Longtime YNAB 4 User - Trying to Understand nYNAB But Ready to Throw in the Towel

As the title says, long time YNAB 4 user but looking to switch because the software is getting clunky on my desktop and I believe the iOS app is starting to cause my phone to lock up since it hasn't been updated in quite a while (I'm using an iPhone X so I know it isn't my phone).

Anyway, I'm really trying to wrap my head around nYNAB and I've read articles on the questions I'm about to ask but I'm just not getting it so I thought I might ask some of you who have gone through the same exact issues as me - and please note all of these things I was able to do in YNAB 4.

#1 Ability to enter transactions into the future. I can't figure out how to do this. I love being able to enter transactions from the future into my budget now so that I can see how it will affect my budget. Apparently nYNAB treats all future transactions as scheduled transactions and doesn't allow you to enter them into the budget (and therefore does not affect the budget) until they happen. It makes it very hard for me to know if I am budgeting correctly when I can't do this and really affects point #2.

#2 Reimbursements - how do I do these correctly? So I own my own business and am constantly putting reimbursed expenses on a variety of credit cards and then at the end of the month I reimburse myself from my business to pay for these charges. In YNAB 4 I again would be able to future date transactions that I knew would happen and then I would know exactly if the amount of the check I'm reimbursing myself for matched up or not. Now I can't even figure out how to reimburse myself or to track it.

#3 Credit Card payments - I really don't understand this at all. In YNAB 4 I would enter a transaction on the credit card I used and code it to the correct budget category and then I would increase my payment at the end of the month to offset that charge (all credit cards get paid off at the end of every month). However, now it seems nYNAB doesn't trust that I can do that correctly so now I have a separate credit card category that I have to budget for but honestly doesn't make much sense to me since I've already budgeted for it elsewhere in my budget. Maybe this is just a way for nYNAB to help me with cash flow? but I don't have that issue.

I really want to use nYNAB as I thoroughly enjoy YNAB 4 and would love to have the upgraded software yet I have to have the ability to plan for future transactions and handle reimbursements. I'm sure the credit card thing is just something I'm not understanding but I never knew it would be so difficult to figure out how to use this new software.

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  • Hi, nachoslibres

    I made multiple (failed) attempts to transition before I made the jump.  Reasons for failure:  trying to make nYNAB work the same as YNAB4, and not taking the time to learn the software as if it was entirely new to me. In the end, it turned out it is mostly the same BUT there are some important differences that make it, in fact, an entirely new way of thinking/doing.  <insert Big Sigh here>

    While you are investigating and trialing the software, keep YNAB4 going without interruption. It will reduce your anxiety level knowing you can fall back to what is familiar.  And, if you make a mess of your budget in the online version, you can transition a complete up-to-date version from YNAB4 again.  Because that is a big difference:  no safety net.  You cannot load a previous version.  There is an un-do button, but if you close the session or refresh your screen, you lose the ability to use the un-do on what you just did wrong.

    #1. The ability to enter future dated transactions into the register and have it affect your account or category balances immediately is gone. 

    This was also a problem for me.  While I never entered income before it arrived, I had gotten into the  habit of entering all my known payments (regardless of date) for the month on day # 1 of each month.  I like to do that because it made those funds immediately unavailable to me in the budget, kind of reserving essential payments and not letting me WAM those funds to any other category.  I tried a few things to get around this in the web version, including dating all my known outflows on Day 1 of the month, then revising the date to actual date of the payment only on the day it left my account.  Eventually, I just stopped worrying about it, because I am a disciplined YNABer and I never was tempted to move funds out of the wrong category.

    Reply Like 4
  • #2 - Reimbursements

    YNAB Help document on the subject.

    Using your own cash option:  I moved emergency fund money into the category I use for reimbursable expenses.  So my preferred method (which I think is the simplest and most straight forward) is to use my own money, then use my reimbursement to replenish the category and bring it back to its original balance.

    The overspent credit card option:  use a credit card on an empty category, essentially overspending the category. When the reimbursement is received in the same month, inflow the payment directly to the reimbursable category. Done.  When the reimbursement is received in the next month after the expense, you still inflow the payment directly to the reimbursable category, but you have an added step of moving the funds from the category to the credit card payment category. (The extra step can be explained in further detail as part of the credit card explanation.)

    Tracking what's outstanding in tracking accounts: I also use tracking (off-budget) accounts to keep my reimbursements in order.  This can be used for both the methods I described above.  When I buy something for the office, I enter that as a transfer from my account (chequing, wallet, cc) to my Next Office Claim tracking account with a description of the expense in the memo field.  Doing it this way keeps a running total of the amount currently outstanding that I can expect from my employer.  When I receive a payment, I enter that as a transfer from the Next Office Claim tracking account to my chequing account, and I categorize the inflow directly to the same category I use for the office expenses.  I keep a few different reimbursement tracking accounts:  Next Office Claim, Medical/dental, Errands for my Mom.

    Reply Like 2
  • #3 - Credit Cards

    I'm going to defer to others to help you with credit cards.

    Reply Like
  • Thanks for the help. I may just end up using YNAB 4 for the rest of the year and then move to Quicken for Mac at the start of next year. It is apparent nYNAB is not intended for someone like myself who needs to be able to input future transactions and handle reimbursements.

    EDIT: I see you handled reimbursements as well, and I appreciate that. I just don't want to have to create another tracking category for this - I think it just makes it way more complicated than it should be.

    Reply Like 2
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 3 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      nachoslibres 

      Sorry.  😖 I was hoping that what I'd posted would both ease the way and be encouraging to you rather than discouraging.  I have come to enjoy some aspects of the web version, but it was important that I take my time getting used to the differences.

      Reply Like 2
      • Tardigrade
      • Green_Chef_baec6327c25b
      • 3 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      nachoslibres I have seen so many post on the forums of people trying to make the switch from YNAB4 to nYNAB and struggling.

      As a caveat I have never used YNAB4, but can see how not being able to do something your are use to can be frustrating.  What surprises me though is how many people do as you are and say, "I don't like the change, so I am just not going to use nYNAB".  Yes things have change, but just like when budgeting, roll with the punches and adjust. 

      Now for some just sticking with YNAB 4 is understandable, but keep in mind, YNAB4 is going to fad away as OS's change.  Ultimately though what tool you use to budget isn't really the point with YNAB. It is the 4 rules for budgeting that is what works. YNAB the software is just design to help follow those ideas. 

      If you chose to use another tool, but still follow the 4 rules, then you are still a YNABer in the end.  It is just sad to see someone struggle with the software and give up on it. 

      (Side note: I am also aware of many of the feature of YNAB4 that are missing in nYNAB that has been highly requested of the long time YNABers. I am not saying to just accept that they are missing. One in particular I would love to see is the income for next month.)

      Reply Like 2
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 3 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      nachoslibres Get a real computer (cheap windows computer) and stick with YNAB4. 😉

      Reply Like 2
      • nbhms
      • nbhms
      • 3 wk ago
      • 4
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      Tardigrade There is a difference between rolling with the punches, and paying someone a monthly fee to give you the punches 😉

      I'm a long time YNAB4 user.  I'd love to switch to nYNAB, but every few months I check these forums to see the state of things, and it's obvious they aren't changing.  If they won't listen to their users, eventually I will just give up and go find different software that does fit my needs when YNAB4 will no longer run on my system.

      Too much of what changed in nYNAB I feel was just change for change sake to justify charging for a new product, and didn't improve things.  I see all kinds of "workarounds" in the forums that users have developed for the way things logically flowed in YNAB4 - and that's fine if that's what people want to do.  But I'm the customer here, and I'm not going to pay a monthly fee for a product that causes me more work and time to do my budget.  That's counterproductive.

      Reply Like 4
      • Justin
      • JDthebushwalker
      • 10 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      nbhms I tend to agree with you here mate... it seems YNAB has forgotten about it's old customers and is catering only for the new one's who pay a subscription. It's a shame really, since I truly believe that most of the older YNAB users would be happy to pay a subscription for a newer and better service, but it seems to have gone backwards in some critical places. 
      Don't get me wrong, there are some great additions to nYNAB but I think there are too many shortcomings to justify the ongoing expense. 

      Reply Like 1
  • Credit cards are easily handled by setting them up as checking accounts, they will behave like YNAB 4.  I hate the way YNAB handles credit cards.  As far as future dated transactions go I never used them but you can look at the inspector on the budget screen for each category and it will show you how your budget looks as a result of the scheduled transactions.

    Reply Like
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 3 wk ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      Given the context of the OP's questions about both reimbursements AND credit cards, it should probably be pointed out that the choice to treat credit cards as cash-based accounts is a decision that comes with handcuffs.  Specifically, defining your credit card as a chequing account will limit you to cash-backed spending on credit cards at all times. In cash-based overspending, all negatives are immediately subtracted from next month's to be budgeted, so if the reimbursement arrives later in the next month, and depending on the amount of the outstanding reimbursable expense, this could result in starting next month with inadequate funds or a negative TBB.

      Like ynaber2613   I've chosen to treat my credit cards as chequing accounts.  As previously mentioned up-thread I've also chosen to pre-fund my reimbursable category with my own money. This is an ultra-conservative financial stance to take.  It means that I'm not adversely affected by my choice to bypass the nYNAB credit card handling process. It's actually resulted in a limitation I prefer to impose on myself, but it might be an unintended and frustrating complication for others if it wasn't pointed out.

      Reply Like 6
      • bret
      • bret
      • 3 wk ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance 

      I also set up my credit cards as "Checking" accounts, but I don't pre-fund my reimbursable category. Instead, if I end the month with a negative balance (and YNAB zeroes it out in the following month), I manually re-instate the negative balance in the following month. Essentially a manual red-arrow.

      I do this because, like jenmas , my outstanding reimbursable balance (negative amount) only represents 1-2% of my overall cash-on-hand at any given moment, so it poses no real risk.

      Reply Like 4
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 3 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      bret 

      👍 gotcha.  That will definitely work too.

      I avoid all red overspends as a general rule, which is why I transplanted some e-funds to my reimbursable category.

      Reply Like 2
  • Hi nachoslibres !

    One of the biggest overall changes to the web based version of YNAB, is the hard lines on keeping your budget honest. Entering future transactions allowed for your budget to reflect things that hadn't happened yet, so it wasn't always accurate. We removed that option, along with the ability to carry forward negative amounts, to prevent that from happening. 

    I hope you'll give reimbursements a try in the new YNAB!

    As for credit cards, they're handled in an entirely new way. You'll budget for the starting balance directly in your credit card category, but if you budget for all new transactions in your spending categories, then you don't have to budget towards the credit card category again. If you budget $20 towards Dining Out, then spend $20 on your credit card and categorize it as Dining Out, YNAB moves that $20 for you - from Dining Out to the credit card category - so you now have $20 Available to pay the card off in full.

    While we'd love for you to love the new YNAB, Tardigrade is absolutely right. In the end, it comes down to what works best for you. We hope whatever tool you decide to use can still support the YNAB method. :)

    Reply Like 1
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 3 wk ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Faness Three years ago Jesse stated that better reimbursement handling was on the way. So much for the constant new features. The official methodology does not allow one to be able to track reimbursements and is therefore a non starter. If I actually used nYNAB for my personal budget, I would have to spend more time than is reasonable to properly track what I am owed because I work with a flat rate reimbursement system where what I spent and what I am owed are two different numbers. 

      Reply Like 3
    • jenmas Though we haven't made any changes to reimbursements yet, we've released a number of other features - though I understand that's not the same as waiting on specific features and not seeing them implemented. We're continuously working and considering new options, but I'm personally unsure of how best to address a flat rate reimbursement system. Would you mind sharing how you'd like to see reimbursements handled? Are you hoping for the future dated option to return?

      Reply Like 1
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 3 wk ago
      • 8
      • Reported - view

      Faness The red arrow worked perfectly for this. I'm on a 7 week business trip. Reimbursement category starts at 0 available. I get a travel advance of $4,500 (75% of the meals & incidental expenses portion of my per diem) and inflow it directly to the Reimbursement category. I start spending (taxi from home to airport, taxi from airport to hotel, tips, food, laundry) and record everything to the Reimbursement category (separate spreadsheet to deal with the forex issues). I also record certain things that aren't expensable to but that are trip specific (travel size this and that, DEET, Economy Plus seat for the first leg of the trip that was only 7h45m and you can only bill Economy Plus for 8+hour flights) and therefore are captured in incidental portion of the per diem rate. At some point the available balance goes negative as I pay for things. It rolls over to next month (7 week trip, remember?) and stays negative though I do submit expense reports every 2-3 weeks because it helps my company flatten out their billing to the government so the catogory fills and empties. I submit final my expense report and get my final reimbursement, which includes $120/day for meals and incidentals over 50 days (though today I spent $2.90 on lunch for a bowl of soup, some chips, and a club soda and then grabbed a smoothie at the mall on the way back to the hotel for $4, so that's $113 extra for today). Inflow directly to Reimbursements. The available balance is my "profit" for the trip that I then reallocate as I please. I can't track this amount if I "pre-fund" from another category. And the travel advance doesn't really count as pre-funding because it is designed to be less than my total expenditures and is based solely on the meals and incidentals portion of my expenses which still leaves hotel ($12K on this trip though I'm actually paying it in 1-week increments as part of the deal I negotiated with the hotel rather than a 100% wire in advance and filing expense reports every few weeks so it doesn't build up into a large balance), taxis, communications, billable upgrades to Economy Plus.

      Yes, I get it, when there is a red category, the rest of the green categories are inherently inaccurate which is why I never use it for any category where I have actually overspent. However when that negative amount is 1%-2% of your total on budget cash which doesn't include the off budget accessible non retirement investment accounts, it doesn't actually matter. Sure there could be a catastrophic situation where I don't get reimbursed, though it's hard to imagine what that could be. But again, it's 1% of my budget so the consequences are so small as to be irrelevant.

      Reply Like 8
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 3 wk ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      I use the stock handling for the same purpose as does jenmas but it leaves much to be desired, especially when you consider that we are at an interval that before meant a major launch. The idea that a subscription would allow the team to iterate faster has turned out to mean mostly that the team would be buried in direct import fixes. 

      My current setup: I use a category that is pre-funded with the surplus from other trips.  Before I begin spending, I set a category balance goal equal to the available  balance, this allows me to see what the balance would be without the reimbursement. But there is no way to track my reimbursable expenses per se, especially if they span the month boundary, as they are a about to. Since I keep the category at $1000, I know that right now, I am owed at least $1565 plus per diem, that is my hotel and travel charges, and the category is overspent by $565. But there is no way to track what I am truly owed, and ten days from now, even the $565 is going to disappear and I will have no insight into how much my employer needs to pay me back, especially seeing as how I can’t get that information from the inspector any longer. 

      That reimbursement handling hasn’t been dealt with in three years ought to be the height of embarassment for YNAB. This is as long as it took the team to build the web app in the first place. 

      Reply Like 5
    • jenmas WordTenor Thank you for explaining how you're currently treating reimbursements. The statement to address reimbursement handling actually predates my use of the new YNAB. I understand why the red arrow worked to handle these situations in the past, but we're overall against having that feature in the new YNAB. We're always looking to improve, but we're aiming to do so without the option to carry negatives in your budget. 

      Never say never, but I don't see our stance on the red arrow changing in the near future. If you can think of any alternatives that would be helpful, I hope you'll share! A more involved notes option comes to my mind, but I'm not sure just how helpful that would be (if at all).

      Reply Like
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 3 wk ago
      • 15
      • Reported - view

      Faness we aren’t asking for a red arrow. We’re asking for attention to the fact that many people need to use YNAB to track what we are owed from work, and pointing out that “just take the money from other categories” honestly doesn’t make much sense for us. We used YNAB to get to a point where we can float thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars in our budgets, but the company has left us behind to focus on “success stories” of people who conquered a few thousand dollars of credit card debt but can’t even manage to get themselves buffered by a month once they’ve done so. The software has skewed so far in favor of helping people on the edge, that it has lost a great deal of functionality for those of us who used the software to get far, far away from the edge. And for no good reason—there are ways around this that could allow the software to acknowledge that you have enough money in the budget to float a reimbursement that would not require a manual rebudgeting of funds. 

      If you don’t know what the founder of the company said to the user base three years ago, then with all due respect, perhaps you shouldn’t be the person weighing in on this particular issue.

      Reply Like 15
    • WordTenor With all due respect, you literally stated you want attention from YNAB and told their representative to go away in the same post. 🤦‍♀️

      That doesn't seem like the best way to communicate your point.

      Faness if you'd be kind enough to pass it along, I'd like the option to track the reimbursements/overspending outside of the budget - seeing a negative in the account register (maybe the All Accounts register for people who use multiple accounts for reimbursements? ) prevents it from being in my actual budget. Compromise? Right now I flag my reimbursements, but once the month rolls over there's no quick way to compare those transactions to what Would be "overspending". I just need to See the amount, I'm not too picky on Where it shows.

      Reply Like
    • Til Debt Do Us Part I'm more than happy to pass this along! Thank you for weighing in here! :)

      Reply Like
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 3 wk ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Til Debt Do Us Part I realize it’s surprising, since for some reason she’s the only one ever on the forums, but Faness isn’t YNAB’s only employee. Someone higher up made the decision to send people here who can’t always answer questions or fully understand user scenarios because they are newer to the software than the people they are talking to. That’s not Faness’s fault, but that does meant that sometimes the answer here is, “You don’t actually know what we’re talking about and that fact is really obvious.” There’s also the issue that we’ve explained this several times before in the last three years and people could hold onto that info. Maybe they are holding onto that info (as Jesse said). It’s clear Faness doesn’t have that info, whatever it is. Or if she does have that info, it means they aren’t listening to this concern at all and have sent her here to lie to us about caring what we think about it. I like to give the team the benefit of the doubt and assume that Faness is being genuine and she just doesn’t know.

      But it is 100% correct to state she’s the wrong person to be addressing this question. For some reason, she hasn't been given the info she needs or the authority to talk about the issue. That is what it is; I’m just choosing to point it out. 

      Reply Like 4
      • nbhms
      • nbhms
      • 3 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Faness I fail to see how moving a negative value forward didn't keep a budget honest.  If you over-spent one month in a category, you had less money to spend in that category the next month.  That's keeping you honest.  As others have stated in these forums, I have plenty of float in my budget.  For example, from years of budgeting, I know what my month-to-month medical expenses are.  If I go to the dentist at the end of a month and slightly run over, it's fine because I know the insurance reimbursement will come in next month and cover it - a $50 "overspend" hasn't crossed a red line anywhere, I've accounted for it in my overall budget and I have the float for it.  The "red arrow" logically showed that and "kept me honest".  Making me manually move money around categories every month accomplishes nothing in this case except cause busy work.

      Reply Like 2
      • Til Debt Do Us Part
      • Divorcing Debt - Not Each Other
      • debt_do_us_part
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor She's the wrong person to be addressing the situation because she asked what you'd like to see in the program? She told you YNABs stance - no carrying negatives in the budget. This is where you offer your idea of what you'd like to see, not tear her down for lacking the power to wave a magic wand.

      I get she's not the only employee but she's the only one I've seen commenting on threads like this Asking questions, trying to advocate, and catches bull from people like you for it. You're dismissing her for putting effort into understanding you. You'd rather speak into the wind instead of to someone who may not have all the facts, but is probably your best chance at being heard. I find it commendable YNAB employees are here at all, but yes, let's tell them to go away unless they're Jesse himself and all threads can fall on deaf ears unless the CEO takes the time to answer every question. That's unrealistic and rude.

      It grinds my gears to see people blame employees and treat them as less than when all they're trying to do is help. 

      Reply Like 1
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 3 wk ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Til Debt Do Us Part I don’t care for strawmen or moved goal posts so I think we’re done here. 

      Reply Like 3
    • nbhms said:
      I fail to see how moving a negative value forward didn't keep a budget honest.

      As long as any red is showing, one or more other category balances are overstated. That is the simple fact of what's going, and thus, the budget is not 100% accurate until you a) get more money and b) actually put enough in the category to clear the red.

      Carrying over Grocery overspending at the tail end of the month is arguably a non-issue when next month's category already has money in it. Other use-cases, however, were probably at the heart of the unilateral decision to axe the feature.

      Reply Like
      • nbhms
      • nbhms
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I guess it depends on your perspective.  To me the budget is 100% accurate, and the red numbers are showing which categories are over spent for that month.  In my case next month's categories are all budgeted and have money in them, and are handling the case where the "red arrow" is carrying the negative balance forward.  Forcing me to do it in this month by moving values around vs next month where I've already budgeted for it and allocated the money is just busy work.  To be clear, I'm talking about grocery, medical (insurance reimbursements), etc, where the money naturally fluctuates month-to-month, I'm not using it to fool myself that I've magically paid for a brand new 4K TV when I haven't.

      You may still look at that as cheating (I look at it as budgeting over two months), but either way, the red numbers with the negative signs in front of them are a bright red warning as to what's going on and needs to be dealt with one way or another - but the choice is mine in YNAB4 how it's dealt with.

      I guess the developers decided that taking that choice away in nYNAB would be helpful to the majority of their customer base.  I'm just stating that for me it was counter-productive, and I won't move to a product that makes me spend extra time every month implementing workarounds just to accommodate the vendor so I can send them money every month.  I'll continue to use the product that already works, and when that ceases to function I'll find a product that works the way I need.

      Reply Like
      • bevocat
      • Crazy Cat Lady
      • bevocat
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      nbhms That's assuming such a one exists.

      Reply Like
    • nbhms said:
      You may still look at that as cheating

      Actually, I don't, and that's what I meant when I mentioned the Grocery example with next month funded. That is just one of several scenarios that seem perfectly responsible to me. However, I don't think that was the most frequent use case across the entire user base, which is why (IMO) it wasn't implemented in nYNAB.

      (In other words, I agree with you 100%.)

      Reply Like
    • WordTenor I think if you repositioned those goal posts of yours, your *ideas* would be better communicated instead of just your logic. That's all. 🤷‍♀️ Have a good day.

      Reply Like
      • nbhms
      • nbhms
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      bevocat I know of at least one product, which I used before YNAB.  I switched to YNAB because it had better reporting, cleaner interface, and better import features.  I'll settle for a dated interface before I settle for workarounds and busy work.  A quick internet search shows more possibilities, and I'd assume there will be even more by the time YNAB4 quits working in the latest version of OS X or Windows if the bugs in nYNAB have not been fixed by then.

      And if push comes to shove and I have no choice but to do busy work, I'll go back to doing it in Excel for free.  That's the way I used to do it, had a workbook with a sheet for every month done up with categories, pay inputs, etc, and category balances rolled over between the monthly sheets.  I moved to a "pay for" software product for the convenience and time saving it afforded me.  As I said before, I'm not going to pay someone for inconvenience - inconvenience I can do on my own 🙂

      Reply Like 1
  • Faness said:
    The statement to address reimbursement handling actually predates my use of the new YNAB.

     Actually Jesse made the statement    after the launch of the subscription service. It was specifically directed at YNAB 4 users who hadn’t made the switch due to their concern about not being able to track reimbursements. 

    Reply Like 4
    • jenmas WordTenor I was trying to explain that the statement came before I started using the new YNAB, and I never used the red arrow, so I didn't understand at the time why the feature was such a large concern - your explanations here helped clear that up for me. I appreciate you sharing the perspective.

      Reply Like 1
  • I still think dakinemaui 's method that was developed in YNAB4 of having a Reimbursement category group where the total cannot go negative but individual categories can and are allowed to carryover is the best solution. If the group did go negative, then at that point you treat it like the normal overspend handling to get it back to zero.

    If this were the case, I'd use my income replacement fund to offset.

    I use the red arrow a lot for tracking and reimbursement. Some of it is for paying myself back, but I can afford to wait. My red arrow usage is currently equal to 12% of my Income replacement, 3.6% of the total money in my budget. And that's not even taking into account the brokerage account that I was able to start funding 3 years ago thanks to YNAB.

    Reply Like 5
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule Yes. I think having that kind of solution formalized in the software would make a lot of sense. But as long as the only solution that can be imagined is the red arrow, the users are never going to see an improvement  because as is evident here, hands will be thrown up and people will go “No red arrow!” instead of thinking outside the box about how to actually meet needs. 

      Reply Like 1
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 3 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I could work with that. I don’t care which Master category my Income Replacement Fund sits under. 

      Reply Like 2
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

       Honestly,  my existing setup using a target category balance goal mostly worked until they decided to screw it up by removing the credit card payment information in the inspector. I couldn’t track what I was owed in per deim,  but I could at least track that I had received back all the stuff I’d spent. 

      Reply Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor jenmas Still doesn't address my main issues with the software, but you've heard me talk about that ad nauseum, and no one will be able to convince me I can live without them, so I won't mention them here.

      Reply Like 1
    • For the edification of others, this is the general idea (here in a Roommate scenario). Obviously, more than one reimbursement can be easily tracked, and the remainder of categories are completely backed by cash.

      Reply Like 1
    • This same concept can be employed in nYNAB if you manually propagate the remaining balance owed in successive months with a negative budget entry. Unfortunately, a negative budget entry anywhere (this is not isolated to this reimbursement approach) causes the previous month's TBB to increase if you've budgeted to the future. It's confusing, because those funds must be left in TBB.

      Reply Like 2
    • bevocat Hard to escape the consequences of math. :-)

      It's like many things in nYNAB, confusing as hell until you're told (or realize) what's going on. Then no big deal. Stealing from the future, (this negative-budget issue is the flip side I like to call, "Lying to the Past"), transactions categorized as TBB not showing up in TBB, TBB increasing for some CC payments, overspending after making some returns... it all makes sense once it makes sense. ;-)  Until then, newbies be like, WTF??

      Hey, at least it provides a stream of new users to help, right?

      Reply Like 5
      • bevocat
      • Crazy Cat Lady
      • bevocat
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Yeah, I get that; I'm just saying it's nuts for a product to tell people "budget to zero" and then "oh wait, no, you need to leave this money in TBB if it's in the past!" Ugh.

      Reply Like 1
    • briefcase
    • A rack of ties, a travel mug, telephone, briefcase filled with papers
    • briefcase
    • 3 wk ago
    • 5
    • Reported - view
    nbhms said:
    There is a difference between rolling with the punches, and paying someone a monthly fee to give you the punches 😉

     It's so much worse than that, though.  For example, if you take a look at the Up Next page, they are working on Zapier integration, which literally no one was asking for.  Meanwhile, they keep ignoring features that long time users have been clamoring for for 3 years now.  It's beyond frustrating, and I'm not really sure how this can be justified on a company level.

    Reply Like 5
    • briefcase 

      I completely agree. I literally ignored nYNAB from release until now. First month trying nYNAB after using YNAB4 for some time. I have gotten past most of the major issues people seem to have. However, are a couple of major problems with nYNAB that make it a hard pass for me. The more I think about what is lacking and how they implemented the new features and self-defined wording,  I'm talking more so the thought process (or lack of) behind it, the more I am turned off in general. 3 years since launch.... wow.

      Reply Like
      • briefcase
      • A rack of ties, a travel mug, telephone, briefcase filled with papers
      • briefcase
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Silver Storm Don't get me wrong.  I have used nYNAB since launch and have no plans to abandon the platform.  I have long since realized that direct import by itself saves me so much time managing our budget that it completely outweighs other options.  I tried to switch back to YNAB4 multiple times and just couldn't.  Granted, I'm probably the perfect use case for nYNAB.  We are a two income household with two young children and I take night classes.  I also use multiple operating systems and devices and am primarily a mobile user.  That being said, I'm not sure how YNAB as a company can keep justifying withholding features the community obviously wants, while developing features that no one's asking for.  It seems a little like graveyard whistling.

      Reply Like
  • nachoslibres said:
    #3 Credit Card payments - I really don't understand this at all. In YNAB 4 I would enter a transaction on the credit card I used and code it to the correct budget category and then I would increase my payment at the end of the month to offset that charge (all credit cards get paid off at the end of every month). However, now it seems nYNAB doesn't trust that I can do that correctly so now I have a separate credit card category that I have to budget for but honestly doesn't make much sense to me since I've already budgeted for it elsewhere in my budget. Maybe this is just a way for nYNAB to help me with cash flow? but I don't have that issue.

     I think someone else mentioned it, but I figured I'd add my thought process on this, hopefully it will help you sort out a few of the changes.

    I agree that I struggled with the transition, and finally threw up my hands and started a brand new budget for nYNAB rather than trying to import from YNAB4. I really wanted the records and longevity (mostly because I like seeing pretty bar graphs going in the right direction), but I gave up after a bit because it just wasn't computing.
    What I like about the way it works now is that it moves the money into the credit card category as I spend it. So the credit card category tells me exactly how much of a payment to make on the card that I have spent within this month. I don't have to do any math, I just make a payment for that exact amount. The only time I will budget money TO a credit card category directly is if there is outstanding debt. If you are paying all of your cards off to zero each month, then there is no need to budget anything to the credit card itself. It moves there automatically as you spend. So if you aren't needing to budget to the CC, then you can easily move those categories down in your budget, or hide them all together so you don't have to look at them.

     

    As far as reimbursements go, that's way over my head. But, I do run a small business for myself, and what works for me is keeping everything very separated. I run a completely separate budget for the business vs my personal budget. I also have separate credit cards that I use so I can keep it clean and don't have to worry about getting confused. It works for me, but I'm sure that wouldn't work for everyone.

    Reply Like
  • nachoslibres said:
    Credit Card payments - I really don't understand this at all.

     The CC handling is designed to make things easier on those who carry a balance -- and it really is quite invaluable for such users. The safeties and warnings highlight user mistakes that would go unnoticed in YNAB4. 

    It is overly complex for a paid-in-full card, which is why some will use a checking account to represent such a card. This achieves the streamlined YNAB4 workflow of, "Pay whatever you want to pay." The account becomes one that allows you to deposit money once you know how much you need rather than deposit in advance of expenses and hope it's sufficient.

    Reply Like 4
  • I've been a YNAB user almost from the beginning. I first had YNAB Pro before 3, 4 and now nYNAB. For me, YNAB 4 was the pinnacle of the YNAB software. Having said that, I have been able to adapt nYNAB to my needs. I can't help you with reimbursments as that is not a normal part of my life but I've came up with easy workarounds for any other issues I had after making the transition.

    As a paid in full (PIF) credit card user, I have no need for the stock nYNAB CC handling. So I made my CCs checking accounts and now they work exactly as they did in YNAB 4. Instead of Income for Next Month, I made a category I call Buffer. All my checks for the month get put in my Buffer category and then released after my last paycheck of the month at which time I budget all of next month. For cash flow, I added the toolkit and turned on the Running Balance feature. This along with scheduled transactions shows me what my checking account balance will be at any point in time in the future.

    With these easy modifications plus direct connect and the much improved phone app, my total YNAB experience has never been better.

    Reply Like 2
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view
      Superbone said:
      For cash flow, I added the toolkit and turned on the Running Balance feature. This along with scheduled transactions shows me what my checking account balance will be at any point in time in the future.

       This only works if your account only contains transactions with a monthly frequency. And even then the limit is one month out, not any point in the future.

      Reply Like
      • Superbone
      • Programmer
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule Yeah, you're right. Far enough out that I've ever needed.

      Reply Like
    • Superbone I have implemented YNAB the same as you except the toolkit and the direct connect.  Not a fan of either of those.  I tried direct connect and it just felt too much like Mint which I did not like, also I like reconciling my accounts manually.  As far as the tool kit goes the Safari one does not get updated that much and some things break when YNAB has a release, also not sure how much I trust an extension that can read your data since it is developed by a volunteer community.  I may be just over cautious.

      Reply Like
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