Thank you for your answer. I’m actually curious at how well a non “budget-to-zero” system would work for me, as long as there is some budgetting structure. It seems like in Fentury, the system is instead: “Must Have” / “Spendable” / “Savings” is the system instead.
Can you tell more about the new budgeting structure? I don’t mind waiting for a bit for you to finish it, but I’d be nice to know how it will work, this mix of Monthly Planning and Budgeting?
Why not have the three categories be: “Must have”, “Spendable”, “Savings”? It would be much easier to think about if it aligned with the “Monthly Planning” methodology. You’re saying that Goals is a substitute for Savings, but I can’t see how, especially with the exampels you give; the 20% in savings surely is not a new TV, a nice vacation, or a motorcycle; it’s debt payment or long term investment – perhaps an emergency fund. In my mind the Goals feature would be a way to actually channel / prioritize some of the the “Spendable” money pool? At least if you make Goals mean a target amount. If you also allow Goals to be a monthly payment, then they could ALSO be used for Savings.
I’m even more confused by your description of what “Other” supposedly is: ““Other” will contain all other expenses which will be included in reports, but not in Monthly Planning, as welll as your savings.”. So after you’ve just decided on how to split your spending on Monthly Planning between “Must have”/“Spendable”/“Savings”, suggested to be roughly 50/30/20, now you’re saying there is a fourth ghost category of stuff that don’t belong in any of them? Now that is really confusing to me. Then the whole methodology breaks down for me. What could possibly belong in “Other” and why not just put it in one of the three categories?
Question on Budgets – When you do make a budget for a category, what happens when you spent too much? Should you increase the budget at the expense of another budget (i.e. in YNAB you would take money from one category and add to another to cover the overspending). What is the idea here? And when you do make some form of adjustment of your budget, where can you actually see that you’re still within your target 50/30/20 distribution, or whatever, of Must Have/Savings/Spendable that you set?
Monthly planning – In fact, after you’ve set a target distribution in Monthly Planning, e.g. 50/30/20, where can you see if you’re actually achieving this with your spending? And perhaps more importantly, where you can see they you’re proactively on track to achieve this 50/30/20 with your budgets?
Scheduled transactions – it’s not clear to me how this works. What is the consequence of adding a scheduled transaction?
Overview – Planned/Expenses/Left - what is this? what decides what these amounts are? How can they be changes? How do they fit into the whole system of Monthly Planning / Budget?
I don’t mean to be rude, but the more I use this application, the more it seems like a set of cool sounding features, but they feel disconnected. How does one use them all to one’s advantage?
The one idea I think I kind of grasp is this: You setup Needs/Wants//Savings (i.e. Must have / Spendable / Savings). I do think this should be based off of a budget of categories, because otherwise how can you possibly know what this distribution is without accounting for all your monthly and true expenses? Anyway, you do this, and then there is this concept of “Spendable” which means “safe to spent”, i.e. not reserved for bills or long term savings or a saving goal you have. I kind of like the idea that you have this amorphous “Spendable” amount that you don’t have to micro-manage all the time, as you’d have to in YNAB when you inevitably overspent in some categories and needs to pull in the money from others (especially if you like to have granular categories). This makes sense to me because you have budgeted towards your Needs (i.e. Must Haves), you have budgets towards your Savings, securing your retirement and financial independence. Then it says: “Here is the money that’s left to freely spend. The less the Spendable you spend during the month on little things, the more you have towards your fun Goals - but you’re free to spend it if you want”. This would also synergize really well with the fact that you have such extensive bank account integration / auto import support. That is: you don’t need to micro manage your budget, and all transactions are automatically imported: you just have to do a minimum of work to set up some budgeting rules or your money, without “giving every single dollar a job”, and Fentury will serve you with this “Spendable” amount that is safe to spent (or to save for fun goals if you can help yourself!)
^ So that would be my vision for the app. It seems to be sort of what you were going for, but I don’t see how all the features work together to achieve this. I quite simply don’t know how to use your app It seems to me to have great potential and some great ideas though. I just have no idea how to use it in practice.