Getting Comfy with Your Money

Chapter 4:
How Income Companion Works
Cash Reservoir Page

The Cash Reservoir page is your window to the contents of your checking account. On this page you can see how you have allocated your money to specific purposes.

A ledger is a record of transactions (adds, withdrawals) that keeps a current balance. Your bank or credit union considers your checking account to be one ledger with one available balance. Income Companion uses a set of ledgers to keep track of the money in your cash reservoir by how you intend to use the money as illustrated in the Ledger Summary below.

The available balance on your Cash Reservoir page agrees with the available balance in your checking account from your bank or credit union.

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There are two ledgers built into the program.

  • Cushion - Keeps track of the money in your cash reservoir that has not been allocated to a specific purpose. All of the deposits into your checking account are added to the Cushion ledger.

  • Allowance - Records the money the program has set aside for your allowance. When you get your weekly allowance, on the Allowance page, the money is withdrawn from the Allowance ledger.

Ledgers are created by Income Companion whenever you add a bill, credit card, sinking fund, and savings plan.

  • Bills and credit cards - Money in these ledgers is used by the program for making payments.

  • Sinking funds and savings - Keeps track of the money you have set aside for specific future uses.

Income Companion has an Auto Deposit feature that alerts you when the deposit of an expected income receipt is due. Deposits not made with Auto Deposit are entered on the Cash Reservoir page.

On the Cash Reservoir page, you can move money between ledgers and record the withdrawal of money from your checking account either by a transfer or the writing of a check.

It is also on the Cash Reservoir page that you balance your monthly checking account statement from your bank or credit union.

You can balance your checking account once a month using the bank or credit union's statement, your check register (if you use one), and the Balance Checking Account window.

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You can also optionally download a comma delimited (.CSV) file from the bank or credit union’s website to automate the balancing. On the Cash Reservoir page, you create a transaction file map which describes how the information in the download file is to be extracted for use in Income Companion.

Doing this monthly task is strongly encouraged. It is the primary way to find errors, unexpected fees, and omissions made in your checking account by you and your bank or credit union. Failing to balance your checking account once a month means the errors, fees, and omissions will make your Income Companion ledgers out of balance with the actual money in your cash reservoir. Using inaccurate amounts in Income Companion could eventually result in account overdrafts and rejected withdrawals, as well as weakening, if not destroying, your twelve-month spending plan.

Balancing your checking account once a month takes a few minutes. Not balancing your cash reservoir could become very expensive, frustrating, and self-defeating.

2 Good Software

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