Have you ever wanted to buy something special that really shouldn’t count as part of your monthly spending? Or maybe you’d just like to add your groceries to your spending plan.

These 6 spending plan hacks take advantage of Simplifi’s extreme flexibility to help you master your cash flow and take your customized spending plan to a whole new level.

1. Hack your available spending

After your bills, expenses, and savings goals are accounted for, Simplifi’s spending plan shows you how much you can spend. You know you don’t have to spend it all, but it’s still tempting.

So, what if you want Simplifi to help you spend a little less?

The trick: Set your own custom income for the month.

Check what Simplifi calculates as your monthly income, and set a custom income amount instead that’s a little less. Simplifi will lower what you can spend by that same amount.

Even though you’ll know you made that change, you’ll still see that new bottom line every month, and your brain won’t want to go past it.

Simplifi will still track your actual income, so you’ll know whether your paychecks are coming in like they should. You’ll just trick yourself into not spending as much as you have.

2. Hack a cushion into those variable bills

Is your gas bill higher in the winter? Does your water bill skyrocket when you fill your pool in the spring? How can you make sure those unusual bills are still covered?

The trick: Change your expected bill amount.

Just find that bill in your bills and subscriptions list and adjust the expected amount to make sure it’s high enough. 

Simplifi will set that money aside in your spending plan. Then, when the bill is paid, Simplifi will match it and adjust to the actual amount.

Do this with as many bills as you need to. The amount you have left to spend will automatically adjust throughout the month as each bill gets paid. If you set those cushions high enough, your spending limit will go up each time in a string of happy surprises.

3. Hack your spending plan for large, one-time expenses

Let’s say you’ve been setting money aside for something big like a vacation or a new car, and now it’s time to spend it. 

How can you let Simplifi know that you’re not blowing your spending limit?

The trick: Ignore that spending from your spending plan.

If you want a certain expense not to count against your monthly spending, find that expense in your transaction list and check the option to ignore it from your spending plan.

Simplifi will remove it from your spending plan calculations so you can see what you have left to spend without taking that big transaction into account.

Will ignoring it from your spending plan mess up your overall data? Not at all. Simplifi will still include it in your overall spending, and it will show up in all your reports so you can always see your real totals for things like your spending over time, your spending total, and your net worth.

BONUS TIP: For large bills that only happen once or twice a year, like property taxes or insurance premiums, set up a savings goal and make monthly contributions to it. When the bill comes due, you’ll have the money tucked away and ready to go. 

4. Hack a buffer for anything you need

Do you have something big coming up later this month, like the kids’ soccer club fees or a treat-yourself spa day?

How can you make sure you don’t accidentally spend the money you’ll need?

The trick: Add that amount to your planned spending.

In your spending plan, you can create a one-time planned expense for anything you need. Simplifi will set that money aside so you know you’ll have it when you need it.

If the actual amount ends up being lower than you expected so you have money left in your planned spending that you don’t need, just tell Simplifi to release those funds. Simplifi will put that balance back into your available-to-spend amount.

5. Hack expenses that aren’t technically bills

Your groceries might not be a recurring bill from the grocery store, but they might as well be. You need to set money aside for them every month, but you’re not sure how much.

How can you add those groceries into your spending plan?

The trick: Create a monthly planned spending expense.

Capture those monthly expenses that aren’t technically bills by adding a recurring planned expense. Simplifi will include it in your spending plan every month automatically.

If you’re not sure how much money to set aside for it, Simplifi has you covered. Just choose the category for your planned expense. Simplifi automatically calculates your average spending in that category and displays it below the entry line.

You can enter that average amount, or you can adjust it to fit your needs. Add more if you want to have a bit more flexibility in grocery splurges, or add less if you’re trying to bring that spending down. The choice is always yours.

6. Hack your plan for the unexpected (and for a little fun)

Now that your groceries are covered, what about the smaller things that seem to crop up almost every month? Like that special shirt to impress your new boss? Or that virtual conference you just found out about?

How can you plan in Simplifi for the unexpected?

The trick: There’s no need to do anything at all. Simplifi’s got you covered.

Let’s face it, it’s impossible to plan for everything. One of the best things about the Simplifi app is that it’s built for the real world—with all the unpredictability that comes with it. 

Instead of forcing you to add a separate planned spending item for every possible thing that could happen, Simplifi is built to let you keep your plans flexible.

Because life just isn’t all that plannable.

Add the things you buy every month—like groceries and gas—and the things you know you need. For the rest, make those choices as you go. Simplifi gives you the flexibility to spend your money on whatever comes up, from that fancy bottle of wine after a long week to new tires for your car.

The whole point of Simplifi’s spending plan is to help you make the choices that work best for you—so you can spend your money today while setting aside what you need for your bills and protecting your plans for the future.

Simplifi handles all those calculations for you and shows you what you have available to spend. What you spend it on is up to you.

If you haven’t yet explored everything the Simplifi spending plan has to offer, you can find it in your main menu.