Roll negative groceries balance into next month

Hi All,

Just started using YNAB and about 3 months in.  Really enjoying this tool.

I'm reaching the 23rd of the month where my Salary comes in ready to give every dollar (or pound in my case) a job.

I allocate eg. £500 for groceries (made up figure) each month and I'm currently -£1.77, the day before I get paid.

When my salary comes in and I purchase groceries, my negative balance will increase as I expect.  In the new month, I want the -negative value of my groceries to rollover from the previous month and deducted from the allocated budget set in the new month.

Can this be done? is it automatic, or is the manual step I need to perform?

Thanks in advance

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  • Hi, welcome to YNAB and  greetings to a fellow "Turquoise"!

    The way I do it is to give every pound a job the moment I get paid. So if you get paid tomorrow then put the hypothetical £500 from your TBB into groceries for May. This will give you £498.23 in your Groceries budget. (so automatically deducting the overspend, which is what I think you're asking)

    That £498.23 is what you have to spend on groceries until the 23rd of June, or next payday. Like me, it sounds like you're living payday-payday.

    I try not to think of a month being the 1st-1st, but rather the 25th-25th (my pay day). I've been using YNAB for just over a year now, and am still living payday-payday for the time being.

    Why don't you create a "dummy" budget and see how it looks before entering the real figures in your main budget?

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

       Consider adding £550 to this month's Grocery category. Since £500 should go from 23rd to 23rd, the extra will hopefully go from 23rd to 26th. Do it again next month and that will run from the 26th to 29th (possibly to the end of the month of you raid the freezer). Once you can go from the 1st to the last, revert to the £500 monthly amount and tackle the next category.

      Like 1
  • Have a look at rule 3: Roll with the Punches. No category balance should ever be negative. If you spend too much on groceries, move money from another category to fund it. It's annoying, but an essential part of YNAB. Rule 3 keeps you honest, and only by being honest can you really prioritize your spending.

    At the end of the month, YNAB will reset negative categories to zero, and move the balance to To Be Budgeted (TBB). This shouldn't happen, but they've set it up to help you do the right thing.

    Like 1
  • You may not be in a position to budget all your grocery money in next month's area -- it sounds like you still need some of it in the current month.

    It's a fantastic idea to get ahead to where budgeting is aligned with the calendar. It greatly simplifies the budgeting process when your allocations are not split across 2 months. As such, you'll need to temporarily budget more than a months amount to Groceries. When you get your check next month, there will hopefully be enough remaining in the category that you can push the new grocery money into next months area.

    You may have to do this gradually over a few months and repeat for other categories. However, clarity and convenience are both improved when you don't have to split your plan across 2 months.

    Like 1
  •  Just want to say thank you for all of your advice.  I think it is a combination of living salary to salary (23rd to 23rd) and aligning my funds from 1st-1st.  Agreeing with what everyone is saying set up a new budget for trial, making sure your honest by never having negatives.  I have some work to do.


    Thank you all

    Like 2
  • That's not how YNAB works.  It's something people come on here to complain about periodically, but it's just not how they do it.

  • I am in the same situation as you are, but been using YNAB for 3months now I think. I get my salary every 25th, which was a struggle and quite confusing for me too, but now I always budget and use that salary from 1st-1st. I leave it as ”to be budgeted” from 25th to the 1st. On every 1st day of a new month I budget it to the categories and also take a look at how the past month went.

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