Need History of ALL budget moves and assignments

Once again, a mistake was made (or a YNAB Bug) where my TBB is clearly not correct.  It is absolutely inconceivable that there is not a mechanism in place to figure out why.  I can't stand the fact that money can be moved between categories with no history of this happening.

This is not the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last.  We have multiple users on multiple devices.  Nothing is more frustrating than not having a log of what has happened to my money.  Maybe its a bug?  Maybe I did it?  Maybe my wife did it?  Who the hell knows.  

My time is going to go into finding another app than continually dealing with this situation.  The app allows for easy mistakes, I could forgive that if the mistakes could be traced.

Feel free to blame me for making a mistake.  I'll admit to making mistakes.  Sometimes it takes days to realize it.  What I do is blame YNAB for not having a way to figure out the mistake with a log of all money moves.

Yes, I am turning into a YNAB hater and have stopped recommending it because I don't want to support other users when I can't even support myself.  The info is just not there to make an informed correction.

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  • I have seen this proposed in other discussions; having user access control would be great for many reasons. You can have different users (with their own login) get read-only access to the budget so they can see it (kids, for example) and leave admin rights to one person (or 2). Or something of this sort. 

     

    A recent log of changes would be nice too. The previous X amount of actions and which user did the action. 

    Like 1
  • Hi glynab !

    Sorry for the inconvenience but thank you for the feedback! By chance, have you entered a Feature Request for a log feature? That form goes directly to our development team to let them know what you'd like to see going forward.

    Currently, if you catch the change before logging out or refreshing, you can use the Undo button in the web app, but I know that doesn't help when you realize the change later down the road. In the meantime, we're more than happy to help you troubleshoot anything that doesn't seem right.

    You can post details or screenshots here, or write in to support, and we''ll help get things ironed out! :)

    Like
      • glynab
      • glynab
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Faness 

      Faness, I'm not just looking for how to fix it, I'm looking for how it happened.  On which day and from what device?  Is there any way you can help with that?  

      Like 3
      • Jannelle
      • jannelle_ynabsupport
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Hi glynab ,

       

      I hope you don't mind if I jump in for Faness here! We aren't able to see that kind of info on our end either, but it looks like Melissa just replied to your email to [email protected] , asking to take a look and run some calculations to make sure everything adds up right. You're in great hands!

       

      As for the feature request, a log of actions is certainly something a lot of users are looking for, so you aren't alone in that. I've even submitted a feature request for it! Our designers are analyzing all this collected feedback to plan for what’s next  in YNAB. 

      Like
      • glynab
      • glynab
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Although I was in great hands, ultimately YNAB failed me on this one and it is unforgivable.   Sometimes I give YNAB a pass for things I don't like, but not this time.  I had too much at stake this weekend, couldn't trust my budget, and was stalled for too long while waiting for help that didn't (couldn't) solve my issue. 

      Money was moved between categories (in this case, from one or more categories to TBB) and there is no way to figure out when, how, or from what device.  And without that, no way to backtrack and repair it to the way it was.

      Like 3
      • Jannelle
      • jannelle_ynabsupport
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      glynab Ahh, I'm so sorry that was a deal breaker for you! It truly isn't our intent, but I understand why you would feel some distrust going forward. A successful budget is one that's forward looking, but in cases like this you just need to look back! 

      Anyway, knowing specific feedback like this is a huge part of our feature request prioritization, because when combing through feedback we always ask "How can this help YNABers gain better control of their money? ".  In this case, the usage is pretty clear. 🙂

      Let me know if you have any questions at all (make sure to use the @ feature to ping me) or if I can help in any way! If this is the end for you and YNAB, whatever tool you choose to use from here, I hope it can still support the YNAB Method

      Like
      • Routhmom
      • Hot_Pink_Storm.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Jannelle Is there a way to vote for feature requests because this exact thing is HIGH on my priority list as well as a way to undo a specific action in the action history without undoing everything.  I've spent a lot of time sleuthing out mistypes, and where money was moved, or buttons hit erroneously (like the "quick budget" without realizing it, after I'd already manually set up my budget for the month).  It's panic inducing and financially debilitating until you can rework it all.  Mistakes happen and there NEEDS to be a way to be in control of correcting them.  

      Like 4
    • Routhmom There isn't a way to "vote" on features, but we have changed how we collect feedback since this post was created. If you fill out our Feature Request form, it goes directly to our design team so they know what you'd like to see in the future! :)

      Like
  • Well what I noticed is that if you use an iPhone sometimes my to be budgeted amount at the top isn’t correct  and if you keep adjusting further you could wind up in trouble. To double check myself I always log onto my computer before I make any major changes besides entering in transactions into the respective categories. 

     

    Ive had to get tech support on the line before and they confirmed its a bug. I had to delete the app then reinstall to get it to work again. By the way customer support for YNAB is amazing - shout out to Jen, Natalie, April and Dan 

    Like 1
  • This is really a big problem. Personally i don't understand why the money we move between budgets isn't a part of the "budget activity" view. It's an essential part of it when we want to look back to see how the budget was used. 

    Like 2
    • Hi Green Horse ! We're all about changing your budget as your priorities change (Rule Three: Roll With the Punches), and looking forward at where you need that money to go—instead of where it has been.

      There currently isn't a way to track the movement of money between categories, but would you mind sending that over as a Feature Request to let our development team know you'd like to see that feature?

      Our designers have a great process for digesting feedback, quantifying how it relates to the YNAB Method and how it might help YNABers reach their goals. They prioritize projects using that data as a guidepost, so it's really important to us! 

      Like
  • I've been waiting for this discussion to progress. Is there any update?
    I just opened a feature request, btw.

    Thanks!

    Like
    • Hi Cornflower Blue Elk !

      Thank you for taking the time to submit a feature request! An audit trail or historical action log is something our Product Team is looking at closely—especially as we explore the possibility of multi-user budgets, where that would be a desirable feature. For now, as we carefully prioritize our development resources, it hasn’t made it to our short-term roadmap It isn't something we expect to see in the near future, but we're keeping it on our radar!

      Like
    • Faness One of the core principles that makes YNAB useful is sprinkled throughout your videos, faqs, job aids - YNAB lets you be honest w/ yourself, *and hold yourself accountable*.  YNABs Four Rules make it very clear that YNAB cannot work as designed, if you pretend you have more money than you do; or your budget for certain categories doesn't align with your priorities.

      THAT is its true value.  It's a mirror. You may not like what you see, but there it is - so you can't pretend you weren't told / aren't aware / don't have a roadmap to change.

      So, its really disappointing to see this mail trail.  You've apparently been looking at this feature request for over a year.  It's not a feature request.  It's a huge gaping hole in the above core principles.

      Being able to move money between categories, with no record of when, or why, kills accountability.  It allows folks to pretend that repeated infusions into underfunded categories are 'occasional' or 'one offs'.  It facilitates robbing from important areas like True Expense  or Savings cash stores, with little visibility - until the True Expense occurs, or the Savings are required.

      It does not make sense that a $0.01 actual overspend will be flagged as 'red, need immediate attention' - but the drip-drip-drip towards insolvency, of continuing, unflagged, untracked category transfers in the tens or hundreds of dollars a month is not.

      Please rethink this.  It's an amazing product, but you folks have blinders on for this one.

      Like 5
    • WhoMovedMyCheese Just FYI, a year is a quick turnaround for a YNAB feature 😁. 

      I just wrote a long set of instructions about the process we ended up using to fiddle with the number puzzle without messing up YNAB. We used a paper to play on, then input into YNAB. That prevented weird mistakes from trying out scenarios. 

      With regard to WAMing, just make it a rule to never pull from a category with a deadline (or at least use a goal that recalculates how much more you need to budget next month, then do it). 

      With regard to creeping up on the overspending facilitation, those moves should be intentional and from lower priority categories. If they are commonly from the same category, maybe you're in a high spending phase (think heat in winter) or you just need to budget more than you think there. After you make the move, looking forward is more useful than looking back.

      On the other hand, I have a few categories that are set up to WAM between, and I can easily see what I've done. Case in point: let's say we budget $500 for food per month. This month, WAMing has left 325 in the budget column, with only $100 left to spend. Where did that money go? Convenience meals, Dining Out, Treats, and Dog aren't funded for normal spending. Instead, when we consider buying that stuff, we look at the grocery budget for guidance. "If we go out to eat now, will we still have enough for groceries?" This month, we have been sick, so there have been more convenience meals. If we can stay under budget for food the rest of the month, great. If we have to move money to facilitate that, I've already identified the category it will come from, and only in the amount needed. 

      In another scenario, we had a category reach it's savings cap (yay!), and then we borrowed from it to fund a purchase (hey, no interest). In order to "pay it back" to get it back up to the cap, it's back in our monthly budget contributions.

      My point is that it may be helpful to develop structures/mindsets/workflows to help you be successful with the way it works now. 

      With regard to multiple users potentially messing things up because they're not communicating outside of YNAB about making changes in YNAB (or mistakes happen, you know). A log would definitely be useful. We avoid this by having a main budget person and only making WAMing changes with affirmation from the other. 

      Like
    • WhoMovedMyCheese Great post and clearly stated. I'm so frustrated with this aspect of YNAB that I want to scream. I truly used to love this program but now I am realizing that it has some huge gaping holes that are obvious to us users and which don't get taken care of by the 'Product team'. What don't they understand about this problem? Also, the fact that they seemingly refuse to develop a way to print reports just seems stupid to me. The report function is pretty weak as it is. They at least knew the fundamentals of reports and printing in YNAB 4. What happened?

      Like 2
      • Annieland
      • YNABbing every day since 2009!
      • Annieland
      • 1 mth ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      WhoMovedMyCheese So do you want a ticker tape +/- audit trail or some kind of notification system questioning the judgment of each money move?  It seems one is a quantitative solution and one is qualitative.  That's going to be some sophisticated programming.

      No one touches my budget but me, so thankfully I don't have the worry of someone's mitts messing up my numbers and having to catch the culprit.  So I sympathize with those of you who may have other people messing up your budget.

      But an audit trail of my deliberate money moves would look like the history of my email filtering for a week, or a spirited google search session, etc.  That would be some serious data logging that 99% of the time would be useless to me.  I tweak my budget regularly throughout the month, usually multiple times a week.  And it can be by mere pennies sometimes.  It's not because of damage control, but just because I like to change plans a lot and YNAB is great for that.  When I make a major adjustment to a category balance I write a quick note in the notes area.

      So the way I see it, if you manipulate your budget constantly an audit trail is going to be an overwhelming data dump.  And if you only manipulate it occasionally, it's easy enough to jot down "1/19/20 -$200 for emergency x."

      Like 4
    • Annieland Nope - they're both quantitative

      Annieland said:
      s o do you want a ticker tape +/- audit trail or some kind of notification system questioning the judgment of each money move?  It seems one is a quantitative solution and one is qualitative.  That's going to be some sophisticated programming.

        No, just a audit trail, and a report based off that showing which categories were impacted by the transfers. If the time basis is left flexible, and a threshold variable is allowed (ie "only show categories which were  donors / recipients more than X times in a month / three months") - it would be useful, and not terribly hard to implement.

      Like 1
    • WhoMovedMyCheese Thank you for sharing your thoughts here! You've brought up a few details that would be nice to have our Product Team consider (such as a time basis for the audit trail, whether it can be changed, filtered, searched, etc.). We have a number of other points we want to address before deciding on a future audit trail feature and what it will look like in the budget.

      We don't consider the current lack of an audit trail in violation of the 4 Rules. Your budget is meant to outline your priorities. When those priorities change, regardless of the reason, so does the budget. If you want to budget $200 towards a Rainy Day Fund, but realize the average budgeted is only $100, that means other priorities stopped that from happening. Other categories can be adjusted to make that $200 a larger priority, or maybe it's not as important as originally planned. For now, the notes section can help keep track of those changes if you want to keep a manual log of them.

      Like 2
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 1 mth ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      WhoMovedMyCheese meh, the accountability happens when you decide to change your priorities and shift money.  If you have a drip drip towards insolvency, it means you are ignoring the priorities you set and not using your budget to guide your spending, you are only using it as a tracking tool. If you want that kind of tool there are plenty of other options. 

      Like 4
      • MiniMum
      • Blue_Thunder.4
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Faness The notes section is tiny! There’s no way you could add notes for every category change. Sorry but that’s a ridiculous suggestion. 
       

      On that note the other thing that needs changing is the lack of a decent way of adding notes for the month and against the categories by month. 

      Like
    • Hi MiniMum !

      I understand if that option isn't ideal, but some YNABers use the notes section in a similar fashion. You can let our Product Team know how you'd like to see the Notes sections perform by submitting a Feature Request. :)

      Like
  • WhoMovedMyCheese said:
    only show categories which were  donors / recipients more than X times in a month / three months") - it would be useful

    How would that be useful? At first blush, you might use that information to gauge future budget entries, but you can already use "average budgeted" for that. What am I missing?

    Like 5
  • Just chiming in here to say that I think it would be natural — and really helpful — within the YNAB interface to offer an account-like view of each category, showing every transaction and funding action and how it changed that category's "available" amount.

    It wouldn't necessarily be an audit trail for multi-use case, but it would at least show how money got to where it is in the budget, and would give users another, and IMHO very important, way to understand and evaluate habits of spending.

    Like 7
  • Can history of all budget moves and assignments be accessed through the API?

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