Rolling budgets/changing budgets

Need some help here…

If my income changes or I want to change a budget for whatever reason, i can change this in the budget tab. However, if i have rolling budgets activated the number in the budget tab reflects the months budget AND the rollover amount.

The issues here are that if I can’t remember the original monthly allowance I’ve no way to find out what it was after some has rolled over.
Also, if I want to adjust the amount (say by -10), do I change the current figure (budget + rollover) or do I need to change it to what the new budget should be and effectively lose the rollover amount?

For example, if i have 100 assigned to bills and use 80 last month, this month is 100 + 20 rollover. If I want to then change my bill allowance to 90 per month, what do I do? The budget tab shows 120 (100+20) and I want it to be 90 plus whatever was rolled over. Do I a) change the value to 110 (120 -10)? But then won’t this allocate 110 each month rather than 90?
Or b) Change it to 90? But then this shows 90 allowance for this month, so I’ve lost track of the 20 that was rolled over from last month?

Or have I completely missed something out here?

Good question!

Can you change the budget this month to £70 + £20 rollover, and then next month amend the budget back to £90?

That would be a workaround… if I could remember what the original budget was, but there’s no clear way of checking what that was… unless you know a way?

Regardless, that doesn’t feel like it’s how this should be working as it’s not particularly user friendly and is one of many things that makes the app feel really clunky (just try to change the ‘2’ to a ‘1’ in £325 without cursing your phone).

This isn’t an uncommon problem. People get pay rises, costs for things change, budgets change as you learn more about your spending habits etc. There’s many reasons why someone might want to adjust one or two budgets slightly without having to redo their whole finances but this doesn’t work with the rolling budgets.

Can we put this in as a request for enhancement? The solution could be simple, in the budget tab just splitting out “monthly budget” and “rollover” into two columns.

That would also lead itself on well to being able to assign rollover amounts to different things in future, I.e. if you didnt spend all your budget on shopping this month you can assign the rollover amount to “holiday”. I assume a lot of people budget so they can save for their holiday.

Thanks for this feedback!

So on the analytics tab would you want to click into budgets and then the first column shows your original budget (say £50 on food) and then the second column shows your rolling budget total (say £85 on food) and the second column is what we use to peg against your spending?

Yes, exactly that - BUT with the ability to change the original budget without affecting the rollover amount.

So, if I see I’m consistently spending £40 on food rather than £50 I can drop the original budget to £40 without losing sight of the £35 rolled over from last month.

Currently, the budget tab would just say £85, so I don’t know that my original was £50 and even if I did remember that and changed it to £40 then the £35 that was rolled over doesn’t exist anymore according to the budget tab.

Has anything come from this?

I’m concerned that rollover budgets arent working correctly but without knowing what my original monthly budget is then I cant check.

If I have to keep resetting the budget eah month then it defeats the purpose of having rollovers

Would it be useful to show the previous period budget?

Hey, thanks for responding.

I think it would be more useful to see data for budget and rollover amount displayed separately (on the budget tab) with the option to adjust the monthly budget without affecting the rollover amount.

Imagine a situation where I’m under budget on groceries for a few months and have accrued a large amount of rollover (say £50). I may want to temporarily reduce my grocery budget (say by £10) while I use up the £50 rollover amount. That way I’m free to assign the £10 I’ve reduced groceries to something else like eating out.

In this scenario I’m rewarding myself for saving in one area, by having more to spend elsewhere - without losing track of any of my spending and without going over any budget.

Hopefully that makes sense? Explained more simply; I want to be able to see and be able change a monthly budget amount (at any time of the month) without affecting the rollover.

Thanks for this feedback) We’ll pass it to the product team. :wink:

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I’ve noticed another issue with rollover budgets that’s linked to the one in this thread.

If I have a rollover amount on one budget and change a different budget then it saves the rollover amount for ALL categories as the new budget.

For example I have £50 monthly budget on groceries plus £10 rollover, so the budget tab reads £60 for groceries. I now change the eating out budget, make no modifications to grocery budget, and hit save. It now saves my monthly budget for groceries as £60.

I would imagine this would be resolved by the same fix I suggested above, i.e. in the budget tab splitting out the “monthly budget” and the “rollover amount” and allowing the “monthly budget” to be edited.

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Hi, I’m back to beat this dead horse again. I genuinely don’t know whether anyone even cares at this point but support has asked asked me to share some screen shots of the issues.

  1. Here’s screen shots from the ‘budgeting’ and ‘edit budgets’ tab. My question is, how do I know what is my prescribed budget amount and what is the rollover amount? (Yes it would be incredibly useful to know what the budget is and what the rollover amount is)
    08-04-2022 14-46-54
    08-04-2022 14-47-20

  2. Here are screen shots from end of March and start of April. For this category I know my budget is £50 and I want to change it to £40. I made this change on 31st March. On 1st April I am expecting to see my £40 budget and £26 rollover from March. This is not the case, as the budget is £40 only. So my question is, where has the rollover amount gone? (Yes it would be incredibly useful to be able to change a budget without deleting the rollover amount)

  3. I have made zero changes to my bills category. I know this to be £865 per month. Therefore, in April I am expecting to see £904 (£865 plus rollover of £899-£860 from March). This is not the case, as the budget shows £938 (this is clearly the £39 rollover from March plus the £899 total from March’s budget.) This is the most concerning of the three issues.
    What is happening is that when I go into the “manage budgets” tab the values are automatically populated with the budget+rollover amount for that month. By changing a single budget (like I did in point 2) and hitting save it has saved everything else as the budget+rollover amount as this is what’s auto-populated. Obviously it shouldn’t work like this.

At present, the only way for rolling budgets to work correctly is to set them up once then never change them again. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who will ever want to change a budget occasionally.

Honestly, I’ve been banging on about this for 8 months now and nothing has really come of it. I don’t even know if anyone understands (or cares) about what I’m trying to say. I’d really really appreciate a bit of honesty here and if this isn’t something that’s worth anyone’s effort to correct then please tell me straight so I can stop wasting my time and start looking for another app that works better for myself. Right now the only solution for me is to manually track rollover amounts and adjust the budgets myself every month, at which point I need to ask what I’m even paying for this app for.

Hey @Swifty,

yes, the original logic was “budgets are set and will never be changed”.

I don’t understand what you need after you edit the budget? Let’s say your budget is rolling over for 4 months and then you reset it to a lower amount, why do you need the rollover amount on the screen?

I also think with the new design we have lots of space to add rollover information on the second screen you see after you tap the budget.

There’s many reasons for a budget to change.
We start paying for more childcare… we need to change that budget.
Kids start getting some free childcare… budget changes.
We stop going to swimming classes… budget changes.
We cut down on takeaway food to save for a holiday… two budgets change.
Holiday is over, back to eating out more… two budgets change back.
I get a payrise, so we can spend more…nearly all the budgets change there.
My wife is self employed and her income fluctuates regularly… we may need to change budgets sometimes to account for that.
…the list goes on…

Okay, so a budget is rolled over for 4 months and I reduce the budget. Why would the rollover get deleted? I still want to be able to spend that money in that category. Let’s use an example… maybe it’s for ‘entertainment’ and I want to spend less in the cinema each month but I want to save my £40 rollover to buy a videogame. According to your app, as soon as I change my budget to spend less on ‘entertainment’ I also lose the £40 I’ve ‘saved up’ with rollovers?

Everyone’s energy prices have just gone up so I’m pretty sure everyone will need to make a budget change to account for that.

I changed our bills budget so we’d have a little rollover amount as a ‘buffer’ in our bills category so when the energy prices changed we weren’t stung so hard. Yet as soon as I changed the budget to the new amount the rollover was lost.

Am I starting to make sense now???

Hey @Swifty,

thanks for explaining, so what you would like to do is to edit the budget, keep track of the accumulated amount and add it on top of the current budget whenever you want?

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From your wording I’m not sure we’re on the same page so to reword…

I want to be able to edit a budget at any time, without changing the accumulated ‘extra’ amount. i.e. only changing the underlying budget amount.

And most critically out of all this (referring to point 3 earlier) is that any changes I make to one budget cannot alter any other budgets. I believe this to be a bug in the way it works currently, however if the above is changed and only the underlying budget amounts are altered when you change a budget then that (in theory) should correct the bug.


Hi there. I know this is an old thread but I have just read this as I was thinking about using rolling over budgets instead of savings accounts for some things but, like the OP states, I often need to change my budgets as I’m self employed and my income changed and some months I have one off things to pay for and have to cut back on certain budgets in order to pay for them so my budgets are constantly being edited. And this post has worried me a bit as I don’t want to use it if it’s not going to work well for me. Would appreciate an update.

Ive resprted to a spreadsheet to essentially manually process rollovers. Emma basically just categorises and collefts spending for me now.

Seems mad to be using a budgeting app but still doing budgeting on a spreadsheet but ive beaten this dead horse enough now. Every time support show interest I’m promised theyll look into it but nothing ever happens.

Sorry if this wasnt the answer youre looking for but you might want to just go the spreadsheet route and save yourself some hassle.

Not to worry. I’m kind of confused about how to use rolling over budgets really.

I’m also still currently using a spreadsheet as well as using Emma for day to day stuff. I have a spreadsheet where I list my ideal budget and plan for the following month as you can’t change the budgets in advanced in Emma and I love to plan.

My income also changes regularly. I’m on some benefits and have a small income from a small business so my overall budget changes every month depending on what my income is.

I have several savings accounts (in my bank) that I save for various things - xmas, birthdays and holidays. I’m also saving up to make improvements on my garden in the spring. I WAS considering, rather than set up a savings space (I bank with Starling) for that, I could use a rolling budget. And that way my spending is tracked.

Currently what I do with savings is transfer it into another account, that transaction is marked down under the Savings budget, and then any time I dip into any of those accounts, I transfer money into my main account and then the outgoing transaction is Excluded from Emma.

I quite like the idea of using a rolling budget for this rather than a savings account but it’s worrying me what you’ve commented about editing budgets.

What happens with rolled over money if I then change the original budget in a new month or if my entire total budget changes. Will this affect the rolled over money? When money is rolled over in a category, does the entire budget increase? So if I adjust the total budget at the start of a new month am I unwittingly going to delete the rolled over budget?

It’s all a bit confusing and I’m thinking I might be better sticking to my spreadsheet and not using rolling over budgets. Which is frustration as I love the app and I’d love to use it entirely but I just don’t think it will work for someone like me who is regularly updating my total AND my category budgets. My life and my finances are not static! I’m sure I can’t be the only one!