New Goal Type: By Date - Which day of the month does it use?

When setting periodic goals with the new By Date goal type, does YNAB use the first or last day of the month? I don't see the option for a specific day of the month. More specifically, if I want to have $1000 in time for Christmas 2019, do I need to set my By Date as Dec 2019 or Jan 2020?

 

I'm pretty excited about this new type as we do our Christmas shopping throughout the year. This should greatly help!

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  • I think for sure not January - I think the question would be November vs. December?

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  • When you use a By date goal type, YNAB see's that as starting on the first of the month, it is an unmet goal on the first of the month selected.  You can fund it at any time during the month you prefer, and reminder starts on the first.  

    For Christmas, when do you want to do you're shopping?  I set mine for November, that way the money is available for when I start shopping.  Don't set it  for when your card bill is due, the money is already spent at that time.

    If you spend for Christmas during the year, it would probably be better to set a monthly amount instead.  The Goal By Date doesn't really work for spending over several months.  

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  • The article on the new types of goals that will be rolled out implies that you could set a goal for a certain amount by December 24. We'll see if that's actually how it works or if they were just sloppy in their description.

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    • Hi jenmas !

      Sorry for the confusion! The Date goals are still based on the month and not a specific day.

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Faness Then someone should really clean up that post on goals because it states "A By Date goal has you set aside money until you have budgeted a certain amount by a set date." If that's not what you mean, then you shouldn't publicly state "set date".

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    • Thank you, jenmas ! I'll see if we can't have this clarified. :)

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      • Laura L
      • laura
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Faness I know it's been a while since this thread was active, but I have a followup - I'm new to YNAB and during my setup tour, I was prompted to create a goal to save for software subscriptions (e.g. cost of YNAB) as an example.  I just went back into that goal and it says "Fund $83.99 by February 15".   Is this not exactly a "save by date" as opposed to the default "save by date" that's actually by month?  Has something changed in the past 3 months since the last replies on this thread, and is there now a way to set a specific day of the month?  If there is, I can't figure out how to repeat this process as was demonstrated by the setup example.  Thanks for your help!

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    • Laura L Ignore the day. If you'll be able to budget toward that category prior to the outflow, set the target date anytime in that month. If you can't, then set it for any day in the previous month.

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    • Hi Laura L !

      By chance, were you using the mobile app when you created that goal? If so, the date selection automatically shows the full calendar to allow a specific day to be selected. However, the goal is still for the month and not the specific day.

      Things are changing, so that won't always be the case, but we're not quite there yet. 

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      • WordTenor
      • I'm the oldest and the wittiest.
      • WordTenor
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness Does this actually need to be changed though? If one budgets a month at a go, the date within the month is actually irrelevant. 

      I realize the company is hell bent on throwing out the baby (the classic buffer) with the bath water (that saving a month of money being discouraging to newbies). But nothing worth doing is easy. The goals right now assume buffered operation, and it’s worth keeping them that way.

      Although I realize as I type this that worrying the developers will change the ways goals functions is probably about three and a half years premature. 

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor I took that comment to mean they are moving to a month picker instead of a day picker. I sincerely hope I'm not wrong.

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      • WordTenor
      • I'm the oldest and the wittiest.
      • WordTenor
      • 4 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Ah, one hopes! That would make a lot of sense. I know that the idea of changing goals so that you can more easily budget biweekly or weekly is also still floating around, so I interpreted "We're looking into changing that" as being more in line with that. 

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  • Only you will know if you will be able to budget to that category in the month of the outflow. Set the date in the Goal accordingly, you may wish to use the previous month in some cases.

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  • Hi Michael P !

    If you want to save $1,000 in time for Christmas you should set the goal for either November (so that the funds are saved Before December) or December (if you plan to budget funds towards the goal in December, as well). :)

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  • Thanks, everyone. I did some experimenting last night and I agree setting to December will work since I plan to fund in that month. 

    With the new "By Date" goal, I was able to create (fake) transaction of $500 and while my available funds drew down, it did not suggest to me that I now needed to contribute an extra $500 to stay on target. This is perfect for holiday spending throughout the year.

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