Custom Start Date of Month

Is there a way to set YNAB to start a new month on a custom date instead of the first of the month?

I saw an older Whiteboard Wednesday last night where Jesse talked about categories. The video made me want to change how my money is categorized. I want to start my new months on the 25th and end on the 24th. I'm paid on the 25th and 10th of each month so having this feature would make my budgets easier to manage. I'd love to have this feature in YNAB.

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  • Hi bncwhite !

    There isn't a way to change the monthly structure, but the YNAB Method will work with any pay schedule. If you have a few minutes (five, to be exact!), watch this Whiteboard Wednesday episode for more info.

    Positive balances will roll over to next month, so even if you get paid towards the end of the month you can budget for the things you need and the rest will carry forward. Once you get into that rhythm, you’ll notice how it’s not about the calendar or the pay period or having multiple accounts to handle different things. 

    Take a look at that link and let me know if you still have questions! :)

    Reply Like
    • Faness This is all great but a lot of people are in the situation where they are being paid a set sum once, in the middle of the month. For us it doesn't make sense to rely on stuff carrying over to the next month as it simply makes the whole budgeting process more fuzzy without any benefit. An option to set a custom start of a month would be greatly appreciated.

      Reply Like 2
    • Faness I understand that it is not strictly need if you plan right. But it would still be comfortable. The separation to months is completely random. And it does matter because several things happen in the end of the month in YNAB - (1) over budgeted categories are being wiped out from "to be budgets" (In a different thread I asked this to be configurable, apparently it's not possible too). (2) YNAB will start alerting you for categories which are not budgeted enough to meet certain goals.
      I would like to request this as feature:
      1. being able to change the start of the month from the 1st.
      2. being able to change budgeting "sprints". Maybe I want to budget for each two weeks instead of for each month?

      Reply Like 2
    • Hi Shachar Har-Shuv ! I hope you don't mind me stepping in for Faness here.  😀 To keep things simple, your budget is based on the calendar month. You can apply YNAB Method, no matter when you get paid.

      When you have a moment, would you mind submitting a Feature Request? That form goes directly to our development team so you can let them know what you’d like to see going forward. We can’t make any promises—but that puts it on our list of possibilities!

      Reply Like
  • Blue Cornet said:
    For us it doesn't make sense to rely on stuff carrying over to the next month as it simply makes the whole budgeting process more fuzzy without any benefit.

    This is one of the reasons YNAB originally advocated for working towards "living on last month's income" as Rule 4 (this has since been reworked as "Age Your Money" which is a similar idea but less concrete).

    You're right that having paychecks that don't line up exactly with calendar months is frustrating and adds a bit of annoying extra complexity to the budgeting process.

    BUT - you can actually use this frustration to your advantage! :)

    If you have a little extra wiggle room in your budget, even if just a few dollars, I'd encourage you to try, little by little, to stretch your 10th-of-the-month paychecks juuust a bit farther - the goal being to eventually let it stretch ALL the way to the end of the month, so that you can save the entire paycheck you receive on the 25th to budget in the following month.

    This may seem impossible at first, but see if you can make a little traction towards this goal each month. Maybe the first couple months you don't have any luck and are anxiously awaiting that check on the 25th to round out your current month's budget. But then maybe a couple months later you manage to stretch the check on the 10th through to the 26th, or the 27th!

    And once you achieve the goal, your budgeting life will become a lot simpler - you'll get to take that 25th-of-the-month paycheck and budget out the first half of your expenses for the next month all in one go, and with your 10th-of-the-month paycheck, you'll get to budget out the rest of the month. You might even start to find yourself not waiting for the upcoming payday as anxiously. :)

    So there actually can be a huge benefit to this situation! Just let yourself see this as an opportunity, a situation with a built-in goal of working towards budgeting a few days ahead, to give yourself some breathing room and allow your budget to conform to the "rigidity" of traditional calendar months, regardless of your actual pay cycle.

    Good luck, and welcome! :)

    Reply Like 4
    • Blue Cornet - I just realized you aren't the OP and don't have the 25th & 10th of the month pay-cycle, but the main point of my reply still holds true: try to make it a goal to work towards getting to the point where you can stretch each paycheck just a day or two more, so that eventually you can stretch it far enough that you're budgeting your entire mid-month paycheck into the next month.

      This may seem impossible or annoying or pointless, but there's an incredible amount of peace of mind to be gained from this accomplishment, so it's worth considering! It may take many months to get to that point, but many, many YNABers over the years have found that being able to budget "a month ahead" is well worth the effort (and can provide a great initial challenge to help you build momentum in reaching your financial goals!). :)

      Reply Like 6
    • Resistant Punch Roller Thanks for all the advice but I actually already save a sizeable amount of my paycheck upfront. What you're suggesting is a good advice in general but for me it's just more mental gymnastics. The way I budget now (using a spreadsheet) is:
      1) start the "month" with a paycheck
      2) pay all my bills, pay myself into savings
      3) budget the rest throughout the month
      My "month" is just misaligned with the calendar month but that's not a problem since I can define my months however I like, so I have a "June-July month". It's all very simple and I'm looking around for tools that would be less clunky than my spreadsheet. Saying "but you can just change the way you do budgeting to fit the tool's limited functionality" is not really an exciting proposal for me ;)

      Reply Like
      • WordTenor
      • Arranged the menu, the venue, the seating.
      • WordTenor
      • 1 yr ago
      • 10
      • Reported - view

      Blue Cornet You don’t really have to do anything. The “budgeted” column doesn’t matter.  When you get money, budget it  just as you’re doing now.  Spend using your available number, just says you’re doing now.  The only difference between you and anyone else will be that for the first half of the month, there won’t be anything in “budgeted” even though there will be money in “available.” 

       I would still find it worthwhile to get to weeks ahead were I paid in the middle of the month.  If you’re saving money, you can actually do that without compromising your savings.  In the event that something went really wrong, you’d spend the savings anyway,  so you can budget it to fill your next two weeks knowing that if you do run into an emergency, you will spend the buffer. 

       Please trust us that there’s a real psychological freedom to budgeting from day 1 to day 31.  If you haven’t done that yet, it can be hard to believe but it would somehow be different then budgeting a month paycheck and just letting it roll over  but it’s a whole new ballgame when you realize that you don’t need to think about when you’re being paid anymore.  It’s not limited functionality; it’s designed to get you to do something that will change the way you think about your money.  There’s a reason why you wanted something different then your spreadsheet, this is actually the reason even if it feels tight now like it isn’t quite what you wanted. 

      Reply Like 10
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 yr ago
      • 7
      • Reported - view

      Blue Cornet 

      If you have a sizeable savings and don't have to live or think paycheque to paycheque, why do you continue to try to align your budgeting and planning to the receipt of your salary?

      One of the best things about having some financial assets in the bank is the ability to pilot your own ship. When I first started using YNAB, I remember some YNABers on the old forum counselling newbies to repurpose some of their "savings" to get a full month ahead of the game using the logic that if they don't like it they can reassign the funds back to a savings category and go back to P2P living.  You might consider doing something similar and leveling up in this financial game. 

      I know that I absolutely love not caring when payday lands. I find it gives me a eagle's view of my affairs that just generally gives me a greater sense of awareness and control.

      I budgeted the entire month of August on the 1st of August using funds I received on various dates in July. I don't have to spend a dime of the funds I receive this month. I will pile it up in a corner of my budget until September.  That means that on the 1st of every month (a date unrelated to when I'm paid), I have an entire month's income to allocate in one round of budgeting to my categories for the month, and I can totally ignore the odd days that I get my salary.  It also means that I can pay any bill on my own time-frame and never have to wait on payday.

      Reply Like 7
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 1 yr ago
      • 10
      • Reported - view

      Blue Cornet 

      Blue Cornet said:
      My "month" is just misaligned with the calendar month but that's not a problem since I can define my months however I like, so I have a "June-July month". It's all very simple and I'm looking around for tools that would be less clunky than my spreadsheet. Saying "but you can just change the way you do budgeting to fit the tool's limited functionality" is not really an exciting proposal for me ;)

       Realistically, you face a choice here.  If you want to use a custom fiscal month from the nth of the month to the (n-1)th of the following month, you can certainly design a budget to do that in a spreadsheet.  You have already proven that this is possible.

      But if you want a mass market budget solution that is affordable and works smoothly because someone else already did the hard programming work, you're stuck with whatever month that "someone else" coded into the program.  And for a mass market program to be successful, it has to use something that is broadly accepted as a standard.  That happens to be a calendar month.

      It seems to me that you can decide that budgeting on a non-standard fiscal month is important, and continue to build your own budget; or you can decide to use your ability to define your months as you like to define your month as a calendar month.  Deciding to use a calendar month will open up a world of possibilities for using something that you don't have to build yourself.

      In addition to the benefits other posters have mentioned, budgeting on a calendar month means you don't have to change your budget if your pay cycle changes.  In retirement, I receive budget income on the 1st day of the month, the 3rd Wednesday of each month, the last day of the month, and an arbitrary date when I happen to draw money from investments.  The fact that the third Wednesday can be 4 or 5 weeks after the last time I got that chunk of money doesn't matter, and that investment draw can be arbitrary, because the money is there to be used for the budget on the first day of the next month.  Being a month ahead is a massive administrative simplification.

      Reply Like 10
    • Patzer WordTenor HappyDance

      Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. I've been following my own spreadsheet for years and it did really fine (and still does). I'm just looking around to see what other tools are available since managing spreadsheets can be pretty fussy. I'm not really looking to change my philosophy on budgeting because I've been doing fine for quite a while now. I tried two commercial tools already but they turned out to be completely not what I needed, YNAB is just the third one for me to try out. It seems to do almost exactly the same stuff that I already do, except for that one caveat with the month start date.

      Rolling money over doesn't really make sense because then I have to budget twice in a month (once when I get a paycheck and once on the 1st of the month). I guess the only sensible option is to get some money out of savings so on the 1st of the nearest month I'll have the same amount of money as my paycheck and just budget from there. It seems really counter-intuitive (because I then can't just glance at my available funds and naturally see how much money I have until the end of the month) but I'll give it a try. Who knows, maybe I'll love it. Maybe I'll hate it. Time will tell :P

      Reply Like 1
      • WordTenor
      • Arranged the menu, the venue, the seating.
      • WordTenor
      • 1 yr ago
      • 9
      • Reported - view

      Blue Cornet 

      In the comment about rolling over, you are misunderstanding how YNAB works. You would not budget again pn the first, nor would you be unable to rely on your categories. 

      Aug 15: you get paid. You add $500 to category. Category balance is $500.

      Aug 31: you spend perfectly evenly, so Category balace is $250. 

      September 1: You begin September  with the balance already at $250. Your budget will look a little confusing because you won’t have any new money in the “budgeted” column, but that actually doesn’t matter in YNAB. it is the availalble balance which matters. 

      September 14: You are finally out of money in the category. 

      September 15: You get paid and budget $500. Now your category balance is $500 again, ready for your next “month.” 

      That’s how it works for you. You don’t have to take anyone’s advice, of course. But make sure you’re making decisions about what to do based on understanding how the software actually works. 

      Reply Like 9
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Blue Cornet Have you tried Tiller? It's based on Google sheets and you pick the method of budgeting that's for you. When I looked at it, at least one of the methods (sheet template) allowed a custom defined month. 

      Reply Like
  • I absolutely agree with the other commenters here.  If you step out ahead of the paycheck cycle and get at least a month ahead in budgeting then you effectively are not reliant on when you paycheck hits the bank.     This is the beauty of adopting the YNAB method, it promotes getting out of the paycheck to paycheck cycle.  

    Reply Like 5
  • Blue Cornet said:
    I 've been following my own spreadsheet for years and it did really fine (and still does). I'm just looking around to see what other tools are available since managing spreadsheets can be pretty fussy. I'm not really looking to change my philosophy on budgeting because I've been doing fine for quite a while now.

     🙂 I could have written these exact words four years ago this very month.  In a way, I think that those of us who already have our act together before we trial YNAB have a harder time with the YNAB budget method than those who have never successfully budgeted before. We have to unlearn or let go of some of our methodologies. That's very hard to do since our systems are the foundation of our current success.  However, like you, I was not quite 100% satisfied with what I was doing. I thought there had to be something that would make it easier or better somehow, and that's why I was still open to the thought of something different. I read a testimonial about YNAB on an unrelated forum, and I followed the link to YNAB. The free month (without requirement to load a credit card) seemed a strings-free way to investigate YNAB4 at the time.

    I quickly realized that I could not make YNAB do things my way. That was initially frustrating, but it actually turned out to be a good thing (at least for me) because my way was more than a little crazy.  I did a complete fresh start about one week into the trial and used the rest of my trial period simply test driving the software the way it was intended to be used,  while maintaining my own convoluted system separately (of course).  The benefits soon became apparent, and as soon as I realized I could trust the software and myself, I abandonned my old way.  I had to unwind my labyrinth of bank accounts, and that took me quite a while.  There were also some advance theories (like my accounts being unrelated to purpose) that took me quite a while to thoroughly embrace.

    Reply Like 9
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 1 yr ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Like HappyDance , when I first started YNAB I kept my separate spreadsheet, that I had been using for years and years, in parallel for quite some time while running YNAB (4 not web-based) per the methodology. And this was during a time of great prosperity - I was living overseas so didn't have to pay income tax on 90% of my salary, I was receiving hardship pay, my company was paying for my housing (rent and utilities), I had a tenant in my condo back home paying enough rent that covered mortgage, HOA, and management company fee (though wasn't enough to cover the condo fee).

      I stayed convoluted for the first 9 months because I was operating in 2 currencies (I got paid in USD and lived in country where many places, including the grocery store, would accept 3 currencies based on whatever rate was in that paper that day. Or I'd go get money out of an ATM in USD and walk half a block to a money changer who would give me a better rate than what the ATM would give). I did get rid of my special purpose bank accounts, but ultimately ended up with 3 checking and 3 savings/money markets. Once I moved back to the US, I got rid of the spreadsheet and truly embraced the idea that location and purpose being almost completely separate such that if you give me a $10 gift card to Panera, I'm highly likely to budget those $10 to Clothing and Accessories once I add the gift card to my Gift Card Account and I have 100% confidence in my category balances so by giving me $10 on a gift card I truly have $10 freed up in my checking account to spend on shoes. I'll get paid twice in August and each penny of that will fill my September budget so that on Sept 1 my entire month is ready to go (well actually on August 22 when I receive my second paycheck of the month and anything that I sweep at the end of August or the interest that arrives on 8/31 will be dropped into categories that I don't expect to spend from for 2-10 years based on whim rather than need).

      Reply Like 5
  • While I understand that most of the comments here are really well-intentioned, they are kind of missing the entire point.  Blue Cornet and Shachar Harshuv are on the right track here.

    Maybe it shouldn't matter and maybe I should be trying to stretch my budget into the future.....cool story.

    What matters and isn't addressed is, I don't want to do it that way.  I want to do it the way I want to do it.  I don't want to be constrained by the hard calendar months.  And while I could learn or I could improve....I can also just find a different app/spreadsheet/method.

    I'm in the middle of a 34 day trial, at the end of the trial YNAB would like me to give them some money. To be exact they would like $83.99 for the next 12 months.  I don't have any interest in giving them said money if I can't get the app to work how I want it to.

    So this is a pretty old thread, other than the recent message 2 weeks ago, but it is the top Google hit, so I'm asking here.  Is there a way now in 2019 to set a custom date to start the budget period?   Faness ?

    Thanks for your time

    Reply Like 1
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view
      Cyan Gazelle said:
      What matters and isn't addressed is, I don't want to do it that way.

      By refusing to actually try what's been recommended as a better approach by people who have experience with both, are you not basing your decision on assumptions and ignorance? Your decision, obviously. Good luck in finding something meeting your needs.

      Reply Like 3
    • dakinemaui Yeah, I think maybe what you are missing here is that I didn't come to YNAB because I have been doing it wrong and wanted to learn a new method to fix what was broken.  As I mentioned (I think, been a while) I have successfully handled my finances for well, 30 years now.  I just thought in 2019 there might be some cool things/features out there that I would dig.

      I'm not looking to change my approach for a better one.  If I am paying for a service I want that service to meet MY needs, not force me to adopt theirs.  That was the issue.

      I appreciate the good luck wishes, I did indeed find a program that worked for me.  I still have hope that YNAB will become less rigid because I like how clean their app looks and how smoothly it runs.  

      As I have mentioned I am THRILLED that people found something that is working for them, a method that literally changed their financial life, that is awesome.  There is however zero reason that they can't have their thing and others can't custom set the dates.  That's a choice not a necessity for YNAB and it's something I'm not interested in paying for.

      Reply Like
  • Cyan Gazelle said:
    And while I could learn or I could improve....I can also just find a different app/spreadsheet/method.

    I suggest you do that. No, there is no way to set a custom budget start date and period and frankly, there is no need for it if you use the method correctly. But that’s exactly what it is: A particular method that the YNAB software enables. If you want to do your own thing, and that has worked well for you in the past, then you’ll need to look elsewhere.

    Reply Like 2
    • Superbone I will do that. I mean, let's be real there isn't a dearth of options out there.  Oh well

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

      Cyan Gazelle 👍 Best of luck in finding something that works for you. YNAB was life-changing for myself but I had to adapt my thinking.

      Reply Like 2
    • Superbone Good to hear!  Hope it keeps being life changing for you.  My issue is if I am paying for something I want it to change my life in the manner I want it changed.  I'm not interested in paying to conform to arbitrary decisions

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

      Cyan Gazelle I’ve  been using it for over 10 years so no worries there. I can assure you it’s not arbitrary and that it works but I hope you find what you’re looking for. 

      Reply Like 1
      • JoeDid
      • Remember: It is To Laugh
      • Purple_rain
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Cyan Gazelle Not a dearth, but close to it. Please come back and let me know what you find that works for you. I've been looking and I come up blank every single time.

      Reply Like 2
      • Voracious Reader
      • YNAB broke is not the absence of money, but rather the judgment that it has something more important to do.
      • Orange_Cheetah.3
      • 5 mths ago
      • 8
      • Reported - view

      Cyan Gazelle You seem to be convinced that YNAB software works the way it does because the developers are just inflexible toward what their customers want.

      I can't presume to speak for the programmers or the owner, but I agree with Superbone (he is an experienced YNAB pro and I am an enthused newbie, so you're getting both viewpoints represented here!) that I don't think these are "arbitrary decisions." They are intentional choices. The software supports the YNAB method, based upon the four rules: Give Every Dollar a Job, Embrace Your True Expenses, Roll With the Punches, and Age Your Money.  YNAB is not just a spreadsheet. It is a different way of thinking about your money. 

      Cyan Gazelle: "I don't want a new way."

      That is, of course, totally and completely fine! Your happiness is not my happiness! We are all precious and unique beings! 

      You want to budget based upon when you receive your money. That represents freedom to you. But a large part of the YNAB philosophy is freeing ourselves from being attached to the dates our money rolls in.

      You know what freedom is to me? Freedom is when your paycheck is FedExed to the wrong building (when I worked for Sprint in Kansas City, once our entire location's checks went to Oregon) and you don't really care because you know it will be resolved and meanwhile you have already budgeted for the entire month based upon the money you already have. Freedom is NOT when your payroll specialist hits the wrong key and your direct deposit bounces because of a one cent disparity, and you have to get a manual check and head to a seedy check-cashing place where you pay them an exorbitant sum for your own money because otherwise you can't pay rent before the holiday weekend.  Yes, this happened to me too. 

      Cyan Gazelle: "Okay, that's you, but I am actually GOOD with money."

      And I'm terribly jealous that you are naturally good with money! You are impressive. Based upon what I hear from other people who are also naturally good with money, YNAB still offers them something they can't find anywhere else. For me, payday is still an EVENT. I find out how much I've earned and I get to budget. For people with "old" money, payday is just another day. They budget for the next month when it's convenient for them, not based upon the arbitrary day their employer decides to pay them. I think you might like YNAB if you tried using it the way it's supposed to be used, but if it's not your thing, it's not. 

      Reply Like 8
    • JoeDid Going to try Mint and Wally next

      Reply Like
    • Voracious Reader Hey, thanks for taking the time to write out that big post.  Really glad that this is all working out for you.  Anything that helps people to manage their money and improve their economic situation has a thumbs up from me.

      I'm 40.  I've been paying my bills and managing my budget for 25 years since my first job.  One of the ways I have managed to be successful financially is by not wasting 83.99 on products that refuse to conform to my needs/desires regardless of the company "philosophy" or "non arbitrary decisions"

      Have a great day and keep doing what works for you.  I got my question answered, the question was "Can I adjust the start/end of the month to a custom date?"  The answer is pretty clearly "No".  This forum has done its job, which is appreciated.

      Reply Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Cyan Gazelle The thing that didn't work for me with Mint is that you have to match account balances to category balances. Also, it only worked by linking accounts which is not something that I have interest in doing.

      Reply Like 1
      • JoeDid
      • Remember: It is To Laugh
      • Purple_rain
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Cyan Gazelle I crossed Mint off my list because I don't want to link my accounts; I do manual entry only. I'll have a look at Wally. Thanks.

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

      Cyan Gazelle Mint is an excellent automatic tracker of your spending. You'll be able to see after the fact where you spent all your money minus the $83.99 you're saving by not using YNAB. Cool. I'm not familiar with Wally.

      Reply Like 1
      • Voracious Reader
      • YNAB broke is not the absence of money, but rather the judgment that it has something more important to do.
      • Orange_Cheetah.3
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Cyan Gazelle There is no question, that you can literally do everything YNAB does with a pen and paper or a spreadsheet and you can use any date you want. You probably have the discipline to do so, so this would just waste your money. Hope it didn't sound like I was trying to get you join a cult or something. 😉

      Reply Like 2
  • In the 18 months I've been using YNAB, I've been on weekly, bi-weekly, and semi-monthly pay periods. When the money comes in is irrelevant to the date on the calendar because I always start with the basic question of "what does this money need to do before I get paid again?"

    Reply Like 2
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Vibrant This thread reminds me of the old saying: "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

      Reply Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Vibrant And another one: "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink."

      Reply Like 2
  • TBH, I agree with the original poster. We talk about budgeting and spending money, but to pay for something that doesn't provide the functionality that many seek, makes it seem like unnecessary spending. I'm also on the trial and I like the budgeting and app, but will most likely find something else that lines up with the way I get paid mid-month once a month as well.  Also, they were asking for functionality and the ability to do this, not for criticism with their method of budgeting. 🙄

    Reply Like 1
  • Navy Blue Orca said:
    to pay for something that doesn't provide the functionality that many seek,

    Ask any software developer and they'll tell you the hardest part of their job is to understand the underlying need irrespective of what the user thinks they want.

    Reply Like
    • dakinemaui With all due respect, to do that properly one must first take requests from users seriously. I think ynab product designers might actually reach the conclusion that this feature is needed by enough users to put it into production. 

      Reply Like
    • dakinemaui Your comment is literally not constructive for this issue. 

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

      Shachar Har-Shuv The methodology and associated software is designed to get you to where you can budget on a calendar basis. Is it surprising they don't implement requests that are counter to that core goal?

      I can't explain why other requests go unimplemented, but this one seems pretty cut & dry.

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

      Navy Blue Orca If you think the "issue" is "convincing YNAB to implement a split month", then no, not constructive. However, if you want to understand their reluctance in doing so, then it was completely relevant.

      Reply Like
    • dakinemaui Is the request counter to that core goal? That's debatable. It if is - so sure - they shouldn't implement it. But it seems like it's not even being taken seriously. So how can one reach a valid conclusion whether the request is relevant or not?

      Reply Like
      • Tobias
      • Toviathan
      • 4 mths ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      Shachar Har-Shuv One of the core goals of the method is to get completely away from aligning your budget and pay frequency, to completely break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. So yes, the request is completely counter to the method.

      Reply Like 6
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view
      Shachar Har-Shuv said:
      But it seems like it's not even being taken seriously

      I feel this way about a lot of the feature requests that I've made. They definitely march to the beat of their own drum. 😉

      Reply Like
    • dakinemaui Which is totally valid, and it is also valid if someone doesn't want to pay them for their drumbeat if they already have their own rhythm

      Reply Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Cyan Gazelle I couldn't agree more on that point!

      Reply Like
    • dakinemaui 

      Tobias said:
       One of the core goals of the method is to get completely away from aligning your budget and pay frequency, to completely break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. So yes, the request is completely counter to the method.

       You're assuming here that the feature purpose is  to enable the user the spend paycheck to paycheck. Let me phrase it this way: why one month? why 1st to 1st in the month? This decision is completely random if we're assuming "unknown" paytimes. The end of the month in YNAB DOES MATTER. Something happens in the budget that maybe you don't want it to happen, or maybe you do. For me it's annoying overpent categories get covered automatically before my next income. It doesn't mean I really NEED THIS MONEY now. I don't - cause I do budget according to the app's philosophy.  But the decision to do it 1st of the month is seemingly completely random and it's clear who wrote it thought about a once a month paying cycle.

      Reply Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Shachar Har-Shuv It's one-month because that's the most common recurrence period in the US -- where the developers are based. (Yes, that's something to consider if you have a lot of bi-weekly expenses.)

      I'd agree the choice of first to last of the month may have been arbitrary, although I suspect the majority of users are paid at the end of the month and major expenses are due at the beginning of the month. So that choice works out especially well for that majority, and is obviously easy to remember. Combined with the bi-weekly, weekly, and shift-work/variable date folks -- who don't even have a fixed, month-sized period that might benefit from a split-month capability -- and the calendar boundary works just fine for the vast majority.

      Don't forget, the explicit goal stated by YNAB is to get you ahead. Why spend resources to develop something they don't even want you to use?

      Reply Like
      • WordTenor
      • Arranged the menu, the venue, the seating.
      • WordTenor
      • 4 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Shachar Har-Shuv For most people, the world over, most fixed expenses are incurred monthy or on some multiple of monthly. A monthly cycle fits this expense rhythm. And as stated, the goal of the software is to move people from an income rhythm to an expense rhythm (I disagree with dakinemaui here, I think more people than not are paid fortnightly.) 

      Reply Like 2
    • dakinemaui I think you only strengthen my point. There is a business decision that is completely incidental and subjective to the user. 

      dakinemaui said:
      they don't even want you to use?

       Are you supposing that it's BAD for the method if I change this default configuration? I personally don't see how. Why is this feature so bad?

      Reply Like
    • WordTenor 

      WordTenor said:
      A monthly cycle fits this expense rhythm

       I fair point. But what if I want the budgeting month to start in the 10th in the month? Why shouldn't that be allowed? 

      Reply Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Shachar Har-Shuv 

      Shachar Har-Shuv said:
      But what if I want the budgeting month to start in the 10th in the month?

      Then budget the categories relevant to that time period. Done. Common practice is to put the payment date in the category name for reference until you're a month ahead.

      The primary reason for this split-month feature that's been suggested is because people don't want the overspending cancelled so soon. That's clearly contrary to the method.

      The other reason that is often suggested is, "Because I want it that way." Closely followed by, "No, I don't want to do it as you've suggested" (see above).

      You may be dismayed to know that people have been suggesting this for many YEARS before the latest version was even released, including at least 3 (maybe 4?) complete GUI rewrites. In all that time, they haven't done it. I have related some of my speculations as to why, but if you really want an answer, you'll have to take it up with YNAB directly.

      Reply Like
      • WordTenor
      • Arranged the menu, the venue, the seating.
      • WordTenor
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Shachar Har-Shuv The month doesn’t begin on day 10 because there’s been an internationally recognized alignment of the calendaring system so that we are all clear when the month starts. Unsurprisingly, when YNAB built their system, they decided also to follow this universal system and begin months in line with the Gregorian calendar. 

      I am perplexed that you find this perplexing...how do you use a calendar? 

      Reply Like 1
      • WordTenor
      • Arranged the menu, the venue, the seating.
      • WordTenor
      • 4 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Shachar Har-Shuv To be further clear, part of the reason for the confusion on my part is that there is nothing which prevents you from budgeting each month on the 10th. I described this process in a lengthy post upthread. The only thing tha is different is that overspending has to be corrected by the end of the calendar month. But you should be correcting it as it happens, or better yet, preventing it, so that’s not actually that big an issue. 

      Reply Like 5
  • Shachar Har-Shuv said:
    For me it's annoying overpent categories get covered automatically before my next income. It doesn't mean I really NEED THIS MONEY now. I don't - cause I do budget according to the app's philosophy.  But the decision to do it 1st of the month is seemingly completely random and it's clear who wrote it thought about a once a month paying cycle.

     If you budget according to the app's philosophy you should never have overspent categories because you budget for everything that needs to get paid before your next paycheck arrives and if for some reason you didn't budget enough you apply Rule 3 and reallocate from a lower priority category in order to get rid of the overspend.

    Reply Like 5
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      jenmas Also, I think it's the 1st of the month because every month has a 1st. Not every month has a 29th, 30th or 31st, so when the month rolls over, the 1st has to be the relevant date.

      Utilities, rent, mortgage and other loan payments are most likely on monthly schedules too, so it makes sense that that's the cycle they would default to.

      Reply Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      jenmas darn that pesky Rule 3.

      Reply Like
      • Annieland
      • YNABbing every day since 2009!
      • Annieland
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      jenmas I've never had that overspent rollover in my 3 years of nYNAB.  In the old YNAB? Heck yeah.  Which kept me accountable, and I didn't WAM much, but fully embracing the new method I've learned I don't need to be "punished" in the next month for a punch in the budget.  I've had a couple of very unfortunate months where I've raided practically everything there was to raid without taking from a CC payment.  It was scary, but I still never left anything yellow or red.  I'm glad YNAB has a fail-safe method for keeping you accountable into the next month, but I agree that it should just not happen at all.  If it does, it should be your goal to never have it happen again.

      Reply Like 1
    • jenmas A fair point, I'll admit.
      Although I think more freedom and flexibility (i.e. customizing a method to a way that works for you) could make the app better.

      Reply Like
  • This thread is very active. I don't want to come across wrong - I totally understand why someone might want to start a month on any arbitrary day, and I don't see any problem with that. We worked our budget in a spreadsheet in that fashion for the first few years we were married.

    However, when it comes to a fully-featured web app, I think it is important to consider the negative case.(What is the result of switching from a self-selected month start back to the default, or to another date?)  Suppose this whole year you get paid on the 10th of the month. You set the month to begin on the 10th. All of a sudden, in month 13, you have switched jobs. Your new payday is the 30th of the month. (We won't even mention that there are months without a 30th.) So you will have a span of 50 days between your last paycheck and this paycheck. If at some point you decide to set a "new" first day of the month, in most cases you will wind up with a month in that year that is quite less than 30 days, or quite more.  Let's say that month where you switched jobs was March, and you decide to set your new "first day of the month" in April. Between March and April there is now a weird month with 50 days. In this case, we have inaccuracy in your rolling averages because 50 days is almost double the size of a typical month bucket. If instead you decide to add a 20 day month to the calendar by having a month that begins March 10th and one on March 30th, then what happens to all of the averages and reports that are based on a 12 month calendar now that you have a 13 month year?  

    Gregorian months and years have been pretty predictable for over 400 years. In contrast, the average person is going to change jobs every three to five years -plus a household may have more than one person, further increasing the instability of a manufactured month start. Plus, you don't even have to change jobs to have a change in your pay schedule - that happened at my work just this month without notice. Eventually, all of us retire and don't necessarily have a paycheck schedule of any kind.

    I believe that in the long term, most people will find it more appropriate to have a system based on calendar year than paycheck when it comes to generating reports and averages. I understand for budgeting it is a pain when you get paid in the middle of the month. I understand it can feel like the budget is "wrong" when it tells you that you are overspent in a month when you logically know based on many successful years of budgeting experience your next paycheck would cover it. But if your budget is in good shape,  switching to a true calendar orientation would only be a pain for one month at most, and then after that you would still have the ability to trust the reliability of your reports and averages. I think the desire to have reliable reporting and averages outweighs the benefit of being able to set when a month starts and ends.  

    Reply Like 2
  • I stand by my original point.  It doesn't matter to me if you think the philosophy is key or if you are against it.  

    IMO, my point is still the most valid.  Use YNAB or don't, believe in the philosophy or not, if you are providing a service to a customer and charging a fee then you will make more money for your businesses budget if you aren't inflexible on your options you provide.

    Maybe that isn't a priority, in which case...cool

     

    Also, I don't know how to unsubscribe from this thread (to be fair I haven't looked :P )

    Reply Like
      • JoeDid
      • Remember: It is To Laugh
      • Purple_rain
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Cyan Gazelle At the top right of this page is a button reading FOLLOWING. Click it to unfollow.

      Reply Like
  • Cyan Gazelle  click on you name at the top of YBAB.FOURM and then click on Notification Settings. 

    Reply Like
  • So +1 for this feature request, my budget gets skewed if in any case I need to pay out my cc before the 1st, making the whole budgeting pointless. And POs or support agents pushing back on a clear customer request is just awful and drives customers away to other apps that actually have this feature. 

    Reply Like 1
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Colt I'm curious how your budget gets skewed? I have credit cards with pay dates scattered throughout the month and he is no impact to my budget.  I don't really have a with the request although I can understand why Ynab wouldn't change this. I just don't understand  your comment.

      Reply Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 1 mth ago
      • 7
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Colt it is not a forum to capture user requests. That’s what the feature request form is for because the YNAB developers do not monitor the forums and it is not part of the support team’s job to copy it all down for them.  Asking someone a question is not shaming them. Other users are trying to get clarification on your issue because the payment date of your cc shouldn’t mess up your budget. You pay the amount in green in the credit card payment category. If that doesn’t match the full account balance of your card you either have credit card debt you are paying down, are riding the credit card float, or there was an error in set up  when you added the credit card to YNAB. None of these things have anything to do with what day of the month it is.

      Reply Like 7
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      jenmas Went away for the weekend and I clearly missed something.  Have some replies been deleted?

      Did I shame someone by trying to understand their problem?

      Reply Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Herman Yes I believe 2 posts were deleted, likely due to language. You're fine, you did nothing except be normal and other people are perhaps unclear on what this forum is.

      Reply Like
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