I am trying to use the Money Manager (Budget Tracking) product so graciously provided by USAA. Overall, I think it is pretty cool and useful to have the availabilty to automatically track expenses and apply them to a budget at no cost. I have two issues with the product however.
1. Why can I not edit or customize the main categories? I see how to edit the sub-categories and that is helpful but it would be better if I could add/delete/rename the higher level. This is not a show stopper and I can manage, but more flexibility would be better.
2. How can I or why can't I pick a specific expense to exclude from the budget? As an example, I have a credit card that I use for most of my charges all month long for points/rewards purposes. It is linked to USAA so the expenses are automatically tracked which is awesome. But not being able to exclude the payment made to pay that card off skews my numbers when it comes to end-of-month reporting. If I had $1500 in charges then those charges are accounted for by category, i.e. dining out, auto fuel, groceries, etc... When I pay the card off come statement time however, the Money Manager tracks the paymnet as a credit card payment which adds another $1500 to my budget. It is then telling me I spent $3000 when in fact I did not. I want to create a rule that tells Money Manager to ignore/exclude the monthly payment to that particular card. Without this feature, the Money Manager is not going to allow me to accurately track and report my spending.
Thank you for any help.
Thank you very much for this post, I was getting ready to ask the same exact question. I hope we can get an answer I like the features but it bothers me that it says we are overbudget each time.
I also noticed that when I pay off a store card (Target for example) it's posting a positive to the "General Merchandise" category so that is not properly reflecting expenses there because any purchases and credit card payments will wash each other out.
I have used several other software programs with varied levels of success. Quicken was the best in my opinion but paying again and again when new versions came out became more than I could concede to. Yes, you can maitain using the older versions without updgrading, but at some point the importing starts to malfunction with older versions. Completely satisfied with Quicken for what it provides however I cannot participate in their business model.
How I Spend and My Budget are different tools, so if you want them to produce the same results they have to have the same options selected. For example, you need to ensure that you are looking at the same timeframe and the same accounts as follows:
o My Budget: My Budget is automatically set to show you the current month.
o How I Spend: Make sure the “Showing” drop-down selection is set to “Current Month” so that the timeframe matches My Budget.
o How I Spend: How I Spend only shows a single account.
o My Budget: My Budget spans as many accounts as you choose to select. To match How I Spend, select Edit Budget and then Spending Accounts to Track and then select the one account you have selected in How I Spend. That will give you the same results.
o Excluding specific transactions from budget: This enhancement is on our list of things to do. I can’t promise when we’ll do this enhancement, but know that we recognize the need for it.
o Double-counting credit card transactions: My Budget is designed not to double-count and I can’t see where My Budget is double-counting in your case. We looked in your account and we assume you are talking about your Visa. If so, you are not tracking the Visa, so none of those transactions are included in my budget; however, the payment to the Visa from your tracked checking account is included. So this appears to be working as expected. If you have more information about the double-counting issue please let us know so that we can research this concern further.
Thank you for the informative and thorough update.
I will look into connecting my Visa for tracking. I already thought it was but obvioulsy I was mistaken. Even if I was however, that would only account for the charges in my budget but still leave my "Credit Card Payments" category severely out of whack. The enhancement you speak of would remedy the situation however. I will look forward to that feature being added.
Thank you again for taking the time to research this topic and address it with me; I greatly appreciate the communication.