GUIDE: Please select your device on a tab below

Iphone Guide

Add / Edit Categories:

Categories are represented by the folder. Categories help to group similar envelopes for better organization. Good examples of categories are utilities and food. Hitting the '+' button allows you to add a category. Selecting a category from the list allows you to edit or delete a category. You can only delete a category if it doesn't have any envelopes associated with it.

Add / Edit Envelopes:

Envelopes represent budgeting categories. You put money in an envelope, and then you stop spending when the money runs out. When you get paid you allocate the check to each budget category as needed. For example, you might allocate $100 to eating out. When you have a transaction for $5.75 from McDonalds you will categorize it as eating out. The envelope will show $94.25 left after you assign that transaction to the envelope.

To add an envelope, hit the '+' button. Enter the name of the envelope and then select the category it goes into. To edit an envelope, select it from the list. You can then change the name and/or the category it is assigned to.

Add Manual Transaction:

The receipt button allows you to manually enter transactions. Fill in the description box so that you will know what the transaction was for and then enter the amount. Finally, select whether this was a deposit or withdrawal and hit the '+' button to add the transaction.

Categorize Transactions:

Categorize is how you assign transactions to the correct envelopes. Click on the box on the left to check similar transactions. After you have selected all the transactions that go together, click select envelope to categorize them. Each transaction that is currently selected will get assigned to that envelope and the envelope balance will be updated.

If you want to split a transaction into multiple envelopes, for example allocating a paycheck, click on the middle of the transaction. This will bring up the 'split transaction' screen. Here you can enter different amounts for each envelope. As you enter amounts the total remaining will be updated at the top of the screen. Once you have allocated the entire transaction, hit the 'split' button at the top to categorize the transaction to the selected envelopes.

Add Account / Import Transactions:

Import is where you connect with your bank to download transactions automatically. First, you have to add an account by clicking the 'Add Account' button at the bottom of the page.

That will bring you to a page with a search box. Type in the name of your bank and search for your bank. If it is supported, it will show up in the table. Click on your bank in the table to set up your account.

The Find Accounts page is shown next. You need to enter your login and password to find your accounts. You also need to enter an opening balance and the date that that balance corresponds to with your bank account. Then hit the search button. This will bring up a list of accounts you have at that bank. Select the one that you plan to add that corresponds with the balance you just entered. This will add your bank account, and enter a starting deposit transaction that you can allocate.

After you have a bank setup, in the future you just need to enter your password on the first page and hit the import button. This will add any transactions that have posted since the last time you imported transactions. The new transactions will be in the categorize menu for you to put into the correct envelopes.

Edit Transactions / Transfer Money:

To see all of the transactions associated with an envelope, click on that envelope in the list on the main page. 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 transaction list 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 above the help. 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.