Need help understanding the right sidebar info

Hi,

I would like to better understand all the information YNAB provides about my overall cashflow. I'm looking at the desktop app, and on the right side, in blue, I can see numbers for:

  • Total Budgeted
  • Total Activity
  • Total Available
  • Total Inflows

In particular, how is Total Activity calculated? This should be obvious, but I'm unable to figure out exactly how this number is derived (even after pulling the register in Excel and playing with calculations).

  1. Is it a total of all outflows for the current month
  2. I'm assuming transfers are excluded.

I have other questions about other parts of the screen, but figured I'd like to understand this first.  Sorry if there is a video or guide that already answers the question -- I've listened to and looked at a lot of them! Please point me to a link if it answers exactly what I just asked.

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  • Someone with more experience than I can correct me if I'm wrong, but since no one has stepped up in 3 hours, here I go:

    The first three are just the totals of the corresponding columns on that budget screen. You can compact categories in the budget area so that only totals show: it's easier to add them up that way. There's an option in the Toolkit (if you use Chrome or Firefox) to toggle all categories at once.

    Total Inflows represents income that was categorized as To Be Budgeted.

    Transfers that do not affect your budget (between on-budget accounts, e.g.) are excluded.

    Yes, the current month only. Sorry I don't remember the link where this is explained.

    Like 1
    • JoeDid Thanks! The suggestion to collapse the categories and look at the category groups helped a lot! The totals were not adding up for me, but I realize why now.

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      • JoeDid
      • Remember: It is To Laugh
      • Purple_rain
      • 2 yrs ago
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      doctor_who You're welcome. I'm glad it helped.

      I trust I will see you on the Beeb as the 14th Doctor at some point?

      Like 1
    • JoeDid  Ha, ha. No, I'm on the other side of the TV set... 

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      • JoeDid
      • Remember: It is To Laugh
      • Purple_rain
      • 2 yrs ago
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      doctor_who And since you said "TV set" instead of "telly," I gather you are on the other side of the Pond, as well. No matter. What matters is you're budgeting!

      Like 1
    • JoeDid Love visiting the UK though. I even went to Cardiff some time ago, and got to hunt down some of the places that they filmed certain scenes from the show -- great vacation!  😊 

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      • JoeDid
      • Remember: It is To Laugh
      • Purple_rain
      • 2 yrs ago
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      doctor_who Oh, the mention of Cardiff makes me think of Torchwood, another great series. I've never been to the UK. When my budget allows I'll plan a visit. (It's all about the budget, innit?)

      Like 1
  • I know this is an old post, but I’m  it’s glad to see that I’m not the only one. I’ve only been using YNAB for five weeks and have used excel for years.  For me, it still doesn’t make sense. For instance, my “activity” shows ~$4k, although my tuition I paid this month is over ~$5k alone. Clearly, the math here  doesn’t  make sense. 

     I have also fiddled in excel trying to make sense of YNAB’s numbers,  I can’t figure it out. Can anyone elaborate, or did you end up finding the answer? 

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    • Khaki Griffin Total Activity is simply the total of the Activity column.

      Did you charge Tuition on a CC? Budgeted credit card purchases are a wash.

      I find Total Activity to be fairly useless. What matters is whether you are making contributions toward your desired savings / expenses and covering overspending (or avoiding it in the first place).

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    • dakinemaui no,  I paid with a debt card. What I miss from excel was seeing how much I spent in a given month. I agree, it unfortunately is unhelpful. Ultimately, I went back to excel and entered the totals manually.

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    • Khaki Griffin The Expense report may have the monthly total you desire.

      Like 1
    • Khaki Griffin Another thing that could mess up your Total Activity is money inflowed directly to a category. For example, if you categorized a paycheck (or incoming transfer from a Tracking account) to your Tuition category, that would reduce your Total Activity by the amount of the inflow.

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