Troubleshooting the Calendar and Forecast graph

This user guide outlines how to fix the most common issues encountered when using the Calendar page. 

In this article

Forecast graph shows a big difference between forecast and actual balances

If your forecast graph is showing a big difference between your past forecast balances and your actual balances this is likely to be due to the difference between your budgeted earning and spending and your actual earning and spending. 

Because your forecast is based on your budgets, if you're spending more (or less) than you have budgeted to spend, this will lead to your forecast becoming more and more inaccurate over time.

Whilst your future forecast is always projected from your account's current balance, your historical forecast is preserved, so that you can see how far ahead or behind your forecast you are. This means that, if your budgets are not very accurate, you may see a large difference between what you were historically forecast to have and your actual balances in the past.

Options for fixing this:

  • Option one: More accurate budgeting
    T
    he best way to prevent this from happening is to make sure that your budgets closely align with what you are actually earning and spending. Set up repeating budgets for recurring income and expenses, and add one-off budgets for occasional events. For more detail on budgeting in PocketSmith see: Creating a new budget
  • Option two: Reset forecast to begin projecting from today's balance going forward
    You can reset your historic forecast to match your current balance. This means that your forecast will begin again from your current balance. The difference between your past and actual balances will be preserved in your graph's history. To learn how to do this see: Steps to reset forecast to today's balance
  • Option three: Reset past forecast to match your actuals in history
    If you'd like to get rid of the discrepancy from a specific date, you can reset your historic forecast to match your actual balance on that date. To learn how to do this, please see: Steps to manually set the forecast balance

  • Past budget events not showing on the calendar

    If your past budget events are not showing in the calendar, the most likely reason is that your Calendar is set to show actuals in history.

    You'll just need to untick the checkbox for Show actuals in history above the calendar.


    Incorrect forecast when a transaction doesn't occur on the same day as budget

    Each account you manage in PocketSmith comes with a forecast that is based on your budgeted events.
    By default, PocketSmith projects the forecast from your account's closing balance. This ensures that the account's future cash projection is a constant reflection of its current position.

    The budgets you have scheduled in your account will always apply to your forecast regardless of whether or not its categorized transactions have occurred. As such, there are a few situations that could occur which would make your forecast inaccurate if a transaction does not occur on the same day as a budget event:

    Example one:

    You've made a payment ahead of its scheduled budget
    You've made a payment ahead of schedule, but the budget remains in your forecast. Your payment is double-counted, and you're predicted to have less money than you actually will.

    Solution:
    Move the scheduled budget event to the day of the transaction. If prompted, please choose 'Only this event' so that you're not changing an entire series of recurring budgets.

    Example two:

    You've received income ahead of its scheduled budget
    You've received an income payment ahead of schedule, but the budget remains in your forecast. Your payment is double-counted, and you're predicted to have more money than you actually will. 

    Solution: 
    Move the scheduled budget event to the day of the transaction. If prompted, please choose 'Only this event' so that you're not changing an entire series of recurring budgets. To learn how to do this see: Moving a budget on the Calendar

    Example three:

    You're making a payment behind schedule
    You're making a payment behind schedule so your account balance doesn't take the payment into account. The scheduled budget passes into history, so you're predicted to have more money than you actually will.

    Solution A: 
    Safe Balance. With Safe Balance, if there are unspent/unearned amounts once the budget event has moved into the past, these amounts will still be included in the forecast balance. To find out more about Safe Balance, check out the article: Safe Balance beta: what it does and how it works

    Solution B: 
    Move the scheduled budget event to the date the transaction is likely to occur. If prompted, please choose 'Only this event' so that you're not changing an entire series of recurring budgets.  This should mean that you don't need to reset your forecast balance, as this will correctly resume  from your actual bank balance. To learn how to do this see: Moving a budget on the Calendar

    Example four:

    You're receiving a payment behind schedule
    You're receiving an income payment behind schedule so your account balance doesn't take the payment into account. The scheduled budget passes into history, so you're predicted to have less money than you actually will.

    Solution A: 
    Use Safe Balance. With Safe Balance, if there are unspent/unearned amounts once the budget event has moved into the past, these amounts will still be included in the forecast balance. To find out more about Safe Balance, check out the article:  Safe Balance beta: what it does and how it works

    Solution B: 
    Move the scheduled budget event to the date the transaction is likely to occur. If prompted, please choose 'Only this event' so that you're not changing an entire series of recurring budgets. This should mean that you don't need to reset your forecast balance, as this will correctly resume from your actual bank balance. To learn how to move a budget see: Moving a budget on the Calendar


    Budget events not changing the forecast balance on the calendar

    You may notice on the current day on the Calendar, that the budget events for that day are not affecting the forecast balance. This is usually caused by a forecast correction event being present.

    A forecast correction event is denoted by either a red, green or a blue flag. You can find out more about forecast correction events here: Forecast correction events on the calendar

    The forecast correction event changes the closing forecast balance so that it matches the actual balance of the account on that day. However, if the transaction for the event has not yet occurred, your balance will not include the transaction that is represented by the budgeted event.

    Example

    The budget event for your Salary is on a Tuesday, but you don't receive the funds until later in the evening. Your forecast balance is corrected to the current actual balance of the account, an amount that does not include the budgeted Salary amount. 

    Solution A:
    Move the budget event to Wednesday so that the budget event is accurately represented in your forecast. To learn how to move a budget see: Moving a budget on the Calendar


    Solution B:
    Use Safe balance. With Safe Balance enabled, if there are unspent/unearned amounts once the budget event has moved into the past, these amounts will still be included in the actual balance. To find out more about Safe Balance, check out the article: Safe Balance beta: what it does and how it works


    Recalculate the forecast manually when editing the calendar 

    If it is taking a while to recalculate and reload your forecast after adding or editing a budget event on your calendar, you may want to turn off auto-recalculate.

    You can turn off auto-recalculate with the following instructions:

    1
    Go to the Settings menu and select User Preferences
    2
    Tick the checkbox for  'Do not auto-recalculate forecast'
    3
    Click  Save and reload 
    Now when adding or editing budget events on the calendar, the forecast won't be recalculated until you click the  Recalculate now button

    Regular (non-bill) category budgets not distributed on the Calendar

    You may notice that your regular (non-bill) budgets are applied to the calendar in their full amount, rather than distributed as they appear on the Trends and Budget pages.

    This means that your forecast includes the full amount of the budget on the start date of the budget.

    Example

    John has a yearly Home Maintenance budget of $1200 that begins on January 1st and is set up as a non-bill category. The entire $1200 will be deducted from his forecast on January 1st, rather than the distributed amount of $100 a month.

    We are looking to include non-bill budget distribution on the calendar page, however, we don't have a timeframe for this release just yet!

    To learn more about bill categories please see: Bill and scheduled income categories

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