What is Spendable, anyway?
Spendable is a simple, single budget to help you track and manage your non-essential spending for the month.
What's considered to be "non-essential" spending will be different for every individual, but here's an example of how one person, let's call him Dale, might think about his spending:
|Bars & Alcohol - $150/month||Non-essential|
|Cell phone bill - $50/month||Recurring Expense|
|Rent - $1000/month||Recurring Expense|
|Paycheck - $3000/month||Income|
|Restaurants - $300/month||Non-essential|
|Coffee shops - $100/month||Non-essential|
|Concert tickets - $200/month||Non-essential|
|Gas - $150/month||Recurring Expense|
Dale considers going out to bars, dining out at restaurants, coffee shops, and going to see live music to be non-essential purchases.
He could live without them if they had too, but these are weak spots where he finds it hard to say no to that extra beer, coffee, or Metallica show.
Over the last few months, Dale realizes that he's been spending around $750/month across all of those categories.
He tried setting budgets to stick to for each category to help control his spending, but it's been really hard to stick to those budgets.
It can be really tough to manage 4 small, individual budgets, especially when a single concert ticket might break that budget (but he really wanted to go see that show!!!).
Enter the Spendable budget. With Level's Spendable, Dale doesn't need to keep track of 4 different budgets - he just has one budget to show him how he's doing across ALL of his non-essential spending.
He can set aside money from his paycheck to pay off his recurring expenses each month, and then with the money he'll have left over, set a Spendable budget for everything else.
How does it work?
When you setup your Level account, the first thing you'll do is connect your bank accounts to the system, and we'll import your debit and credit card transactions into the application.
Once your transactions have been imported, the next thing you'll do is tag your Incomes and recurring expenses.
This helps you understand how much of your paycheck you'll need to set aside to pay for your recurring expenses each month.
Everything left over can then be put towards savings or safely spent, and you'll create your Spendable target based on how much you want to save/spend each month after paying your recurring expenses. (For more on this read our How-to: Spendable Setup)
In the home screen you'll find your remaining Spendable displayed in your Spendabubble.
To see what transactions are being counted towards your monthly Spendable, tap on the Spendabubble for a detailed view. At the beginning of each month, your Spendabubble will be full, as you haven't made any purchases yet. As you pay for things throughout the month, your amount of available Spendable decreases, and you'll see the fluid draining out of your Spendabubble.
Below and to the right of your Spendabubble, you'll see your Daily Guide Number, which is your Spendable divided by the number of days in the month.
The idea is that if you get up in the morning and check your daily guide, and then hit or stay below that amount every day - you'll finish the month on target.
Your daily guide will update based on how you're doing with your spending relative to the number of days left in the month. So don't worry if you go over one day - your daily guide will be adjusted down moving forward to help you make up the difference.