Thoughts on monthly rollover approaches?

So I get paid on the 15th and the last day of the month.  This past payday (Tuesday), my wife and I sat down to do our biweekly budget meeting and I allocated funds for the fixed expenses for May, cool, that was fine, and I started allocating funds for variable expenses in May like food and transportation- and also our April buckets in those areas were empty. 

That seemed like a good idea at first but we hadn't factored in that we needed to go grocery shopping that day or that my wife needed a new Metrocard.  So I moved some money from May food/transportation back to my TBB, then allocated it to April food/transportation.

I understand intellectually that positive balances at the end of a month roll over into available funds for the next month.  I think I was feeling a little weird about budgeting a ton of extra money (like $300-350) to food for April when in fact April only had one day left in it.  I also understand that in a couple more months of YNAB, setting 'average spent' will probably be more helpful anyway and that last-day budgeting doesn't actually impact the $ spent in my inflow/outflow report.

Basically... I think I'm making too much work for myself and I should probably just allocate last-day discretionary funds to those categories in the same month and just trust the rollover the next day.  I got burned a couple times already while learning about YNAB by accidentally overspending in the present money that was allocated in the future.

How do other people do this? Do y'all just put your money in the same month category at the end of the month and let it roll over and not think about it this hard? 

4replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • Nope. I'd cover just the expense for the end-of-month groceries and metrocard in April, then reduce the amount budgeted to some category in May only if necessary.

    Like
      • PugsBugs
      • PF enthusiast
      • trigger207
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat interesting. Why? I’m open to all ideas, obviously. I’m just curious why this works best in your view?

      Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 9 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      PugsBugs Ideally you want a normalized budget after a time. For example, my natural gas bill runs an average of $45/month, but some months it's like $28 and in the winter it's $100+ when it gets bitter cold (read: normal cold for those not in Texas). I still budget $45/month even when it's only $28, because, to quote Ned Stark, I know Winter is Coming. When it gets here, I'll have built up a cushion in that category to pay that hefty bill.

      You have to cover the category for April one way or the other, so you may as well use as little as possible to do it and then try to do your normalized budget in May (you're not there yet, of course). If you don't have enough money because you're not quite far enough ahead, you can shave off of your lower-priority categories in May. I do this all the time. Just because of timing, sometimes you get smacked with an Internet bill at the first of the month and *hooray* also on the 30th, say. Maybe I don't have enough buffered yet to be able to absorb that hit, so I budget the double payment in April, go forward to May (where I know I'm still gonna have a full Internet payment due) and budget for the payment and everything else, but now my TBB is negative because I had to use some of the money I would normally have used for May to cover April. So I get to go out to eat less in May. *womp womp*

      If I just budget May's amount in April, I might find myself at the end of May doing the same exact thing again. So I'd try to cover just what was needed in April and budget my normal amount in May.

      Ultimately though, I would say it's just a matter of personal preference if you have enough money to budget that category with May's amount at the end of April.

      Like 1
      • PugsBugs
      • PF enthusiast
      • trigger207
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat ahhhh. Good to know. Yeah. I don’t have enough months yet to do the “average budget” on most variable expenses. I have about 10 years of financial data in my old tracking app that is a guideline for summer electric bills (good call!) but most other non-discretionary items are stable now. I’ll try your suggestion this month though!

      Like
Like1 Follow
  • 1 Likes
  • 9 mths agoLast active
  • 4Replies
  • 149Views
  • 2 Following