Category Turns Green, But No TBB Dollars Available


Still new and trying to understand some of the background logic so I don't mess things up (and then give up). I've read through a lot of the threads on colors, but didn't come across anything that seemed to hit on this scenario.

-I've gone into May's budget and I have no TBB dollars yet, so nothing can yet be allocated.

-In the quick budget within a category, I select the "goal target amount", and the "available" amount adds the positive $$, but turns the category green?

-The top level TBB turns red and shows a negative amount, as expected.


1) Shouldn't the budget category be in red since I've told YNAB to allocate money that I don't have free to budget and I haven't moved any from another category?

2)Assuming I left the category as is, (with the "quick budget" funds assigned and the TBB in the negative) once I have funds TBB tomorrow, does YNAB know to assign those TBB dollars to this category automatically, or will I have to move them to the category manually? 

3)If #2 is a manual assignment, what are my flags that a category doesn't really have the funds that the green indicates?

Thanks for the help!

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  • Basically, the key thing to remember is that you shouldn't budget in such a way that your "To Be Budgeted" (TBB) number at the top of the budget is negative. That should always be positive (if you haven't budgeted down to zero yet), or zero. If it's red and negative, that indicates you've budgeted more money than you have.

    So for #1, if you want to make sure you don't budget more than you have, look for your overbudget warning in the overall TBB number, not in your categories. A negative category balance in a category (indicating cash or credit overspending) indicates you've spent more money from that category than you had budgeted. 

    #2: If you budget so that your TBB is negative, and get additional income, YNAB will automatically move money appropriately. You'll see your TBB increase. It isn't a manual process.

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  • Hi Slate Gray Captain !

    Ben is absolutely correct! Just to further drive home what he mentioned, Red anywhere means that you can't currently trust your budget. If your To Be Budgeted is red, then you've used dollars that you don't actually have; if your category balance is red, it means you've overspent in that category - so the funds you have budgeted towards another category aren't really there.

    Once you cover the red in your budget, you can trust the amounts in your categories. :)

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