I just ran across an article over at ChristianPF called “How To Start A Budget.” He makes some great points that I’ve always told NeoBudget users looking for advice when getting started. But of course, he says it much better than I could. If you’re just starting out with NeoBudget, I highly recommend reading it.
This morning I pushed out two new features that I’ve been working on recently. They’re pretty small, but many of you have been requesting these for quite a while. The first is the ability to change the order of your accounts. The second new feature links transfer transactions.
Many people have requested this feature, and I’m pleased to announce that you can now change the order of your accounts in NeoBudget. To do this, go to the Settings tab and click on Accounts. You’ll see a “Change Order” button which pops up a window with all your accounts listed. Just click and drag them around, then click “Save.”
When you create a “transfer” transaction in NeoBudget, it actually creates two separate transactions. One subtracts money from the first account, and the other one adds money to the second account. Before today, when you finished creating the transfer transaction, the two transactions were completely separate. So if you deleted one, the other one was still there. This caused some problems if you didn’t realize what was going on and didn’t delete the second transaction as well.
I’m pleased to let you know that these transfer transactions are now linked together. If you delete one, it will delete the other one automatically.
If it’s been a while since you balanced your budget using the “Balance” tab in NeoBudget you might be in for a surprise. Hopefully everything will work just fine, but if there was any data entry or bank error along the way it’s very likely that your bank statement won’t match the amount that NeoBudget shows.
The most likely reason for this is that you missed entering a transaction somewhere, or mistyped a transaction amount. The best way to fix this problem would be to go through your bank statements and match up each transaction one at a time with NeoBudget. But who wants to do that, right? I mean that would take forever.
The simpler way to fix this problem is to create a fake transaction in NeoBudget. Lets say your bank statement says your balance should be $1000, but NeoBudget shows $1025. You will need to create a transaction that will bring NeoBudget in line with your bank statement. In this case, you would go to the Subtract tab and create a debit of $25. This will subtract $25 from your budget. Your balance will now be $1000 which is the same as your bank statement. Now when you go to the Balance tab in NeoBudget, you can select all the transactions and it should balance.
A better way
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin
To prevent this from happening in the first place, be sure you’re using the Import Wizard in NeoBudget instead of manually entering transactions. This will prevent you from mistyping any amounts.
Also, be sure to balance your budget every time you update NeoBudget. The whole purpose of the Balance tab is to help you catch errors. It is much easier to catch errors when you only have a handful of transactions that you’ve just entered, rather than hundreds for the past year. So, take a few extra minutes after you update your budget and be sure to balance it!