ObelixParticipantNovember 26, 2008 at 6:20 pmPost count: 48
This is a post of an email conversation I had with Eric. I’m posting it here to expand the conversation to everyone
What about optionally(user choice) color code/mark bank holidays (and maybe weekends). If the background is greyed/colored of the days the banks are closed, it would help plan out scheduled payments (and be informative). I know that you had possible plans to automatically adjust payments to bend around weekends so maybe you could work this in with that. You could also label major holidays and possibly allow users to enter their own. It would display just like the entries now, only without any dollar amount listed.
Thanks for the site. i am currently using it to reconcile my checking account on an ongoing basis. I check it about once or twice a week. I know you have plans to possibly allow direct downloading of banking activity. If you do that, make sure that there is at least an option for one time downloading. I don’t think I’d use the feature if you guys kept my banking info on file. I’m just paranoid I guess. Maybe you could allow for CSV importing, altho I don’t know if there is a standardized CSV export among banks. Anyways, Thanks again
I like the idea of putting in holidays – but it may be tricky since CalendarBudget servers a worldwide audience, so US/Canada/other holidays vary. I’ll think about how to best do this and if it makes sense.
Regarding the import – we’ll never keep your banking export on file – its just a single use. First time we’ll take everything from it, and subsequent imports, we’ll take only what’s changed since your last consolidation. We’re hoping to have the first version of that import ready before year end.
Had a thought about the holidays with the international issues. What if you set up default holidays sets that could be applied by users at their discretion. You could have a default set for different nationalities/religions. If you take suggestions from users on holiday sets they would like to have then they would provide those names/dates as they wanted them. This puts the burden of figuring out those dates on users and all you would have to do is create the “holiday pack” structure. Users would select the “holiday packs” they wanted to subscribe to. By allowing users to subscribe to holiday “packs” a Christian user living in india could subscribe to the “Christian Holiday” pack and the “India Nation” pack. the overlapping packs would provide them with both religious and cultural holidays. By having users subscribe to a pack instead of just adding a pack, you could make changes to a pack and it would change on all the subscribers calendars.
By adding them, they would get yearly entries added to their calendars on the specific holidays. If you could add code to entries that would allow colorizing the entire day’s background, you could have a default pack holiday color that would automatically colorize holidays from that specific pack to make them stand out. If you go that far for day colorizing, go the rest of the way and allow users to colorize entire days as well with an option on the entry creation screen. This would let them mark special days they didn’t want to forget like birthdays or mortgage days. If you set up a different type of entry for holidays/special days that also allow for email alerts like you have now, users could include birthdays,anniversaries,whatever as part of their planning calendar and email themselves as reminders.
Hey what about a link/import/output with MS Outlook calendar? I don’t use it cause I don’t like outlook, but if you are going to start allowing people to keep other entries than just monetary ones, outlook interaction might be a good way to go if you can pull it off.
Oh well there’s another book for you to read. sorry this got long. The suggestions are easy, you’v got the hard part. If you can code half of what you plan (and maybe just a little of what I’v suggested) I think you’ll have a great service for people to use.
Eric PoulinKeymasterNovember 27, 2008 at 5:00 pmPost count: 373
We’ve considered adding more calendaring features to CalendarBudget, but then we figured competing with Google Calendar is crazy, especially since they already have lots of really great features. Duplicating some of their functionality feels like overkill.
There are times when I want to combine my calendars, but, having used CalendarBudget (in its various stages) for more than 8 years, I am not too concerned about combining regular calendaring features with CalendarBudget for the following reasons:
- Regular calendaring has its own set of features and problems to overcome. I don’t want to dilute the main purpose of CalendarBudget (either through branched features or development effort), which is to help people manage their money
- For the few times I really want to have a reminder in CalendarBudget, you can just create an entry for $0, which serves the same purpose, still allows reminders, and doesn’t affect your numbers in any way
There are a few other smaller reasons not to focus on calendaring, but these above are the main ones. We never wanted to be a calendaring tool – just saw a HUGE need in managing personal finances and took action. We adopt the calendaring functions needed to satisfy the budgeting and money management need, but otherwise, at least for the moment, we want to stay focused on the goal.
ObelixParticipantDecember 2, 2008 at 3:32 pmPost count: 48
OK, what if you avoided general holidays, but included/allowed national/regional bank holidays? I think somewhere else you mentioned possibly watching for entrys falling on weekends and sliding them to a day when the bank is open when setting up reoccurring bills/income. A national bank holiday should behave just the same. You could allow the user to apply the auto slide(and then choose forward or backward depending on the specifics of the entry) or ignore the issue of weekends/holidays as part of the entry setup. You could still rely on country “packs” for different countries/areas. These could easily be provided by the users, or gathered from online sources. The first “pack” would be “Weekends”. Of course that assumes that all banks everywhere follow the weekday schedule for processing transactions. I assume thats true, but I don’t know for sure.
Eric PoulinKeymasterDecember 2, 2008 at 3:45 pmPost count: 373
Reframing the idea in this context makes the calendaring issue seem like a CalendarBudget issue… and I agree with you when framed in this light.
When I develop the feature for skipping weekends it does make sense to add banking holidays also, since the idea is the same. Thanks for bringing up this detail – I’ll add it to our plans.
frugalcoconutParticipantDecember 31, 2008 at 2:28 amPost count: 18
Despite the fact that I would like it to automatically skip banking holidays, is the system going to be smart enough to keep track of those holidays for various countries depending on the user’s whereabouts? I’m in the U.S. but there might be banking holidays that we have here which don’t coincide with some in Canada for instance, or vice versa… and what about other nations too? Not sure how far in-depth that should go. Perhaps you could ask us to indicate which country we are in and then track the banking holidays for the countries lived in by the majority of CalendarBudget users … if we are in one of those majority/common countries, then the holidays would be automatically populated … otherwise perhaps it could ask the user to input the dates manually. What are your thoughts on this issue?
Eric PoulinKeymasterDecember 31, 2008 at 5:38 amPost count: 373
I want CalendarBudget to be as useful as possible. I don’t want to have to maintain a long list of bank holidays by country (which may periodically change), and require people to declare the country they are in to be able to benefit from this feature… but maybe there’s no other way good way.
I could setup something that other calendars have… a single default list of bank holidays (for Canada/US), and let you customize the list for your area.
ObelixParticipantJanuary 7, 2009 at 7:36 pmPost count: 48
OK, this is the third rewriting of this post. I keep changing my mind on how to best deal with this. I think you have two ways to deal with this. One is the managed route where you have to keep up with holidays for different locations/institutions (bank vs credit unions comes to mind). That makes it easy on the users, but still may require tweaking and fidling to fit each user. The other is a completely custom solution created by each user that they have to generate. This is easier on you but requires a bit more work for the user.
The thing is, either way you have to create some type of entry or structure that holds off automated entries when they are carried forward into the future. You also have to account for future entries being adjusted after creation for the future years when a holiday changes the day it falls on. Thats also going to be a factor right out of the gate with anyone who already has entries set up before the holiday entries are available(all the beta testers).
I would go with the completely user setup banking schedule. I would also go with a new “Bank Closed” entry type made available to the user as a fourth radio button below Deposit/Withdrawal/Transfer on the entry creation screen. The sub-options could be changed just as you did for the Transfer type. Use the nice Repeat setup you have for monthly repeating entries but adapt to years to allow users to set up both dates (Dec 25) or sliding dates (4th thursday in Nov). Users could also have a choice of a specific day of the week to declare as always a “Bank Closed” day. That would cover any countries that might have open banks on saturday but closed on mondays or something like that. Creating one of these BC (Bank Closed) entries should push any preexisting entries backwards in time to the first non-BC day. I would actually suggest always shoving a withdrawal entry backwards and a deposit entry forwards when encountering a BC day. As users, we are always checking our account (we have to be or they aren’t that useful for us). We can manually move entries that might get shoved the wrong way. This default movement would give a user the worst case cashflow position by default, so things would only get better as they made any changes that were needed.
I think this is your best solution. 2009 only has 10 bank holidays for the US. Thats not too onerous to enter by hand. Entering the weekends would be a one time deal for each day since it would always be the same day. You might could pop up a reminder for users right after the first of the year to check their holidays. I would also be sure that a user could force an entry onto a BC day to keep total flexibility.
Well there’s another book of my blathering. Hope some of it’s useful
Eric PoulinKeymasterJanuary 7, 2009 at 9:53 pmPost count: 373
I have a concern with adding to the transaction types. I don’t want to overload the meaning of the regular entry dialog. Currently its to enter a transaction.
I think it would be confusing to use that same dialog to enter bank holidays. Rather, I think this should belong under the setup menu on the toolbar, since it represents a global configuration for all of your accounts.
Since the greatest number of my users are from US and Canada, I think it does make sense to maintain a list for those 2 countries and make it easy for the majority of users. I think I’ll use that as the “base” of a system that users can customize. So, as we discussed earlier in this thread, you can use these default values to seed your bank holiday list – or you can totally customize it.
You’re right about the existing repeating entries that will need to be mass-adjusted. But – luckily it will just be a one time hit to the system.
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