Number of bank accounts and banks

I’m trying to set up a budget that spans two banks and a total of seven actual accounts – and I feel as though I’m blindfolded.

How do I do it? I feel as though I’m in a marathon before I can crawl properly.

Hi Helen. Welcome to Cashculator community.

Well, Cashculator is flexible in the sense that it’s pretty simple in its basic principles (like a spreadsheet). Cashculator doesn’t have a built-in notion of accounts at all. Thus, there are several ways you could go about it. Here are some thoughts below. Please let me know if they help you or not.

Since there are no accounts, you just combine all the transactions into one scenario. The table only cares about categories. If you have the same category in different bank accounts, you can lump transactions in any account into the same category. But only you know if it helps you or not. Maybe you want to split some of those transactions into different categories.

Notice that Cashculator doesn’t actually care about the individual balance of your accounts and nowhere do you need to enter individual balances and Cashculator will not show them to you. Cashculator’s Reconcile screen is the only one where balance is used (and it’s important to set it there so that Cashculator can correctly forecast your future balance) but this balance is a total of all your account + cash (if you have cash on hand that you want to manage through Cashculator). Just thinking about the fact that you also (probably) need to enter cash transactions and balances in Cashculator will explain a lot about how to manage it since, of course, cash transactions and balance don’t appear in your bank account.

Since Cashculator doesn’t have accounts, transactions that merely transfer funds between accounts (including withdrawal of cash from ATM or deposit of cash that you had on your hand) don’t need to be entered into Cashculator since they don’t change your total balance.

Cashculator is optimized to be used as high-level tool for seeing the big financial picture by building it quickly (hence doing away with accounts and other details that don’t add to the global picture of your financial situation) and allowing you to forecast how your total balance is changing over time (if you use planned transactions correctly, i.e. fully). Thus, if the big picture is what you’re after, then you allow yourself to simplify the process of entering plans and actuals to only as much as to derive the benefit that you’re looking to derive from the application. Like, try to think what question you’re trying to answer with Cashculator for yourself, and then only do as much as needed in Cashculator to answer that question.

For example, if your question is “where am I spending a lot of of the income” then it doesn’t matter from which bank account the money is spent, it’s only important how much and on what (Category).

If your question is “when I’ll be able to buy this expensive thing / retire etc”, then again, it’s the total balance that’s important and not specific amounts in specific bank accounts.

With all that being said, if you do want to keep separate tracking for separate accounts (maybe these are a personal account and a business account), you can use more than one document or create additional scenarios in the same document but handle the scenarios as separate accounts or areas of life etc.

I’m not sure if my reply helps you or if it just complicated your thinking. So please let me know because Cashculator is a bit different from most other personal finance applications, and we want to understand a) where people struggle with using it and b) if what we explain about using it is helpful. Because then we might redo some of these answers into more permanent documentations or educations videos etc. But we first need to know if these suggestions make sense to the customers and genuinely help them.

Hi Jacob
Two elements of my income come in fortnightly and the third comes in on a 4-weekly basis. I’m stumbling around in the heavy dusk trying to work out whether my income monthly or weekly. I have to own up to finding numbers incredibly hard to understand anyway and having a new app that handles money either weekly or monthly very hard to get to grips with.
Can you help with a simple formula or something like that?
Now my outgoings are going to be simple once I get to grips with repeating events, i.e monthly rent or my rent.

Repeating events can be repeated at any periods that you like, you can set one income transaction to repeat every two weeks and another to repeat every four weeks, there’s no problem with that. You can also set them up to repeat monthly, if you have monthly expenses. You don’t have to commit to either weekly or monthly when working with Cashculator. You can always switch the views between weekly and monthly and set up your repeat transactions with any repeat cycle. In this screenshot below, I set up the transaction to repeat every two weeks (look under Recurring cycle). I hope this clears things up somewhat.


The only other thing I’d like to know is how do I put the starting balance in - is it simply a case of putting a new transaction in? I think I’m going like Casculator for all its different approach to money recording! :smile:

This is a partial PS to the above post in that I don’t know where to put the opening balance but I also want to know if you can nest categories to a 2 category deep?

By the way I bought the app this afternoon

Thank you for your support of our little but dedicated team. It means a lot to us.
To your questions:

  • Starting balance (or any updated balance should be set in the Reconcile screen). Click on reconcile and (if you’re in a monthly view) enter an amount for the starting balance for the beginning of the column. So, for example, you can start a balance for Jan 1st or, now, for Feb 1st. In fact, you’re better off updating your reconciled balances every month (or every week or a few of them, depending on what your preferred time frame is). This way, you compare your actual balances (the sum of all your tracked money, including cash, for example) to the amount that Cashculator calculated based on your transaction since the previously entered balance. If the balances are not the same, an amount will show in the Unaccounted row in the reconciliation table, which you can either ignore (since you’ve updated your correct balance anyway) or correct your data for the previous period to reduce the unaccountable amount and have more precise data in Cashculator. I hope this helps.
    Have you seen the guides that we have in Cashculator (in the Help menu)?

  • There’s no way, currently, to have more than one depth of categories and subcategories. Where would it be useful to you?

Pretty much everything that goes out does so in a regular basis so I can (have) put them on a repeating entry. The only thing that happens regularly is my grocery shopping and that is the one that I’d like to have in my Weekly category. The reason I was asking about a subcategory within the original subcategories was that I have set an arbitrary monthly limit and when I had groceries in Weekly I had no way of knowing how close I had got to that limit and also I want to see how often I do food shopping in different shops. At present I have a separate category which gives that flexibility.

I have looked at the guides but I’ll rewatch them now I’ve got a degree of understanding of what I’m watching! :smile:

Your replies are really helpful, @Jacob, and have de-YNAB-ed me far more quickly and painlessly than I was expecting to be the case.

Thank you for the kind words, Helen. Notice that while the views are weekly and monthly, you can set a precise date for each transaction, so it’ll appear in the correct day and month, regardless of the view.
When you do a “quickview” on a cell (say a monthly cell) by right clicking on it (or press space when it’s selected), you can see how often you do these grocery shoppings. See example screenshot below, how it can also show how your actuals are going against the plan (you can use plan as your budget)

By the way, I understand that you’re coming from YNAB. How do you compare Cashculator 2 to YNAB? What made you switch?

The end of my love for YNAB began to go when they moved online. In my opinion part of the problem was down to Apple when they insisted everything had to be sandboxed but it gave YNAB the opportunity to change the way they operated around updates, but to charge (I think) $69 US about 6 or 7 years ago, then you had to start budgeting for next year’s payment was a bit rich to my mind.

Things were OK with my little YNAB 4 until I had to jump an OS which made it impossible to run YNAB, so I looked at PocketSmith, another online and currency exchange problems, but it didn’t work.

More recently I bought Parallels which bizarrely allowed me to run a Mac version of YNAB 4 in a Windows shell but it is starting to show its age now, so I looked … and found you. Cashculator allows me to kind of do YNAB-like processes but in my way.

I’m currently having problems with Master Categories not being collapsable and formulae not staying put on close and reopen, see my other posts.

Thank you for the explanation. Where did you find Cashculator first? On the Mac App Store by chance or were you looking for something specific? Or google?

Also, I think I’ve replied to your other concerns in their respective topics.