Noob ready to hurl my iPad across the room over this program

I am desperate to make this program work. Husband and I completely understand the concept. What I can’t understand, and has made me apopleptic today, is getting money to match up. 

I’m 10 days in, have done a fresh restart at least three times.  

I’ve watched videos, read articles, and can’t figure out the basics.

I can’t get our checking account to match up to the TBB. 

Here’s our hypothetical example, assuming we start today.

checking account: $5000

Savings: $10000

Tomorrow we have two credit cards due, totaling $7500.

My starting budget in the accounts is as above. But I know tomorrow that $2500 is transferring into the checking account. I do the transfers in the account section.

1. Why doesn’t my checking account reflect the TBB? Why does it stay at $5000 and not $7500?

Why does my budget show $10K in an emergency savings category? And if I delete it, why does YNAB tell me I need to categorize that money?

assume for the hypothetical that I am imagining the money has transferred today. I know I can only play with money I have, but my husband is home today and we’re trying to figure this out together, now.

I have tried SO MANY THINGS to get this to work and cannot get the money to match up no matter what I do! I’m going crazy.  And seeing why people quit this program so quickly. 

I think the idea of YNAB is great. But from reading this forum, it seems like people have similar problems all the time. Why is this so complicated?

I hope this makes sense!? This is only the beginning, and I know it’s going to get worse/more complicated since I”m self employed and have tons of questions. What are we doing wrong????

Thank you!!

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    • Khaki Storm
    • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
    • Khaki_Storm.1
    • 6 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Don't hurl! When you set up checking you left the opening balance as TBB, is that correct? Then, did you click over the the budget and budget (ynab word for assigning that TBB to categories) until TBB is zero? At that point, the money all has jobs and TBB is zero. Then repeat the process with savings. 

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    • Khaki Storm
    • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
    • Khaki_Storm.1
    • 6 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    I'm only a 2 month old user, btw. There's a lot more longer time users who will be responding. 

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    • Khaki Storm
    • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
    • Khaki_Storm.1
    • 6 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    What I did for the credit card when I started was create it as a zero balance, and then entered the 5 transactions that I'd not paid off yet. That got the cc balance in shape. Last note, I'm assuming the transfer is from savings account to checking, correct. That transfer shouldnt change any category balances. The budget with its category balances look across all the accounts already, so moving money between accounts should change the budget or TBB number. I hope that helps. More help will be on the way. 

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      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ben K. There is no need to do this and it's not recommended practise. Start on the day you start, enter the current balance on the card as the starting balance and don't back enter any transactions.

      This is said with the proviso that depending on how quick your credit card is at clearing transactions, you may have to adjust for a transaction that was pending when the card was entered on YNAB. 

      Reply Like
  • Don’t give up!, you’re in the right place for help. 

    To be sure we understand ;

    Is the savings account on budget or is it a tracking account? 

    Does the account screen show the correct account balances? If the accounts are both on budget and the account balances are correct in the account screen then the problem is the budget screen, if I’m understanding you correctly. 

    The  budget screen pools all of the money in your on budget accounts in the To Be Budgeted amount.  The budget doesn’t care which account you’re parking the money in. Assuming you assigned the money to categories in the budget screen ($10000 savings category?)  and you  change what you planned to do with the money, you have to manually move $2500 savings to the credit card category.

    Also, the budget category balances are not supposed to match the bank account balances. It can be done, but it will add a level of frustration no one needs!

    Ask all the questions! People here want you to be successful .

    Reply Like 1
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Relieved I didn't think of savings as maybe being a tracked (i.e. has nothing to do with your budget) account. Good catch! 

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ben K. They're not. Both accounts are in the budget otherwise TBB would be affected on a transfer out of the budget.

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    • Relieved Hi and thanks. I've read and done and re-done so many things, I want to try to thoughtfully reply here. When I first set things up, before I added the credit cards, was I realized TBB included every penny in all my accounts. So yes, I took the money that's in my savings accounts and moved it into a category I just called "emergency savings." Then the remainder TBB was what was in my checking account.

      When I went to work on things today, I added all our credit cards. One thing I can't understand is how credit card payments work, and how they deduct the balance. There seem to be several categories for credit cards. They have their own category in the budget, which you can't seem to alter or delete, and you can make your own category if you want for credit card payments, it seems? Let's say my cards had $9000 on them, and tomorrow I"m paying $7500. I put $7500 in the budget for the payment, but I'm not seeing anything to indicate the balance has dropped to $1500. Will that show up next month?

      Anyway, thanks for being so kind. I do want to succeed. My husband and I are pretty fiscally responsible, but want to be ever moreso. Thanks.

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      • Relieved
      • Retired
      • Relieved
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Coachu3kids I’ll try to explain briefly, but I suggest you take an online class so you can ask questions. 

      When you add a credit card, YNAB automatically adds a credit card category to hold the funds for your next payment.  The first month you start you will need to manually put money in the category to set aside money to pay the bill. If you are a paid in full credit card user, you’ll only have to do this once.   If not, you’ll need to add extra money each month to pay down the debt .

      Each time you use your credit card YNAB will move money from a category over to the CC category to hold the money until you make a payment. When you pay the CC bill, you make a TRANSFER  (even if you write a check to pay it) from checking to the CC . No category is needed because you already categorized it when you added the CC transaction . 

      I hope that helps. Probably lots of typos since I’m pecking away on my phone Also no periods automatically popping up for some reason. Good luck!  

      Reply Like 2
  • Coachu3kids said:
    1. Why doesn’t my checking account reflect the TBB? Why does it stay at $5000 and not $7500?

     Because both accounts are already in your budget (as they should be). From your hypothetical example, you would have $15,000 to budget after adding those two accounts. Hopefully, you are budgeting most of your savings to savings categories. When you transfer funds from Savings to Checking (or vice versa), it has no bearing on your amount to budget. You still have $15,000 in your budget. Funds don't leave your budget until you spend them.

    Reply Like 2
  • And Coachu3kids , please don't hurl your iPad across the room. It's not good for your budget if you want to replace it. ;) You will get this. Just keep asking questions and read the YNAB documentation at your disposal. Once it clicks, you'll be hooked and your finances will improve immensely.

    Reply Like 2
    • Superbone Totally agree. Fortunately I"m too cheap and/or too good at seeing red, saying no, LOL. I definitely don't need a "replace ipad" category right now. 

      Reply Like 2
  • You might want to set up a test budget and play with how the account transactions and budget interact. I’m sure it’s frustrating to put the work in to set up the real budget and have to start over. 

    It’s  going to be worth it once you get it figured out!

    Reply Like 2
  • Coachu3kids said:
    Let's say my cards had $9000 on them, and tomorrow I"m paying $7500. I put $7500 in the budget for the payment, but I'm not seeing anything to indicate the balance has dropped to $1500.

     Moving money in the budget doesn’t affect the account, only your plan for the money. When you make the banking account transfer payment, the category will reflect that by deducting the payment amount from the available column. 

    So if you added $7500 from your TBB to the CC category, the amount available will be $7500 until you actually pay the bill. 

    Those CC categories are tricker to get right away because each time you spend on the CC the category goes up instead of down. The category that goes down is the groceries, for example, when YNAB moves the money out of that category to the CC category.   

     

    This is video is better than my explanation. I do better when I read instead of watch, but I’m odd that way  

    https://docs.youneedabudget.com/article/117-credit-card-payments

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  • Welcome to the world of having multiple accounts in your budget. Read this:

    The Relationship Between Your Budget & Your Accounts: It’s Complicated

    First off, you can't pay $7500 toward your credit cards if you haven't budgeted for paying your credit cards. The fact that your emergency fund category in YNAB has $10k in it tells me you haven't budgeted properly to make such a large credit card payment. The fact that you have $5000 in your TBB tells me the same. In fact, it sounds like you haven't actually budgeted anything at all other than to fund your emergency fund.

    If your credit cards are on budget, the credit card payment category for your cards will tell you how much you can afford to pay. Based on the math, that's zero.

    So you'll need to unbudget the emergency fund money, budget the money to your credit card payment categories, and then budget the remainder of your money to cover expenses that you will need to pay before the next time you get paid, plus any true expenses. Then if you have any money left, you can budget it back to your emergency fund.

    Finally, I'm guessing you are riding the credit card float. You can read about it here:

    https://www.youneedabudget.com/are-you-riding-the-credit-card-float/

    Reply Like 4
    • nolesrule Thanks. I guess arguably we do the float. We put everything on our credit cards for points/miles, and pay them off in full every month. Calling the savings “emergency savings” was probably a bad misnomer on my part. It’s just straight up savings. OUr money gets spread out among checking, my business account and savings. Basically when we have a lot of money left over one month, I dump it in savings. Because every few months there is a large purchase (property taxes, etc) and that’s what we use the money for.

      The reason I really want to get into this program is I definitely think we overspend on some things, especially eating out, and since we just pay a credit card every month, we’re not forced to think about how much we’re actually spending. I’m hoping to change that  so I can watch categories I care more about grow, like savings/retirement/travel. Thanks!

      Reply Like 2
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 6 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Coachu3kids We were the exact same way when we started using YNAB nearly 5 years ago. On the credit card float, and essentially spending based on credit card balance. Since then we've embraced YNAB, and have been very successful, maxing retirement accounts and saving more money than ever before.

      One of the first things we did when we started using YNAB was get ourselves off the float so that we were no longer relying on future income to fund our credit card payments. It took a few months while still being able to cover all our bills, but we got there.

      A big head shift is also Rule 2. So rather than cashflowing your infrequent/recurring non-monthly expenses, you save for them with your existing income over time between the expenditures. Quarterly property taxes? Save 1/3 of it each month. semi-annual auto insurance? Save 1/6 each month.... and so on.

      Reply Like 4
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule nolesrule that's a great article. I don't like credit cards. We only had debit cards until a few years ago, then one was compromised. We got the money back, but switched to credit cards for added security. However, the article is right, you can easily float. 

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