Monthly Spend Goals

I've been trying to use Monthly Spending Goals and coming unstuck. It seems to be more of a Monthly 'funding' goal than a monthly spend goal - example

Eating Out - Set Monthly Spending goal to $300

End up spending $450 but cover $150 by moving from another category

The Monthly Spending Goal says I have reached the goal and icon is green. But it shouldnt be. I have missed the goal by +$150 and the icon should not be green as I overspent v what I set out to do at the start of the month.

Does that make sense?

Would be intrigued if anyone has successfully set spend limit goals in YNAB.

 

Cheers

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  • The goal is not designed to set an upper limit on spending. It’s designed to make sure you allocate enough to the category. I can see how the description is slightly ambiguous though.

    Like 4
  • It's designed to handle the case when there are leftovers. The following month will fund less in order to have $300 Available. In contrast, a monthly funding goal would blindly add $300, resulting in more than desired.

    It is mostly equivalent to a monthly funding goal combined with sweeping categories to zero at the end of the month.

    Like 3
  • Hey Navy Blue Beat ! jonty and dakinemaui are spot on here. The Plan Your Spending: Monthly Goal is designed to help with categories where the amount rolls over. I've asked our team to see if we can clarify the language in the Goals HelpDoc!

    If you set the goal to spend $300.00 this month, and only spent $250.00, the $50.00 would carry over to next month. In the future month, the goal would ask you to budget $250.00.

    You moved money to cover the overspending, which is great! The goal has been met, so the Available column will be green.

    There isn't a goal type to limit your spending, you can let our team know you'd like to see one by submitting a Feature Request. Thank you so much!

    Like 1
  • Nicole said:
    There isn't a goal type to limit your spending,

    The spending by date goal attempts to do just this. Overspending will lead to budgeting less in future months.

    Personally, I feel this is at odds with Rule 3 -- I would want to short a LOWER priority category next month rather than this particular category that has been demonstrated to be important enough to warrant additional funding. Whether that's true for you is a separate topic, however.

    Like 2
  • Actually, after sleeping on it I’m going to go back on my own words a little bit. Both monthly goals do kind of limit spending.

    In this case the OP overspent and it would have been red to show an overspend. Just like the OP wanted. It’s only gone back to green because of a conscious decision to acknowledge the overspend and move more money there.

    There’s no point in it remaining red forever. The whole point is to roll with the punches and deal with the overspend.

    Like 1
  • Nicole said:
    If you set the goal to spend $300.00 this month, and only spent $250.00, the $50.00 would carry over to next month. In the future month, the goal would ask you to budget $250.00.

     Hi Nicole,

    This is the part that is driving me up a wall. What you said above is exactly how I would expect it to behave, but for me it's not doing this.

    I have a category with a Monthly Spending goal of $500, but I only spent $450 in January. When I look at February, it insists I have to budget the entire $500 to satisfy the goal. No matter what I do, I can't make the bubble green (goal satisfied) except by budgeting another $500, which makes my available go to $550. I can't move the $50 elsewhere without it going back to yellow. What am I missing??

    Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 5 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Aquamarine Wildebeest Unlike all other parts of the budget and all other goals, YNAB tied this goal to the passage of time in the real world. It will be broken until tomorrow, Feb 1.

      Like 3
    • Aquamarine Wildebeest did you ever get an answer to this? I am experiencing exactly the same. Spending goal of £7.99 with £10.00 available, still wants me to budget £7.99

      Like
      • MomonWheels
      • Magenta_Camera.8
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Stu Stirling  Assuming you are referring to having 10 available now, in May and Still being prompted to budget 7.99 in June. This is because, as dakinemaui  said above you, The spending goal don't readjust until the first of each month. So, on June 1st, if you still have 7.99 or more available, you won't be prompted to add.

      Like 1
      • EP
      • Substitute Teacher
      • Epphonehome
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Stu Stirling I recently asked this question, too - unfortunately, it seems that the software won't behave the way we'd like it to until the actual first of the month, like dakinemaui and MomonWheels have said. I don't really understand the decision to make it act like this, but, it's acting like it's supposed to. 

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      EP Just bad design is all. Remember the old Sesame Street song? "One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong."

      Like 1
  • Just a reminder that if you think this design is poor, write a Feature Request letting them know you cannot plan ahead as currently implemented. The Quick Budget Underfunded risks overallocation if used prior to the month end.

    Like
      • MomonWheels
      • Magenta_Camera.8
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I submitted a feature request. The response was that they don't plan to change this feature right now. The reasoning was basically that the way it's done now facilitates budgeting into the future, while the current month is still in flux.

      Like 2
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      MomonWheels did you tell them they were wrong? 🤔 I mean, do YOU feel like you can budget that category in next month's area before next month arrives? It's possible if you do the math... which rather negates the entire point of having a goal.

      Like 1
      • PhysicsGal
      • Nerdy female homo sapien
      • physicsgal
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Wow, I totally just learned this today!  YNAB is full of new things I learn even after using it since August.  I usually budget on the last day of the month, when my paycheck arrives, so I always ended up adding to whatever was left in monthly spending goal categories without realizing YNAB wasn't mean to do this.  Although my budget is tight so there's not much left at the end of the month so it hasn't made a big difference so far.  But now I know that, if I want to only spend $X/month regardless of if I underspend and I have some $ left  in my monthly spending goal categories at the end of the month, I need to wait till the first of the month to budget, or sweep money out of those categories at the end of the month.  Thanks!

      Like 2
      • MomonWheels
      • Magenta_Camera.8
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I'm thinking about writing again to disagree. I do agree with you. I'll have my last May income event on Friday but I feel like I can't budget until Monday, which is not a deal breaker, but is annoying.

      Like 1
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