How to Use Budget Tools

Blog Author Tyler Baccus

Written by: Tyler Baccus

Published: June 12, 2015

Found in: Budgeting, Services

Reports

Budget Tools reports give you an overall view of where your money is going. The default Budget Tool reports shows your spending by month for each category. In addition, if you have a budget set up, the report will also show your budget for that month. You can also view reports by week, day, or year.

Budgets

By default, Budget Tools show your spending for the past three months and also show your monthly budget in the right column. To compare your spending to your budget and see the difference, click the Budget icon Stack of coins at the top of monthly columns.   

Charts

You can also use the chart option to track your spending. To view your spending breakdown for a particular month, click on the pie chart icon Pie Graphat the top of the monthly columns. To view spending over time for a particular category, click on the bar chart icon Bar Graph next to each category row.

Transaction Categories

Categories allow you to track your spending by various expense and income categories. For example, Categories allow you to see how much you are spending on dining out, groceries, or automobile expenses. In addition, Categories allow you to setup a budget for each category, enabling you to see how your spending compares to your budget goals. You are provided with an initial set of common categories. These include basic things like Dining Out, Groceries, Bills, Wages, Fees, etc. You can customize these categories by renaming them, adding to the Category keyword rules, or even adding categories.   

Auto Categorizing

Many transactions will be automatically placed into categories. In general, credit card and debit card transactions are most likely to be auto-categorized, mainly because these transactions have the best descriptions. Auto-categorization works by comparing the transaction description and memo to the list of rules defined for each category. For example, if a transaction has the word "Starbucks" in the description, this will match the rule "Starbucks" in the Dining Out Category. You can enhance the list of rules for each category simply by editing that category and changing the list of rules.   

Manual Categorizing

If a transaction does not match any of the rules for specific categories e.g., Dining Out, it will be placed in the category called "None." In the transaction history, you can click edit next to the transaction, and manually choose a category from the dropdown list. Alternatively, if you would like to remove a group of the same or similar transactions from one category to another, first identify the keyword rule that is associated with the transactions. Once you have located it, remove it and check the box below to Auto-Categorize and save your changes. This is moving the set of transactions to the None Category, they are now ready to be categorized in their desired location.   

Keyword Rules

Keyword rules are used to automatically put transactions into the proper category, if a keyword rule matches a transaction description/memo, the transaction will go into that category. Furthermore, keywords must be separated by commas (wendys, mcdonalds, tacobell, chilis) and when more than one rule matches a transaction, the longest keyword rule takes precedence. They may start or end with an underscore to require a space, also "special" characters are ignored when matching keyword rules, like ()-*/$#!,. (ie walmart will match wal-mart and wal*mart).  

Keyword rule examples: ·        

  • The keyword rule "sprint" will match the description "sprint" or "sprint pcs web."         
  • To match Wal-Mart, WalMart, and Wal*Mart, use the keyword rule "walmart."         
  • To match Deli and not Fidelity, use the keyword rule "_deli_" (notice the underscores).

Tyler Baccus