Using the Calendar and Forecast graph
You can use the Calendar (Forecast > Calendar) to quickly see your budgets and forecast across any month. Just above the Calendar, you'll also see the forecast graph where you can view your past and future actual balances versus your forecast (budgeted) balances.
The amount set for each of your budgets is added/subtracted from your forecast balances. This means that any budget change you make on your calendar will be reflected on the forecast graph in real time! On the Calendar page, you can view how you've tracked with your past actual earning and spending, and how your forecast looks projected into the future 📅 ✨
In this user guide
Overview of the Calendar page
The Calendar page allows you to:
- view your scheduled budgets and forecast balances for your accounts, assets, and liabilities
- view your past balances for your accounts, assets, and liabilities
- compare your forecast to your actual performance
- create or edit budgets
The Forecast graph at the top of the page displays your forecast balances based on your budget events.
If you have Show actuals in history ticked, you can compare your historic forecast to your actual balances. For more detail check out: Using the Forecast graph
The Calendar shows you your scheduled budgets as well as your forecast balances.
When Show actuals in history is ticked you'll see your actual past balances, as well as an overview of transactions that have occurred on any past date. Any future dates will feature your forecast balance and any budgeted events. For more detail check out: Using the Calendar
Use the Calendar sidebar and the date options to change the information reflected in the calendar and forecast graph to suit. To learn more about the various options please see: Calendar options
The calendar options allow you to change the accounts, scenarios, and date range viewed on the Calendar and forecast graph. Learn how to switch between viewing your past actual balances, or your historic and future forecast balances, and how to create and edit budgets. Any options applied to the Calendar are also reflected in the forecast graph.
Use the sidebar to select the accounts you'd like to be reflected on the calendar and the forecast graph.
- To view all accounts, just click All accounts.
- If you'd like to view a single account (or asset/liability), just click on the account you'd like to view
- To view a selection of accounts, click Select multiple accounts and choose from the accounts, assets, and liabilities listed
Viewing secondary scenarios
If you have secondary scenarios for your accounts, you can choose which scenarios are shown when viewing the calendar.
You can find and select, or deselect, a scenario by clicking the three-dot menu beside each account in the sidebar.
Checking the circle next to the scenario, so that it is green, will show the scenario. This will change what forecast events are shown and also the forecast balance. For example, if you have both the secondary scenario and the account's primary scenario selected, the budgets that are associated with the secondary scenario will also show on the calendar, affecting the forecast balance.
If you notice a grey dot appear against the selected account icon this means that not all scenarios associated with the account have been selected
To change the date shown on the calendar, use the date picker found in the top right of the calendar.
You can also use the arrows to jump forward or backward by month.
Show actuals in history
The Show actuals in history checkbox is located in the toolbar and has a major impact on what you see reflected in your forecast graph and on the calendar.
When Show actuals in history is unticked
- the forecast graph will show your forecast balances on both past and future dates
- the calendar will show your scheduled budget events and forecast balances on both past and future dates
When Show actuals in history is ticked
the forecast graph will compare your past actual balances to your historic forecast balances. Your future forecast balance will still be shown for any future dates.
- the calendar will show your past actual balances on past dates, and your predicted forecast balance on any future dates.
- a daily summary of transactions that occurred will appear on past dates, while future dates will display any scheduled budget events
Create new budgets
You can create a new budget from the calendar page by clicking + New budget, or, by clicking on the date you'd like the budget to occur on.
For more detail on creating budgets from the calendar page see: Creating a budget on the Calendar page
Edit existing budgets
Click on a budget event on the Calendar to edit an existing budget. For more detail check out: Editing a budget on the Calendar page
You can change the date of a budget event by dragging and dropping the Budget event to a new date. We've got all the info right here: Moving a budget on the Calendar
Colors of budget events on the calendar
By default, your budget events will appear on the calendar in the color that has been assigned to the category, if any. If you'd like to change the color they appear in on the calendar you can do this by clicking on the budget event and selecting a new color.
Note that, currently, this won't change the category color in other areas of PocketSmith. To change the category color in other areas of PocketSmith you'll need to edit the category settings. For detail on how to do this check out: Editing & deleting categories
Change the start day for the calendar week
You can configure the start day for the calendar week to be whatever day you choose.
To change this head to Settings > User preferences and set 'Calendar starts on' to your preferred day
Using the forecast graph
The forecast graph displays your historic and future forecast balances based on your budgets. Tick Show actuals in history to compare your actual past balances to your historic forecast balances.
To ensure that it reflects your current financial position, your future forecast balance is always calculated from the current actual balance of your accounts. The current balance of an account varies depending on the balance option for the account. For more detail on how the balance option affects the way your current balance is calculated see: How forecast balances are calculated
Viewing your forecast balances on the forecast graph
When Show actuals in history
- Hover over any future date on the forecast graph to see the projected balance for your selected accounts. We'll display daily balances up to three months in the future. Any date beyond that, we'll display weekly balances:
Comparing your past actual balances with your historic forecast balances on the forecast graph
When Show actuals in history is ticked you can view your past actual balances compared with your historic forecast balances. Without this option selected you will only see your historic forecast balances.
- Hover over any past date on the forecast graph to see the actual balance for that day compared to your historic forecast balance.
- Your future forecast will still be shown for any future dates.
You can choose whether you are looking at the forecast graph based on all accounts, assets, and liabilities, or only a few select ones. Learn more about this here: Calendar options
If your past budgeted balance varies drastically from your past actual balances this could be due to your budgets not accurately reflecting your actual earning and spending. For tips on how to deal with this please see: Forecast graph shows a big difference between forecast and actual balances
Colors on the forecast graph
- Green in your graph reflects a positive actual balance
- Red in your graph reflects a negative actual balance
- Blue in your graph represents a positive forecast balance
- Orange in your graph represents a negative forecast balance
Changing the date range on the forecast graph
Extend the date range in view by dragging the slider below the graph:
To extend the date range applied to the graph you'll just need to adjust the date selector beside the graph to suit, and then use the slider to change the view.
Using the Calendar
The Calendar page ( Forecast > Calendar) allows you to view your forecast balances and scheduled budgets, or your past actual balances and transactions at a glance.
Viewing your forecast balances and scheduled budgets on the calendar
When Show actuals in history is unticked, the calendar will display your scheduled budgets along with your forecast balance.
- Navigate to any date in the future and you'll see your forecast balance (based on your budgets) for that day.
- Budgets will show on the day they are scheduled. Each budget amount will be displayed in a different color - green, red or black - depending on the type of budget.
For transfer budgets, if both accounts that the transfer moves between are being displayed on the calendar, the transfer budget amount will show in black. If only one account that the transfer moves in or out of is being displayed, the transfer budget amount will show in red or green (respective of whether the account holds the debit or credit side of the transfer).
Viewing your past actual balances on the calendar
When Show actuals in history is ticked, you'll be able to see your past actual balances
- Navigate to any date in the past to see your actual balance for that day.
- For any future dates, the forecast balance and any scheduled budgets will be displayed
Check or uncheck the option in the toolbar Show actuals in history to see your past balances based on your budgets or on your actual earning and spending and compare!
Using the calendar to see your past transactions
- On the calendar, you can navigate to any date in the past and you'll see a transaction summary of the transactions that occurred within an account on that day
- For any future dates, the scheduled budgets will be displayed
- Use the date options in the calendar toolbar to change the month in view and see your historical balances back in time:
Viewing budget event details on the Calendar
Hover over any budget event on the calendar to see a pop-up containing further details of the budget event, including:
- budget category
- the period covered by the budget event
- the budgeted amount
- the amount earned, spent, or, transferred
- a summary of how the actual amount compares to your budgeted amount
Depending on whether the budget event is past, current, or future, there are some slight differences in the information that is displayed:
- Past budget events will show the amount saved, if under budget, or, the amount over if you've overspent for the period.
- Current budget events will show the amount of the budget you have left for the period, or, if you've overspent the amount that is over will be displayed. You'll also see the number of days remaining in the current budget period.
- Future budget events will show the number of days until the budget event is due to begin.
- Transfer budgets will show the accounts that the transfer moves between.
Viewing the transactions attributed to a budget event
To view the transactions that have been tracked against a budget click on the earned, spent, or transferred amount in the Budget pop-up.
Understanding your forecast
PocketSmith uses your budgeted earning and spending to create your forecast. Every budget you create is applied to the forecast for the account to which the budget is assigned, affecting the account's future forecast balances 📈.
This means the closer your budgets are to your actual earning and spending, the more accurate your forecasted balances will be and you'll be able to see how your finances look projected into the future! This is a good reason to set realistic budgets and aim to stay on track with them!
The Calendar page and forecast graph allow you to jump forward into the future to see what your forecast will look like should you stick to your budgeted earning and spending.
But what happens if you don't stay right on budget? How does PocketSmith make sure that your budgeted forecast balances are a realistic reflection of how your finances could look in the future? Read on to find out how your forecasted balances are calculated.
How forecast balances are calculated
To ensure that your forecast balances are accurate, PocketSmith calculates your forecast (adding and subtracting your budgeted amounts) for each of your accounts based on the current balance of each account.
The current balance of an account varies depending on the balance option that has been applied to each account:
- Use Bank Feed Balance or Use Reversed Bank Feed Balance
The current balance of an account will be based on the last time the account bank feed synced. Each time the bank feed syncs and the current balance is updated, the forecast will recalculate.
- Use Calculated Closing Balance
- (Last transaction balance)
The current balance of an account with this balance setting applied will be based on the most recent transaction in that account. Whenever a new transaction is imported into PocketSmith and the current balance is updated, the forecast will be recalculated from the date of the last transaction.
- (Last transaction balance, at today)
The current balance of an account with this balance setting applied will be based on the account balance as at today. The forecast will recalculate each day as the current balance is updated - if there is a period of days between the last transaction and today's date, then any budget events that occur between that last transaction and today will not be factored into the forecast calculation.
- (Last transaction balance)
- Use Scenario Balance
If you're using the Scenario balance setting for an account, the account will only ever have a running forecast balance and won't have a current balance that the forecast needs to recalculate from. Instead, the forecast will only recalculate if the forecast is reset by the user adding a forecast correction.
Troubleshooting the calendar
We've collated a list of the most common issues users encounter with the calendar in our user guide Troubleshooting the Calendar and Forecast graph. Click on the corresponding link to learn more about a particular issue, and how to resolve it.
- Forecast graph shows a big difference between forecast and actual balances
- Past budget events not showing on the calendar
- Incorrect forecast when a transaction doesn't occur on the same day as budget
- Budget events not changing the forecast balance on the calendar
- Recalculate the forecast manually when editing the calendar
- Regular (non-bill) category budgets not distributed on the Calendar
If you've encountered an issue not covered above, get in touch [email protected]pocketsmith.com and we'll be in touch as soon as we can.