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After entering our accounts, we clicked on the Buckets tab to divide up our money into useful categories—buckets. It’s useful to think of buckets as literal buckets, filled with money, sitting around your house (or pretend they’re envelopes, if you prefer).

We make a bucket for every independent expense or goal. We currently have 63 buckets, but we didn’t start with that many. Don’t feel pressured to make a bunch. Here’s a sampling of our buckets:

Bucket types

There are 5 different kinds of buckets. Change a bucket’s type by clicking the gear icon.

Plain old bucket

These buckets hold money until you take it out. We use this bucket type when we occasionally put extra money toward something.

Recurring expense

Recurring expense settings

For this type of bucket, you specify how much to put in it every month. In general, buckets of this type fall into 3 categories:

  1. Expenses for exact, predictable amounts (e.g. Mortgage, Car insurance, Car registration, Costco membership, etc…)
  2. Expenses for varying, but similar amounts (e.g. Food, Diapers, Haircuts, etc…)
  3. Expenses for which you’ve decided how much you’ll spend on a regular basis (e.g. Charity, Vacation, Parties, Matt spending, Clothing, etc…)

Save X by Y date

Save X by Y date settings

Use this bucket if you know how much money you’ll need for something at a certain point in the future. You enter the target amount and date and Buckets computes how much you should add per month. Example uses: Tuition, House projects, a specific vacation, etc…

Save X by depositing Z/mo

Save X by depositing Z/mo settings

With this type, choose a target amount you want saved and how much you can afford per month and Buckets will compute when you’ll reach your goal.

Save Z/mo until Y date

Save Z/mo until Y date settings

Choose a target date and how much you can afford per month and Buckets will compute how much you’ll end up with by the date.


Rain is the amount of money you have available to put into different buckets and is shown in the upper left corner of your budget.

The rain amount will make the most sense only after all transactions have been categorized. If you suspect the rain number is wrong, first categorize everything.

Hover over the raindrop to see a popup showing how rain is calculated.