Creating a budget and forecast

Budgets are useful to track your historical earning and spending trends ,  and to plan for future earning and spending. Once a category has a budget, it is referred to as a budget category. Creating a budget on your account scenarios also  means  that you can see your balance forecast on the Calendar page. 

There are two ways to create a budget for a category:

Creating a budget on the Budget page

Ensure most of your transactions are  categorized -  PocketSmith can provide more accurate earning and spending averages on your unbudgeted categories when you've  categorized  most or all of your transactions.

  1. Head to the Budget page from the menu, Budget and Reports > Budget
  2. The number of transactions that apply to each of your categories will show, along with average spending per month. This average is provided to give you a rough indication of your earning or spending in that category. The date range can be changed once you start your budget!

  3. Click the Start button on the category you'd like to create a budget for.
  4. This will open the Start Budget window where you can confirm or change the following details:

    1. Category and Amount - it's best to have budget amounts as round numbers for budgets that vary (e.g. Groceries) and exact amounts for ones that don't (e.g. Insurance or Salary).
    2. Repeating - choose whether this is a  one-off  budget or how often you'd like the budget to repeat (for more advanced options see: How do I set more specific repeat options for my budgets?).
    3. Colour - tailor how your budget looks on the calendar by selecting a  color.
    4. Type - select whether this is an expense or income budget.
    5. Scenario - select which account scenario you'd like this budget to forecast against.
    6. Transfer - create a budget transfer if the transactions in this budget category are moving between your accounts.
    7. Description - add any notes you'd like to attach to this budget.
  5. Once you're happy with the budget criteria, click Save.
  6. The Budget page will reload. You'll then see the budget for the category, displaying your performance for the current budget period. 

  7. Repeat steps 4-6 for other important categories you'd like to budget, including the category for your income.

Now that you've created your budgets you can use the Budget page to see an overview of your budgets or click on each category to see your budget category trends.

You can also head over to the Calendar page to check out your new forecast!

Creating a budget on the Calendar page

  1. Head to the Calendar page from the menu, Forecast > Calendar
  2. Click on New budget or the day you'd like your budget to occur on (or start on, if you are setting up a recurring budget).

  3. This will open the Start Budget window where you can confirm or change the following details:

    1. Category - select from the drop down, or type in, the category you'd like to budget.
      Amount - it's best to have budget amounts as round numbers for budgets that vary (e.g. Groceries) and exact amounts for ones that don't (e.g. Insurance or Salary).
    2. Repeating - choose whether this is a  one-off  budget or how often you'd like the budget to repeat (for more advanced options see: How do I set more specific repeat options for my budgets?).
    3. Colour - tailor how your budget looks on the calendar by selecting a  color.
    4. Type - select whether this is an expense or income budget.
      Scenario - select which account scenario you'd like this budget to forecast against.
    5. Transfer - create a budget transfer if the transactions in this budget category are moving between your accounts.
    6. Description - add any notes you'd like to attach to this budget.
  4. Once you're happy with the budget criteria, click Save.
  5. The Calendar page will reload. The addition of this budget will now be reflected in your forecast graph and your future and historical balances.

  6. You can click on any budget event on the calendar to edit that budget. After selecting Save you'll be provided with options to manage how the changes are applied.

You can continue to build your forecast by adding budgets to your Calendar, or on the Budgets page. 

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