How is the Difference amount calculated on the Mac My Budget screen?

Don L Turner
Don L Turner Member ✭✭
At the top of the My Budget screen, on the right side, under the date range of the budget and above the word "Difference" there is a calculated amount.

How is that amount calculated? What is its purpose?

I know it is affected by commitment amounts. I have changed commitment amounts in a future month, during the current month and in a previous month. The number changed by the amount of the new commitments.

I thought that number was telling me the difference between projected spending and projected income. But the number is in green and I thought that meant I had more projected income than projected spending. Even if I edit the budget commits to more than my project income, the number increases by the edited amount, and the larger number stays green.

I don't understand what's happening.


  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Hi, Don:

    Yes, that is calculated from your goals. What confuses some people is that it is a calculation for the entire year. So. future months of zero activity are calculated in. Some people prefer to see this.

    What I suspect you are more interested in is seeing how you are doing YTD. You can show this: make sure the Year to Date column is showing. You can toggle it by clicking on this icon:

    And you can choose from the resulting column dropdown Year to Date totals:

    This will show the total YTD for each category.
  • My interest in this instance is year-to-date differences between income and commitments. That is what I thought the aforementioned Difference number represented. Instead, after using your very useful advise, I see that the difference number is related to the difference between year-to-date numbers and the entire budget for the year numbers. I cannot understand the value of that particular number. I'm hoping someone can explain that to me.

    I believe the number I'm actually looking for was revealed when I changed that first column to year-to-date, after seeing your advice. What I really want to know is total commitments against total projected income. I update my budget commitments at the end of each month, causing the overage or the shortfall to become more accurate throughout the year, something very helpful to me.
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