Event Based Budgeting

MoneyWell's spending plan uses events instead of a single amount per bucket to calculate your planned amounts. You can assign as many amounts as you'd like per bucket and MoneyWell will tell you what your total planned amount is for any period.

When you click Fill Buckets, MoneyWell reviews your events to see how much should be put in each bucket and presents you with a Fill Buckets panel to review and modify your fills.

Events ExplainedEvent Item

Events are scheduled bucket transfers. When you add events and assign them to your expense buckets, you're telling MoneyWell how much money should be moved from income to expense buckets when you click Fill Buckets.

For example, your "Automobile" bucket needs to be filled with different amounts for different expenses. You may need a weekly event for filling your gas tank, another to cover oil changes every three months, and still another for new tires annually. By adding three events for these with their own amounts and repeat timings, MoneyWell can calculate a total for your budget and fill this bucket as needed.

Think about that for a moment: Instead of pulling up a spreadsheet to figure out what amount you need in each budget category, you simply enter individual events in MoneyWell. It does the rest for you.

Now think about making revisions: If all you see in your Automobile budget is a $350 monthly planned amount, it might be hard to revise that. But with events, when the price of gas goes up you only adjust the amount on the "Fill gas tank" event. MoneyWell revises your budget for you without you having to guess the monthly amount or breaking out a calculator.

Infrequent Events

There are some events that just don't recur very often. You may have an annual tax bill or want to save up for birthday or Christmas presents throughout the year. MoneyWell gives you a way to handle this. There is a "Repeats" setting that you can set to "Every Year" and a "Fill Timing for Event" setting you can set to a more frequent recurrence, like monthly or on the same timing as your paycheck.

It's completely up to you how you use these two settings. In the Starbucks example above, you'll see the custom repeat is set to "Every week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday" but the fill happens every "Week." This tells MoneyWell to make sure you have money for these weekday trips at the beginning of the week.

One-Time Events

Events may also be set to occur just once. You may want to save up for a special purchase, like a trip or a new car, and want to set aside money for that event. Simply set up an event with a date and leave the repeat set to "Doesn't Repeat." Then set the fill recurrence to weekly, monthly or however often you decide. MoneyWell will make sure there is money set aside for your "Wish List" bucket waiting for you to collect enough for that special purchase.

Setting Fill Schedules for Events

There are many reasons why you would set a different repeat setting for filling an event than you have for the event itself. Let's look at some examples of when they would be different.

Annual Payments - If you are setting aside money for an annual tax payment or a vacation, you would set the date of the event to when the payment is due and the Repeats as "Every Year" but the Fill Timing to "Every Month" or the same schedule as your paycheck. It's important to save up a little bit at a time

Daily Activity - If you are buying a Starbucks every day, you would set the date of the event to the beginning of the plan period and the Repeats as "Every Day" but the Fill Timing to "Every Week" or the same schedule as your paycheck. There's no need to have fills occur daily—that's just overkill.

Unscheduled Expenses - Sometimes you just need money to buy a few meals at a restaurant each month, but you don't want to have to document each one as individual events. Create just one event and set the amount to the average you plan to spend for dining out per month. Set the Repeats to "Every Month" and the Fill Timing to the same schedule as your paycheck so it fills partially each time you are paid. To keep this event from filling prior to a critical expense like your mortgage payment or a utility bill, set the fill repeat date to a day or two after those fixed expenses.

How Fill Amounts are Calculated

MoneyWell first calculates the total event amount for a plan period and then it divides that by the number of fill occurrences. Examples are always helpful, so let's go through a few.

$200 Monthly Event/Weekly Fill - $200 / {weeks in month}, which for a 5 week month would be $200 / 5 or $40 per event fill.

$100 Weekly Event/Twice a Month Fill - $100 x {weeks in month} / 2, which for a 5 week month would be $100 x 5 / 2 or $250 per event fill.

$5 Daily Event/Weekly Fill - $5 x {days in month} / {weeks in month}, which for a 30 day, 5 week month would be $5 x 30 / 5 or $30 per event fill.

$600 Twice a Year Event/Monthly Fill - Since the event doesn't occur in every plan period, MoneyWell first finds the total event amount for a year, which would be $600 x 2 or $1200 per year. It then calculates a per period amount, which would be $1200 / 12 or $100 per period. Lastly, it divides that by the fill occurrences in the period, which would be $100 / 1 or $100 per event fill.

For fills that need to calculate how many weeks are in a month, MoneyWell uses the day of the week specified in the fill recurrence rule to determine the number. For example, if the fill happens on a Friday then MoneyWell looks to see how many Fridays are in the current month to determine the count.

To learn more about repeat settings on events, read Setting Recurrence Rules.

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