This post will hopefully give you some idea of how a lot of the site ties together. As an example we’ll start with creating a new bill. When your Bill is created, you have several options to choose from.

  • Category Tie – When you select a category or create a new one, this is directly tied to both the My Categories page and the My Budget page. Your category is what directly ties your transactions created to your budget. So by selecting a category when creating a new bill, you are setting the default category to be selected when a new transaction gets entered. Since this will also get tied to your Budget, when that transaction is created/recorded, it will also be reflected in your Budget. Note that if you’ve checked off “tie to budget”, your Bill amount will automatically get calculated in your budget. This means that if you have a bill on a weekly occurrence, some months your budget category will either get multiplied by 4 or sometimes 5 times in a month depending on how often your recurrence for that bill comes up during the month. If you leave this unchecked, there is still a tie to setting a default category for that bill when it gets recorded but your budget amount will not get automatically calculated on the My Budget page. This is useful for if you want to apply other transactions to the same category so you want to increase your budget without increasing the amount of your bill.
  • Calendar Tie – Now lets look at the My Calendar page. Note that your Bill recurrence is in sync with the My Calendar page so if you modify your Bill, it will be reflected in your Calendar and vice versa. Also note that when you record a transaction as a paid bill, your Bill entry in your Calendar will get crossed out so you can get a visual representation of the Bills that have been paid and which ones are pending. If you’ve setup your email reminders, you can also go directly into the calendar entry to disable or enable email alerts for that bill.
  • Contacts Tie – If you click the “more options:” link, you’ll see a checkbox to add this bill to your contacts. By default, all bill contacts will get created in a bills category on the My Contacts page found under Organization on the Navigation menu. Not only will these stay in sync between your Contacts page and your Bills page, but you also have a quick bill contacts view on the My Bills page. In the sub-navigation next to “Bills List”, you’ll see a link for “Bills Contact”. This will list out all Bills that have been saved to your Contacts page.
  • Transactions Tie – When you record a new bill payment, if you click on My Transactions and find the transaction that was just recorded, you’ll see a small B icon next to the transaction indicating that this is tied to a Bill. Therefore if you delete the transaction from the My Transactions page, this will then mark the Bill as unpaid again as well as reduce the amount in your Budget for the category that was assigned to that transaction if any.

There are several other ties within the site that we’ll try to go over in future posts but this should give you some idea of the main ties within the BudgetTracker site.