Budget Progress Graphs - Home Page

YingDave
YingDave Member ✭✭✭✭
I have been using Quicken for a long time, but only recently came recently came back to budgeting in 2020 setting up a new one for this year. In the very old versions the budget graphs, and Home page widgets have been very easy to comprehend. For example a bar graph line on the home page  added for each particular category/subcategory you want to look at, with little ticker marks where you would expect to be pro rata for the particular day of the month you are up to. Eg. Sep has 30 days, on the 20th the graph would show budget ticker marks 2/3 of the way along the bar scale because you were 2/3 through the month. Then the actual spend filled the par and you could quickly see bar vs. tick mark to see under or over.

Now in current version the graphs below are presented on the home page below as totals pf other lines I have called out eg. Groceries etc. All year I have never really known how to interpret the graph. The proportions of Green/red do not seem to match the numbers, and when you hover over it it changes the proportions again of red/green. Then the text box is not really that helpful either. Does someone have some insight to share on this so I can interpret what it is trying to tell me?

Best Answer

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    First off let me say that the Home tab budget view can be customized to show any of the budget items that you have selected in the main budget.  In this way if you were to select them all it would look pretty much like the Graph View on the Planning tab.

    After that let me breakdown what the main bar graph is trying to tell you, not it going to model the Graph View, not the Annual view.

    First number on the left "SPENDING" this is your "actuals" for this month.  Note if you have the option to include reminders they "stand in" for the actuals, and they might be pro rated.  When you hover over the bar it will state if the reminders are included.

    Hovering over the bar gives you that text which repeats the spending amount and the messages about the reminders.  It also includes a warning about any overspent category.  The definition of which is like if you budgeted $100 and spend $101 (including reminders is selected) that category is "over".  Note if you jumping to the Annual view it is considering the whole year and as such the number of categories that are over spent is "any category/month" that is over spent.  In the case of the Home Tab/Graph View is is for the time shown, which in the case of the Home tab that would be just this month.

    Note I see a bug in the Home tab.  It allows you to change the budget number there, but it doesn't actually change anything.  I had to go to the full budget to make any changes that actually reflect anywhere.  They should either disable that edit on the Home tab or make it work right.

    Now to what the green and red bars are trying to convey as far as I can tell.
    I will start with a budget that has only one category that is over budget.  It is set for $100 and $199 has been spent (I have turned on viewing it just to make it clearer).


    I take it that the overall length of that bar is the percentage of spending to overall total for the budget (which is the Budget: number in the upper right, which only includes the expense categories, it doesn't include income categories if you have them).

    So now we get down to what is the green and red.  Above you can see that there is a very small part of it red, which I believe is the $99 of that one category that is over.  If I adjust that budget to $200 you can see that the warning and the red bar go away.


    If I do the opposite and set the budget to $0 you see the red bar is now larger and does seem to be double the size of the one in the first screenshot which was for $99 (now $200).


    If you hover over the caution icon near the budget number it will warn you that to meet your budget you will have to reduce spending in the remaining categories since you overspent in one or more of the categories.

    I'm now going to include something that you don't have in your budget or I have above.  It is possible to have a SAVINGS number at the end of the budget.
    As shown below.


    What makes that show up is if you have included any Income categories.  In this case I have include one that will not cover the expenses.  Needless to say the savings number is zero.   They don't show negative numbers.

    Now I'm going to increase budget number for the income so that it is greater ($6000) than the budget number for the expenses.  You will notice that the savings number is the $6,000 - $5,355 = $645.  Also note this has nothing to do with you actual spending.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/

Answers

  • GeoffG
    GeoffG SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would not recommend adding the budget graphs to the home page. Budgeting (and review) should be done from the Planning tab. You need to view the budget as monthly to get any meaningful use.
     user since '92 | Quicken Windows Premier - Subscription | Windows 10 Pro version 21H1
  • YingDave
    YingDave Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 16
    Sorry I have not been online for a while - happy new year to all....

    I find that response a little puzzling because exactly the same bar graph exists in the Planning Tab on the Monthly graphical view as does on the Home tab?! These progress bars many years ago <2011 were very quick visual indicator if tracking ok, or I needed to drill further into the details of the monthly spend. These days I am none the wiser on what the summary line is actually saying, esp. since they change when hovering, and it changes as above. If I have to look at a full spreadsheet of numbers to decipher where things are up to -  they cannot be digested as quickly less likely to get looked at than progress bar graphs?
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    First off let me say that the Home tab budget view can be customized to show any of the budget items that you have selected in the main budget.  In this way if you were to select them all it would look pretty much like the Graph View on the Planning tab.

    After that let me breakdown what the main bar graph is trying to tell you, not it going to model the Graph View, not the Annual view.

    First number on the left "SPENDING" this is your "actuals" for this month.  Note if you have the option to include reminders they "stand in" for the actuals, and they might be pro rated.  When you hover over the bar it will state if the reminders are included.

    Hovering over the bar gives you that text which repeats the spending amount and the messages about the reminders.  It also includes a warning about any overspent category.  The definition of which is like if you budgeted $100 and spend $101 (including reminders is selected) that category is "over".  Note if you jumping to the Annual view it is considering the whole year and as such the number of categories that are over spent is "any category/month" that is over spent.  In the case of the Home Tab/Graph View is is for the time shown, which in the case of the Home tab that would be just this month.

    Note I see a bug in the Home tab.  It allows you to change the budget number there, but it doesn't actually change anything.  I had to go to the full budget to make any changes that actually reflect anywhere.  They should either disable that edit on the Home tab or make it work right.

    Now to what the green and red bars are trying to convey as far as I can tell.
    I will start with a budget that has only one category that is over budget.  It is set for $100 and $199 has been spent (I have turned on viewing it just to make it clearer).


    I take it that the overall length of that bar is the percentage of spending to overall total for the budget (which is the Budget: number in the upper right, which only includes the expense categories, it doesn't include income categories if you have them).

    So now we get down to what is the green and red.  Above you can see that there is a very small part of it red, which I believe is the $99 of that one category that is over.  If I adjust that budget to $200 you can see that the warning and the red bar go away.


    If I do the opposite and set the budget to $0 you see the red bar is now larger and does seem to be double the size of the one in the first screenshot which was for $99 (now $200).


    If you hover over the caution icon near the budget number it will warn you that to meet your budget you will have to reduce spending in the remaining categories since you overspent in one or more of the categories.

    I'm now going to include something that you don't have in your budget or I have above.  It is possible to have a SAVINGS number at the end of the budget.
    As shown below.


    What makes that show up is if you have included any Income categories.  In this case I have include one that will not cover the expenses.  Needless to say the savings number is zero.   They don't show negative numbers.

    Now I'm going to increase budget number for the income so that it is greater ($6000) than the budget number for the expenses.  You will notice that the savings number is the $6,000 - $5,355 = $645.  Also note this has nothing to do with you actual spending.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • YingDave
    YingDave Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Chris_QPW
    Wow thanks for the very detailed response it will take a little while to digest - I will get back to you after I crack open the printer and work through it.
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