Help me understand Summary

I’ve been using Summary for ages but still don’t fully understand how it works, particularly what I should set my overall Budget to be.

Assumptions:

  • I want to spend up to £2,000 per calendar month
  • At the start of this month I have £1,200 listed in Committed Spending
  • At the start of every month I put £100 into a Pot which I use to pay for large annual bills
  • Committed Spending includes one of these large annual bills, of £250
  • When I pay that £250 I withdraw £250 from the Pot
  • Another annual bill of £150 appears during the month, but is not listed in Committed Spending
  • When I pay that £150 I withdraw £150 from the Pot

What should I set my overall Budget to be, in order to keep total spending for the month to £2,000? I’m not quite clear how money going in or out of Pots affects things. Or things being in, or not in, Committed Spending.

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If your budget is £2k. Set it as £2k.

It’ll alert you how much you have left in your budget, it’s allows you to go over as it doesn’t block anything over that going out it just helps you stay within it.

For things you don’t want to include click on the payment and scroll to the bottom and tap exclude from summary. You can also exclude entire categories

If your budget is £2k. Set it as £2k.

That does seem like the obvious answer. But up till now I’ve roughly been setting it to (Total Budget - Committed Spending), so £800. I haven’t been wildly overshooting that budget when, for example, a £900 transfer goes out. Hence part of my confusion.

I may have misunderstood, but you’d need to make sure exclude from summary is off on each transaction for it to come off your £2k budget.

Edit: I’m probably wrong have read it again. :upside_down_face:

Looking back at the last time the £900 transfer came out of the account, there is no Exclude From Summary option for that one.

Hmm, I think this is where the limitations of what’s (currently) possible with Summary comes into play.

You note that you account for things that will be automatically excluded from Summary, such as committed spending. However I think what’s happening here is when you put income in, it automatically excludes itself and throws off the budget.

If it help’s, what I do is have a google sheets budget for everything, and use my “left to spend” monzo budget for day to day spending. Fuel, Shopping etc. I set the total to what it was last month minus a little to make me try and spend less and go from there.

I think you’re doing what I suggested, reading your posts. So perhaps I don’t undestand what the challenge is :slight_smile:

Hope that makes sense?

Paging @AlanDoe & @tjvr as they might be able to shed some light on what’s possible here :slight_smile:

Yeah, at the start of each month I’ve been trying to do roughly this - work out what I have “left to spend” and setting my Budget as that. Which I’m OK with. Except I’ve started wondering if I’m calculating things correctly – I think maybe I’m not taking into account some of the in/out of Pots activity when I make that calculation. And maybe there are other things I should be taking into account. And then my brain starts hurting.

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I re-read your post and edited mine but I think it might answer what you wrote. Basically, work off it only accounting for money coming out of the account. If you have money coming back in summary won’t (as far as I know) adjust and update.

Trends might be better for your use case so you can see historically what’s been going on.

Thanks. I’ve never looked at Trends since it launched – I guess it didn’t seem useful then because there was nothing in it!

In both Summary and Trends, if I put £100 into a Pot at the start of the month, and then withdraw £250 from it, to cover the £250 annual bill, I think they’d show -£150 for POTS. And I can’t even work out if this is what I want!

I use the £100/month to smooth out the bigger annual bills, so I don’t want the £250 expense, or the £250 taken from the POT, to “count” for the month. Maybe they cancel each other out? But I do want the £100/month to count.

It’s hard to figure out exactly what’s going on, without manually adding/subtracting everything and checking against what the app thinks.

Is the pot movement labelled as transfers to remove it from spends?

Yes both in and out movements are labelled as Transfers. I didn’t know (or forgot) that that might affect things.

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I’ve confirmed that transferring money in and out of Pots doesn’t affect the current remaining Budget figure. I was a bit confused given the total +/- value of money in/out of Pots is shown at the bottom of the Summary screen, even though it doesn’t seem to affect the Summary.

So I guess what I should be doing at the start of the month is:

  • Start with my £2,000 total monthly budget
  • Subtract the £1,200 total Committed Spending
  • Add any of the large annual bills that are listed in Committed Spending (because they can’t be set to “Exclude from Summary”). So add £250 in my original example.
  • Subtract the £100 I put into a Pot for large annual bills
  • Ensure that any large annual bills that happen which aren’t listed in Committed Spending are set to “Exclude from Summary”, or else add them to the Budget figure. The £150 bill in my example.

So in this case I would set my monthly Budget to:

+ £2,000
- £1,200
+   £250
-   £100
--------
    £950

And set the £150 bill to “Exclude from Summary”.

Does that sound right?

I’m confused too. My summary runs from 28th of the month which is when I pay myself salary and dividends from my business account. In the past I’ve not had a problem but this month it seems to be messed up.

On 28th there was about £4300 in the account. On 29th I spent £7. On 1st there were transfers to pots and our joint account, leaving me with spending money of about £225 until next payday. The transfers are categorised as such, but it seems to be counting it as spending, and there’s no way to tick “exclude from summary”.

Is there an option to tag as repeating payment?

No, and no need to do so as they’re scheduled payments which move around every month.