Long time YNAB user needing help with nYNAB

Hey Guys,

My wife and I have been using YNAB since the spreadsheet days. We've used every version since then and have loved it; however, after YNAB 4 it's turned into a nightmare for us. It seems like whenever we get everthing looking pretty, the next time we open the budget it's all FUBAR.  Right now my budget says there is -$59K (yes negative) to be budgeted. We've watched youtube video, go through our accounts line by line, etc. The problem with YNAb support is the help isn't real time so it's like getting  help on a moving target. We really have like YNAB but since nYNAB it hasn't proved very useful for us. Any help or advice would be appreciated.

 

Spencer

40replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • 1. Reconcile accounts.

    2. Make TBB $0 by moving money out of green categories. They are vastly overstated at the moment and useless for spending guidance.

    In fact, I'd suggest that you switch back to the March budget area, Select All categories, and hit the Quick Budget button on the right to set the Available balances to $0. Then switch to April and make a feasible plan for the money you have. When you get more, make a plan for that as well. Etc.

    Like 2
  • As a long time YNAB user myself, this doesn’t make any sense to me. First of all, it’s basically the same program with a few small differences. One of the differences is the credit card handling so make sure you budget for your starting balances. Or alternatively, you can do what I did and convert your credit cards into checking accounts and then they’ll work exactly like they used to before nYNAB.

    Secondly, why would your budget change on it’s own from one session to another? That makes no sense. Why is your TBB a huge negative number? You know as a long time YNABer to follow Rule One and give every dollar a job which means to make your TBB 0. If your accounts are correct, then the funds in your budget are correct. If you have a huge negative TBB that means your budget categories are overstated by the same amount.

    Without any screenshots, we won’t be able to help you much but reconcile your accounts and get your TBB to 0 would be a great start. Also, check your hidden categories and make sure they are zeroed out. Good luck.

    Like 2
  • Superbone said:
    make sure you budget for your starting balances

    Which had to be done with all versions of YNAB that supported credit cards. I don't see what slight differences in credit card handling has to do with being astronomically overbudgeted.

    Like 3
  • dakinemaui  thanks for the quick reply. We haven't budgeted any in march. At this point we are going to do a fresh start, simplify our categories, monitor daily until we can get a handle on what is going on. This will be our 4th time doing a fresh start since nYNAB so hopefully this is our last.

    Superbone your response made me laugh.  =) you essentially restated my questions "this doesn't make sense to me", "why would you budget change on it's own from one session to another", "why is your TBD a huge negative number" ... these are great and I totally agree. If only I had the answer. 

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

      Blue Boa Best of luck moving forward. Don't forget to budget for the initial credit card balance(s) if you consider those to have "paid-in-full" status.

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Blue Boa I didn't intend to make you laugh. I've been using nYNAB for a couple years now and my budget doesn't change from session to session. But it's just me using my budget. Is your partner modifying it? And since I know how to use YNAB, my TBB is always 0. If it goes negative, I fix it instantly.

      Like
  • Just another tip: almost all inflows should be categorized as Inflow: To Be Budgeted. The only thing that should not are returns & reimbursements (which should instead use the same category as the outflow).

    Like
  • Don’t fresh start. That is probably the worst thing you can do because you’re likely to re-do whatever caused this.  Follow the steps dakinemaui outlined. 

    Like 2
      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Screenshots would help us troubleshoot, if you’d like. 

      Like
  • If you will let YNAB look at your budget -give them permission- they can usually spot what is going on.  You cant see the forest for the trees. Good Luck!

    Like 1
  • Did you import all of your YNAB4 data?  When I imported my data my budget values were way off.  What I did was send all budget categories back to TBB and reallocated them accordingly.  From that point on all was well. 

    Also agree with Superbone about converting the credit card accounts to checking accounts.  This will make them work just like YNAB 4.

    Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      A word of caution: do not use a checking account to represent a credit card that does not have paid-in-full status. (In YNAB4, that meant the Pre-YNAB Debt category balance was $0.)

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

      dakinemaui As a YNAB user going back to the spreadsheet days, I have to assume that all their credit cards are PIF. 🙂But yes, I'm familiar with the phrase of what happens when you "assume".

      Like 1
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Superbone It's risky, to be sure. 😉

      Like 1
  • Hi Blue Boa . You might consider looking in prior months. The negative TBB amount suggests that there are budgeted amounts in previous months that are impacting your current month's TBB. I've actually had this happen to me in the past and this was my fix.

    Good luck.

    Like
  • Hey Blue Boa ! I see that you've been in touch with support. Was Alan able to get this straightened out for you?

    Like
  • dakinemaui & Superbone , yes we always PIF. 

     Sea Green Screwdiver We checked. 

    WordTenor They have access.

    Matthew Alan has replied but as mentioned above it's hard to nail down a moving target. At best I get a reply from support a day or two later. By then all the number have changed. 

    Thanks every one for the replies. 

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

      Blue Boa I can't speak for Matthew but I do believe YNAB has a way to look at your budget directly and diagnose the issue. Good luck!

      Like
  • Yeah, it's really FUBAR. I think we are going to start fresh and then the second things get hosed we are going to drill down and find the problem, reach out here if we have to, etc. Those of you that came from YNAB 3 and 4, do you recommend setting up the credit cards as accounts? Again, we always PIF and keep a few months of cash in the checking. Thanks. 

    Like
      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Blue Boa I wouldn’t. Not yet. Let’s get your other accounts in order first. If you had everything perfect and were coming in going, “ARGH my stupid credit card category!” then yes. But right now you’ve got a mess involving most likely most of your accounts. So let’s fix that first. 

      If you’re willing to share screenshots or information about what balances say what, we can probably be a lot faster than YNAB support. If you aren’t, you will have to just wait for them. 

      Like
  • Blue Boa said:
    Those of you that came from YNAB 3 and 4, do you recommend setting up the credit cards as accounts? Again, we always PIF and keep a few months of cash in the checking.

    I do. Less moving parts. They then act exactly like they did in 3 and 4. However, some people like the new CC handling but there is room for error.

    Like
  • Blue Boa said:
    do you recommend setting up the credit cards as accounts? Again, we always PIF

    In that case, yes. If you need to finance something later on, you can do a simple balance transfer to a real credit account and then back when PIF status is restored.

    Like
  • Thanks everyone for the replies. We did a fresh start and setup credit cards as accounts. So far so good. Fingers crossed and we got this.... 5th times a charm!

    Like 2
  • Just an update... After switching credit cards to accounts all the craziness has ended. Can't believe we struggled with that for, what, 2 years? Anyway, What is the best practice for accoutn transfers from checking to a credit card when it's setup this way? It seems that YNAB doesn't let me transfer under payee.

    Like 2
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Blue Boa it should. Both accounts are on budget, right? Are you possibly already in the account you're looking for in the list?

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Blue Boa Assuming they're both budget accounts, it's a simple transfer like normal. All the transfers should be at the top of the payee list.

      Like
  • OK, saga continues... seems I spend more time getting YNAB to work than actually budgeting. 

    So when you setup credit cards as budget accounts the transaction has to appear in both accounts for YNAB to allow a transfer (to pay the cc off).  No biggie. Yes,  they are both on budget. It's just an anomaly of YNAB. 

    BUT, now our checking account won't import. I reached out to support and they said the service they use to import from capital one isn't working. that was a month ago still doesn't import and their suggestion was to import manually.  It's as if YNAB is begging me to go back to using YNAB 4.  Am I on the only YNAB 4 user that has had no stop issues?

    Like
  • Blue Boa said:
    So when you setup credit cards as budget accounts the transaction has to appear in both accounts for YNAB to allow a transfer (to pay the cc off).  No biggie. Yes,  they are both on budget. It's just an anomaly of YNAB. 

     Huh? This is no different than YNAB 4. A transfer is a single transaction that appears in both accounts. The funds move from one account to the other just like real life.

    Like 2
      • Blue Boa
      • Blue_Boa.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone in 4 when you do a transfer if the transaction isn't in both accounts it creates the transaction for you. In nYNAB, when credit cards are setup as regular budget accounts it won't let you out transfer as the payee if the transaction isn't in both accounts. The option isn't available. 

       

      Anyway, there is a work around and that isn't an issue for us right now. Right now (and for the past month) capital one won't import. Doing a manual import will create lots of duplicates. It's kind of a mess. 

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 mth ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Blue Boa No, that’s not true. There’s not two transactions. There’s one. It’s a transfer. Exactly the same as YNAB 4. If not, then you’re not choosing a transfer transaction. Hint: They’re at the top of the payee list.

      Like 3
      • Blue Boa
      • Blue_Boa.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone , not sure if you are understanding what I am saying. On our nYNAB if there isn't a coorisponding transaction the option under payee is unselectable. Maybe it's a bug but, again, that isn't our issue right now.  Right now Capital One won't import . I've confirmed this with the YNAB support team. 

      Like
      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Blue Boa Are you trying to change the payee on one side of an imported transaction? I don’t know if I’ve ever done that but I wouldn’t be surprised if  it was buggy.  

      Create a new transfer, and then manually match each side as they import. 

      Like 2
    • Blue Boa On the right side of the Payee (with that menu closed) there is an arrow icon, clicking that will jump to the other side of the transfer. Does that help you find it? Your screenshot is the inflow, so it will take you to the outflow. 

      I see Ashley is helping you with the bank connections! If you'd like to proceed with either option, or have questions—just reply there, and go from there. 

      Like
  • Also are you using your budget? Two months ago you started this thread, indicated lots of problems, and then fresh started. Two months later, you are here again. Did you use the budget regularly in the meantime? YNAB problems multiply very quickly when you engage with the budget infrequently. It’s not meant to be used that way. 

    Like 2
      • Blue Boa
      • Blue_Boa.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor yes.  We meet together weekly to go over the budget. However, right now we can't do much since capital one is no longer supported. We either have to unkink and manually import or change banks. 

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

      Blue Boa ... or enter transactions manually. Many people feel more engaged with better awareness. It's pretty easy to enter the transaction while waiting in the checkout line.

      Like 2
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui is it just me or do people spend more time griping about the state of direct import than it actually takes to manually enter transactions?

      Like 6
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I've had my own voice-activated, auto-entry system since my kid was 8 years old.

      Someday YNAB might build that into their product. In fact, it'd be pretty easy at this point since the mobile devices already provide those hooks. I'm sure it would lessen the grumpiness over direct import, which will probably ALWAYS be... um... less than robust.

      Like 2
      • Blue Boa
      • Blue_Boa.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui yes, i agree in some cases. We've been using YNAB since the spreadsheet days and up until YNAB 4 there wasn't a real import option.  Right now in our stage of life we have a lot of transactions and most are at a point of sale. Importing is much easier and less likely to result in a conflict.

      Like
      • Blue Boa
      • Blue_Boa.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule not sure how this is helpful. Also, see my reply to dakinemaui. 

      Like
Like Follow
  • 1 mth agoLast active
  • 40Replies
  • 512Views
  • 9 Following