Available funds vs overbudgeted

Example:  August..amount in checking is $2409.  All bills are paid. I have a green "amount to be budgeted - zero".  Why? 

In September, with all bills due and categories carried over from August, I have a red "minus $474 to be budgeted".  Why?  There's plenty of funds to work with and cover everything for both months.

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  • Hi, Molly McGuire

    The green Zero TBB is the desirable state.  It means that every dollar (every penny, actually) has been assigned a job and is sitting in a category waiting to do that job.  The job may be long-term savings, or it may be to pay the cell phone bill next week.   No red or orange categories and a green zero TBB is Nirvana.

    The red -$474 in TBB last month means you assigned $474 more dollars than you had to categories.  To correct this, you need to revise how much was budgeted to the categories until you get the number to zero.

    If you have exactly $1,000 and you budget $1,474 to categories, this results in an overbudget.  The overbudget can also happen if you overspend in the previous month, don't address the overspend, then try to budget your entire income as if it was unencumbered.  Now, if you don't correct it, YNAB self corrects by subtracting your overspend or overbudget from any new incoming funds.  This is why newbies with an overspend last month will post a question asking us to explain: "my income is $1,500, why is YNAB telling me I only have 1,026 to be budgeted?"  The answer is you overspent or overbudgeted $474 last month.

    Hope this helps.

    Like 2
  •  Okay.  I think I see.  I have to say that I really wonder if this program isnt just too overly complex.  Im wondering if having the program tabulating the credit debt into the big picture isnt what makes all my numbers seem wrong.  would it help if I just got rid of the Visa account and noted the payments in my checking account just like any other bill.  It feels like the harder I work at this program (and thats plenty hard!), the more confused and frustrated im getting.

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Molly McGuire Are you still using the Visa card? If you are not and you're just working on paying it off, then yes, it is fine to just have an expense category for it (ex Visa Pay Off) and budget to it every month and treat it like an expenditure out of your checking account categorized to Visa Pay Off.

      However, if you are still spending on the card, then no, that would not be a good idea.

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      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Molly McGuire 

      I wouldn't describe is as overly complex.  But I understand your initial disquiet. YNAB is an allocation budget rather than a forecast budget, and most people have never been exposed to an allocation budget.  They need to adjust their processes and ways of thinking about their money, and that makes it seem complex.  After I watched the videos and took some of the online webinars, I remember  wondering what on earth I thought was so complicated in the first place. (insert bemused frown here) 🙂

      There are free online webinar classes every day on the website that you can sign up to take.  I enthusiastically recommend signing up for them.  They're short and to the point.

      If you are keeping the credit card open, I suggest you sign up for the credit card class.  And take it a second time  (or as many times as you need) if you need to. 

      Like 3
    • I have put the Visa to bed until next October 2019 (barring an unforseen catastrophic event!).   I will set up a regular category for it in the checking account.  Thanks for your reply!

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    • Cant seem to delete the credit card from budget.  Only gives me a "hide" option.

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Molly McGuire As long as the credit card account is open, you cannot delete the credit card payment category.

      I was about to write detailed instructions on moving things to a tracking account, but then I got worried about how it would mess everything up and I don't have a sandbox budget to try it out. So what I will do is ask you a question and then maybe someone else who has done this will let you know if it will mess things up, based on your answer: So far, are there any spending transactions in the Visa account register or just payments from your checking account?

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      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Molly McGuire 

      If there is a single entry in an account register (transfer, transaction, starting balance, reconciliation adjustment), YNAB won't let you delete the account.  That's because every one of those entries has to be reassigned or it will be left orphaned without the account. If the account is at zero, you can close it.

      Hope this helps.

      Like
  • thank you, yes, Ive taken many courses.  early days.. left brain fighting with right brain i guess.

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    • Hi Molly McGuire !

      I just wanted to check in here and see how things are going! :)

      Did you come across any new questions? 

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  •   Molly McGuire  if you are new to YNAB and feel like it’s overly complicated, I can appreciate the feeling and have learning to do too. I do realize that looking at a completed month as a single learning cycle, it may take 4-6 completed cycles (ie 4-6 months) under our belt before we are old hats at this. 

    Month 1: what did I just do?

    month 2: oh, that’s what I’ve been doing!

    month 3: Uhm, maybe this would work better for me...

    month 4: yes/no that did/didn’t work at all!

    month 5: I think I’m getting the hang of this YNAB approach. 

    Month 6: ok, I’m definitely a YNAB Jedi Master and ready to start training others in the Ways of the Force!

    Keep at it, and Light Sabers out, full speed ahead!

    Like 6
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