rolling over a negative category

In April I overspent in my clothing category.  I did not back fill the category yet because I intend to return some of the items, which will resolve the overspending.  When I budgeted for May, I expected my available amount in May to be "May amount budgeted minus April amount overspent."  For example, let's say April ended with -$100 for clothing, and I budgeted $150 in May, I would expect my available amount to be $50.  However, it is the full $150 that I budgeted.  Where did that -$100 go?  If I had ended April UP $100 instead of DOWN $100, it would have rolled over, so I don't understand why the negative doesn't roll over. 

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  • If you spent the money in cash, the amount was deducted from your overall available amount in May, and you'll see it in the header. If you spent it on credit, the overpayment has become part of the debt you are carrying month over month on your credit card, and you'll budget directly the card to reduce it.

    Since you are making a return, return the items, and inflow the return by categorizing it to the correct category. This will reduce the amount you owe on the card, brining it back in line with the money set aside to pay it via budgeted spending. 

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  • Negative amounts are corrected by the software to bring your categories and accounts back into balance at the month changeover, because overspending in a category means your other categories have more money in them than you have in your accounts.

    If the overspending was done on a credit card, you simply won't have the money to pay off the credit card bill for the overspent charge, per the CC payment category.

    With cash overspending, it is removed from the next month's To Be Budgeted, forcing you to budget less money in the following month to make up for the overspending.


    When you get the refund from the return, you can then deal with the CC payment category or the TBB shortfall with the money that gets put back into the category.

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  • It was a credit card purchase.  But I'm still not sure I understand the workflow.  It didn't take any money out of my "to be budgeted" or from any other category.  But it shows in the credit card account.

    How do I change it so that it moves the money I budgeted in May to April so that it zeros it out? I'd rather it show my ACTUAL available amount there, not the fake one, and then increase it when I pay the credit card off. 

    I wish YNAB wasn't so stuck on months... I hate that it doesn't show a continuous list for each category that I can scroll through and instead I have to make sure I have the right month selected to find what I'm looking for.  It isn't like a reset button is pushed every month. 

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      • WordTenor
      • Arranged the menu, the venue, the seating.
      • WordTenor
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Cornflower Blue Jackal Maybe a visual will help? When you spend budgeted money on a credit card, money moves from the "Clothes" envelope to the "Card payment" envelope. If you were really dealing with cold, hard, cash, this is how you'd have to handle it, since you didn't spend cash, but you created a future obligation to send cash to the credit card company. When there's not enough budgeted money, nothing moves--you didn't have any cash in "Clothes," so you created debt on your credit card that you have no money behind. 

      At the end of the month, YNAB cleans that up for you, by showing added debt on the credit card (in the inspector) and bringing your category back to zero. I agree that there should be more transparency into CC overspending across month boundaries. But the real solution is that you need to deal with the overspending in the month in which it happens. If you're later planning a return, that's one thing, and it's why CC overspending works the way it does--you *can* float yourself a loan using a card in a way you cannot with cash. But saying "Next month I'll just cover it" is exactly why YNAB works better for so many than other apps they've tried. YNAB forces you to deal with the fact that when you overspend a category, you are spending money you had another plan for. So, move money and change the plan. 

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  • OK, so is there a way to go back and allocate my "to be budgeted" to that category in April instead of in May so that it doesn't show more in my clothing category than I really want it to?  I want the money I budgeted to clothing to back fill the amount I overspent.  I do (obviously) use my credit card, but I use it like cash and pay it off each month.  I don't carry debt on it, so I don't want it to look like I can spend more than I have.  The money I budgeted for May is money that was earned already in April and was sitting in "to be budgeted" so it was already available earlier, I just didn't budget it until yesterday.  Thanks!

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Cornflower Blue Jackal Two steps. Remove the money from the category in may by changing the Budgeted column (or I think you can use the move Money tool to return it to TBB). Then go into April and add it to the category.

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