Creating Recurring Items

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In Lunch Money, recurring items are managed and tracked via the Recurring page. The Recurring page is viewed on a month-to-month basis, meaning that you would only see the recurring items for the period in the active view (eg. May 2024). If you have recurring items that occur twice a month, you will see them appear as two separate entries on the page. On the other hand, if you have a recurring item that occurs once a year, it will only appear on its renewal month.

Manual creation

Creating new recurring items can be done both from the Recurring page directly, or from an existing transaction on the Transactions page.

From the Recurring page

  1. Go to Finances > Recurring

  2. Click on the ‘Add new recurring item’ button located above the table

  3. In the ‘Create recurring item’ panel that appears on the right side of the screen, fill in the obligatory fields for merchant name, estimated billing date, transaction category, and repeating cadence. Review the optional properties as well.

  4. Click on “Next” at the bottom

  5. Now, select whether the expected amount is fixed or fluctuating and enter the amount

While some recurring payments have a fixed amount every time (eg. Netflix subscription), some recurring payments may have an amount that fluctuates from one month to another (eg. utility bill). As you create your recurring item, you'll be asked if this is a fluctuating item or fixed. You can always edit any rules later on to change these properties if you wish.

  1. To finalize, click on “Create” at the bottom

From the Transactions page

  1. Go to Finances > Transactions

  2. Locate the recurring transaction and click on the arrow to the far-right of the row

  3. In the ‘Edit Transaction’ panel that appears on the right side of the screen, scroll down to the ‘I want to…” section and click on “Convert to recurring item”

  4. If there are existing recurring items, you will be able to review and select them if relevant. Otherwise, to continue creating a new recurring item, click on “Create new recurring item”

  5. Most of the details will be automatically filled in using the transaction data, so you will only need to fill in the repeating cadence. Review the rest of the data and optional properties.

  6. Click on “Next” at the bottom

  7. Now, select whether the expected amount is fixed or fluctuating. The amount will be filled in automatically, yet will require your input if you choose to enter a range (fluctuating).

  8. To finalize, click on “Create” at the bottom

Once created, Lunch Money will automatically search for all matching transactions to link with the newly created recurring item.

Suggested recurring (automatic detection)

If you use bank syncing or CSV imports, Lunch Money will automatically detect recurring transactions if there is a clear pattern of payee and amount that repeat over a regular cadence. If a recurring pattern is detected, a suggested recurring item will be created and those transactions will be linked to it.

Suggested recurring items are not immediately added to the Recurring page, and will appear on a separate page for suggested recurring items:

The Suggested Recurring Items page can be accessed by clicking on the “Show suggestions (X)” button above the table:

The Suggested Recurring Items page can also be accessed by clicking on the “Review X recurring items” box on the right side of the page:

The suggested recurring items will need to be approved or rejected. If you accept the suggested recurring item, it will be added to the Recurring page. If you mark the suggested recurring item as "this is not a recurring item" it will be removed (the corresponding recurring rule will also be deleted).

Integration with rules

Recurring rules will automatically be created when a recurring item is set up on the Recurring page, or when a suggested recurring item is created.

The rule that is created helps Lunch Money identify future transactions as recurring and to automatically link them to the corresponding recurring items.

By default, the recurring rule will include parameters for the Payee, Amount and Date. If you also selected an account in the “Paid from account” field, then the rule will also include an Account to match by.

For example, if you created a new monthly recurring expense for "Pat's Gym" at $30 a month with the expected billing date to be around the 3rd of every month, then a rule will be created to match transactions that are expenses of $30 with the merchant name "Pat's Gym" occurring between the 1st and 5th of the month.

The range in days is to allow room for possible time variance, given that transactions may not always post to your bank account on the exact day.

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