New setting up budget

I am coming over from EveryDollar App. I have several funds with money already allocated to the budget lines, I think you guys call it Targets. I have learned how to set a Target but I am unable to tell the item I already have money in the Target fund. Example: I have a medical fund(Target) that I have 1k saved into. Now as I am setting up my YNAB budget I set a target of 1k but I've already met my target and it is just there carrying over each month until I need it. Hope that makes sense. 

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  • Type 1000 in the assigned cell for your medical category.  It will carry over.  If you ever spend from it, the target will make the available bubble turn yellow.  Then you'll know you need to address it the next time you budget.

    ETA: Since you're just starting out, just know that Targets are not the core of YNAB's functionality.  They're intended to save work with repetitive budgeting. Some of them will do math for you, but the calculations aren't always intuitive, IME.  If you're able to start Buffered, it will make more sense.

    A lot of people just type their goal for the category in the name of the category (eg. Groceries/300 or Medical/1000) as a reminder.  Then, after the first month (which is going to be different, because you're distributing your previous savings), it's easy to just click the Quick Budget/Auto-Assign button for "assigned last month."

    I did set up Targets at first because YNAB told me to, and it provided something to do at the beginning when I was playing.  However, I think they're more trouble than they're worth, and I'm slowly (or quickly, sometimes) deleting some of them as I have to edit them.

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  • Unless I am not understanding, this solution doesn't fix my issue. If I put 1k in the assigned cell it will pull from this months income. This 1k has already been budgeted in previous months and it is meant to sit in the background to pay for medical expenses that arise. I have a lot of funds: vehicle insurance, vehicle registration, xmas, licensing renewals e.t. and each of these already has money allocated to them. If I just assign money to the assigned cell it will be double budgeting the money...

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  • I think I solved my problem. For the first month I need to calculate everything in my account and zero it back out in to the appropriate Targets. I was trying to calculate based just off my income this month but instead for this first month I need to calculate my accounts total and redistribute it into the appropriate Targets(envelopes).  My overall perspective of how to set this up needed to shift. I think I am on to something now lol. Thank you for the talk, it got me thinking and helped me solve my issue.

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    • Steel Blue Wildebeest 

      Based on what you've said elsewhere, to set up your YNAB, here's what you do. The first month is different from others.

      Put your accounts on YNAB (I don't automatically link, and I don't really recommend it as you start out. I do use file-based import to help reconcile, though). Start from today's balance. You will have money in RTA.

      Here's how I would assign money, if I were you:
      1. Put money in the CC payment category to ensure PIF status.
      2. Assign any money to categories in Dec that will need to be spent from. It's past the first, so likely some bills won't be included. Don't include them.
      3. Make a category called Income for Next Month. Put what you need for a normal (ish - you will likely fine-tune over time) month in that category.
      4. Make your savings categories. Fill them as you can.

      At any point, Stop when RTA = 0.

      Add transactions as they happen in December. Reconcile once a week. When you get more money in December, just put it in the INM category for now. When January comes, fill it up with December's money, including those Rule 2 True Expenses. You can use goals to minimize repetitive work. January's income goes into INM, though I'd save work and use the category workflow

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    • Move Light Sound Life What is PIF Status?

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    • Steel Blue Wildebeest Paid in full - it means not carry debt on the credit card, and being able to pay down the full balance at any point in time if you so choose. 

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    • Steel Blue Wildebeest You want your CC Payment category's Available amount to be the positive equivalent of your CC account's negative working balance

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  • I am getting a headache...This is tough getting started. I thought it would be easier since I have been budgeting for years with EveryDollar. I can see the light at the end of this tunnel, just a really hard transition/learning curve. Thank you   Move Light Sound Life  for all you help. I think I might be on the right track. Fuzzball Meows  appreciate the answer.

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  • Welcome Steel Blue Wildebeest ! I love this playlist for getting started, but we've got your back if you have more questions specific to your budget. 😊

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    • Marisa  could I have some one look over it with me and tell me if I’m doing it right?  I’ve allowed YNAB access to it already. I plan on doing the Q&As Monday 

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    • Steel Blue Wildebeest If they do this, be sure to tell them what "right" means for you.  I recommend these structures in your budget:

      1. Paid in Full CCs
      2. Income for Next Month workflow.  I sincerely hope there is someone there who understands this and is familiar with it.  You are able to support this, and there is no reason (if you disagree, let's talk) to start without it.
      3. Scheduled transactions, though how will they know if they're right?
      4. They're not going to be able to tell if your money is in the categories you want it to be in for your savings category distribution, but that's the other thing you'll need to look at.

      I have the sneaky feeling that anyone who works at YNAB will look at anything without red and say "Yep, that's great!" regardless of whether it will actually put you on the right footing...

      I don't want to scare you, but there are reasons to use the INM workflow, and YNAB support never stopped Stealing From The Future from biting me and making me lose money.  I asked three times, and they never even had the explanation.  I promise, start out being Buffered.  You can.  Many people can't, but you can.  Save yourself the complexity of budgeting paycheck to paycheck, haphazard targets, and dealing with SFTF.

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    • Steel Blue Wildebeest I'm following up for Marisa here. :) I just sent you an email so we can understand your budgeting priorities and take a look at your budget to help you get set up for success! :)

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    • Move Light Sound Life Thank you sir for your candor, it is obvious you have experience in this system and I have incorporated a lot of what you are saying. Definitely a quality starting point and everything you've suggested has worked.

      Dela  just replied with the answers to your questions. Thank you for looking into the budget and hopefully offering some suggestions that get me to the next level.

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    • Dela I am really curious as to how the official people of YNAB teach Bufferdom/INM workflows. 

      I mean, I know Matthew still (likely) works there, and he seemed to understand both how it works and the reasons to do it.

      I also think y'all likely spend so much time teaching people how to budget with each paycheck that the simpler approach has been (long) gone.  How many YNAB staff have experienced the difference in their own lives budgeting paycheck to paycheck vs. on a month cycle using last month's income?

      Steel Blue Wildebeest Haha, glad you benefited.  I guess I couldn't stay away from the forum for too long.  Maybe I'll live out my displeasure with the price issue by making more regular feature requests rather than avoiding the forum entirely.  Besides, it tallied nicely with a pseudo-fresh start we had to do in our budget.  I just showed my husband the list I made for you, and it worked out.  Your budget and my budget will be at the same status - weird for December (because of allocating savings for you/pulling from savings for me), then January will be a normal month that uses last month's income for everything.

      Good luck!

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    • Move Light Sound Life I can only speak for myself and Rachel (because we're chatting about this right now), but we can and do suggest INM workflows when we think that might be useful for folks. I just had one yesterday. The reality is that most folks we chat with in support aren't in a position to use their income for next month, and so it doesn't come up as often outside of the forum. We'll chat with our budget team on support to see if this is something they can create some documentation for though!

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    • Marisa That's good to hear.  If you'd asked me when I first started, I'd have said I couldn't do that.  In fact, when I did encounter the idea on the forum, I just knew there was no way we'd possibly have enough money to do something like that - it was already going to other savings goals and debt repayment.  Those priorities were already completely filling our normal, monthly income (and would have easily expanded to fill any more income that was brought in).  In short, it all felt VERY tight. 

      However, if the INM Buffer had been presented to me as "this is how you start," then it would have been a different story.  Because the money that enables the state of being buffered *can* be repurposed into an E-Fund at need, then as long as I understood that it was a one-time action, facilitating INM with an E-fund (that would otherwise be untouchable) would be a viable choice.  Not only is it viable, but when the pros/cons are analyzed, it's an easy winner.

      I actually have worked through the pedagogy on this getting started conundrum (using more codified instructions on people I know IRL), and have thought about putting my materials on here.  However, this day and age is full of the money-grab, the monetization, and the copyright.  'Tis a pity that things initially intended to protect and encourage the sharing of information/ideas discourage it in the modern era.

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    • Move Light Sound Life That's a good point re: what feels unobtainable isn't always the case. I wonder if this might be a good topic for Ben & Ernie to chat about on the Budget Nerds. I'll send it their way!

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    • Marisa 😒

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