Target balance for Scenario

Amongst other things, I’m using Scenarios for planning and monitoring credit card expenses. I have a separate Scenario for each credit card.

It would be extremely valuable to be able to assign a minimum and a maximum balance for scenarios (both optional, of course). If specified, these values should have corresponding horizontal lines in the Balance chart of the Reports view. Also, the Expected Ending Balance cells in the Reconcile section should be shown highlighted (e.g. different text colour or filled in cell background) for values that are outside the specified limits.

These facilities would enable one to quickly detect if planned expenses (balanced against income) will exceed set limits. I can imagine this to be useful for other types of scenarios: planned savings for a future large purchase or vacation, projected income (e.g. reaching a sales target), reducing debt, etc.

Yes, initial designs (and even implementations) of Cashculator 2 had a minimal balance setting that we, for now, removed until we had a better feeling if customers wanted this. It was per document, though, and not per scenario. It would make sense to have this per scenario. Perhaps another line, too (like a maximum, or a goal).

@Radu, could you explain in more detail how you use scenarios, one per credit card? Is positive balance, then, the “loan” that you owe to credit cards (i.e. what’s called a credit card balance), where higher positive balance is worse the lower?

The minimum/maximum limits would likely be used for different purposes depending on scenario. Given that account balances vary over time, it makes sense to be able to set minimum and maximum limits – so as to able to easily see whether the expected balance may fall outside the desired range at some point in the near future.

In terms of using Scenarios for credit card spending:

Since Cashculator does not have the ability to configure accounts, Scenarios seem to be the best option for estimating and monitoring account balances.

Most credit cards have a limit, so one would want to make sure this is not exceeded (in terms of planned spending) – especially significant when the card is used for direct debits, as exceeding the limit is likely to result in failure to pay the corresponding bill and, possibly, penalty fees. Since the balance for a credit card would (generally) be negative, this limit would be configured as a minimum balance for the scenario.

Similarly, if performing credit card repayments via direct debit (e.g. scheduled transactions from a savings account), one would want to avoid ending up with too much money deposited in the credit card account. This would correspond to the maximum limit – and could well be $0 for a credit card (although, not necessarily).

The same could apply to a line of credit account.

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Thank you for the detailed explanation. So you use negative balance as the limit. Makes sense with how Cashculator works.