future transactions and working balance
In the older version of YNAB when I entered a transaction that would not come out of my bank account for a couple of weeks it was taken off or accounted for in my working balance. The new version, this does not seem to be the case. For example, if I have a balance of $100 on January 3 and enter a transaction that I know is coming out of my bank on Jan 20 of $20, why does my working balance not change?
YNAB does not include future dated transactions as part of the register. They are instead one-time scheduled transactions that will get added to your register on the transaction date.
Personally, I'm not a fan of this functionality. I assume the primary reasoning behind this is so that people cannot enter future income and budget/spend it.Of course, like with anything else there are hacks to work around that sort of limitation, and so it doesn't make much sense to enforce it.
Hi Tomato Router !
YNAB focuses less on those future amounts in your register and focuses more on how they affect your budget. When you enter a future dated transaction and categorize it, YNAB takes that spending into account in your budget. The category Available amount will turn yellow if you don't have enough funds budgeted to cover that upcoming transaction.
I have started putting these transactions in the current day (to reflect a correct balance) with the “real” date they are to come out in the memo (which shows on the ledger). I will then change the date when it arrives and delete the memo. A little more work but I only have a few of these per month.
My issue with this future recurring transaction remaining buried in the scheduler is two-fold:
- my recurring monthly bill amounts vary and change. If I change it in the scheduler, the new amount then applies to all the future bills. I prefer to use an amount that is 10% higher than the largest bill I've ever received on recurring transactions. I really don't want the recurring transaction to be revised to this month's bill.
- I use the flag colour to identify the status of a bill. In YNAB4, I would enter it in the register at the beginning of the month with a yellow flag. After the statement posted, I would then revise the amount (affecting only this month's entry), schedule the payment in my bank's bill-pay, and change the flag to green. I don't want to change the flag on future recurring transactions in the scheduler to green because it will then be green for next month's before I've confirmed the amount owing or scheduled the payment.
The solution I am currently trialing is to date all my recurring scheduled payments for the first of the month. That means they all populate the register on the 1st, peeling off from the recurring transaction so I can revise the details without affecting future transactions. Yellow still means 'unconfirmed and not entered in bill-pay'. The higher than average amount is still in the future transactions. After I receive this month's statement, I can revise the entry on this month's transaction only (doesn't affect future entries), change the flag colour to green ('confirmed') and revise the date. With the actual date of payment entered, the entry does slip back into the scheduler making the category look as though the entire balance is available to spend, which still bugs me right now. But I was far more concerned with confirming amounts owing and being able to recognize at a glance that the payment had been confirmed and scheduled in my bank's system. I think I can live with and get used to this methodology. I'm giving it a three-month trial.
OK so I know this is very unYNAB, but there is an easy fix to this problem:
Open a separate checking account for all your fixed expenses that you can predict in advance. That Netflix bill and your bi-weekly kids' allowance and your every 6 months insurance payment. All of your future scheduled transactions go in there and you know exactly how much money goes into it every month. You have a master category in your budget called Fixed Expenses. Its "Available" amount will always match the bank balance in your Fixed Checking account. Once you get the hang of it, this pretty much runs itself. You only need to tweak it if your fixed expenses change.
All of your discretionary spending goes into your Variable checking account with no future scheduled transactions ever. Put your credit card payments in there, too, because they are variable.
Completely solves the problem. I'll never give up that peace of mind!
I recently switched to YNAB from YNAB4 after several years and noticed that the future-dated transactions are behaving strangely. Maybe this will shake out after a month or so of using the web-YNAB, but these forums don't give me much hope.
The first issue I faced was that during reconciliation, I noticed some "future" transactions were dated in the past, but still not in the register. It seemed my only option was to "enter now" so I did that to about six past transactions, only to have them all redated to the current day, which was wrong.
Tonight I have a future-dated utility bill payment and I am trying to "enter now" but every attempt is met with:
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This is not reassuring, and I suspect I will have difficulty switching back to YNAB4.
I but the total monthly anticipated amount in the budget item description. i.e., I have a category Personal with a sub-category Clothing.100/month. Then I budget to 0 for this period only, spending only the money I have on hand. If I want to purchase an item of clothing that will take me over my budget for this period of time, but keeps me under the 100 for the month, I put it on my credit card, then make a payment to my credit card after my next paycheck, when everything balances again. Another way is to set goals, but that can be a little confusing.....
Bonnie Burtraw said:
If I want to purchase an item of clothing that will take me over my budget for this period of time, but keeps me under the 100 for the month, I put it on my credit card, then make a payment to my credit card after my next paycheck, when everything balances again.
And this is a demonstration of how it so easy to byp[ass the functionality in a YNAB did not intend. Temporarily taking on new debt in exchange for an overspent category, rather than guaranteeing budget neutrality via Rule 3.
What's the backup plan if for some reason you don't get enough new income in order to budget the rest of your month as expected?