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Budgeting

What is a budget? Wikipedia gives the following answer: "A budget is a financial plan for a defined period of time."

So, it is a financial plan. Basically this is a list of incomes, expenses etc.
However, most of the personal finance apps track "budget" as a set of limits. Like:
 - how much may I spend on food
 - how much may I pay for fuel
and so on. Such limits are usually set per month.

Setting limits is good approach, it can help control the spendings when user sees he is close to limit, but the month is in its middle.

However, this is not sufficient for The Finance Planner. We think of budget as a list of planned transactions. In fact, this is a small difference: if you plan to spend $300/month on fuel, you just schedule monthly transactions. And when you buy fuel, you cut (split) the planned transactions.
For instance, if you spent $20 on fuel today, you cut the planned transaction and get two:
  - $20 - committed (paid)
  - $280 - still planned.
This slight difference makes big advantages for The Finance Planner over other apps. Let's list most important:

  •  having planned transactions makes the calculations easier, and The Finance Planner can make its predictions based on the planned transactions. How much money will I have in a year? - the answer is behind the planned transactions.
  •  if you are out of budget this month, you can borrow from the next one, leaving the annual budget still balance. Say, in July you have your vacation. You go by car, so this month your expenses on fuel will be higher. If you already used $290 on fuel this month, the remainder is just $10. And if you refuel for $30 - the following thing happens:
    • take the $10 off the current month
    • take the other $20 from next month's budget.
  • the same way, if you reduced costs on some items this month, you can spend this budget later.

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However, finance plans were non-elastic.
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Imagine you have planned expenses for diesel $200/month. For budgeting it's enough to have planned monthly transactions $200 each. If you refuel (say, for $35), then you just cut the planned transaction: $35 is committed, $165 is still planned.
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 - having $200 planned for diesel, we spent $210. Then, the $10 will be taken from the next period.

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 - water - $8/month
 - gas - $2/month.
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