Simple Home Budget is a simple, but also very powerful tool. Some features are not ‘right on surface,’ still become very helpful when you start using Simple Home Budget more and more. Today we would like to bring your attention to recurring transactions – what is it, how recurring transaction is different from regular transaction (it’s not a transaction actually, just a prospect for future transactions), how to use effectively (any transaction that repeated more than once, can be entered only once and recurred after).
The “Transactions” tab shows actual transactions that did happen.
The “Recurring” tab shows only a “schedule” for transactions that will occur by schedule. Any recurring transaction has the “next” date field. When scheduled date happens, actual transaction is generated from recurring and presented to you for approval. When you approve this transaction (could be a few, depending on how behind you are by the schedule), it will be created as transaction and shown in the “Transactions” tab. Any actual transaction (“Transactions” tab) generated from the recurring has an italic font to inform you that this is generated from the recurring schedule).
You will not see any “not released yet” transactions in the “Transactions” tab, but they will be used to calculate “expected” income and expenses for selected month.
Let me show everything by a simple example. Let’s say you have weekly income every Thursday and mortgage payments every two weeks on Friday. Let’s say, for June 2008, your first pay was on June 5, 2008, and your mortgage payment is on June 13, 2008 (that’s how you setup recurring transactions, just setup start (next) date for some point of time and select schedule, that’s it). From now on every time you start Simple Home Budget, if the time for some schedule has come, you will be asked to approve generated transaction from it. There are a lot of other details, but I will skip them for now.
Your initial setup will look like this in the “Recurring” tab.
When you create these records, click on “Save” button instead of “Save&Process” for now, so you can reproduce what I’m doing now. Now close Simple Home Budget, and start it again (like the time just passed few days, and you start Simple Home Budget on June 16).
As you can see, mortgage payment next date has come, and two pay checks (June 5, June 12) for the last two weeks.
The approval form allows you to review generated transactions, approve them (check boxes), edit them (double click on the transaction), and most important step – create ACTUAL transactions (the “Proceed” button).
All three transactions are in italic because they are generated from the schedule.
See also numbers on the sidebar. You will see Actual income and expenses so far for this month. Now let’s take a look at the recurring tab.
As you can see, next paycheck is June 19, and next mortgage payment June 27. After or on June 19 you will be asked to approve this paycheck, as well as after or on June 26 another one, and also approve mortgage payment after or on June 27.
What is important, you can see expected income and expenses for June already today, June 16 in the “expected” tab on the sidebar (two paychecks and one mortgage payment). Your total expected net income for June is (600+600-500 + 600+600-500 = 1400).
Recurring transactions should help you with transactions happen on a regular basis (your paycheck, scheduled payments, etc.), but they are not ACTUAL transactions, just a TOOL to generate them.