Weekly spending category, last week of the month
I have set up 4 spending categories (week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4) to use for spending money. My question is how to handle that toward the end of the month. I start my week on every Friday so this week is week 1 for April but it's still March. So, should I put the money in week 1 of March (so that will be twice the budget amount for March and there won't be a budget amount for week 1 in April) or should I put it in April's week 1 but then if I spend money this weekend it will so a negative amount for the week 1 since it's not funded yet in April?
I wanted to keep the budget correct for each month so I can see on the right what I have left to budget and it will look correct when I look back on my budgeting for the year on the reporting tools.
Not sure if that all makes sense but any suggestions would be great.
I have a group of categories called Fortnightly and another called Where PYFS and Fortnightly Meet. Call it a crutch, a hack, or brilliant, whatever you want, but my reality is having all of these types of expenses (food, gas, cleaning) for the month budgeted all at once didn't work. The money was spent too fast. The first attempt was making categories for each week, like you've done (Food Week 1, Food Week 2, etc.) but while it worked well on the spending side, it was too much time in the budget moving money to and from (maybe I had a day off work week 1 and didn't use as much gas, then I'd have to move that to week 2). Also, not all months have 4 weeks exactly/cleanly, as in your question about this month (month ends mid week, YNAB rolls over at the end of the month), so that was another thing to remember and track, too much admin time (now money in week 4 has to transfer to week 1). Enter compromise (thanks to those in the UK sharing their thoughts): All the categories in Fortnightly group are funded just like it says. The goals on them are target category balance. I do not fund these specific categories into future months. You might say, whoa! That's paycheck to paycheck thinking. Before we get to that and you vote me off the island, the categories work well. If I don't use as much gas this fortnight, say $10 left in the category, and the next fortnight comes around, when I budget using the target balance it takes the $10 into account. I'm not moving money around. If the fortnight starts in one month and ends in the next, the balances roll over (they are either positive or zero, I take care of negatives immediately). Again, saving admin time. The only thing I need to track is when to move money into those accounts, which is once every fortnight, easy calendar rule in outlook or google. Now for following the rules, I have a category group 'Where PYFS and Fortnightly meet' with a category Fortnightly Expenses that has a target category balance equal to 4 weeks of Fortnightly expenses. That category is budgeted into the future. In fact, it's fully budgeted for this month and next month. All that to say, I am paying my future self, but I needed to meter out the monies in smaller buckets. The size of the category might need tweaked when a 5 week month comes around, but it might keep working as is. YMMV.
You will find that you're going to have 4 months a year with a 5th week using your system, and if you do not account for that it will screw you up.
When you are doing weekly breakdowns like that then the week needs to be based on the month that the first day of your week is in. Since you are going by Fridays, then this is not the first week of April, but the 5th week of March.
I do what nolesrule suggests. I found that when I budget all my fun money or groceries for the month I always have to remember how much month is left. I usually blow through my money the first three weeks of the month. So to combat that I have groceries and fun money set us as
so on for weeks 3 and 4
I also have week 5
Every Friday I move money from Week x,, Fun Money to spending,, Fun money.
and so for groceries. This keeps reports in one category for the year.
When week 5 arrives I budget to that and just let the unspent money roll over to that next month in the spending category. I budget 140.00 a week on groceries and Went to the store yesterday so nothing will roll over for next month.
Fun money has not been spent so all of that will roll over.
Thanks for the suggestions. I am going to give the 5-week category budget a try. I don't budget it at the beginning of each month, I budget if each week (I get paid every two weeks and my wife gets paid on the 15 and last day of the month). The month that doesn't have 5 weeks, I just won't budget for that category that month.