Available balance is yellow even though it matches budget

Hi Everyone... I currently want to set up a $500 budget goal for dining every month. If I under spend, I want the additional money to roll to the next month. So if I under spend by $100 this month, I would only need to budget $400 in the next month. However, YNAB shows my available balance in yellow because it still thinks I need to budget another $100 even though my available balance says that I have $500. Is there a way to make the available balance green? Yellow stresses me out because it looks like I am doing something wrong even though under spending should be rewarded. Thanks!!!

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    • nolesrule
    • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
    • nolesrule
    • 12 days ago
    • Reported - view

    What type of goal did you use? You want a Needed for Spending goal for this.

  • That's the goal type I used. The "Spending Goal" type seems to ignore any balance that rolls over. So in my example above... I want $500 to spend every month and $100 rolls from the prior month. In YNAB, the Budget column shows $400 and the available column shows $500 in yellow. It seems counterintuitive. YNAB thinks that I still need to budget another $100 since the budget column shows $400. But if I budget $500, then my available balance will show $600.  The only way to get the column to green is if I sweep the $100 from the prior month. This becomes a maintenance nightmare to sweep positive balances every month.

    • Steel Blue Packet , the roll-over actually happens when the month flips for real. If you setup 500$ Needed For Spending goals in the current month, and you have 400$ left, this is true today, April 27th.

      If Today, April 27th, you take a look forward in May, YNAB will show you that goal in Yellow as it doesn't know how you will spend on the 28th, and 29th...... It only knows that you need 500$, and who knows, you might go into a binging spree in your favorite restaurant in the next 2 days!

      On May 1st over, the Roll-Over Math will be applied. YNAB will take the REAL money left in that category (400$), and if you had not spent an additional dime, it will show you that 400$ we leftover from April. 100$ will missing to hit you 500$.

      Like 4
    • NorthernMTB 

      Thank you. That makes sense!

  • Steel Blue Packet said:
    This becomes a maintenance nightmare to sweep positive balances every month.

     There are workflows that make it not a maintenance nightmare, such as budgeting the whole month on the 1st and using an Income for Next Month category until then. 

    In that case, the monthly process would be as follows:

    1. Reconcile all accounts

    2. Cover overspending in prior month

    3. Sweep (to TBB, then high-priority) in prior month - only a few clicks.

    4. Release money from INM to TBB.

    5. Budget following month. Once you can get to nominal values in the following month, it's even easier.

    It seems like a lot, but it's fairly foolproof.

    I dislike the spending goals because they don't calculate immediately, which is different from every other aspect of YNAB.

    To me, fiddling with my nominal values (I was good with dining out, so now I budget less) in the following month is a lot more work than just putting the extra where I want it in the previous month.  Ultimately, it has the same effect because of those mathematical properties we had to learn in school. 😉

    • Move Light Sound Life 

      Thanks for the  detailed recommendations! I will try it out this month end.  

      Like 1
    • Steel Blue Packet I just realized you may not realize that the way to minimize clicks when sweeping is to select the sweepable categories, then use the Quick Budget "Set Available to $0" or "Reset Available" - whatever it's called now. 

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