Negative Budgeted Balance
Following an advice I have received here I have created a category called "Income for Next Month", without having goal to it. On January 30st, I had budgeted $585.85, so the available balance what showing me a green value of $585.85$ .... and well to me, this is an "envelope" that I will be able to redistribute the month after.
Well, the month flip, and YNAB have decide to "unbudget" -$585.85 .... To that envelop is now showing 0$ available, I had $585.85 left over from last month, and it says that I budgetted -$585.85
I need some help understanding the logic here, and where is the money left over from last month. Also I have always took for granted that the content of my envelop (aka Category) was show in available .... but rather seems to be a calculation of Budgetted - Available. ...?
YNAB's thinking is baked into the software. I'm going to assume that you are not paid on a regular cycle (maybe seasonal or job by job) and this is your way to spread out your earnings, which is very smart. I was trying to do something very similar, since my old software worked that way. I found a way to do it, however it caused problems on the budget side, not exactly that you ran into, but close enough. Here's what I've ended up at: I set a monthly goal for each category based on my annual budget. Then when I'm paid, I go to the budget and use the first quick budget option called Underfunded. This seems to spread all the money around according to my goals to the point where my budget might go red. Then I have to decide which one of my goals to fund less than planned. Now, if the budget remains positive, then I need to put that money somewhere. It might be in savings or spread out in the categories again. Either way, YNAB, as you've noticed, doesn't want the budget to carry over. That happens in positive or negative budget balances.
Okay, that's not how I use my category when the month flips over, but you certainly can do it that way. When you negative budget the 585, of course that category goes to zero. You want it to go from being in that category to being in your To Be Budgeted, so you should see it in green at the top of the page, all shiny and ready to be assigned to your rent, groceries, and what-have-you.
I personally prefer instead to zero out the category on the last day of the month, but it has the exact same result.
So when you negative-budgeted 585 to that category, did your To Be Budgeted show 585 at the top of the screen in green? If not, do you have money already budgeted in March?
Negative budgeted amounts are nothing to be concerned about—it simply means you moved money out of the category that you budgeted into it in previous months. Here's a quick video that explains why that happens.
Thanks everybody for all the answers. Unfortunately, I'm more confuse then I should be and it doesn't make much sense to me. But let me answers a few things first
Ben K. -> Actually, I am paid Bi-Weekly, but I have extra payment coming from time to time. My main goal is to fine a way to make the rule #1 a bit more flexible. I want to have some money available to compensate other categories when needed. I thought about letting the money stay in TBB but thought having a category for this instead.
bevocat -> Well, the thing is that I did not budgeted a -585$... Or if I did, I really don't know how it happened; I may have accidentally moved it to another category. So when you ask about the status of my TBB when I budgeted the -585$, I really don't know since I do not recall doing this.
Nicole at YNAB -> Thanks for the video Nicole. Unfortunately, it does not outline the problem I am seeing.
My challenge is this. Thursday, Jan 31st, I had a category named "Income for Next Month" which had 585.85$ budgeted, and 585.85$ "Available". February First, that category is not -585.85$ in budgeted, 0$ in available. And I don't understand why.
So, is it me that moved that amount of money myself somehow? I see nothing in activity showing me what I have done. Which might be normal I guess; Activity seems to shows transaction against categories and not budget manipulation. Considering it happened a few time
I guess I could also simply re-budget the entire month but I'd like to figure out what I did wrong.
Fun stuff! :)
Ok, so clearly I did move the money and I don't recall doing it... and I know because I have another budget in parallel for my main account where I have the same category (Income for Next Month), and this one push the money to the next month without any problem.
I would love to have a way to see all "activities" we do around "Budgeted", some sort of Audit Trail. What would be great as this is the only conclusion I have now but I can't be sure. :)
User error I guess!
Eric Poulin said:
Thanks for all the input. So to be 200% clear, if I have 200$ in TBB on Jan 31st at 23h59, I will still have 200$ in TBB on February 1st at 00h01. YNAB will not, by itself, distribute the money to any categories...right?
Depends on if you have any scheduled transactions that hit on February 1st in a cash account and whether or not you have money available in the category. If you don't, then you'll have overspending, which will come out of march's TBB and suck away that TBB that was still there in jan/Feb.