My current checking balance is less than the To Be Budgeted balance. Where should I budget?

I have $5000 funds for November. I have set goals for all of my categories and I have chosen to send money from To Be Budgeted to my bills, grocery, and gas expenses. After this my To Be Budgeted in $2,600. 


I have $800 in my checking account. Should I send more money from To Be Budgeted to categories like Gifts or Vacation Savings? Or should I wait until I have more than $2,600 in my checking account from pay checks? I feel like I am misunderstanding this step.  

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  • Do you any other accounts in ynab?

  • Hi Lightning Blue !

    YNAB works a bit differently from most other budgeting software. Instead of entering how much money you expect to have in November, YNAB generates your To Be Budgeted amount based on your current positive account balances.

    If you have $800 in your Checking account, your To Be Budgeted should be $800. If you have $80 in your Checking account and $4,200 in a savings account, then your To Be Budgeted will show as $5,000.

    You should only budget using the dollars you currently have, so if you have $5,000 because of savings - budget all of those dollars. What are you saving for - a vacation? Rainy day? Here's an article that talks about how savings work in YNAB. Savings accounts are purposefully included as a part of your budget, because we want you to give those dollars a job too!

    When you have a moment, take a look at our Ultimate Get Started Guide, which has some great videos and step-by-step instructions for getting started!

    • Faness I have $3,200 in my savings. I moved that to my Emergency Fund category and now To Be Budgeted is $0. Did I do this correctly?

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    • Lightning Blue If you want $3200 in your EF then sure, that's "correct". However, the fact dollars are located in a savings account has zero bearing on what you intend to do with it. Similarly, you can pay for a vacation (notionally a "savings" goal) with money in your checking account. Purpose (category) and location (account) are independent concepts.

      The fact your To Be Budgeted is $0 means you've decided a purpose for every single dollar you possess. That is definitely a good thing.

  • Funds can be moved between accounts without changing the plan (a k.a., the budget) for how much you want to spend on various things. Read this:

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