Setting a "Total Budgeted to account" goal?

I'm trying to figure out the best workaround to this type of budgeting for travel.

Say I think a trip will cost $1,000. I set a travel goal for $1,000 total, including flights, accommodation, activities, etc. by say, July.  I duly budget toward that goal, but then actually buy the flights. My total budgeted goes down by that amount, and now I am no longer "on track" to meet my $1,000 goal by July; however, I am actually on track, since I only need $1,000 budgeted total by July, not $1,000 balance by July. 

From reading a few reddit threads, I couldn't seem to figure out the best way around this. Does anyone have a workaround?

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  • Unfortunately the only thing you can do is modify the goal. That's why I've found it easier to not use goals and take the 5 seconds to do the math in my head for anything that I'm saving up for.

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  • You could budget and have goals for separate categories such as flights and everything else, since you are probably paying for the flights sooner. 

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  • Yea, one way would be to break down the travel category into multiple sub categories, like flight, hotel etc. 

    or just modify the goal as you purchase things ahead of time by subtracting them from the original $1,000. 

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  • I just went through this. I have a vacation planned for the end of July. I needed to put a deposit down on the RV, which i have saved the money for.  My goal is to have $2000 for the trip, so, when i booked my RV and put my deposit down, i also got an exact cost for the rental. Since it was $500 cheaper than i expected, i just adjusted my goal down to $1200 $500 savings plus $300 deposit). Easy.

    the ultimate goal is to have the money for my trip before i go, if i have to adjust as i buy something, so be it...

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    • Six Hats MrsBabs  both good options - I have a few things I'd like to try for so I'll hopefully give both of them a try to see which I prefer! If only this were a feature...

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  • How about using the monthly figure given by YNAB to reach the 1000 by July and setting that as a monthly amount goal? That way you know you'll hit the 1000 goal, but the monthly amount will remain the same even if you spend against the category.

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Six Hats The obvious shortcoming is that if you WAM from the category in any month, you'll fall short.

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  • There's an obvious answer to that too.

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  • And if you don't want to have all those sub-categories later on, you could treat them like a wish farm  - use the subcategories for saving towards the various trip things (flight, hotel, etc) but then when ready to spend, transfer funds to one category that you will do all the trip spending from (i.e., "JulyTrip/travel/vacation/whateveryouwant").  Once you're done "farming" and/or spending, you can delete the farm categories or hide them to use as a template for a future trip.

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  • This is one I've run in to a lot too. I think there are workarounds but would love to see a new goal category that elegantly makes this more of a feature.

    What if there were a "spending" goal in addition to "savings" goals. This would just use slightly different math to sum both spent and available amounts towards the final goal.

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    • Hi Green Leopard !

      Would you mind submitting a Feature Request with your idea? That form goes directly to our development team so you can let them know what you'd like to see moving forward! :)

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  • Just added a feature request for this as well. I've run into it with my "holidays" goal - I set an amount I wanted to spend total on holiday-related expenses with a goal to have it fully funded by December 1st. Of course, when I made the first holiday-related purchase in July, it showed me off track, but that was a major purchase so I just reduced the goal total by that amount. 

    Now, though, we're into the "spend a little here and there" stage of holiday planning and I'm struggling to remember to adjust the goal each time I make a small purchase.

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