Help understanding how to plan a vacation

Hi there! I’m loving the app and I’m a big fan of the spreadsheet style, that’s why I really want to understand how to use the app. The thing is that for example, if I’m planning to go out on vacation in 12 months, how should I use the app to accomplish this goal? So far I think what I should do is add on my planned expenses a certain amount each month on the vacation category for 12 months, until the month I actually go out. Am I right?

I used to use YNAB, so I’m kind of thinking about “zero-budgeting” which in the case of cashculator it doesn’t work like that, nor do I want it to work like that. But this mindset I guess is what generates some confusion in my case.


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Hi, @Jvet93 and welcome.

Sorry about the delay in the reply. I first want to be sure I understand your question. Are you trying to save money (set it aside) for the vacation, and you want the app to help you track your savings (you’re not sure how to set money aside in Cashculator) or do you just want a way to indicate that you’re gonna spend the money in a year?

Hi! Don’t worry :slight_smile:

I’m trying to save a certain amount of money each month for a planned vacation, so I’m not sure how to set money aside in cashculator for a certain goal.

This goal can be: new macbook, new iphone, a vacation or a new playstation.

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Ok, give us some time to prepare a proper response that we can reuse later for other people. There are probably a couple of options here and they will depend on how people think or use Cashculator. We could also probably try and create a better way to manage this process (planning for goals) but we don’t have that yet. So hang on until we prepare a detailed response.


Sure, thank you :). Although at the moment I think planning each month to spend a certain amount under a category might be useful.

I’ll wait for your solution :slight_smile:

I believe you’re on the right track. If you plan to set aside money for the vacation, you can indeed create a monthly expenses plan transaction in a category like ‘Savings’ or directly under a ‘Vacation’ category.

However, I would like to add a few suggestions:

  1. Create a corresponding planned transaction with the same dates and amounts in one of the income categories. You can also label it as “Savings,” but in the transaction description, you could specify “for vacation” or something similar. The reason for this is to maintain the correctness of your balance. Since savings are not technically an expense, having a corresponding income transaction will keep your balance unaffected. This way, your savings won’t impact your reconciliation amounts. I assume you would want to include your saved money in your balance calculations, as it still constitutes money you possess.
  2. I would also recommend adding the planned expense for your vacation during the dates (or months) you expect the actual money to be spent. This could be several transactions if not all at the same time—flight tickets or hotel bookings might need to be made in advance, while additional spending occurs during the vacation month. It might be better to add these as planned transactions since you don’t know the exact amounts yet, but this approach will give you a clearer picture of your future financial situation when you look at your forecasted balances. When you actually spend money on tickets, hotel, or anything vacation-related, you can then add these as actual expenses. This strategy will also help you later compare your planned vacation spending with what it actually was.

I hope this provides some clarity and proves useful to you.

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I liked your approach an I’m going to do it this way, thank you for your feedback.

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We’ve converted this reply into a full article: Saving for Your Dream Vacation: A Step-by-Step Guide - Cashculator for Mac

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