How to determine total amount over budget

Hi,

I started using the Budgets feature under the planning tab this year. We had some unplanned expenses resulting in a few categories being over budget. The summary at the top of budget page displays our total budget, total spending, and remaining spending. I have not been able to find a way to determine how much over budget we will be if we do not adjust our planned spending in any of our under budget categories.

I realize that I can manually add up the overbudget amounts. I am hoping the tool has a way to do this automatically.

Thanks,
George
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Answers

  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I suggest considering the balance amounts shown in the Annual view with Details or Balance only and include reminders for the planned spending: check Budget Actions > View  options > Include reminders


  • bmciance
    bmciance SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    What Sherlock says will work for you IF you make extensive use of reminders.  I do this to a certain extent but in some categories I don't have anything set up because it is too variable.  For example, groceries.  Since each time I go to the store it is a different amount I don't have any reminders set up for it (I also may use a different form of payment).  Without reminders that future actual amounts will show as zero.

    Bottom line is just be aware that you may not be able to see what you want in all categories.  I suppose you could play with setting up a monthly reminder for the budget amount so that the future months will show actuals and budgets being equal but that could get to be a lot of work keeping up with it.  At that point a spreadsheet would probably be better.  Just export the current budget report to Excel and fill in the future months as needed.
  • gvasick
    gvasick Member ✭✭
    Thanks for the quick replies.

    I currently have no reminders in my budget. Also, I have varying granularity in my budget. For some categories I have monthly details specified. In other case, I budgeted a lump sum for the entire year. Turning on reminders does not seem to like my current budget style.

    I have tried creating a budget report and exporting it to excel. I have a combination of categories, subcategories, and "everything else" line items in my budget. The resulting excel spreadsheet has category subtotals interspersed with the individual line items. I can't simply total up the columns and have them match my actual spending or remaining amounts. I am continuing to work with the spreadsheet to see if I can set up a good way to filter out the duplicates.

    Thanks again for the suggestions,
    George
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Let me first let me say that I don’t fully understand can make any year predictions when you only have actual amounts for part of the year.  That is where the reminders fill in the gap.  Even if that reminder is say weekly or monthly amount that you skip when the real transactions come in.
    But you seem to have a way so I will just post an idea about the “unplanned” expenses.

    Since it seems that it is the unplanned expenses that are throwing you off why don’t you create a new category for them and then just leave them out of the budget?
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  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    You may want to consider applying a tag the unexpected expenses.  Their total would represent how much over budget you would be if you made no adjustments to your spending.  
  • gvasick
    gvasick Member ✭✭
    Chris, Sherlock,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Since I do not have consistent monthly breakdowns in all of my budgeting categories, I use the graph view with "Yearly" specified in the second dropdown on the budget page. Leaving the unplanned expenses in the budget allows the spending displayed on the budget page to match the total shown under the spending tab with "This Year" selected. This gives me a good crosscheck for any errors in my tracking.

    I believe Sherlock's latest comment captured what I am trying to do: determine how much over budget I will be by the end of the year if I make no adjustment to my remaining planned spending. It is basically the sum of the red overbudget items in the budget status column of the yearly graph view. The sum needs to be adjusted for duplicates that occur when subcategories are rolled up into their parent categories.

    I was able to calculate my total overbudget amount by exporting the current budget report to excel and correcting for the subcategory amounts rolled up into their parent categories. I used excel's countif() function to exclude the subcategories, i.e. those with ":" in their names.


    Thanks,
    George
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