How do I erase past fumbling to get a better YNAB history?

How do I reset the history of my YNAB so things look more like a normal budget? Or no budget and start on Sept 1?

I'm in my second month of YNAB and budgeting for my third (Sept). I also got a modest inheritance. I've been shuffling a lot of budgets and accounts until I finally got things the way I want them. Or so I think at the moment anyway.

I actually have two budgets, one is my "real" budget that's been purged of "extra" money beyond a emergency fund, some pre-funded categories (like dental) and a $2k slush fund. My separate budget with a different checking and savings accounts has my future new house down payment, closing costs and some budget for furniture etc.

There was a ton of fiddling so it looks like I spent a lot of money in different categories. I may also have not done it all "correctly", but here I am.

How might I *not* carry the weirdness into the future with respect to reports and various averages? For example, this month (Aug) shows $16k of activity. Which might be technically accurate but doesn't really reflect actual spending. Is there a way to reset some of that?

Thanks

6replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • You can do a fresh start on September 1 but the reality is that you did have that much activity in August. After using ynab for over 5 years I’ve learned that no two months are the same!!

    Like
      • JivaGo
      • Jivago
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      satcook I did have that activity, but much of that was shuffling and fiddling rather than actual spending.

      What does the "Fresh Start" do? I have all my budget goals and balance amounts pretty much how I want them.

      Like
    • JivaGo Fresh Start nukes your category balances and all transactions, keeping only accounts, category names, and I believe Goals. (Not sure how the SpendBy goals deal with this since they are based on transactions, which are gone; I suspect not well.) 

      So write down your Available balances for reference, because you'll have to recreate them. Alternatively, just use the budget as is. You can filter out categories from reports or limit the date range to exclude the "fiddling".

      Like
    • Just saw that you don't have much transaction history with only 2 months. In that case, the Fresh Start probably will do you well. Clean mental slate, so to speak.

      Like
  • I would suggest that you make a plan for everything in a single budget. Emergency Fund, dental, House Downpayment, everything. Read this article to understand how the location of money in multiple accounts doesn't really matter to the budget -- which defines purpose.

    If you feel the need to force agreement between a category and a particular account balance, you are making things harder than necessary. Using an account to define purpose is a great idea if all you have is accounts, but with YNAB it winds up being very clumsy and error-prone.

    Like 1
      • JivaGo
      • Jivago
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I consciously picked this method as I wanted a "normal" budget free from the "extra" money. I know I could do it in one, and that's how it was originally. I'm concerned about living a lifestyle that matches my actual income and choosing a house that reflects that. Separating the money is the strategy I chose. The housing stock in my area is extremely low. Most houses in my range get offers within hours of listing and offers are often accepted on the same day.  This could take months and I want a "normal" budget ASAP.

      I also churn bank accounts for extra cash and I had a whole line of accounts in the wait. Once the house is purchased and at least some of the other money is spent, I'll likely merge it back together. There is no right way to do this and this was not the cause of all the activity. The cause was my newness to YNAB, to this philosophy of budgeting and to budgeting at all.

      Like
Like Follow
  • 1 mth agoLast active
  • 6Replies
  • 81Views
  • 3 Following