"You assigned more than you have" from a previous month
I'm getting back on the wagon and had a question. I've been updating transactions via import and all that but kind of ignoring the budgeting part (I know, the whole reason for doing it). Well, now I'm trying to get a (unofficial) fresh start and wonder the best way to handle a negative available from a prior month. If I ignore it does it roll over in a proper way to the following month (last month) so that I can budget that one to get ready for this new one or do I need to go back and fix it by unassigning amounts to cover it?
I don't really want to go back but don't want the present to be inaccurate.
And move money so that your current month's credit card payment category is showing what you want available.
It likely won't be correct on its own, but if you're paying down debt, it should cover your payment. If you're Paid In Full, the positive available number should match the negative working balance on the card.
This depends on whether or not the negative available is cash based, or credit based.
If it is red cash based, then it will come out of any funds you have in the ready to assign for the following month I believe.
If it is credit based, then it sort of "disappears" (one of my complaints of the system). You will see your total balance keep going up on in the accounts list on the left, and at the top of the individual accounts page, but other than that, it doesn't really affect anything.
Credit based debt just sort of sits there until you address it.
In order to address it - you will need to move money from Ready To Assign directly to any of your credit cards that you wish to pay down debt on in the Credit Card Payment Category section at the top of your budget. It can be tricky to manage if you are carrying outstanding debt on a card AND continuing to put purchases on it at the same time, but it's doable.
Hope this helps, if not someone from the YNAB team might be able to help you out better than I can.
Way to start again! For context on what rolls over from previous months and what doesn't, check this out. Any cash overspending from a previous month will be deducted from Ready to Assign as the month rolls over, so you should be good to start this month and move forward. (We don't recommend going back in time to make changes anyway.)
To be totally confident that the money in your accounts matches the money available in your budget today, you might do a Budget Audit.
If you do have credit cards, follow Move Light Sound Life's advice to assign money directly to your Credit Card Payment category so you have money available for a payment this month. :)