Goals- doen't know when they're paid?

for example- I have a category goal to pay my union dues $52.50 every three months, so the Goal this quarter was to have $52.50 in the acount by March 2020. All good, the amount was available this month, the dues got paid via autopay from my checking account, YNAB imported and correctly categorized the transaction.... but now it's yellow, saying "Your $52.50 goal is due this month, and you’re short by $52.50. Budget another $52.50 to reach your goal target." ... what the heck? why doesn't it know the goal was reached and paid? Is there a better way to handle these kinds of budget items?


Thanks in advance for input!

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  • Yes, I agree it’s very unintuitive however the way this sort of goal works in YNAB is that the app wants to have $52.50 in the account at the END of March (i.e. available to spend in April).

    Someone with a little more experience than myself will be able to guide you on the right way to set up a goal to achieve what you want (sorry!).

    In my experience I usually have the goal set to “Fund $17.50 a month” so that by the end of the 3 months I will have the full $52.50. Because it is a goal to fund X amount rather than a goal to have a target balance by a date, it doesn’t cause the same issue when I actually spend from it. Unfortunately setting up your goal in my way will not work if you’re not planning or able to fund an equal amount to the category every month.

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  • Less-than-monthly bills get their annual total split by 12 in my budget to get around this hiccup, or if the yearly total is low, I fund the category for the year.

    As Blue Wildcat said, YNAB thinks you want the money by month end so it's seeing that you spent $52.50 but in order to hit the goal by the end of the month, it still needs $52.50. Prehaps you could see this as a way to get ahead in the category? If not, I suggest splitting the total by 12.

    Like 1
  • Set up another Goal in NEXT month's area for the June payment.

  • Thanks for the input, all... seems to be a case where adding 'end of'  to the Goal Month would eliminate the confusion. I'll just make the next Goal "by May" to cover a payment due in June... right?

    I guess I still don't understand why I get the under funding error message if the full amount of the payment is available when the payment posts...

      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      William Spencer Only you know if you will budget to the category before the outflow in the target month. If you will, make the target match the due month. If not, make it for the month before.

      Always making it for the prior month when not necessary leads to higher contributions -- something avoided with a moment's thought.

  • William Spencer said:
    I still don't understand why I get the under funding error message

    Because the goal looks solely at the Available amount which is now probably $0. It could be implemented better, but it's also trivial to work around.

    Like 1
  • Got it thanks just making sure I understood how it works

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