Envelope Budgeting With Savings Goals

After having spent years away from Quicken (used to be an avid user), I'm contemplating subscribing to Quicken For Windows but before I do, have a question related to budgeting and savings goals.

I see that Quicken does not support envelope budgeting but it does have "Rollover" capabilities. What I wanted to know is whether Savings Goals is a way to achieve envelope budgeting for those expenses that do not occur monthly.

For example, I have various subscriptions or expenses that incur infrequently e.g. once a year, every quarter etc. For these types of expenses, I like to budget the amount I need to save each month so that when that date comes, I have sufficient cash in my budget to pay for that expense. What I'm trying to avoid is creating a new savings account for each of these infrequent budgeted items.

Is there a way to use Savings Goals in Quicken where I can budget a certain amount to each one of these recurring but infrequent expenses while not having to create multiple accounts? I want my savings account to actually reflect the amount of cash I do have on hand but was hoping I can see how that money is sliced up by looking at the Savings Goals themselves?

I'm not sure if there's a good way of accomplishing this. I'm coming from YNAB and other envelope budgeting systems which I do like but that lack other features I'm looking for that are available within Quicken such as investment tracking.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!
Tagged:

Comments

  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    We may certainly use Savings Goals to implement envelope-like budgeting.  My preference has been to use reminders and projected balances.  This topic has been discussed numerous times.  If you haven't already, you may want to review: https://community.quicken.com/discussion/7445030/envelope-budgeting
  • A1MB1G
    A1MB1G Member ✭✭
    @Sherlock Can you explain a little further about your process and how you're using Reminders and Projected Balances for the purpose I mentioned above? I'm willing to change my process and you seem to have a very long experience with Quicken so any comments you can make on your process, that would be extremely helpful.
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    A1MB1G said:
    @Sherlock Can you explain a little further about your process and how you're using Reminders and Projected Balances for the purpose I mentioned above? I'm willing to change my process and you seem to have a very long experience with Quicken so any comments you can make on your process, that would be extremely helpful.

    Reminders enable us scheduled income, expense, and transfer transactions.  They may be real bills or estimates. We may enter them, skip them, edit them, or delete them.  They may be included in budgets and shown in registers.  

    The Projected Balances view on the Bill and Income tab enables us to look ahead to see the aggregate impact the reminders have on our account balances.  It enables us to estimate how much we need in accounts in advance and make adjustments accordingly.

    Personally, we tend to create reminders for all planned transactions.  I don't know what's normal but we have about 90 reminders at this time.  Also, we tend to use one credit card and one checking account for our spending.  Essentially, the goal is to maintain enough in the checking account to be able pay off the credit card each month.  We tend to intentionally over estimate our expenses and under estimate our income when the amount is not certain and we'll adjust the current instance of a reminder when appropriate.

    While this approach doesn't explicitly earmark the funds to pay for an expense (as in envelope budgeting or Quicken's Savings Goals), we're able to see how much we will need in aggregate and when and can adjust our discretionary expenditures and schedule appropriately.  

    Again, this is a personal preference.  Some users prefer using a budget or savings goals and that's fine. 



  • A1MB1G
    A1MB1G Member ✭✭
    As a follow-up question to this, how do the Savings Goals work once you reach the goal, can you re-establish the same goal again? For example, let's say I setup a savings goal for my daughter's tuition which is due next July.

    Fast forward to next July, I've reached the goal and now I want to re-initiate the same goal again for the following 12 months, would I have to create a new savings goal or can I just change the goal of the existing goal which was reached? I'm not sure if this is just semantics but wanted to get a better handle on how it works.
  • A1MB1G
    A1MB1G Member ✭✭
    Also, one other question related to Savings Goals, can we automate the contribution towards Savings goals somehow? For instance, if I want to set a scheduled transaction to occur each month towards a Savings goal instead of manually having to enter them?
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    A1MB1G said:
    As a follow-up question to this, how do the Savings Goals work once you reach the goal, can you re-establish the same goal again? For example, let's say I setup a savings goal for my daughter's tuition which is due next July.

    Fast forward to next July, I've reached the goal and now I want to re-initiate the same goal again for the following 12 months, would I have to create a new savings goal or can I just change the goal of the existing goal which was reached? I'm not sure if this is just semantics but wanted to get a better handle on how it works.
    When you've met your goal, you may either withdraw the funds from the Savings Goal or delete the Savings Goal.  
    A1MB1G said:
    Also, one other question related to Savings Goals, can we automate the contribution towards Savings goals somehow? For instance, if I want to set a scheduled transaction to occur each month towards a Savings goal instead of manually having to enter them?
    You may use a transfer reminder to automate your contribution toward a goal.

    If you haven't already, you may want to review: 

    https://www.quicken.com/support/how-handle-bill-and-income-reminders-are-due

    https://community.quicken.com/discussion/7853006/tips-and-tricks-using-quicken-savings-goals
  • A1MB1G
    A1MB1G Member ✭✭
    @Sherlock That's perfect, I've decided to use Savings Goals as a way to mimick how I would use envelopes when I used a competing budgeting app. In this way, I can deal with recurring expenses that don't happy on a monthly frequency but rather on an annual basis. So each month I set aside some month so that when that day comes, I've got enough saved up to pay for that annual bill.

    Example of this will be annual auto insurance, tuition for the kids, digital subscriptions etc. At least that's my plan right now, hoping it works out.
This discussion has been closed.