Allocating Income to Envelopes

By , February 18, 2011 10:43 am

A major part of your envelope budget system is getting paid and allocating your income to your various envelopes. I want to describe here in detail how the allocation system works in Inzolo.

When a deposit is made to your checking account, you will see different icons.

Generally, you will want to move deposits to your unallocated income box. You can do this in two ways. 1) Click the box icon, or 2) Drag the money icon to the unallocated income box.

Often, after moving a deposit to your unallocated income you will be ready to start allocating it to envelopes. You will see a dialog box prompt you to do so:

Click OK to move to the Allocate Funds screen. If you have other deposits you want to move to the unallocated income box first just click cancel. You can allows get to the unallocated income view by clicking the allocate icon: (be sure you have no envelopes highlighted, or else just highlight the unallocated income box)

Below is a screenshot of the Allocate Funds screen. Notice the numbers, I will describe each of the numbered features.

(click image to enlarge)

1. Month

The month will default to the current month. But you can change the month by clicking one of the arrows. Changing the month will change the values in the Funded (4) and Remaining (5) columns because they are based on a given month.

So if you want to go back a month and catch up on remaining amounts you can. If you want to go forward a month and allocate future mortgage payments for example, you can do that as well.

Note also that when you change the month, the Allocation Date (9) will change too. So, say today is February 18th, 2011, if I change the month ahead to March, the Allocation Date will change to March 18th, 2011. You can always change the Allocation Date to whatever date you want.

2. Envelope Column

This is a list of all your active envelopes & associated icons.

3. Goal Column

For each envelope you can set a monthly goal amount. The goal amount is the amount you would like to allocate to your envelope in a given month.

TIP: You can change this goal amount by clicking on it, entering the new amount, then pressing the Enter key.

4. Funded Column

The funded amount is the amount you have allocated to your envelope in the given month.

5. Remaining Column

This amount is simply the difference between your monthly goal amount and the amount you have funded this month (Goal – Funded = Remaining).

If you click the green arrow , it will move the Remaining amount into the Amount (6) you want to allocate so you can reach your monthly goal.

6. Amount Column

This is an input field where you can enter the amount you want to allocate to a given envelope.

Note that you can enter either a dollar amount or a percentage. So, for example. Lets say you always want to put 10% of your income into savings. On your savings amount text box you would enter “10%”, once you tab out or click on another field, that percentage will change to a dollar amount based on the original amount you had in your unallocated income box. So if I have $1500.00 to allocate and I enter 10%, it will change to $150.00.

7. Balance

This initially shows your current balance of the envelope. Once you enter an Amount (6) it will show what the new envelope balance will be.

TIP: If you have a negative balance it will show up in red. You can click on red balances and it will set the amount to allocate to the amount needed to reach a balance of zero.

8. Running Totals

After entering an amount in a text box, when the text box loses focus (hit the tab key or click on another input box), the Allocated and Difference (8) amounts will be updated. Your goal on this screen is to get your Difference amount to equal zero (0.00), thus giving every dollar a name or a job as they say. Hence the zero-based budget. Once you reach zero the Difference amount will be highlighted.

TIP: Notice the From: Unallocated Income. This is telling us that we are allocating from the unallocated income box. You can allocate or transfer from other envelopes with this screen. To do this, on the Budget screen, highlight the envelope you want to allocate from and click the allocation icon .

9. Allocation Date

For each allocation amount, a transaction record will be created. The Allocation Date will be the date of the transaction. This date affects the Funded (4) & Remaining (5) amounts in a given month.

10. Allocation Plans

Although each month is different and unique, generally you will develop a pattern when allocating your income. Allocation plans allow you to save time when allocating your income.

To save an allocation plan, enter all the amounts you would like to enter by default, then click the Save Allocation Plan link. You will be prompted for a name for your allocation plan. So for example, you may get two paychecks in a given month. You can set up allocation plans for Paycheck 1 and Paycheck 2.

Once you have created an allocation plan, it will show up in a list. To use your allocation plan and populate all the envelope amounts you have set, click the coin stack icon .

If you want to make a change to an allocation plan, make changes to your amounts, the click the update icon .

To delete an allocation plan, click the delete icon .

Finally, the last step in the process when you have all your amounts entered is to click the Allocate Funds button to save all your edits.

7 Responses to “Allocating Income to Envelopes”

  1. bodageta1995 says:

    Question: I understand you can allocate to multiple months but if you do, does that mean your envelope is month specific? I would think it does but I don’t see a month on the envelopes. Without a month on the envelope, then I don’t see the point in allocating to a future month – as you wouldn’t realize part of what you see allocated is for the next month. If you do have different months of envelopes then do you somehow drag the transaction to the different months? I’m confused and don’t want to wait until the following month to see what happens? Also, I typically go ahead and pay bills as soon as I’m paid, even in the next month. I can see the beauty of a monthly budget, should I allocate for next month if late in this month and then wait until next month to pay or can I pay from next months allocation…again it goes back to the first question here..how does it work or maybe how doe it work best? I get paid every 2 weeks so it’s always different? Thanks R.Boyd

    • Dustin says:

      No, envelopes are not month specific.

      Setting the allocation date a month in advance will do the following:

      1. Your “Remaining” column (5) on the allocation screen will reflect what has been allocated that month.

      2. The dashboard view will reflect the amounts allocated that month.

      3. When you click on a envelope you have the option of filtering transactions “Month to Date”, “Previous Month”, etc. Allocation transactions will show up in the month they were allocated.

      Other than those three things, it doesn’t really matter when you allocate or when you spend. The goal is to make sure you allocate money before you spend and always make sure you spend less than you earn.

  2. Sigi Andujo says:

    What are the steps to set Chase Bank as an envelope?

  3. Sigi Andujo says:

    When I try to add Chase Bank as my bank account, I get this error message, how do I fix it?

    Unfortunately we were unable to connect to your bank.
    ERROR 15500 : None

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