My Balances Are Off & I don't know where.
Hi, I've not been YNAB'ing for about 6 weeks (I was sick with COVID & other life scenarios) and I wasn't budgeting every paycheck. I went in tonight and my balance is off. I have an Ally savings and checking and as I've moved amounts between those accounts and our joint checking, I don't know where my mistake is. I also know that budgeting into the future is tripping me up, but I've been sort of getting along. Is there a quick fix/silver bullet? Thanks.
Silver bullet is make a reconciliation transaction (click reconcile, enter today’s cleared balance, and accept) and then get on with life. If your cleared balances in YNAB match the real world then your budget matches the real world and you can safely move money around the budget to cover any overspending.
I would prefer to verify and catch up on six weeks of transactions, but I’m particular.
If you find that after making Reconciliation Balance Adjustments in your accounts, you still don't feel confident moving forward, know that you can always make a Fresh Start. This would keep your categories, goals, and scheduled transactions, but it would clear out all budgeting and transaction history. And, YNAB will archive a copy of your current budget in name-only, so you can refer back to it (or even use it again if you'd like). To make a Fresh Start:
- Click the name of your budget (upper left corner).
- Choose Make a Fresh Start from the menu.
- In your new budget, enter your starting balances as of today (if they are linked and don't automatically import). This step allows your transactions to start importing if you want them to, so don't skip it! 🙂
I don’t like all this Fresh Start advice going around. It’s a cop-out. 11 years of YNAB I never needed a fresh start other than the move from old to new YNAB (which was a bummer). People who utilize fresh start should do so because they fully understand the software and have a specific use goal in mind.
Then I see confused people saying they’ve Fresh Started 3 times so far this year and are ready to give up. I’ll give a pass to reconciliation adjustments, because people DO need to move forward, even though I am more of the WordTenor mindset, in that if there is an error I feel much better finding it and understanding it so I can hopefully avoid a repeat occurrence in the future.
If there are newish users out there who have fallen off the wagon or had errors that a Fresh Start immediately fixed and found sunshine ever after, then I may be wrong and I apologize to you.
Help, my one credit card is off by a penny.
I don't feel like I can trust my To be Budgeted amount.
I've got a negative balance in my Paduka category and I can't figure out why.
Fresh start is a copout, man! It's the easy answer. One will never learn how YNAB works if they just fresh start every time something is a little off.
Hello, everyone! Hope you're having a great holiday season.
I think you're all vastly underestimating the psychological value of a Fresh Start. You're absolutely right, of course, that repeated Fresh Starts aren't a substitute for understanding how YNAB works. And you're equally correct that there's no such thing as a budget that requires a Fresh Start, and we have a very well-used set of instructions spelling out exactly how to get any budget back on track.
But when you're getting started with a new tool, it's immensely valuable to have a safety valve that lets you say, "Hey, I don't want to live in a budget that has my past mistakes in it; I don't want to enter two months' worth of transactions; and I don't want my budgeting decisions to be driven by anchoring based on what I see available in my categories from the past. I want a new budget that's based on what I've learned so far, one that makes me feel smart and capable and on top of things." That's why we recommend a Fresh Start.
Furthermore, you're not looking at real-world YNAB accounts all day. I am. And what I'm describing is exactly how Fresh Starts tend to be used in the wild: A couple of times when starting out, and then rarely after that unless someone is making big changes like splitting out a business budget, getting married or divorced, and so on.
That's a huge generalization, of course. But the idea that we're encouraging Fresh Starts in order to close more support tickets or dissuade people from learning how to use YNAB properly just isn't true. It's about establishing an emotional clean slate.
However, it is the opinion of some that the FS recommendation comes out far too often for more mundane issues when education is warranted.
Yeah, that was basically what prompted me to make the original comment. I just felt like I had seen the advice more often than usual, so I just wanted to put the brakes on for a sec.
Matthew It's heartening to know that the FS approach does help some people in the way I mentioned at the end of my post. I truly did not know if that was the case and that's why I left it open for suggestion.