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Ipad Guide

Add / Edit Categories

Categories are used to group envelopes together. To create a new category, select "Add / Edit Categories" from the menu that comes up after hitting the "+". Then hit the "+" on that page, type in a name, and hit + again to add a category. Many of the categories you are likely to need have already been added such as Food, Housing, and Utilities. If you want to edit a category, select it from the list of categories that comes up.

Add / Edit Envelopes

To add or edit an envelope, select "Add / Edit Envelopes" from the menu that comes up after hitting the "+". To add a new envelope, hit the + button, type in the name of your envelope, and then select which category it goes into. If you want to edit an envelope, select it from the list that comes up initially. If you want to delete an envelope, it will get rid of all the transactions currently in it and then add a single transaction with the balance of the envelope.

Add Account

If you want to do automatic import and you have a bank that is supported, you can select "Add Account" from the list. Type the name of your bank and hit search on the keyboard. If it is supported, it will show up in the list. If you want, you can just type in the first word and it will find your bank. i.e. type "fifth" and you will see "fifth third bancorp" in the list. If your bank is there, select it. Then enter your login and password for your online account access, as well as the balance of the account. Finally, select the date that the balance is from. For example, you may have some transactions that haven't cleared, so your balance could be from a few days ago. Hit search, and you should get a list of your accounts. Select the correct one and you will have added it. Just a note, your password is never saved.

Delete Account

If you want to delete an account, simply select "Delete Account" from the "+" drop down menu. This will bring up a list of your accounts and a delete button. Select the bank to delete from the list and then hit delete.

Add Manual Transaction

If you prefer to enter your transactions manually, or your bank isn't supported select "Add Manual Transaction" from the "+" menu. Here you simply enter a description, the amount, and select whether it is a deposit or withdrawal. Then hit the "+" button to add your transaction.

Import Transactions

If you have aleady added an account, importing transactions is easy. Just select "Import Transactions" from the "+" menu and you will get a list of your accounts, a place for your username and password, and an import button. Your username is filled in for you, just type your password and tap import. If you have any new transactions they will go to uncategorized.

Categorize Transactions

When you have new transactions, they go to the "Uncategorized" envelope. You will see this at the top of the list on the left. It will show how much money you have uncategorized and how many transactions you have that are uncategorized. Clicking on this button will give you a list of those transactions.

This list contains several pieces of information and options for you. First off, it has the description of the transaction, the date, and the amount. Then there are 2 buttons next to each transaction, an empty box and a split arrow.

If you have several transactions that all go to the same category, clicking the box will put a checkmark next to them. Once you have 1 or more transactions checked, click the "Select Envelope" button in the bar at the top. Then pick the envelope from the list that those transactions belong to. That's all you have to do to categorize something.

If you want to split a transaction between multiple envelopes, click the split arrow button on the right hand side for that transaction. This will bring up a list of all of your envelopes with a text box in the middle. Enter the amount you want for each envelope and then click the "Split" button at the top. This is how you can allocate a check to fill all of your envelopes.

Edit Transactions / Transfer Money

To see all of the transactions associated with an envelope, click on that envelope in the list on the left. This will bring up a list of all the transactions that have been categorized into that envelope. If you need to edit a transaction, click on it. From here you can either delete that transaction, or move it to another envelope.

From that main page you can also transfer money out of that envelope. Clicking on the "Transfer" button on the top right allows you to enter an amount and then pick a new envelope to send money to. Doing this creates 2 new transactions. 1 negative transaction for the current envelope, and 1 positive transaction for the new envelope.

Dropbox Syncing:

If you want to sync your budget with another device first you need to touch the Dropbox logo in the lower left corner. This brings up a login screen. If you have a Dropbox account, enter it here and click link. If you don't have an account you can create one here for free. After linking to your account, slide the switch below it to On. That's all you have to do to set up syncing.

Syncing with Dropbox is great, but for it to work the best it can it helps to understand how and when it does the syncing. When you turn on the syncing the first time by flipping the switch to On, we copy the database on your device to Dropbox. We then mark it as open so that your device is the only one that can edit it at that time. Then you can make edits or changes as necessary. When you close the app with the home button, we save the database back to Dropbox and mark it as closed. This is done in the background. I'd love to be able to do this after each change instead of the whole session, unfortunately it takes too long for it to be a good experience.

Then, when a second device syncs to the same Dropbox account, it will get the database that is saved and mark it as open on Dropbox. Until that device closes the app, any other device won't be able to make changes. Now when that device closes the app it will save to Dropbox again and mark it as closed.

The saving process takes roughly 5 to 10 seconds depending on your connection. If it is wifi it will usually be on the shorter end, 3G on the longer end. If you are on Edge or in an area where there isn't much signal it will take quite a bit longer, and if you lose it entirely it won't be able to save.

Once syncing gets set up, the process should work like this. Open the app: The app gets the database from Dropbox and marks it as open. Make changes as needed, i.e. adding transactions. As the changes are made they are saved to the phone. Close the app: the database is saved back to Dropbox and marked as closed.

What is Envelope Budgeting?

Envelope budgeting is essentially the way your grandmother handled her money before everyone used credit and debit cards. The idea is really pretty simple.

Each month you decide how much you want to spend on each item in your budget. When you get paid you take that money and split it up into your envelopes. If you want to spend $300 on groceries, take $300 and put it in the envelope marked groceries.

There are 3 keys to using envelope budgeting:

  1. You can only let yourself buy groceries using money from the envelope marked groceries. Don't use money from somewhere else when you are shopping at Kroger or Publix.
  2. You can't buy anything but groceries with the money in the envelope marked groceries. Ordering pizza and getting your nails done do not qualify as groceries.
  3. If you run out of money in your groceries envelope, you need to stop buying groceries until you have more money to put it it from somewhere else. That doesn't mean you go out to eat all week, that means leftovers and rice.

Now, I realize if you haven't been budgeting you aren't going to get everything exactly right the first month. You donít have to starve if you didn't budget enough for food. That being said, budgeting like this helps you to really see where you are spending money.

If you have no idea how much you spend eating out give this a shot. When you run out of the $50 you budgeted on day 5 of the month a few light bulbs might go off. First, I'm spending way more than I realized eating out. Second, I'm probably going to have budget more even if I do cut back.