Projected Balances Including BOTH Budget Amounts and Bill Reminders (1 Merged Vote) (Q Mac)

When planning / budgeting it's very useful to know what your projected balances would be assuming your current budget and bill reminders are accurate.

Currently the Projected Balances report only includes amounts from Bill Reminders - this is not very useful because it excludes amounts that aren't a scheduled bill. Such as groceries, fuel and other expenses that do not fit the mold of a "Bill Reminder" that can be included in a budget.

Projected Balances need to include these budget amounts to accurately reflect where you will be in the future financially.

This is the #1 feature I used in MS Money had that was invaluable and Quicken has yet to include in their product.
32 votes

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  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2018
    Thanks for the suggestion.
    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • Agreed. I've been using Quicken for well over a decade, and the Projected Balance feature is virtually useless based on scheduled bills and income alone. A vast portion of anybody's expenses don't happen on a predictable and recurring basis. However, it is fairly predictable to say I spend $X/year or /mo on Y. Nobody is going to enter a scheduled reminder/bill every time they need to run to the grocery store, or hire a contractor, or have differing dollar amounts based on seasonal activities, etc... At a bare minimum, it's a total duplication of efforts to enter budgeted amounts (either anticipated or based on actuals), AND, enter a bill reminder for a moving target.

    Please change this Intuit, and AT LEAST, give people the option to calculate projected balances based on budgets.

    It's otherwise virtually useless.
  • :s Am I the only one that finds the logic behind using scheduled bills and incomes to project future balances completely backwards? Are other users actually duplicating the effort that they put into their budget by then transposing this information into a scheduled income/expense? Other than being wasteful effort, who actually set's up a scheduled "bill" whenever they have to run out to Walmart? Or, when there are differing month to month seasonal activities? Or, if you anticipate that you may need to change your tires? Why, Intuit, can we not have the option of using budgeting for projected balances?

    If we are able to capture accurate budgeted information based on actuals/anticipated, why Intuit, do we have to re-enter the information into a scheduled bill, to calculate projected balances? Why would we schedule a trip to the grocery store as a bill to get an accurate portrayal of projected cash? Or, fluctuating costs (i.e. gas, utilities)? Or an outlooked contractor to paint the exterior? I'm completely flummoxed, and have been for years?

    Give us a second (and better) way!! Projected cash flow/balance based on a more accurate portrayal of income/expense --> Budget
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Projected balances help us manage account balances.  Budgets help us manage expenses.  Both tools are most helpful when we enter accurate transactions early or as scheduled transactions.  If you are only using one account for your budgeted expenses, I can see how it may be useful to be able to include the remaining budgeted expenses and income in the projected balance.  However, when you are using multiple accounts, it gets a bit trickier.

    If you do want to include the remaining budgeted amount in the projected balance, create a reminder for the budget balance and adjust it regularly. 

    Note: Quicken is not owned by Intuit.
  • I think you reinforced my point (Intuit/Quicken aside), "create a reminder for the budget balance and adjust it regularly" = use budget to project balance/cash flow. Now, I just have to do it 2X. Once in budget, once as a reminder. Not a very lean process when Quicken (not Intuit), could just allow me to check the boxes of the budget items that I want to include in my projected balance.

    No matter how you slice it, entering information 2X is not efficient. And, the most efficient, is from the budget data set. Using a business as an example, they would establish an annual plan based on a forecast of incomes/expenses (also known as a budget, and often based on past history), and determine their projected balances, thereby understanding on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, if their goals (budget) met projections.

    There will be no way of telling me that double the data entry is not one of the deadly wastes in business (or at home), and that one can't realistically wait for the next electricity bill to see what the actual amount is going to be, and be able accurately determine what their cash flow or balances will be.

    If I can create a budget for say 1 month, or a quarter, and fall within 5% on actuals, surely this can be easily used as the data set to determine projected balances, without having to RE-enter the data as a reminder.

    Give me the option, I personally think it's just a guise to sucker people into bill pay, which virtually everybody already allows online. I think I've written 7 checks in the last 3 years. It went the way of the fax, and the covered wagon.

    Give me a budget for projected balance, or give me death. All businesses operate. This is why companies layoff, make capital expenditures, cut costs, etc... Manage your budget, the balance and cash flow follow. No need to do things 2X.
  • I am in the exact same situation and have been doing the exact same thing as suggested. But, as the original comment suggests, this should be a feature that is easily added to the software. I offer this with confidence because I used Microsoft Money (back in 2005) that had this feature included as part of its codebase and handled over multiple accounts. It even had a conservative/aggressive option for allocating funds through the projected cash flow so that the remaining money in a particular budget period would be "withdrawn" at the beginning, end, or spread out over the cycle in question.

    This seems like a logical way of combining budgetary constraints with projected cash flows and a feature I have been looking for in a software package since 2005.

    And not to sound confrontational, but if another package offered that, I would jump from the Quicken model in a heartbeat.
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    A Cash Flow Forecast feature once was available in Quicken, up until about 2010 when it was redesigned and replaced with other views.
    In Microsoft Money there is a Cash Flow Forecast feature which has the following settings:
    Add to this another screen full of settings applicable to business items.
    Updating Quicken to once again include a Cash Forecast feature which will take a closer look at past transactions which are not scheduled as recurring reminders, but occur rather frequently, and include them into each account's balance forecast might make for much better balance forecasting than the currently available Projected Balances view.

    Everyone, including the person who initiated this discussion …
    If you would like to see this enhancement made in a future version of Quicken please don't forget to vote on it. Locate the big blue box near the top of this webpage (or page 1 for long discussions) and click the "Up" triangle under the voting count.

    Wait a moment for the vote count to be registered and updated before you continue.
    The little triangle changes from grey to black when you have registered your vote.

    Every vote counts!

  • Ultimately, my workaround, is to create a budget, and then enter a scheduled bill/income every month that has each months budget net (+ or -). The good news is that it is accurate on the last day of every month, at which point I delete that scheduled + or -. But, it's not accurate in between month beginning and month end as you spend/earn, unless you update the variance every time you spend or make money. It at least gives me a projected balance that falls within the window of that months budgeted surplus/shortfall.

    Still, scheduled bills and incomes, isn't an effective way to project balances. Budgeting is.
  • knightspace
    knightspace Member ✭✭
    I just switched from MS Money a few days ago...and I already miss the Cash Forecast that uses the expected bills and budget. The only reason I have switched is because my bank finally decided to stop letting me download my transactions into Money.
  • The lack of this feature in Quicken forces me to use a spreadsheet to project account balances. This is time consuming, a duplication of data and annoying. I don't understand why such an obvious function is missing in the product.
  • lneely
    lneely Member
    Glad other people are noticing this, too.

    I'm going to echo the sentiments on this page and go a step further. As far as I can tell, the scheduled bills and income are automatically budgeted. Following this line of reasoning, a forecasted balance using scheduled bills and income is completely unnecessary. Just use the budget.
  • MoMoney99
    MoMoney99 Member ✭✭
    I couldn't agree more, this is a much needed addition.
  • 4just
    4just Member
    Ever since Money was discontinued, this feature has been the most missed, for me.
    The screenshot of Money's cash forecast setup is just a sad reminder of the reason why I preferred Money over Quicken in the past.

  • justing
    justing Member
    We need this badly. The workaround is terrible and that is putting in fake bills to get it into the projected balances. We need this feature it has been hanging out there for too long! This is the kind of problem that has me considering other personal accounting solutions.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @justing This Idea thread unfortunately hasn't earned a large number of votes (just 28 as I write this) over the past four years since it was posted. If people want to see this functionality added to Quicken Mac, it's important to VOTE for it (scroll to the top of the thread, find the yellow box under the first post, and click the little dark gray arrow under the vote counter; it will turn light gray when your vote has been registered.) More votes can get this idea pushed to the developers, and can help it move up the priority list. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993