How to pay next months bills with this months money AND keep goals on track?
Today is March 26th and I've had the money to pay the April mortgage (due April 1st) for about a week. I added that money to the April budget and both March and April look nice and pretty because I've met my monthly spending goals. However, I can't figure out how to actually pay April's mortgage in March without moving the budget money into March, and subsequently causing April to appear as if I did not meet the goal.
Am I missing something or is this just the way it is? I want to be able to pay next month's expenses and have the goals met.
Do you normally pay your mortgage before the first of the month? I do - my rent is due the first, and I usually pay it sometime in the week before to make sure it gets there.
That means the money I budget for rent in March is really for April, the money in April is really for May, etc. I've not yet had a month roll over using YNAB, so I don't know how they handle it, but if I'm ever late, I just end up with two rent charges in one month - but the money is there to cover it, because I budgeted the month before for the charge at the beginning of the month and this month for the one at the end.
If that's how you regularly pay your mortgage, then moving the money from April into March to pay the bill should work out fine - when you get May's money, put that in the April bucket for the mortgage and you'll have it for the May payment when it comes out.
I think this is the historical Rule 4 YNABers talk about - paying this month using last month's money, or some similar phrasing. While that's often mentioned in connection with aging your money, it applies in this situation without the consideration for age of money.
So much of using YNAB has to do with re-framing how you're thinking about payments. If that's not how you normally frame thing, it can be really confusing and/or annoying, and the way avid YNABers insist that the *only* way to think about things when using the app is really annoying (and in my opinion, wrong). But it might help, in this case.
I do normally pay it in the month ahead, but there are times the paycheck it's coming out of lands right on the 1st, so I was trying to make the goal fit both scenarios. But I agree, I definitely need to re-frame how I'm thinking about it all. As the next few months pass, I'm sure it will start to "click" for me and I'll better understand it all! Thank you!
Fuzzball Meows said:
the way avid YNABers insist that the *only* way to think about things when using the app is really annoying (and in my opinion, wrong)
In my experience, it's not that it is the *only* way to think about it, it is because that is the way that YNAB has been designed and users are trying to make it do something it is not designed to do. It is designed for a specific philosophy which is different than what most people have thought of. You wouldn't expect a Smart Car to haul a large trailer but a truck can. Both are vehicles, both can get you places and have similar functionalities but one has specific functionality that the other does not. You can certainly try to haul a trailer but the car will break because it is not designed to do that. Same thing with YNAB.