Feature suggestion: Ammortized subscriptions

One feature i feel emma is missing that would make it more effective as a “dashboard of all my finances” is a view into how much you should have set aside for subscription expenses at any given time.

Essentially, display a number representing how much money you should currently have set aside for subscriptions, and a number representing how much money you should set aside per pay period. The “per pay period” number will never change (unless you change the subscriptions) and the “set aside” number goes down when subscriptions are paid, and up on paydays.

The calculations for these values are as follows:

First the “per pay period”:
For each subscription determine a common period of time where the ratio of paydays to payments is constant. This is a little tricky because of month length variance and leap-years, but if you use an 800 year window (exactly 292194 days no matter what year you start), you don’t have to worry about leap-years and bi-weekly/monthly etc divide in exactly. Once you have your precise payments/payday value, (subscription cost) * (#payments/#paydays) = amount to set aside per payday.

For example someone paid bi-weekly should calculate a monthly $10 subscription as follows:

800 years = 800 * 12 payments = 9600 payments
800 years = 292194 / 14 paydays = 20871 paydays

so $10 * 9600 / 20871 = $4.60 (approximately)

Next the “set aside”:
The goal is to make sure we always have enough for every expense, so again over an 800 year window simulate an account starting today with $0 and adding the “per pay period” for every expense on each payday, and subtracting the expense each time it is due. Track the minimum value (probably negative) that this account balance hits, and if you flip the sign on that value to positive, that is what your account should have in it today. This simulation is not done separately per expense, but all together, as the “set aside” amount is more accurate that way.

This one is harder to do an example without actually programming it, but intuitively the idea is that if you have an annual subscription due in february, you should have more set aside in january than in march.

As for user interface, maybe an emma pro option to show below cash how much you should have set aside for expenses at the time, so you can avoid spending money you have already commited to a subscription.

Additionally, this could be used to create a “safe to spend” option similar to simple bank’s option, where you are shown a number which is cash - set aside - credit card debt

Hey @maboesanman :wave:

Welcome to the Emma community.

We already have the subscription section in the app that shows you all your upcoming subscriptions for the month. We’re then building a new feature called True Balance. This will show you how much you have left to spend after your bills have come out.

I guess what we’ve done isn’t quite as complex, but do you think these two features combined will do something similar to what you’ve requested here?

Those two features certainly get a lot of the way there! This is the one problem that those two features don’t quite solve yet:

If I have an annual bill due in June, I should have about half of that bill set aside in January.

Ideally you are putting aside an equal amount each paycheck for your expenses. You shouldn’t have to worry about when your Amazon prime annual payment is, and just operate as if you are putting aside a small amount for it every pay period.

It sounds like without any amortization your recurring expenses will still potentially vary wildly over the year, which makes budgeting harder.

Yes, true!

Do your subscriptions come out of the same account as your everyday spending money?

Linking another thread about how other Emma users are managing annual payments that you might find interesting👇