The auto-budget tool

Use the Auto-budget tool to easily create budgets when you first set up your PocketSmith account. ✅ 

If you have already been using PocketSmith for a while, you can use the auto-budget tool to create budgets for those categories you haven't had a chance to budget for yet!

In this article

Auto-budget tool overview

PocketSmith's auto-budget tool uses your categorized transaction data to create budgets for un-budgeted categories.⚡️

Once you have assigned the majority of your transactions to categories, run the auto-budget tool to create budgets based on each category's assigned transactions, including the transactions' amounts and frequency. This is really handy as a starting point if you're not sure how much you would typically spend or earn in each of your categories.

If you are an existing PocketSmith user, and already have manual budgets already set up (i.e. budgets you have created yourself), you can still use the auto-budget tool to create budgets for un-budgeted categories (provided there are enough transactions assigned to them). 

Note:

The auto-budget tool is a new feature in PocketSmith; we're still working to refine this tool so that it can function as accurately as possible. You may find some quirks or want to make slight adjustments to your auto-budgets. If you have any questions or feedback, please get in touch.

Using the auto-budget tool

1
Head to the Budget page ( Budget & Reports > Budget)
2
Click on Auto-budget tool  in the toolbar 
3
Before you run the auto-budget tool, PocketSmith will show the percentage of your transactions that have already been categorized. The more you have categorized, the more accurate your auto-budgets will be: 
  • Low percentage
    The percentage will show in red if not enough transactions have been categorized for the auto-budget tool to create accurate budgets. We recommend categorizing more of your transactions before using the tool.
  • High percentage
    If you have a high percentage of transactions categorized, your auto-budgets should closely reflect your earning and spending. However, for even more accuracy, you might like to consider categorizing more transactions.
  • Fully categorized
    If you've categorized all transactions then your auto-budgets should be accurate - nice job!
  • 4
    PocketSmith will show you how many un-budgeted categories will be analyzed. 

    Click  Start auto-budget tool to create budgets for your un-budgeted categories

    Note:

    Learn more about how the auto-budget tool deals with manual budgets (budgets you have already created) here

    5
    Your auto-budgets are now created and ready for you to review.

    If you are unhappy with any of them, or simply don't wish to have a budget for a particular category, hover over the right side of the row and click the X that appears to remove the budget.

    6
    Any categories that did not have enough transactions assigned to them for an auto-budget will now be displayed in the window. Hover over the text to see which categories have not had budgets created for them.

    Once you have more transactions assigned to these categories you can come back to the auto-budget tool and try again!  

    7
    Check out the Budget page to view your shiny new budget ✨

    Auto-budgets will be identified on the Budget page with the A* icon.


    Creation of bill and transfer budgets

    When the auto-budget tool runs against your un-budgeted categories, it will try to recognize categories that would be best suited as a bill or transfer.

    You can learn more about the general behavior of bill categories and transfers in PocketSmith here:

    Bill budgets

    If the auto-budget tool detects a category that behaves like a bill category it will automatically treat the auto-budget as a bill budget and simultaneously update the category to treated as a bill category. 

    Bill auto-budgets are displayed with the following icons:

    To see the bill behavior option for a category:

    1
    Head to Settings > Categories
    2
    Navigate to the category you'd like to see and click on the three-dot menu
    3
    Select Edit
    4
    You'll see that the bill option is selected. If you'd like this to no longer be a bill category with a bill budget, un-check this option and click Save

    Transfer budgets

    If the auto-budget tool detects a category that behaves like a transfer category it will automatically treat the auto-budget as a transfer and simultaneously update the category to  behave as a transfer category. 

    Transfer auto-budgets are displayed with the following icons:

    Note:

    If the auto-budget tool creates a transfer budget, it will mark all transactions in that category as transfer transactions. Transfer transactions are indicated with the transfer icon, and their display behavior in PocketSmith will be changed. Learn more about this here.

     1
    Settings > Categories
    2

    Navigate to the category you would like to see and click on the three-dot menu

    3

    Select  Edit

    4
    You will see that the transfer option is selected. If you would like this to no longer be a transfer category with a transfer budget, un-check this option and click  Save 


    Re-run the auto-budget tool

    You can re-run the auto-budget tool at any time to update your auto-budgets. As more transactions are imported and categorized in your PocketSmith account, the tool will be able to provide more accurate auto-budgets that reflect your earning and spending. 

    Note:

    If you remove auto-budgets and re-run the auto-budget tool, be aware that the history of your previous auto-budgets will also be removed. If you wish to alter a budget and keep a record of the initial budget's details, you will need to edit the budget manually. Once you've made any manual changes to a budget it will no longer be an auto-budget.

    Re-run the auto-budget tool on selected budgets

    If you only want to re-run the budget wizard on selected budgets: 

    1
    Head to the Budget page ( Budget & Reports > Budget) and click on Auto-budget tool
    2
    Locate the budget you wish to re-calculate in 'Your auto-budgets' section, hover over the right of the row and click the X to remove the budget

    3
    Repeat Step 2 for each budget that you wish to update
    4
    Click Start auto-budget tool to create updated budgets for your un-budgeted categories

    Clear your automatic budgets and start again

    If you wish to clear all of your automatic budgets and start again:

    1
    Head to the Budget page ( Budget & Reports >  Budget) and click on  Auto-budget tool in the tool bar
    2
    Click Clear auto-budgets 
    3
    Then, click Start auto-budget tool to create updated budgets for your un-budgeted categories 

    Tips for using the auto-budget tool if you already have manual budgets set up

    Keeping your manual budgets

    If you already have manual budgets set up and you'd like to keep them, you can run the auto-budget tool on your un-budgeted categories - this will not overwrite or alter any existing manual budgets. Simply click Start auto-budget tool to begin.

    Clear your manually created budgets and use auto-budgets instead

    If you wish to create auto-budgets for all of your categories, including those with existing manual budgets, you'll first need to clear your manually created budgets by clicking on the delete those budgets here link and following the prompts:

    Warning:

    This option will also remove all of your previously created budget history from PocketSmith. If you'd prefer to keep your budget history intact you'll need to edit your existing manual budgets instead. For more information on editing budgets please see: Editing, moving or deleting a category

    Once you have cleared your existing manual budgets, you'll be taken back to the Budget page. Select Auto-budget tool from the toolbar, then click Start auto-budget tool to create your brand new auto-budgets!

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