Entering in an existing balance is easy! But before we explain how, we’ll give some quick background on how it works.
When you enter a normal receipt into PearBudget, PearBudget looks at the amount of the receipt, and the amount that you’ve set aside in that category, and it subtracts one from the other. That is, it takes your $300 balance in groceries, and it subtracts your $50 groceries receipt, leaving you with $250. If you got a refund or a rebate, though, or if you had some other special money set aside for that category, though, you could enter it in as a negative receipt. When PearBudget sees negative receipts, it adds that amount to your category.
So if you’d already set aside $500 for a new car (or whatever) before you started using PearBudget, you can enter in a negative receipt for that category, and PearBudget will show that as money that’s now available in that category. Usually, what we recommend is that you enter in the negative receipt with a date from just before you started using PearBudget. So if you start using PearBudget in May, enter in a receipt for April 30th.
Keep in mind that if you’re starting in January, you’ll want to make sure that your category is carrying over its balance from the previous year. Also note that the carrying-over of balances only applies to Irregular categories. So make sure the category you’ve set aside money in is classified as an irregular category in PearBudget.