I was chilling in the office this weekend and spent a couple of hours writing this small guide on how budgeting works in Emma and what my setup looks like.
I was looking for any feedback! https://emma-app.com/blog/2019/11/24/how-budgeting-works-emma/.
It would also be nice to know:
Let me know.
I budget from 1st to 30/31st. It’s as good as any method.
The standard categories are fine.
I start with bills, etc and work up to the total rather than starting with a total and working backwards.
I never really got into the payday to payday system.
I’m still playing around with the Budgeting feature. It’s a bit tricky at the moment because I’m trying to change the way I make payments so they’re easier to track in Emma. I’ll let you know when I’ve mastered it
The budgeting feature is very useful, I have set up a pay day to pay day period.
I have added in a few extra categories because I like to track spend in a bit more detail than the standard categories. I have added in categories for car fuel, car repayments, car parking, savings accounts payments for my girls, and school club payments for childcare.
It would be useful to have all the categories that I have budgeted for listed in the pay period whether they had spend against them or not to date. Currently each category only appears in this view with a coloured line displaying the amount of spend against the allotted budget once there has been spend against it. Before there is spend against the category, the category is not shown in this view.
It would also be useful to have a feature that enables you to plan for periods in advance as there will be additional costs in some period when annual subscriptions renew and car insurances etc… are due.
I find the budgeting really works in Emma. You occasionally get issues with subscriptions but overall works well
Where I would like to see some improvement and I think this has been suggested before on this forum is how annual payments or other non monthly items are handled. Perhaps some integration with a pot and subscription where the calculated monthly amount is automatically moved to the pot for the non monthly payment. These would be special pots that show as one total on the list of accounts but can be listed as the individual subscription items if you wanted to see the detail. Clearly they can also be managed. The payment when made would be charged to the pot and excluded from the analysis
The main problem I see with this ‘virtual’ pots idea is it doesn’t relate to your actual physical bank account.
Whilst ‘moving’ finances around in Emma seems reasonable your actual physical account won’t reflect this.
Maybe better to open multiple physical bank accounts for this purpose and link them to Emma? That way Emma shows real ‘pots’ (accounts) rather than virtual ones that don’t relate to your actual accounts.
The ultimate solution would be to have Emma manage physical transactions instead of your chosen banks.
Emma, with all it’s wonderful financial and budgeting tools and data and, either managing your actual accounts, or becoming a bank in it’s own right?
I agree with this particular feedback strongly. I can’t tell how much I’ve budgeted until I go over, and then i have to manually reset the total and do guesswork to finish out the budget. Would be much easier if it started at zero, and then it lets you know if you’ve exceeded the max, like with red font or a toast message. Otherwise, the categories are great, and the UI/UX is beautiful!
You might find it easier to budget this way
- Set your category budgets (ignore your total budget for now)
- Once your category budgets have been set, increase your total budget by a large amount and then decrease it as far as it’ll go. You won’t be able to reduce it more than the combined total of your budget categories
I’m struggling to figure out how to deal with exceptional items in my budget. I just had to pay £4k to get my roof repaired. It’s blown my house maintenance budget for the year. Should I just exclude it or set up a separate exceptional items category. It would be good to have “excluded” as a subset of a category so that you can choose whether to view it or not. Thoughts?
If you exclude it, it still says in the Excluded category, it doesn’t disappear. I would put it there.