Setting category limits

By Randy Del / Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 4:10 PM

If you have decided to set limits to expense categories, you need to configure the limits first. Money Calendar allows setting limits of two types:

  1. Fixed limit for each month.
  2. Various amounts for each month.

To get started, open the Categories window using the Project > Categories... menu.

In this window, we are interested in two items:

  1. The "Budget" column.
    Displays the amount scheduled for the given category. If the amount is not fixed, it is preceded by the "~" sign, e.g. for the category Bills>Gas and Electricity the scheduled amount is ~$183.33.
  2. The "Budget" section on the right-hand side of the window
    In this section, you specify the amounts by which you want to limit your expenses.

 

Setting limits

Before actually setting the limits, decide which type suits best for which category. For example, the electricity bill may vary depending on the season, being higher in summer and winter because air conditioning units usually run at those times, and lower in autumn and spring, etc.

To set a limit regardless of the month:

  1. Select the category on the list on the left-hand side, which you want to set the value for.
  2. Select the Average Amount item.
  3. Set the value.
  4. Click Change to accept the changes.

To set limits for specific months:

  1. Select the category on the list on the left-hand side, which you want to set the value for.
  2. Select the Monthly item.
  3. Set the amount for each month. If you are not planning expenses in certain months in the current category, simply set 0 for those months.
  4. Click Change to accept the changes.

To clear limits:

  1. Select the category on the list on the left-hand side, which you want to modify the value for.
  2. Select the None item.
  3. Click Change to accept the changes.

In the end, the amount of the limit you have set will appear in the "Budget" column.
Note: For the by-month limit, the average monthly total will be displayed.

 

Displaying limits on the calendar

Once you have set limits, you will receive notifications when you exceed them.

To demonstrate how this works, let’s use the following sample data:

  1. Set a limit for the Sport category as $200.
  2. Create a transaction in the Sport category on the 15th of the month and specify its amount as $120.
  3. Create another transaction in the Sport category on the 21st of the month and specify its amount as $150.

In this example, we have exceeded the limit, as $150 + $120 = $270, and our limit is only $200; therefore, we have spent $70 beyond the limit.

The excess indicator will appear on the calendar:

Clicking on the indicator opens a window with the explanation and available options. The explanation to each transaction that exceeds the limit specifies for which category and by which amount the limit has been exceeded.

In this window, you can also choose to:

  • Edit transaction.
    This opens the Transactions window, where you can either delete the transaction or change the amount.
  • Ignore excess.
    If you choose to ignore the excess, the program will no longer warn you when verifying the project (Tools > Verify Transactions), and the day’s icon will change its color from yellow to grey. If you are not going to change the amount and do not want to receive further notifications on this transaction, choose to ignore it.

 


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