Setting up your income in Level allows you to automatically pick up certain credits to your bank accounts each month to help you track when you've been paid, and to display your income to help you when calculating your Spendable target.
What should I tag as income?
When setting up your Income in Level, you will need want to tag all the transactions that are part of your regular income, which for most people include the following:
- Child care
- 1099 income (uber fares distribution, etc)
What you should probably not tag as income
The following are some items that you might regularly encounter as credits to your bank accounts, but probably don't want to track as Income on a recurring basis. This could be because these credits are offsetting an earlier purchase, or because they won't be recurring on a regular basis and you won't want them to be included when you are calculating your Spendable target.
- Reimbursements for corporate expenses
- One-time reimbursements for purchases (returned item to store, etc.)
- Reimbursements from friends/roommates (splitting rent, etc.)
- Monetary gifts
I didn't set them up as income, why are my corporate expenses still showing up in my Income tracker?
Level uses the merchant name to help identify similar transactions when tracking recurring expenses and incomes on an ongoing basis.
If unrelated items are showing up in your income tracker, this is probably because the merchant name of that transactions matches the merchant name on your paycheck.
A great example is with reimbursements for corporate expenses.
Let's say your paycheck shows up as a credit with the merchant name "Direct Deposit from ABC Corp. - Payroll"
You tag that transaction as an income, and Level begins to pick up those transactions every month and display them in your income tracker.
Then, one day you purchase lunch for your team and your company reimburses you via direct deposit. The transaction shows up in Level as "Direct Deposit from ABC Corp - Expense".
In this case, that reimbursement will be incorrectly detected as income, because it is a credit, and the first 6 characters of the merchant name are an exact match to the example transaction you originally tagged as income.
If that happens in your Level account, you can break the matching rule by simply modifying the merchant name on the transaction. Tap into the transaction and either rename it completely, or simply add an asterisk or any other character to the front of the transaction name, and that will break the matching rule and it will be categorized as a Credit rather than an Income.