simple home finances

SHF Budget FAQs

Budget FAQs

How do I use the Notes, Payee and Date fields in budgeting?

Payee, notes and payee web address are no longer on the budget rows, there is a form you launch from the cell next to the category that allows you to enter or update a web address and to enter any information you wish such as username and the password for the web site or just notes about something related to how you are handling that category. This form is on the budget plan, budget model and retirement budget.

In the budget plan, budget model and retirement budget we provide date entry functionality for quarterly, semi-annual, and annual dates. You can setup dates for quarterly or semi-Annual during the initial setup or modify them later using the add or delete categories link. Make sure you enter the first due date in the year for each expense, and the system will calculate the remaining due dates for the year. On the budget plan you will see the current or next due date for quarterly, semi annual and annual due date. To change these you go back to the add or delete categories link on the budget plan and change the first due date.

How do we calculate monthly costs for different payment frequencies in our budgets?

  • If you put $40 a week in, the monthly total is calculated as follows – $40 x 52 weeks / 12 months = $173.33 per month.
  • If you put $100 dollars in Quarterly, the monthly total is calculated as follows – $100 x 4 payments / 12 months = $33.33 per month.
  • If you put $300 in Semi Annually, the monthly total is calculated as follows – $300 x 2 payments / 12 months = $50.00 per month.
  • If you put $2000 in Annually, the monthly total is calculated as follows – $2000 / 12 months = $166.66 per month.

Should I enter actual amounts for weekly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual amounts?

Budget actuals (Expense$'s) that account for actual monthly bill amounts should be entered. To enter actual amounts for weekly bills, you can use either the Expense$'s cell or use the detail entry capability. For quarterly, semi-annual, and annual bills, you can enter the actual amount when bills are due and  enter the monthly budget cost amount in months when the bill is not due. By doing this, you account for the whole cost of those bills in your budget. You should use your monthly budgeted amounts for quarterly, semi-annual, and annual (this is shown in total in the header of the budget) to save money each month, so you have the money to pay those bills when they are due.

When should I update the data between my plans and models (budget and income)?

1) When you need to figure out a new budget because of a major change in your expenses or income.

2) If you want to go back in time and create your budget plan history, but you want to protect your current budget and income plans, you can move your current budget  and income plans to modeling and then you can create past months budget plans and save them to your budget plan history.

3) When you want to figure out how to reduce your budget plan, on the budget model in the Budget Results section the 'Budget Plan less Model' measure will show you how much you have reduced the Budget Model cost verse the Budget Plan cost.

Note: There are many scenarios where you may need to plan for major changes to your budget and income without actually changing your current plan. Examples include if you’re planning on buying a bigger house, starting a new job, moving, preparing for the birth of a child, etc.

What is the Budget and Expense History for?

Simple home finances believes that budgets are constantly changing overtime, this is what we call a living document. At the same time, we have constant expenses that are paid each month for a year. In order for you to get a clear picture of your budget for each month, we give you the ability to simply save your current Budget, Actuals (Expense$'s) and Income to history. This history then calculates how much you spent each month, how much you spent in each category, and what your average budgeted expenditure was, by category and in total, for the year. We believe this is a much better approach than having to create and maintain 12 separate budgets.