The budgets tab will organize all your monthly budget categories into cute, interactive bubbles for your budgeting pleasure. The bubbles are indicators of the health of your budget categories in any given month.
Setting Up Budget Categories
The first time you log in, it will try to guess what categories you would like displayed. You can choose to let the system guess, or you can choose to add new major categories manually. In any case, you can add a major category at any time by selecting the “+ Add New Budget” option in blue on the upper right-hand side of the module.
You can also edit the major categories at will by clicking on any of the categorizes on the right side of the screen.
You can also click on one of the bubbles to view the same menu.
You now will see several options:
Transactions – This will show you all the transactions that went into this budget
Edit Budget – This button will allow you to set a specific dollar amount that you want to be allocated for this major category during the month.
Money Management will guess the appropriate budget amount based on your transactions. However, for the best results, review your bills and needs and enter your desired budget for each category manually. KEEP IN MIND – If you are using sub-budgets, the dollar amount you enter in the major category cannot be smaller than the total amount of the sub-budgets. If you try it, you will receive an error message.
Sub-Budgets – Although you cannot create major categories, you can add as many custom sub-budgets as you would like. By clicking on the blue text which reads “Add New Sub-Budget” at the bottom of the pop-up menu, you can add these sub-budgets.
Money Management has a list of suggested sub-budget names. However, you can choose your own sub-budget name by selecting the grey text “+ Add a Subcategory” at the bottom of the new pop-up menu.
Once you’ve added the Sub-Budgets, you can Edit or View assigned transactions by clicking the ellipses to the right of the Sub-Budget name.
Removing Categories – You can remove major categories by clicking on a bubble, selecting the “Edit Budget” button.
Now proceed choosing the blue “Delete (Budget Name) Budget” option at the bottom of the pop-up menu.
Once each major budget categories are set up, you will see a lot of budget bubbles in the center of the module.
On top of the fun factor, the bubbles are incredibly functional. Their size represents the proportion that category takes up of your total budget. Also, the color of the bubble is informative:
Green – You have used less than 80% of the budget’s limit.
Yellow – You are within 80% – 100% of the budget’s limit.
Red – You have gone over 100% of the budget’s limit.
Seeing a Lot of Red Circles?
GOING OVER YOUR BUDGET IS NOT NECESSARILY BAD! Emergencies and other unplanned expenses come up as a normal part of life. A red budget bubble is simply an invitation to look at the budget and review transactions. If going over budget couldn’t be avoided, then that’s ok! If it will help teach you about your spending habits and create new habits, that’s what it’s for! Do not adjust your budget totals to make sure you have all green and yellow bubbles. Having some red bubbles is MUCH more helpful in creating better spending habits than having all green bubbles.
The Spent/Income Lines
Then the final item on this screen that you will notice after setting up your budgets is the “Spent” line on top of your budgets.
The Spent line is the aggregated total of all your budget categories. The Spent line will keep track of how much money you’ve spent versus the amount you budgeted for the month. Even though you have some red bubbles, keeping your total expenses under budget is an amazing achievement.
Under the “Spent” line, you can also change the amount of income you expected to earn for the month and see if you hit that goal as well.
If you do choose to add an income goal here, you will notice that the “Spent” line and the “Income” line will change lengths. Whichever goal is higher will be the longest line. This graphic will help you visualize your expenses against your income.
Adding Sub-Budgets is highly recommended. They present several benefits in Money Management.
Breaking down spending into subcategories can potentially be more manageable, rather than only using broad major categories. Each Sub-Budget can have its dollar amount assigned to it, and the major category’s budget will reflect the aggregated amount of all of the Sub-Budgets.
Sub-budgets will also appear within your budget bubbles. Instead of the entire bubble changing colors, you can have a green bubble with a little portion of the bubble’s exterior as red.
Meaning, although you are under 80% of your entire budget of the major budget category, one of your Sub-Budgets has gone over the budgeted amount. Separating problem areas from necessary expenditures in your overall monthly budget can be extremely helpful.
You can choose to be notified by email or text if you have or are projected to exceed your budget in any major category or Sub-Budget. Click on the Bell icon in the top right of the screen to set these up.
By getting these notifications in near real-time, and will help inform your spending decisions more readily during the month.