Categories sheet from your envelope budget into the copied spreadsheet.
  6. Go to the Categories Migrator sheet.
  7. Update ranges in cell F1 to your monthly Budgets start periods in Budgets History - usually “M01/Budget”. Most likely it is just the end row that will change (e.g. C12 to C25).
  8. Update ranges in cell F2 to capture all of your budget values in Budgets History - usually “M01/Budget”. Most likely it is just the end row that will change (e.g. 12 to 25).
  9. At this point, hopefully, you have a complete Categories sheet populated from your Budgets History sheet.
  10. Run the script from the menu. You will need to authorize the script.

  1. At this point, hopefully, you have a complete Budget Journal Migrator sheet populated from your Budgets History sheet.
  2. Copy the values in Categories Migrator into your new Savings Budget spreadsheet. Paste as values into the Categories sheet.
  3. Copy the values in Budget Journal Migrator into your new Savings Budget spreadsheet. Paste as values into the Budget Journal sheet.

Notes about this workflow

  • History from budget changes is not migrated because it was never tracked in the Tiller Envelope Budget.
  • The impact of Rollover-To’s is ignored in this simple migrator.
  • The script is expecting to migrate rollover mods from a budget called M01. You will need to change the script (second line) if you want to move over a different monthly budget.

Really curious to hear if this workflow is helpful.

I would like an easier way to reconcile the savings - actual spent + rollover with the net worth to help get this setup to be truly zero sum. I also am not sure what the savings column represents in the income section?

@jason91487

This thread is not about the sheet you’re using. Did you see my question to you in the thread you started?

I made a few improvements to the Categories sheet portion of the migration tool this morning. It should take less work now… but the instructions are no longer correct and I need to run off for some canoeing with the kids. :canoe:

Will update the instructions later.

Which thread is about the savings prototype for the foundation template? I’m trying to transition from the envelope tool.

Migrations worked for me. Took a bit for me to get the right ranges in budgets history but I figured it out.

Well done, @jason91487. I’m working on a fix to make the budget range selection more automatic. Glad to hear you’re up and running. Please let me know if you have any feedback about the migrator or the new Savings Budget.

I made some improvements to the migration tool (fewer manual changes required) and have improved the documentation. Let me know if you have any feedback, @jason91487 & @aronos.

Best,
Randy

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Thanks, @randy! I expect to be doing this tonight or tomorrow and running it concurrently with my regular sheet for a while.

Hey everyone— including known testers @aronos and @jason91487— interested in the new Savings Budget (Prototype)!

Based on your feedback and some reviews within the Tiller Money team, I’ve made a number of changes to the template. I’m really excited about the new version. I hope you like it too.

Unfortunately, the Tiller Money Labs / Savings Budget sidebar workflows are no longer compatible with the old version of the sheet. You will need to update your sheet, but the Manage Solutions / Update workflow should take care of most of the heavy lifting. Note that you will need to migrate your rollover settings from the obsoleted “Track Savings” (checkboxes) column to the new “Track” column. I’ve included migration instructions here.

Consider adding your name to our email list so we can keep you up-to-date as the template evolves.

@randy

I finally got a chance to try doing this today. I went through the migration using the “Tiller Envelope Budget Migrator” and the “Migration Helper.”

In the end, the Savings Budget was only showing one Display Period: Nov 2019. I realized that this was my first actual budget period in my old sheet which led me to the solution. The Migrator sheet puts the columns in the Categories sheet with the newest period to the left, but the Savings Budget seems to depend on the newest period being to the right. Once I reordered all of my columns I was able to see all of my display periods.

In my Categories sheet, none of my “Transfer” types were migrated. Is this expected, normal?

(Tangent warning) I’m not yet sure how this affects the Savings Budget. The Categories sheet migration also highlighted a problem I’ve been kicking down the road for a while: In my Envelope Budget, there are a few categories that I’ve deleted since they were temporary and no longer needed. I want to get rid of them, but also I want them reflected in past budgets so they continue to balance. In the past, I’ve handled this for one or two categories by manually moving those amounts from the column I wanted to delete to a related one, but this is time-consuming and error-prone so there are a few that have been happily sitting in the “Obsoleted” system category for a while. I’ve thought about writing something that would automate this because there are actually quite a few other categories that I’d like to combine just to simplify my budget, but I don’t really have the time, especially since my knowledge of Google Sheets is limited to the basic formulas.

I don’t really understand the purpose of the “Track” column in Categories. Or maybe more specifically I don’t understand what the “Debt” is supposed to be used for. I read the version history note but am not getting how it fits in or should be used. Right now I have everything set to “Savings” but I feel like that may be contributing to the next item…

In the Savings Budget, my “Savings” and “Available” are wildly off for both Income and Expense. I feel like that’s related to either or both my Transfer types not appearing and the “Track” category settings not being correct. Unfortunately, I’m out of time today to spend on it.

Thank you for your work on this. I think it’s going to be really great once I get it up and running!

I realized this was because “Rollover Tos” have to be manually entered #rtfm

I also manually added my Transfer types and things seem to be working fine there. I’ll have a better idea after I get all those Rollover Tos migrated.

Well, now I’ve realized this realization was wrong. The Rollovers were actually there but not recognized. When I manually added my first month’s, they were duplicates but still not recognized. Example:

Period	    Category	        Change	Prior Amount	New Amount	Type	Journal	Timestamp	Note
11/1/2019	Interest Received	$55.66	$0.00	        $55.66	    Savings	S+55.66	9/8/20 10:27 AM	
11/1/2019	Interest Received	$55.66	$0.00	        $55.66	    Savings	S+55.66	9/6/20 8:57 PM	
11/1/2019	Interest Received	$55.66			                    Savings	S+55.66	9/6/20 3:59 PM	

The 3:59 entry is the migration, the 8:57 is when I did my manual entries. I just now did the top entry and again it shows Prior being $0 and doesn’t reflect the amount in my budget.

Edit for clarity: When I say I manually added rollovers, I mean I entered them on the Savings Budget sheet’s “Adjust” column and then ran the “Update Budget” function.

Hey @aronos!

Let me try to address the points you raise:

  • Great catch on the budget period order as generated by the Envelope Migrator (Prototype). I’m embarrassed I missed that it is backward as you observed. I just updated the Envelope Migrator (Prototype). I believe the issue is resolved.
  • Regarding your transfers… the Envelope Migrator (Prototype) is only built currently to move over categories in the Budgets History sheet (of your old envelope budget). I don’t believe transfer-types are in that sheet (right?) so those would need to be reconciled from the migration tool into your final Categories sheet manually. Do I need to add a note about this in the instructions? Or make copying Categories into the migration tool part of the process so that it can be reconciled via formula?
  • Regarding categories you wish to deprecate… this is a riddle for sure. I think you are correct that the solution cannot be deleting them since that will throw your present and future budgets out of whack. What if we make it so that categories without budgets in the active period (in the Categories sheet) don’t show on the dashboard (unless they have actuals). This would leave some clutter in the Categories sheet but would allow you to hide deprecated categories by just blanking out their budgets in months going forward. Would this address the problem satisfactorily?
  • The “Track Debt” option… The Debt option is something we are seeding for a Savings & Debt companion dashboard we are toying with. We haven’t shared that yet and the Debt workflows are not documented yet, so just ignore the option (and select Savings) for the time being. Apologies for the confusion…

I’ll address the income/expense issue in a separate response.
Thanks so much for digging into this and all your detailed feedback— it is already making the solution better.

Randy