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.
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.
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! :)
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
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?
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.
How do you know there was a mistake? Seems like whatever that tells you that would also suggest a suitable "correction"... all without an audit trail.
Honestly, pick on the lowest priority category that has money. You'll note that is probably not where the money moved to.
I am sure that many of you use features that I don't. I don't try to debate you into not needing them.
Rule 3, the overspending rule? Was my repair bill unexpectedly too high? No, I hit the wrong key on my phone. What was the wrong key? Who cares, just Rule 3 it.
Should we take away the undo button in the web version as well and just have a popup that says "Rule 3, role with the punches...". After all, mistakes apparently can't be made because you can just implement Rule 3.
Good luck? Going to need it when accountability is not available.
Not too sure why you guys are lashing out about this topic after 2 years? It is just information that I would like to have and you would prefer that I don't. The information wasn't there and isn't there. I understand that you would lose your ability to budget if I had access to see when and why money left a category.
I am sure that many of you use features that I don't. I don't try to debate you into not needing them.
My concern is that the feature you're proposing is more than just something I don't need. It's something that would potentially degrade my experience with YNAB, unless it was implemented in a completely ignorable and unobtrusive way.
(And even then, as a fellow paid subscriber, I'd selfishly prefer the company to spend its resources developing features that actually provide me some benefit.)
I think an audit trail is antithetical to Rule 3, and Rule 3 is an essential part of what differentiates YNAB from its competitors (IMHO).
That said, it's been ages since I looked at it closely, but you might check out Goodbudget.com (a YNAB competitor). Moving money between envelopes is a (virtual) "transfer" in the Goodbudget system, which I assume is logged and reviewable. That was exactly the feature that disinterested me in their product; it felt like too much friction (too many clicks) for something that I tend to do frequently. (Again, Rule 3.) But it may be exactly what you want.
For me it would be nice if an audit trail existed of what got changed. I dont think I need undo ability but audit would be great. When multi users are in play across multi access points (mobile, web), having an audit would be great. Even for my own remembering as the month progresses or even months later. There have been several convs on our end of:
"Hey, these numbers dont look right. Did u do something?"
"Oh umm, I did something to accomplish X"
"Hmm okay. How did u do that because this other aspect now doesnt seem right"
"Yeah, dont remember what I did"
Speaking more to the general discussion here of whether tracking changes is worthwhile: The question is interesting because I think it's easy for an experienced user, someone for whom different ways of thinking about money or a budget have become second-nature, to forget what it is like to be a new YNABer.
In an idealized sense, sure, all that matters is the final state of your budget, and it's your best data. Use Rule Three, make changes, and the end state is "right". If I needed $700 in groceries, I needed $700 in groceries. Period.
But there is risk there of that becoming more dogmatic than pragmatically useful, of not empathizing with what is like to learn something new, and what it is like to establish trust in a system and oneself. YNAB has failed too many new folks over the years by insisting that they change their mindset or mental model in one fell swoop.
When it comes to changing your budget with Rule Three, it may be that some sort of trail inspires more confidence in the ability to make those very changes, and uses a record of the changes themselves as a powerful learning tool—all in the name of getting to the same end point.
"Whoa! How did I end up budgeting so much there? ... Oh right, now I see, I remember that." Now heading into the next month, I am armed with understanding of not just the end result, but of the process I went through to get there. As someone new to anything, it is helpful to see patterns over time, and the path to the end state—that's how we learn.
but rather the sooner the newbie can make the paradigm shift, the better off they will be
I disagree nolesrule . The important thing is that they make the shift, not that they make it in X amount of time. If speed is too much the essence and someone leaves, quits, or breaks because it's too fast, then they never get there.
We don't disagree on the positive elements of being opinionated where it counts. We just disagree, in this case, that making visible to someone the Rule Three actions they took would impair their ability to adopt the YNAB method.
As far as I'm concerned, y'all completely BROKE rule four in the new YNAB. (It became an exercise for the user rather than something reinforced by the app.)
It sounds like rule 3 is heading in the same direction.
The method is becoming more unrecognizable with every iteration. I worry the company has lost its way.
But if you care about "making things visible" to users, here's a suggestion on where to start: The unresolved Stealing From The Future bug that is now 4 years old.
Slate Gray Sander said:
then the money was taken for a higher priority so I don’t necessarily want to rebudget that money this month. Right now I’m having to rely on my memory
I wouldn't rely on my memory, my priorities then may be different than my priorities today. When I get money, I just ask myself what needs it most right now. If that's one of the categories I robbed earlier then so be it.
Just my two cents.
An undo button on mobile devices would be awesome. Just this week I was having my son enter the cost of our takeout and he somehow un-budgeted that category. It took me quite some time (after we got home and ate, of course) to figure out what he had done. So one vote for a trail, but I truly believe that the undo button would suffice for that example.
I read Jesse's book in December 2018 and started my journey in January 2019. I can assure you that if there was a trail to see where I moved money to and from, I would not be in the financial position I am in today. That, for me, is exactly why I failed at budgeting so many times. I would rob Peter to pay Paul and make arrows and sticky notes all over my budget and give up halfway through the month. As nolesrule said, it is "a crutch" and I would still be hobbling today if it was an available feature.
I will never have the understanding of YNAB that our top contributors have, but I have learned to trust them. I have silently argued with dakinemaui for months that my priorities did not change, but in reality he was correct. I made a choice and obviously I wanted that thing more than something else that I had already allocated money to, but had not spent yet. So move the money and move on.
Sometimes the choice is not mine, sometimes something important comes up and therefore my immediate priority has shifted from what it was on the first of the month to what it is today. I think this is the hard part; life happened, I can rob Peter, but I don't have to pay him back. I can either realize it is a one off, or I can understand that a category needs more funding.
Yesterday I had to pay an impound fee (long story) I believe it is a one off and I'll use my E-fund to pay for it and then replenish it as I can. If I did not have the e-fund I would have used money from several categories under the larger Garage category and again I would just carry on. At the most I would leave myself a note to add more to the auto insurance next month so next July I won't be short. But, I would not leave myself a note for the following: Fuel, Off Road, or Maintenance
All that being said, I really think that an audit feature would be a detriment to new users. As someone else said, I feel bad that they don't get the "live on last months income" any more. That coupled with the ability to audit where your priorities changed (and not understand that is what it is) would make YNAB just a tracking tool. It would not help people to gain control over their finances.
The goal would just tell you by how much you've failed in a specific month.
Here's where you show your ignorance of the method. It's not a punishing system. There is no failure. There are just choices based on your priorities. 0 sum. Zen.
First comment on reddit: "Wow this is going to be painful for me to see, but it'll be helpful!"
I'm sure they could see my eyeroll all the way in Lehi. This is what people are going to learn from this feature. They are going to learn that adjusting their budgets is bad. Rule 3 has just become something not to do. Rule 4 already became something not to do.
I'm so glad I started on YNAB 4. I would've made great progress on some things on nYNAB but I would never have learned this beautiful mindset with which I now approach the entirety of my financial life.
I do not like the idea of an audit of budget changes because I don't think it gives the most important information. I believe what people need is the ability to compare the average spent with the average budgeted at the start of the month. If you budget exactly the same at the start of each month, then this number is easy to get: write in name of the category, put a goal... If you don't budget the same at the start of each month, then the information is not available.
I think this metric is important because it tells you whether your aspirational goal (what you budget at the start of the month) is met or not. Then you can decide whether you need to up your aspirational goal or whether you need to watch your spending on this category. The only way to watch your spending is to check the amount available for that category before each and every spend and learn to tell "no, next month" to yourself and your family.
Currently, to get this metric you need to:
- budget the same every month
- check each category one by one. No overview available.
Knowing the flow of money (where the money comes from and where it goes) doesn't matter. But the end result matters.