How many months back does the "average budgeted" feature go?

How many months back does the average budged feature go? I am trying to use that feature to create funding goals for each month so I know how much money to keep in those for such things as clothing, car maintenance, etc. This has been easier with things that I pay every month but for things that I only do every couple of months the numbers seem off. 

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  • Hi, CharityFC

    According to this article on the Quick Budget feature, 

    • Average Budgeted: A 1 to 12 month rolling average of the budgeted value for this category. The current month is excluded.

    If, for example, a person only has 7 months of budgeting data, it will be display an average for all but the current month. To get a complete 12-month average, the budget has to go back 13 months.  For those of us who have years of data, it only averages the last 12 completed months, so as we move forward in time, the oldest month's data drops off.

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  • Way to go, HappyDance !

    If you'd like, you can avoid the middleman there,  and use the Average Spent Quick Budget button instead of creating Goals. Then, each time, you'll be budgeting your average, without having to create Goals based on them and then use the Underfunded Quick Budget button.

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  • Adding on from @happydance, another thing that may help is to look at your Income vs Expense Reports - this gives you a solid idea of how much you're actually spending so that when you do budget, it's realistic.

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  • I don't use the average budgeted number at all. I have used the budgeted last month to quickly budget the current month.  I also find the average spent data both illuminating and useful on occasion, especially when analyzing my budget  and spending habits for what is working and what is not working.  Average spent will reveal to me that I am chronically underfunding a category and need to adjust upwards, or that  I am overspending as a result of robo-spending on some indulgences and it is time to restrain myself. But I can't say that I have ever used average budgeted, maybe because I frequently skim out the unused dollars from some categories to top up savings goals, so the numbers originally budgeted have been changed.

    Sometimes average budgeted or average spent in the past has no value as you go forward. I budgeted $3,000 to and spent $2,100 from my car maintenance category in 2017. I do not expect to buy 4 new winter tires on 4 rims in 2018, or to need a front-end brake job, so neither past average will be helpful to me as guidance going forward. For my 2018 number, I reviewed the manufacturer's suggested maintenance schedule for my car and I had a chat with my mechanic. Setting aside unexpected expenses for repairs (such as nails in tires or windshield replacement), I don't expect to need much for car maintenance in 2018.

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      • CharityFC
      • CharityFC
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance  That is a very good point. For similar "one-off" expenses, I try to separate them into different categories so they don't mess with my regular expenses. Normal car maintenance such as oil changes, new batteries, etc all go into the same category but tires have their own category because of how infrequently I buy them. 

      I am trying to use my data similar to how you described, to see what I am chronically under-funding and to see what needs more $$ set aside per month. Recently I realized that I have spent far more on craft supplies than I have on clothing, which would explain my huge craft stash and my threadbare wardrobe. I am trying to adjust my spending in other areas as well. 

      Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      CharityFC For something like car maintenance and repair, I prefer to just have a single category. Estimate the TCO and divide by the number of months, and just try to budget that every month. In our case, it's $50/month per car.

      I do the same with the home maintenance and repair category. It covers the lawn guy, the sprinkler winterizing, the bug guy, but also the plumber, the replacement water heater, new roof, etc. The wants come out of the Home Improvement category. Decor, furniture, flooring, the expensive but awesome refrigerator.

      Like 4
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      CharityFC 

      I found controlling crafting a particularly difficult challenge.

      Instead of using a monthly amount for crafting, which I initially tried and failed -- I kept rationalizing good reasons for overspends --  I finally implemented a scorched earth policy for one year. I restricted the purchase of supplies to only what I needed to complete a project, emphasis on the words  needed to complete a project. This meant I had to use what I had previously purchased. That seemed to do the trick for me. I think now in looking back that I managed to self-heal myself out of a small shopping addiction by doing that.

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      • CharityFC
      • CharityFC
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance 

      I may need to do that. 

      I probably have too much to use though, my crafts the past year and a half have tended to be stationary and scrapbooking supplies. Part of me has considered chucking the whole hobby and donating everything to a local school just to get rid of the clutter. 

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      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      CharityFC 

      Ha.  Now that I understand. 🙂

      Before you do anything drastic, try spending some time pre-kitting some projects. That way when the mood strikes you or you have some time, you can pull out a tidy small collection that is ready to go and enjoy an afternoon of creativity.  I think part of the problem with a big inventory is the endless choice, and the inevitable mess of digging through everything for a small smattering of things.

      Like 1
      • CharityFC
      • CharityFC
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance 

      "Endless choice"

      That is very good advice. I can make "kits" for a rainy day or when the mood strikes and donate the excess. I have the email of the art teacher at one of the local elementary schools who would love to have it. 

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  • Actually, I have a question regarding "Average Budgeted." Does the user have any control over this (that is, how many months are used in the calculation)? I prefer a 3-month rolling average.

    Like 1
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Coral Wizard 

      I think you have hit on a good feature request.  I may be wrong, but I think it's only the 12-month right now.  I have looked but not found the option to see 3-month averages, and that is/was data I typically used in YNAB4.

      edited to add:  of course, we can use the reports to see the average spent for the last three months, but it's not as handy as being in the quick budgeting tools or displayed when you click on each category.

      Like 2
      • jestarr
      • jestarr
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance Did anyone put this in as a feature request?  I find 3 month rolling averages to be the most useful as well. 

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    • Hi jestarr !

      You can submit a Feature Request for more or customizable Quick Budget options! :)

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  • The toolkit has the option to use different times for Days of Buffering history look up, all, 1 yr, 6, 3 or 1  months.  I have mine set on 1 year and have used the others.

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