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Cookie Jar Emulator for Quicken (Envelope Budgeting) ( 3 merged votes)

mrooks
mrooks Member
Many years ago we used paper to track our budget.
We used something called the "Cookie Jar" method which I am sure you are aware of.
When we switched to Quicken it was fairly straightforward to treat the categories as "Jars".
However it has always been a bit of extra work to split the paychecks up to divvy the income out to the separate categories. The reports have to have some manipulation as well to facilitate the emulation of the cookie jar method. We do not use the built in budgeting features from Quicken because we use a different philosophy for our budgeting process.

I think that with a moderate amount of effort, Quicken software folks could come up with a new simplified "Cookie Jar Emulator" feature for quicken. Alternatively this could become its own stand-alone program sold separately from standard Quicken.
If you are ever interested in pursuing I would be happy to discuss with one of your architects.
(I am a software engineer myself so I can speak geek pretty well.)
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  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited August 2019
    When money is tight - or I'm trying to have a detailed overview, I want to be able to set weekly recurring budget amounts (like for groceries or dining).  Old paper-based budgeting was actually great: you have a matrix of categories for rows and days of the month for columns.  You can see what's going on - and you can see early in the month when you've spent too much - AND you can see the detail in one overview without digging in and getting lost in views. 

    With a computer, a year of month sheets that update and rollover would be fantastic.  Current graph views and total sheets and so on can be used to see the big picture but all the years planning can be on the detail sheets.  So much less confusing.  Also, spending that's not categorized should appear in a "Unbudgeted" category at the bottom that can be expanded. 

    Finally, there should be one more report that shows the year by months (rows) and weeks (columns) with the actual and budgeted ending balances.  Clicking on a month or week takes you to the detailed budget page.

    What I haven't seen in Quicken budgeting also is a way to save for amortized monthly or yearly expenses or for savings goals.  For yearly categories, there should be amortized saving or just a big amount planned for a date.  When a date is possible, and amortized saving is selected, it should keep adjusting the amortized amount based on how much is currently put aside.  The effect of not saving for these planned events would show up on the yearly overview report as increased daily/weekly/monthly expenses for the rest of term (until the amount is due - even in the next year(s)).

    Another area that needs addressing is when there are multiple accounts.  Bills may be paid from different accounts and there needs to be enough money in that account at the right time.  The budget is the right place to have that insight so transfers can be made on time.  This applies to savings, checking, foreign currency accounts, credit card accounts and cash accounts.  For credit card accounts, auto calculation of monthly interest fees should be supported.  For all bank accounts, monthly service fees should be supported.  It would be amazing if this could be done automatically based on the bank information you already have for accounts, or failing this, a service fee and interest tool that calculates based on previous months.
  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2018
    Richard, this sounds like several different suggestions. I recommend you make a separate post for each suggestion. That enables other users to vote on exactly the feature they would like to see implemented.
    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited March 2018
    Sounds like "envelope budgeting"...which Quicken does NOT do. 
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    "Cookie Jar budgets" are just another name for "Envelope Budgets".  And you can use the Search space at the top of this forums home page to look for that topic.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • mrooks
    mrooks Member
    Thanks I took a look and you are correct.
    I like the Cookie Jar analogy better though :)
    Looks like some folks are working too hard at it though by creating separate (I am assuming "Virtual") checking accounts for their Jars/Envelopes.
    I am just looking for a budgeting option which adopts the philosophy not so much the practice.
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    I'll certainly agree that cookies are tastier.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    mrooks said:
    We used something called the "Cookie Jar" method which I am sure you are aware of.
    Don’t be so sure. I never heard this term, and I’m an old guy. Is this not handled by Quicken’s Savings Goals feature?
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • Kip Gordon
    Kip Gordon Member ✭✭
    It'd also be nice to be able to, within the budgeting area, transfer budgeted amounts between categories. If I plan to spend $500 on groceries this month but end up with $100 leftover, it'd be nice to be able to transfer that leftover to another category instead of just rolling it over to the next months groceries. I know I could go in and modify the next month for the grocery category and also whatever category I'd like to move it to but, it'd be much easier and nicer to have a function that's "Transfer Budgeted Funds" or something.
  • chitownhockey
    chitownhockey Member ✭✭✭✭
    Also known as "envelope budgeting"...which Quicken doesn't do.  And never has.
  • Kip Gordon
    Kip Gordon Member ✭✭
    @chitownhockey The question wasn't have they ever. It was a suggestion to add it. >.<
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