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

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  • 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. 

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    • 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.

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 mth 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.

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  • 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).

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  • 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 1
      • WordTenor
      • I'm the oldest and the wittiest.
      • WordTenor
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

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

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  • 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.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 1 mth 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
      • 1 mth 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
      • 1 mth 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.

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

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  • 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
      • 1 mth 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!

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  • 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. 

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      • WordTenor
      • I'm the oldest and the wittiest.
      • WordTenor
      • 1 mth 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. 

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk 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.

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