YNAB says I have more money to be budgeted then I make per month.

Hi. I'm new to YNAB and have watched many tutorials on how to use it. One thing is really confusing me, though. At the moment it says I have a total of $16,102.17 to be budgeted for the month. However that's over twice the amount of money I make on a monthly basis. Does this number include all of my savings accounts as well? And if so, do I budget some of that money to that savings each month to match what I have in there? I'm confused. 

I currently have 4 bank accounts, 5 credit cards, and a mortgage linked with YNAB. I just don't know where it's pulling that number from. 

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  • Yes, you budget all of your starting funds including savings. This is a one time thing. Not a monthly thing. From then on, you'll just budget new funds. Budget all of your savings into savings categories. Emergency fund, new car fund, Christmas fund, house maintenance, car maintenance, or whatever those starting savings are for.

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  • Hi Pink Boat !

    Welcome to YNAB and to the forum! :)

    YNAB works a bit differently than other budgeting tools you may have tried in the past. Instead of entering your monthly income, YNAB uses the funds you currently have to fill your budget.

    You'll budget for any upcoming expenses first and then budget your savings towards what you're saving for in the future.

    Here's an article that talks about how savings work in your budget. Savings accounts are purposefully included as a part of your budget, because we want you to give those dollars a job too! Take a look at this 7-minute Whiteboard Wednesday about savings.

    What you need to do is assign the dollars in your savings account to savings categories. What are you saving for? Emergencies? Vacation? New furniture? Make specific categories for those things in your budget and assign the dollars there. 

    If you have the time, attend our free workshop about savings called Reach your Savings Goals and let us know if you still have questions!

  • Moving forward, it's not recommended you maintain a "match" between savings-related categories and the savings account balance. Accounts are just locations and have nothing to do with "purpose" (a.k.a., categories). Read this:


    (Contrary to the title, it's actually far simpler when you understand location/purpose independence.)

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