Multiple Goals

Someone already mentioned something similar to this, however, I'd like to further illustrate something that would be useful from my perspective, as well.

Could there be a way to set multiple goals per category? For example: Concerts. Let's say I want to go to multiple concerts this year and rather than have a category for each, I'd have one main category and could set a budget by target date and it would show the - specific goal name, amount for each, and how much to save up for each... including the total I need for all, combined. 

I know this might take some real thought and work on how to implement but it's something I just ran into and thought I'd throw the idea out there.

Unless someone has a better idea on how to do this, that would be great.

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  • Hey  Eric , this is an interesting idea! The obvious complication would be how we determine the difference between how you fund overlapping goals. 

    For example, let's say you have two goals (Goal A is $60 by March 2018  and Goal B $90 by April 2018). 

    And so in February you would be asked to budget $30 for Goal A and $30 for Goal B, for a total of $60. But you only budgeted $20. Which goal claims that $20? The one that's coming due sooner or the larger goal? Or do we split among all active goals? Or do we let you prioritize which is more important? 

    Lot to think about there! :) But I'll definitely pass this along as an idea!

      • Eric
      • Internet Phone Repair
      • bluepop13
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Dan at YNAB I would say, just to keep things simple, and the YNAB-Way, the software would let the user decide the amount, for each goal. 

      And, be able to name each goal. Also, maybe something where each goal would be in a drop-down menu in the Inspector if you have more than one goal created, that way you're not having to scroll down a long list to find what you need, in case you have a few goals created.

      • Jeff Reetz
      • Electrical Engineer
      • jefflilj
      • 3 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      i like this idea. But I’d think the goal of having multiple goals would be to keep things simple not having to create and track multiple categories and if you just put these extra goals where you have to click on each goal to add how much you want to budget to it, then it’s not much different than just adding categories as these would act just like sub categories. 

      I’d think about just making it simple. Along the lines of what Dan wrote. 

      For times when you under budget a month in Dan’s example, all the money should go to the goal that is due first, as that is what you will be paying first. So if goal A is $30 and B is $30, and you can only budget $20, then all $20 should go to goal A. If can only do $30, same thing. All to goal A. If can do $40, then $30 would go to A while $10 would go to B. And so on. Since goal A is the immediate goal that needs to be funded first. The following month would change based on how much you budgeted the previous month. 

      I could see this being very useful for categories like car registration that is yearly and where you have multiple cars on diff dates. That way car 1 goal due in April and car 2 goal due in December would always give you visibility to know if you will have enough to pay first registration or not. 

      Like 1
    • MsTJ
    • YNAB has given me back my future
    • Believer_in_YNAb
    • 3 yrs ago
    • 2
    • Reported - view

    Keeping all concerts in one category sounds too complicated to me.  I would start a category group, with each concert listed separately and goals to fund it by the time the money is needed.  That way I would know which has to be funded by when, and know once it is off the future list and into the completed list.  On an ongoing monthly basis, I could just click the category group and know how much to fund it with each month.  Good luck, no matter how you choose to go.  

    Like 2
  • I really like that idea - I already wondered why there is no way to set a name for your goal - and no way to set a recurring goal (like membership-fees for example where you know exactly that those come once or twice a year - it's just annoying to re-enter them each time)


    And for how to calculate with multiple goals:

    Funding should ALWAYS go to the goal that's due next.


    As pseudocode I would probably calculate it like this:


    float mBudget = 0; //money to Budget per month in order to achieve all goals


    float cBudget = 0; //complete money of all goals added together

    for i=1 to # of goals

       cButget += goal(i).money;

      //goal(i).money should be the target-amount if the i-th goal

       if ((cBudget/(goal(i).timeUntil)) > mBudget) set  mBudget to this value

      //goal(i).timeUntil should be the amount of months that you have available in order to achieve this goal

    end for


    I don't know how those variables are stored but that should work, even if you have 2 goals in the same month.


    If repeated goals would be added you would have to think of a good ending-criteria for the for-loop (I guess you could just check if there are any non-repeating goals in the future or any repeating-goals that you haven't checked yet and if both are false then abort

  • For the time being, I think our best option may be to create separate budget categories under the same group (or even a separate group) and setting a goal on each category.

    For example - I have four events I travel to every year: One in April, two in August, and one in November. I want to have a goal for each event's planned expenses. All three would qualify for the existing "Vacation" category, but I can only create a single goal for that category. I could create four new categories under the Quality of Life Goals group, one for each event. I could then create a corresponding goal with a target amount and date for each event.

    So, instead of having just a Vacation category, I'd have four categories:

    • Vacation: WGI Championships
    • Vacation: DCI Championships
    • Vacation: DCA Championships
    • Vacation: BOA Championships

    Each would have its own goal with its own target amount and a target date corresponding to when each takes place.

  • I would LOVE a multiple goal option within categories.  Right now my budget is really granular.  I have so many tiny little categories.  I would really like to make my budget so much simpler, both for our monthly budgeting meeting, and also for entering expenses.  Something like "food" for all groceries, plus eating out, plus food on vacation, plus vending machine expenses.  Or something like "car" for any and all expenses related to car, like saving for a new car, getting oil changed, fixing things, registration, etc.  I realize that I can create a category group for things like this, but again that really multiplies exponentially the categories and make things take so much longer.  

    Like 1
    • Hi CamJPete !

      Thanks for weighing in here! Would you mind submitting a Feature Request for multiple goals? That's the best way to get your ideas in front of our development team! :)

  • Would really love multiple goals within categories! 

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