Quick Budget - Quick Question

Just wondered if there is an easy way to set the available budget to the average spent taking into account under under spending from the previous month?

The Quick Budget works perfectly so long as there is no under spending in the previous month.  I do not want any under spending to carry forward.

Currently I do this calculation manually.

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    • nolesrule
    • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
    • nolesrule
    • 2 yrs ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    By definition, average spending is the  total spent over a period of time divided by the amount of time in units. It cannot ignore overspending or underspending in a given month.

    If this is a monthly spending category where you want the same amount every month, there should be an option to budget what you spent in the previous month, which will bring it back to the nominal amount.

    Like 1
      • Kombucha Kid
      • Slate_Gray_Router.1
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I think the OP is getting at something different. When you budget the average spent, it adds that to the current category balance. So if I underspent a category by $20 in December, and I "quickbudget" my average of $30, I'm going to have $50 in that category. The OP might be looking for a way to add the difference between the average spent and carried over funds, so that the category balance is still just the average.

      This is something I've noticed slows down my budgeting as well. I still want it to take the underspending into account as part of the average, I just don't want it to add the average back to the underspending, giving me a much higher category balance than I'm aiming for.

      Currently, I clean out categories that I don't want to carry over by moving the underspent funds to my "funds for next month" holding category at the end of the month. I can then quickbudget average spent with a click of the button, getting the correct amount. I have some categories that I prefer to "clean out" every month, and others that I prefer to let the underspending accumulate, knowing that I'll probably need the extra funds to cover a larger purchase at some point. I'm still getting the hang of this and haven't decided if I should be carrying over funds in every category to buffer against future larger expenses, but I get a bit of satisfaction when I underspend a category and can then put those funds towards one of my larger goals.

      Like 1
      • iwaddo
      • iwaddo77
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Kombucha Kid Thank you, that is exactly my point.

       

      A button that does : ThisMonthsBudgetAmount = AverageSpent - LastMonthsUnderSpending

      So if my AverageSpent = £150 and my Underspending from last month is £90 then the amount I need to budget is £150 - £90 = £60.  By budgeting only £60 it is added to the underspending of £90 which gives £150 in my budget.

      I hope this helps

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      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      iwaddo You should see my spreadsheets for natural gas, electricity and gasoline. I have a somewhat complicated formula that I use to determine how much to budget and what the cap should be, because the expenses are cyclical. I budget the twelve month average, with a start of month max balance equal to the twelve month average plus sum of all spending above the twelve month average in the past 12 months. YNAB (current or 4) can't handle this type of calculation.

      For most monthly categories, I do the end of month sweep and redploy, budgeting the same amount every month regardless of spending. Every so often I'll look at my averages and peaks to decide if i want to adjust.

      Like 1
      • iwaddo
      • iwaddo77
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule It can get quite complicated. My gas and electric pay the same each month by direct debit and are usually just adjusted once a year so I worry about it when they adjust. I do not try and over budget to absorb the inevitable increase, I guess I could but it might also drive me crazy trying to second guess :-)

      I was just being lazy, I could run through the last month and remove the underspent budget items then re-budget for next month, which is effectively what we all do to some extent or other for the budget items we do not want to snowball most of which would have a goal of one sort or another anyway. 

      It just seems to be that there are opportunities for more Quick Budget buttons to suit different peoples approaches or better still a set of customisable buttons to which I could apply my own logic. 

      The main reason I posted was to see if there were any obvious workarounds I was not aware of to save me  a few key strokes. 

       

      Thank you for your help. 

      Like 1
  • On a related topic.

    So I have an example where the Average Spent is the same as Last month. I have checked and last month is the only month with any spending so actually Average Spent is not the average of the preceding 12-months.

    Has anyone seen this behaviour before?

    Thank you for your help. 

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      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      iwaddo I think it uses the average of the last n months where n is the farthest back any spending occurred, but not greater than 12 months. This is to prevent the monthly  averages from getting skewed for newbies.

      Like 2
  • Hi iwaddo — Currently, there isn't an option to customize that, but please submit a Feature Request with your suggestions on that Quick Budget option!

    The Average Quick Budget amounts look back up to 12 months starting with the first month where there was budgeting or spending activity in each category.

    The calculation for Average Budgeted and Average Spent amounts in each category starts with the first month with budgeting or spending activity.

    For example, let's say you start your budget in January and in April you create a Vacation Fund category with $100 Budgeted. If you advance to May, the Average Budgeted amount for that category will be $100, not $25. The previous three months will be excluded from the calculation.

    Like 1
      • iwaddo
      • iwaddo77
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Nicole at YNAB Thank you, now I know what it is doing I can work around it.

      Thank you for your help. 

      Like 1
      • iwaddo
      • iwaddo77
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      So I have looked at the Average Spent a little further and found YNAB is working like this

      1. Spend £120 in Dec 17 and in Dec 18 the Average Spent is £10 (12-month average)
      2. Spend £120 in May 18 and in Dec 18 the Average Spent is £20 (6-month average)
      3. Spend £120 in Nov 18 and in Dec 18 the Average Spent is £120 (1-month average)

      An option to ignore zero spend months by Category might be useful but to be honest I think the best way is for me to understand what I am planning to spend when and to budget accordingly.

      Thank you for your help. 

      regards

      PS. is it me or does this editor change the ink colour when using numbering, the three numbered rows look darker to me. They are not bold just probably 100% black where as this text looks to be about 50%, how odd!

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  • I also wish there was an easy way to budget to the available amount instead of the budgeted amount. Now that there's a calculator, it's not too bad, but soon I'm going to have a windfall and I plan on filling some true expenses to the max I want. Instead of a "Make available dollars $X" I have to budget "X-[currently available dollars]," which is mildly annoying.

    I agree it's totally worse for recurring monthly expenses. We spent about half our average on gas in November, and I forgot that and ended up with 1.5x our average budgeted in December.

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      • iwaddo
      • iwaddo77
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      slightlysmall 

      slightlysmall said:
      easy way to budget to the available amount instead of the budgeted amount

       HI, I am not sure I follow, perhaps you could explain a little further.

      slightlysmall said:
      I agree it's totally worse for recurring monthly expenses. We spent about half our average on gas in November, and I forgot that and ended up with 1.5x our average budgeted in December.

       If you are budgeting to a specific amount each month, say £100 for gas, perhaps you could make some notes in the notes field to help when revising the budget at the beginning of each month. It is then easy to see they is £50 remaining from last month so you now only need to budget £50 this month.

      Another way is to you the goals tool but this gets angry if you set a monthly budget of £100 but only spend £50 due to the remainder.

      Out of interest, how do you start you budget each month, does it start empty with nothing budgeted, are you using the quick budgeting tools or have you budgeted ahead and pre-populated  the Gas budget for a number of months ahead? 

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    • iwaddo what I mean is instead of having a goal for "monthly budgeted," I would like a goal for something like "monthly available." Right now i have a monthly funding goal of $200 for gas. But I had $100 left over. If I only budget $100 in December, I have the right amount available, but the category is "underfunded." I either have to manually move the money from November's category to December's, ignore the yellow (which I do sometimes, but then my husband will quick-budget underfunded categories sometimes), or overfund.

       

      As to how I budget: we are a month ahead. Right now January is fully funded. I tend to quick budget categories I can turn green. Because I fund the month early, though, I don't actually know how much I'll have left in each category when the month changes.

      Like 1
  • slightlysmall said:
    what I mean is instead of having a goal for "monthly budgeted," I would like a goal for something like "monthly available."

     Yes, this really annoys me to, I've just used to living with the yellow for some but for most I've stopped using this goal and just add a moment to remind me what to do.  Recently though I've started budgeting to Average Spent for many of these as there is no point budgeting £100 for a category for which I ever only spend £50. I budget to £50 then it is more obvious that I am spending more this month that I normally. This only works for my controllable categories though.

    It is interesting to see how others approach the budget as I never usually each look at next month until the very end of the month.

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