Move funds without going orange

If I have a monthly goal of adding 50 to a category a month and one month we move funds from that category to another, can you stop it from going orange? The goal was to save 50 which we did. We are now moving the funds for other uses. If I split the transaction then i am good. If i move all the funds to one category so we dont need to split the transaction then several categories go orange. Is there a way around that?

I would like to disassociate the act of saving the funds every month from choosing what to do with the funds after that point (within the same month).

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  • Hi, not that I know of, other than changing the goal all the time. 

    Like
  • Hi RIP_MSMoney !

    The monthly funding goal is based on the Budgeted amount. If the goal is to budget $50 each month, having $50 in the Budgeted column is what completes that goal. If you move funds out of that category, it changes the Budgeted amount which causes the category to go orange.

    If you spend the money from that category (without moving it), then the category won't turn orange - this is because spending funds in a category affects the Activity and Available columns but not the Budgeted amount. Outside of spending funds from the category directly, you'd need to change the goal type or remove the goal to prevent it from turning orange. 

    Like
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness I would love the ability to "reallocate" available funds that does not affect "Budget" or "Activity".  I am effectively reallocating funds associated with different categories without affecting Income/Expense reports nor Goal Templates for Income allocation to categories (aka Underfunded).

      Like 1
  • If you use the Toolkit then you can choose for any underfunded category to be blue rather than orange. It doesn't do exactly what you're asking (and others have asked for) but it does at least differentiate those categories from categories where you have credit overspending.

    Like 1
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      monkeyhanger Hmm. So what does Blue represent?

      Scenario 1: I dont save $50 this month. What color would it be?

      Scenario 2: I do save $50 (Account now has $300 in it). I choose to move $40 to another account. What color would it be?

      Thanks

      Like
      • Ben
      • Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer
      • furiousfalcon
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney It simply changes the color, if you want to differentiate the orange unmet goal warning from the orange credit card overspending warning. It doesn't change the underlying functionality. In both scenarios, the category will get the blue label (and in both cases, it would be yellow without the Toolkit).

      Your core issue is something YNAB would have to fix with a new goal type.

      Like
      • Tif_Ann
      • Tif_Ann
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney In reality, you DIDN'T save $50 this month if you moved it to another category. You saved $10, which is what the system said. You told YNAB that you want to save $50 in that category every single month. When you spend it for the purpose you are saving it for, then it won't affect your planned budget, but if you put less than $50 in it every month, the goal wasn't met.

      Like 2
      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney As I said, it doesn’t do exactly what you want as Ben and Patzer have explained more fully. It does, however, help to separately identify underfunded categories (whether because they were underfunded from the outset or you chose to WAM money later) from overspent categories. 

      YNAB doesn’t have a goal that functions exactly as you want at the moment so you essentially have two options:

      (1) Pick the nearest goal - monthly funding goal - and then choose how you want any deviation from this to be highlighted. In native YNAB it will be orange because YNAB turns everything orange that it thinks you need to look at. In the Toolkit you can turn it blue so that overspending categories are more obvious amongst a potential sea of orange. The logos in the web app are meant to help with this distinction but I personally prefer the blue.

      As you say, neither option will identify whether you failed to budget it in the first place and it’s therefore a problem or whether you actively decided to move things. That just comes down to knowing your budget at the moment and is easier for folks where they’re the only person interacting with the budget. If there’s more than one, then notes can help a bit.

      (2) The other simple option is to not use goals for some categories. If I want to use a monthly funding goal that I don’t want to WAM from e.g. car replacement (yes, I could have a target balance by date fund but I don’t) then I’ll set a monthly funding goal and it will show in blue if I don’t reach my plan either by not funding it in the first place or by having to WAM money away. I want to avoid this as much as possible so I like seeing the warning that something is amiss. For anything else, I just put the £x template in the category name. The only downside of this approach is that you can’t use the quick budget options to auto fill your budget but I don’t like doing this anyway. I like the slower speed of thinking about each category as I budget. I’m a budget nerd rather than a tech nerd.

      Like
      • cmoss25
      • cmoss25
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      monkeyhanger 

      Hello, I'm new to YNAB... can you tell me what WAM stands for?

      Like
      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Gold Packet Whack-a-Mole. It means moving money between categories to cover overspending.

      Like 2
  • The budget $50 per month goal is a simple minded idiot.   Put in $50, it's happy.  Spend $40 of that $50, it's happy.  Move $40 on the budget page, it's angry orange and wants its $40 back.  This is designed for people who are broke and can't fully fund categories, but it's rather annoying for people who want to use the goals as a budget template then move funds around based on reality.

    You can eliminate the orange this month, one category at a time, by going into next month and editing the goal.  Click on the category, click "Edit" by the goal in the inspector, then click "OK".  The goal now starts next month, and this month won't turn orange.

    Should there be a way to tell YNAB, "I've met my monthly goals.  Now I want to move money around and the goals can stop yelling at me."  Yes, there should.  Responses from support will tell you to submit a Feature Request, which will go into a black hole and accomplish nothing.  Three years of people asking for more flexible goals has produced a lot of advice to submit Feature Requests, and not much of anything else.

    Like 9
    • Patzer I have to agree with you here about Feature Request. I am still a new user to YNAB and felt that their support system was simply fantastic. Great Forum, Great support.... but the Feature Request "feel" like a waste of time. I put a few at the beginning, hoping to get some form of responses at some point about which requests would make it to the Dev Board and which wouldn't...  Too bad as I was very excited to provide contribution, but for now it feels it is forwarded to /dev/null (the black hole). 

      Anyway didn't wanted to hijack the thread on this.... but I read your comment exactly when I was wondering about those features...

      Like 2
    • Hi Eric Poulin ! We're sorry about the "black hole" feeling there. Our Design team spends a lot of time reading each and every submission, and every request might not hear back directly. After it's been officially submitted via the Feature Request form for the Support Forum, or via email or chat—it's in good hands!

      In some cases, we have reached out when the feature goes live—to let folks know their suggestion was implemented. These forum discussions have been great and we're looking into how we can improve there. 😀

      Like 1
    • Nicole , I appreciate the response. I do understand as well that you might be receiving so much request from that Feature Request. I guess that I got so hype about the community aspect (with the forum, live classes and responsive support), that I was expecting a similar experience at this level. 

       

      But its all right. At the end of the day,  you are a business so you can decide to do/show whatever you want, and us as customer can decide how we will deal with this. Do not worry, I am not hook up on this. 

       

      Thanks for being quickly responsive here thought. Much appreciated!

      Like 3
    • Eric Poulin Thank you for being so understanding! We're working on making that process more in-line with the rest of YNAB and we appreciate the feedback! :)

      Like
    • Patzer This is great and exactly what I'm looking for. +1 for visibility in case it matters. Also just put a similar feature request in, again in case anyone checks -- looking at you Faness !

      Would be great to have the option -- once you fully fund each category within a group -- to turn off warnings if you move funds around from one category to another. You've fully funded the group, and as long as you stay at or below the total amount of those funds set aside, then everything is fine for discretionary or every day funding. 

      Or you could just flag the accounts for which it's fine to pull from and move to another, and then not flag the ones like your monthly rent, bills, etc. that are NOT OK to pull from - then if you do move from an important category that you can't compromise on, you still get the warning. But if you move money from 'Stuff I forgot to budget for' to 'Fun money' b/c there's 5 days left in the month and you didn't forget to budget for anything and you just want to spend a little more on fun, then you can without the system going orange (or blue) and being annoying AF.

      Like 1
    • Lavender Cleric also Nicole

      Like 1
  • Patzer said:
    Should there be a way to tell YNAB, "I've met my monthly goals.  Now I want to move money around and the goals can stop yelling at me."  Yes, there should. 

     Yeah, like we have one account that has multiple categories. I have one category called Buffer which gets $20 a month. If for any reason another category goes over some, I can take from Buffer to ensure other categories don't go over. After that Buffer gets $20, that month has been met. I could split transactions: $200 from Car Maintenance and $5.14 from Buffer but sometimes it felt easier to move funds from Buffer into Car Maintenance (like some support videos show!) and then just record the transaction as Car Maintenance. It just keeps catching me off guard when it goes orange.   

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

      RIP_MSMoney Don't call it Buffer. Around here that's something else. 😉

      Like 2
    • nolesrule Patzer So for that Buffer, why not leave it in TBB? I am still struggling on this one. I think it is a great job for some of my $ to be on the watch for categories where I can overspend. Isn't it better than having a form of "buffer/income for next month" categories?

      Like
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Poulin I could but this buffer subcategory is for only a subset of all of my categories (aka applies to one category grouping). 

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

      Eric Poulin Leaving it in TBB makes it available for budgeting and prone to being raided by the application through budgeting and overspending.

      Like
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 1 yr ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Eric Poulin 

      Eric Poulin said:
       So for that Buffer, why not leave it in TBB?

       I budget to zero.  This is an important check when I am moving money around, that TBB goes back to zero when I am done.  Support will be along in a bit to tell you to always use the Move Money tool; that's great if I want to move $100 from Vacation:Travel Fun to Vacation:Travel Food.  It sucks if what I need to do is go through my categories, trim out all the overfunding, then decide what are the highest priorities for the freed up dollars.  That's what my monthly process looks like.

      In prior versions of YNAB, there was a supported feature called Income for Next Month.  When this month was fully budgeted, I could recognize all inflows as Income for Next Month.  This month's TBB (different term then, but same idea) stayed at zero, and I could work on budgeting next month to zero.  Or I could let it sit there till month rollover, *THEN* budget the full month at once.

      Now, YNAB says to budget every time I get paid.  I receive inflows 4 or 5 times a month.  Budgeting 4 or 5 times a month is clumsier, less efficient, and less clear than budgeting a full month at once.  So I do a workaround to re-create the walled month (eliminating SFTF) and be able to budget a full month at once.

      YNAB's solution to the piecemeal, unclear nature of budgeting every time I get paid is to use goals to keep track of where I left off budgeting.  That stretches the capability of the goals as they exist to the breaking point, where people run into things like the ugly orange screaming being inappropriate.  But the reality is, goals are a modestly useful tool that is being applied as a core means of budgeting.   The goals have a lot of shortcomings that make them less than ideal for that role.

      Like 4
    • Eric Poulin It's incredibly easy to detect errors when TBB == $0. (Or $1 to combat Stealing From The Future if your practice is to budget directly to the future.)

      Like
    • RIP_MSMoney  I get it. I am still struggling to figure out the best method to keep a buffer...

       

      nolesrule  Yeah I guess this is the challenge when we switch month. It will decide what to do with it. I thought it would be a go idea but I guess it is not.

      Like
    • Patzer Thanks for the details. on my side I am paid every other week so it is not too bad. But I think that the best workaround will be to leave the extra money in a buffer section. And ignore the fact that it will have a lot of deduction coming from there to cover overspending. I swear I was facing the same questions a few weeks ago..... Hard to learn.

       

      dakinemaui Yeah I see what you mean. I guess no method is ideal with YNAB when you want to keep some money unallocated. Or actually, having a "Guardian Angel" job. :)    . 

      Like
    • Eric Poulin I have an "Everything Else" category that at this point is my first line of defense for overspending anywhere in the entire budget. I intentionally keep budget allocations tight, because it's human nature to spend "to the line" (and usually go a little beyond). If I set the bar higher, we'd still probably still go "a little" over.

      If you're familiar with project management, the exact same phenomenon occurs with time. I've found critical chain management approaches to be most effective there as well. Instead of padding each individual task (which winds up being WAY too much padding when considered as a whole), those are set aggressive (by design, on-time completion about 50% of the time) and padding is its own dedicated line-item (suitably disguised as a "risk reduction" task or similar).

      Like 1
  • Tif_Ann said:
    In reality, you DIDN'T save $50 this month if you moved it to another category.

     Hmm, I guess that kind of depends on how you name your dollars. lol. Like if the category has $3000 in it, has a goal of $50 added a month, and I reallocate $40 this month. That can all happen in my mind. Now if the category has $0 in it and I add $50 and then reallocate $40, I could see an argument that I didn't reach the goal this month as the account is less than $50 (maybe?). But when it is over $50, one could argue that the $40 I moved was not THIS month's contribution but rather part of the $50 from 14 months back. AKA, lets say I literally name the $50 dollar bill Charlie... Charlie is still in the account because I moved some of Brad instead. lol. Right?

    Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney you literally set a goal that says I want to put $50 in the budgeted column each month. When the budgeted column says any number less than $50 you in fact did not meet the funding goal.

      This is why I don't bother to use goals. I do mind arithmetic if I want to calculate something and I use quick budget to do my monthly budgeting.

      Like 2
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      jenmas i agree but also disagree. If I spend some, did I really save that amount? If your answer is yes then we are viewing inbound separate than outbound. To that I agree. Which means that if I save X amount and choose to spend Y by giving it to another category, why is that any different than giving it to Target via transactions?

      Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney Because moving it to another category is not accomplished by a spending transaction, but by adjusting the budgeted column, which, as @jenmas  previously stated, is all the naive goal cares about.

      Like
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat jenmas This makes sense but the problem is that I really like the Quick Budget. Since my "budget additions" are the same each month, when the paycheck comes in, I can select the high level category and do Quick Budget for underfunded. That lets me add to every subcategory in one shot. If I remove the goal aspect then it would be a very long manual process. 

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view
      RIP_MSMoney said:
      If I spend some, did I really save that amount?

       Yes. Saving is just deferred spending. You save money by adding it to the category. You unsave it by removing it from the category for use elsewhere. Spending is a separate act from saving.

      A monthly funding goal is saying you want to add that amount to the category every month. It says nothing about your spending from the category within that goal. So if you remove money from the category, you've unfunded it.

      But yes, it's annoying if you consider the goal met if you add the money even if you move it somewhere else later.

      Like 2
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney I have never once used goals in YNAB. I use Quick Budget every month. I select all categories and the use "Budgeted Last Month".

      Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney Well, life is about choices. You get to decide what's more important to you, and that's fine.

      Like 1
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney 

      I also use goals for quick budget.  The goals stay totally satisfied for maybe 2 seconds, before I start moving money out of categories that are overfunded.  Just have to live with the fact that the goals do not work the way I need them to, and the ugly orange goal nag is totally meaningless.

      I've asked for the ability to turn off the goal nags, and for a goal type of "template" that comes without nags.  I have been assured that those Feature Requests went directly to the development team, where the lead developer, Dev Null, will give them as much consideration as he gives any other Feature Request.

      Like 3
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Patzer Yeah, I really was utilizing the monthly goal ($$ per month) more as a template. 

      Like 2
    • Patzer Ok that one made me laugh at lot! :) The Almighty Dev Null! :)

      Like 1
  • If you don't care about messing up reporting you can use a split transaction to move funds between categores.  This does 2 things, It maintains your original budget amount in each category and it retains your goal status.  It also gives you a way to see where you've decided to make changes.  What it messes up is the spending by category numbers.

    Like 1
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Herman Wow interesting.. so you make a transfer transaction which deducts from one category and adds to another? So effectively it is a transaction of 0.00 amount? Hmmmmmmmm... very interesting indeed.... I will have to try that.

      Wait.. a split? my mind first went transfer.. how would the split work? Is it the same thing as transfer but it is a transaction of 0 that is minus one cat and positive another?

      Like
      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney That's correct. So it's like a split transaction for Groceries +20 and Buffer -20.

      Like 1
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney  yep a transfer would be between accounts, use s split for a net zero between categories.  pretty much doesn't matter what account you use. 

      Like
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
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      RIP_MSMoney 

      Zero splits would be clumsy for moving money around just to avoid the orange oval.  I use them to make TBB show up in the month when I want to budget it, instead of the month when I receive the inflow.  I only need one recurring transaction zero zplit for this, which happens in an account named "Budget Adjustments."  Outflow, $XXXX from Buffer; Inflow $XXXX to TBB; net, $0.

      If I needed a half dozen zero splits to avoid the ugly orange, I think I'd rather just edit the goals in the next month out.

      Like 1
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Patzer i agree. What i would really like is an option added to the goals section to indicate if monthly adding is sufficient to satify the green. For instance:

      -add 50 a month, can do with whatever you want after that transfer was met.

      -add 50 a month, have end date and total inmind so go orange if i fall behind

      -add 50 a month, have end date in mind. Save as much as possible so go orange

      Etc

      If my wife has clothing funds and she chooses to reallocate some of that to her makeup category then go for it. My obligation, from a budget perspective, was to ensure that 50 was added to this fund this month. That was satisfied. To go orange gives me a false positive that i forgot to allocate enough. 

      Like
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

        RIP_MSMoney Patzer  LOL, I didn't say it was a good solution, I just said it would give you what you want with the software as it works today.  I don't use it but I also don't really use the colors of my categories beyond my initial funding. 

      Like 1
  • nolesrule said:
    Yes. Saving is just deferred spending. You save money by adding it to the category. You unsave it by removing it from the category for use elsewhere. Spending is a separate act from saving.

     I agree with this but maybe my view of spending is more loose. I would view spending as an outbound usage of that category. Be it, spending at target or reallocating. 

    To this point I would also argue that this only qualifies for "Add every month" goal. If you did "Need X by N Date" or one of those then you have an amount and time constraint. Any usage prior to that point could cause you to fall behind so Orange would probably need to be used as indicators of falling behind.

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

      RIP_MSMoney 

      RIP_MSMoney said:
      I agree with this but maybe my view of spending is more loose. I would view spending as an outbound usage of that category. Be it, spending at target or reallocating. 

      Spending cannot be spending or reallocating. it can be only spending. 😉

      Re/allocating = change to budget column.

      Spending = change to Activity column.

      It is true that both will affect the Available column in the same way, but they do not do the same thing. Spending changes the "Net Worth" of your budget.* Reallocating does not.

      * I phrased it this way, because the budget sees transfers to off-budget accounts as spending, but this will not change your overall net worth.

      Like 2
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule Yes I fully agree. I guess my description is falling apart due to terms/definitions. 

      For Reporting:

      Spending: Money leaves account to external non budgeted location

      Saving: Money comes into account from non budgeted location

      For Budgetting:

      Spending/Realocating: Moving money around

      Saving: Adding money to categories

      So depending on the goal and ensuring it is achieved for this month it might be sufficient to simply look at the Savings if the goal was to add X dollars this month. If the goal was to save X dollars by this N date then any spending/reallocating will affect that goal. If goal was to save X dollars without a date then I am not sure spending should affect the color. 

      Again, my view may be incorrect/in the minority.

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney Regardless of terminology, the goals don't do what people want. There have been suggestions for additional goal types over the years. None have been added since launch. There is definitely a place for "Make sure I add this amount this month. Once I hit that amount, I don't care if I keep there"

      Like 3
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I have to admit.. It is a little frustrating to keep liking something and then keep getting hit at every turn. lol

      My journey with this app has been fairly interesting in my mind. So many aspects I like and frustrated (at the same time) with the countless:

      • Yeah, that feature.. been asking for that forever. not gonna happen
      • Yeah, here are 14 work arounds which are a fair amount of work
      • Yeah........ Feature Request

      There is so much potential with this app. I am starting to wonder if they have simply plateaued? Without allowing options, etc how can this product experience evolution over time vs preservation?  Maybe it's just me lol

      Like 2
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney 

      RIP_MSMoney said:
       Maybe it's just me

       Not just you.

      Like 3
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule RIP_MSMoney

      nolesrule said:
      Spending cannot be spending or reallocating. it can be only spending. 😉

       Actually, I have seen a competing product that treats positive budgeting and budgeting, and negative budgeting as activity.  That eliminates the "goal not met" aspect of the Budget $X per month goal with budget adjustments.  I'm not sure how I feel about defining the budget that way, but I think I could work with it.

      The same product has a goal (different terms, same concept) of "Save $X by depositing $Z per month."  If I set X=Z, that tops up Groceries to my monthly amount, taking into consideration any money carried forward from last  month.  If I set X=2000, Z=200, that does what I need for Auto:Service, capping the total at $2000 but rebuilding no faster than $200 per month after a major service/repair.

      YNAB doesn't have a lot to worry about from that particular competitor, since it doesn't have a phone app (yet) and its import function is with a 3rd party that is closed to new members right now; but it shows that the concepts can be worked by a programmer who understands budgeting . . . if he isn't busy trying to integrate the program with some other system most of his users never heard about outside the context of the "Up Next" page.

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

      Patzer Different budgeting apps are going to have their own methods.

      YNAB could add a parameter to a Monthly funding goal to stop monitoring for the month once the goal has been met for the month.

      Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule RIP_MSMoney definitely not just you.

      Like
  • RIP_MSMoney said:
    This makes sense but the problem is that I really like the Quick Budget

    Using Goals as a primitive implementation of a budget template has its limitations (see @patzer 's post somewhere in this thread for similar thoughts).

    Personally, I keep my template in next month's area right in the budget column ready to go when next month arrives. At that point, two-clicks to copy all budget values forward into the new next month (aka the template).

    Yes, next month's TBB is negative indicating those values are useless for spending guidance. Conveniently, I'm looking at the current month for spending guidance, so that's hardly an issue. The free-flow of money between months would be a problem, but the Income Next Month holding category I use for various reasons also prevents those future budget entries from sucking up anything released in the current month. (It effectively deactivates the free-flow of money in or out of the current month, which is invaluable when you want each month to stand on its own two feet.)

    Anyway, all this works extremely well if you are an entire month ahead (i.e., can budget all income received in April into May's area). If you're at that point, do consider it -- it's extremely efficient and avoids all the nagging inherent to the Goal-based template approach. If you're not yet there, Goals are perhaps better than nothing, especially if you turn off the nagging by re-establishing the goal in next month's area.

    Like 2
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 1 yr ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui 

      Thanks for the reminder about the month ahead template.  I had found monthly goals to be marginally easier than the template; then I started editing all the goals next month to avoid the ugly orange.  I think the monthly template will be less labor than editing the goals, so I'm back to doing that for a couple months to see how much easier it will be.

      Not a huge deal one way or the other, since I don't want to budget into the future anyway; but it's just a reminder that YNAB is incredibly unresponsive to the needs of people who advance beyond living paycheck to paycheck, and it's all on us to find the best workarounds for YNAB's unresponsiveness.

      Like 4
  • I just sent this to the black hole AKA Feature Requests:

    What's your feature request?
    Please describe your feature request in as much detail as possible. How would this change the way you use YNAB? How would that feature help you? What are you currently not able to accomplish?

    Monthly Template Goal. This goal would be very similar to the Monthly Funding Goal other than the fact that after you fund it once reaching your goal, if you move money out of the category, the color doesn't change to warn you. I currently use the Monthly Funding Goal for monthly template amounts for many of my categories. These are usually cases where I don't want to get warned if I subsequently move money out of the category.

    For example, I have a Food master category. Under that, I have Groceries and Restaurant sub categories. If I fund both with $300 and later decide that month that I'm going to spend $400 on groceries but only $200 on eating out, I don't want to be warned that I no longer budgeted $300 to my Restaurant category.

    Like 6
  • So my wife and I just had this exact conversation which I knew was coming. I really don't care for the options I have available for moving funds without being "penalized". :(

    Our son has tons of money in his clothing account and our second child is needing more. We wanted to move $100 from my son's account to hers to allow clothing to be purchased. We have not met our inbound goal yet for this month (which is $42).

    If we transfer via split transaction then income/expense reports get skewed. If we reallocate funds in those buckets then it says we need to repay my son's account. This seems counter to "my power" as the budgetter to reallocate funds. If we did the split, then my wife was mentally thrown off since it was not clothing for our son.

    Again, my goal is to put $42 of my income from this month into that category. Moving funds that are already in that category should not (in this case) be viewed as a penalty. :(

    What were the other options?

    • Remove goal, transfer, and reapply goal?
    • Go to previous month and move there. This makes that month go orange but I no longer care since my transfers are already complete so "underfunded" links are okay to be "wrong".
    • Stop using goals and use "Do same from last month". Which seems error prone for my uses.
    • Anything else?

    YNAB, what I desire is a Template Goal which basically takes "allocations" into consideration to ensure I have added "X" from my TBB into this account category. If I reallocate funds from that account, it should not affect the budget column. No different than "Remove goal, reallocate, reapply goal".

    Like
      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney I run into this too, and it bugs me, but it's very hard for me to see how to solve the problem without introducing some unpleasant side effects.

      Let's say YNAB adds a new goal type that works like you suggest: once I budget enough money to that category for the month, I can move it out and YNAB still gives me credit for hitting my goal.

      There are two ways you could roll this out. You could replace the current Monthly Funding Goal type. Well, that's a problem, because it's a big change, and I want the current goal type for most of monthly funding goals. In the case of the two kids' clothing accounts, no question, I'd like to be able to move money between them freely. For a True Expense goal, however, my monthly funding goal tells me whether I'm on track for that goal or not, and if I move money out of that category, I simply didn't hit the goal.

      So it sounds like we should add a second type of Monthly Funding Goal. But now we have two very similar goal types, and most users aren't going to understand out how they're different.

      One possibility that I know has come up in the past is a goal that applies to category groups rather than categories. That might work here.

      Like
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      mamster I was thinking of a new Goal Type that was Monthly Template. This goal type is merely for aiding TBB allocations. I really like the selecting whole groups and many categories and clicking one link to fund them. That is really the only reason why I am using the "Monthly Goal". I understand the other uses for that goal type. I just wish there was a Goal Type that was more "Template" scoped.

      Like 1
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney 

      Other option:  Move the money.  Note which categories are now inappropriately orange.  Go to next month, and edit those categories' goals:  Just click edit, then click OK.  The goal remains the same, but now it doesn't exist till next month and this month won't be orange.

      FWIW, after doing this routinely for several months I am now doing a trial of not using goals at all.  So far, for my particular situation, it seems to be about as convenient as using goals and editing in future months to get rid of the inappropriate orange.

      I am confident that whatever changes YNAB makes to goals, they are unlikely to build goals that work as I would like them to.  Most likely scenario (which has held for 3+ years and counting) is that no changes at all are made to goals while the development team messes around with things that are irrelevant to most users.

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Patzer Alternatively, use the toolkit and make them blue instead and don’t worry about them. Leave them alone. That’s what I did last month. I’m a little OCD (non diagnosed 🙂) but I lived through the month. 😉

      Like
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Superbone "Orange" is shorthand.  They were actually blue in the browser; but I like getting rid of the orange in the iOS app, too.  Toolkit can't do that.

      Like 1
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney 

      Sometimes what I'll do is roll to a previous month (or several) and reduce or remove the budgeted amount to the over plump category, which means TBB goes up in the current month.  I don't like moving money out of available in this scenario.  I then go to the current month and budget that freed up money to the lean category.  So in your example, you'd reduce the $42 budgeted to your son's category to zero last month and add an extra $42 to your daughter's category.  Yes, last month looks like you didn't make your goal on on your son's category but you won't see it unless you go looking at last month line by line. 

      This way I can still budget the goal amount for the plump account this month and it stays a happy green.  Plus there's no negative number in the budgeted column of the plump category this month, staring at me, not to mention the yellow is gone.  Although that's one thing I was happily able to change thanks to the Toolbox.  Blue is much more soothing.  

      Like
  • This thread is one year old and the same problem still exists. I would love to be able to move money once my goal is met and not have the category turn orange. Is there any way to do this yet, perhaps I missed a feature update?

    Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 3 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Orange Robot You would think an orange robot would like the orange. 😉

      Like 3
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Orange Robot Other than re-establish the goal in next month's area (literally Edit the goal, then hit OK)?  No.

      Like
    • Orange Robot Saving the goal in the future month will remove that alert in the current one. I agree that we can improve the clarity here! Our Product team would love to hear your thoughts, if you have a chance to submit a Feature Request. Our team recently released updates to Goals, and they're not done yet! 😉

      Like
    • Superbone But how do they feel about yellow?

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nicole Oooohhh. Don't get them started!

      Like
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