Turning future transactions into goals (feature request?)

It seems to me that there is a close relationship between future transactions and goals: in almost all cases, your goal should be to be able to afford them.

Something like a "create goal for this transaction" button, or even better, a "treat this future transaction like a goal" checkbox (defaults to true?), seems like it would make sense to me.

For example, I have an expensive yearly software renewal coming up in December., which I loaded as a future transaction. Life would be much smoother if I saved up for it now, instead of trying to pay it from December's budget only.

It also seems to me that if YNAB treated all future transactions as goals, most of the smaller ones (i.e. next month's ISP payment) would go from 0%-100% fulfilled pretty quickly as part of normal everyday budgeting, but further off larger ones would be more "visible" to you in the present. Either way, it seems fine to treat transactions as goals by default.

For now I can just create accompanying goals for large future transactions manually, but as a programmer, needing to duplicate the date and amount just irks me. Plus, if I cancel my expensive software subscription, I'd need to delete two pieces of data (the future transaction and the goal), instead of just one.

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  • Hi Pieter Nagel !

    Currently, Scheduled Transactions affect the Quick Budget options (for underfunded) and turn yellow if there isn't enough to cover the transaction, but only in the month that transaction is scheduled to happen. I can see how budgeting for that expense in advance would be helpful!

    Would you mind filling out this Feature Request Form with that information? We talk about the form in this Announcement but, in short, it goes directly to our development team to let them know what you'd like to see going forward!

    We truly appreciate you taking the time to weigh-in! :)

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  • Made a feature request referencing this topic (since there's no free-form text field in the feature request)

    Like 1
  • Since I proposed that all future transactions should be goals by default, that made me wonder: so what is the difference between future transactions and goals?

    It seems the only difference is that future transactions are more certain or more mandatory, while goals are more uncertain, or deferrable, or voluntary.

    i.e. that upcoming big tax payment is (mostly) unavoidable. Whereas your goal to save up for a new computer may be deferred by a month or so.

    Thinking of goals and transactions as related concepts opens up another possibility: recurring goals. i.e. my goal is to save up enough money for my vehicle registration fees every year by June.

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    • Pieter Nagel Thanks for submitting the feature request! There should have been a question where you could type out exactly what you wanted to say (or even copied and pasted your original post) - did you not see that?

      To answer your question, Scheduled Transactions affect your account register. On the date of the scheduled transaction, it's automatically entered, updates your account balance and warns you if there isn't enough budgeted in your categories to cover the coming amount. Goals affect your budget - guiding you to budget certain amounts in advance - and can vary based on what you're aiming for in the future.

      I definitely see the potential you're pointing out between the two! :)

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    • Faness The feature request form has a field under "What's your feature request" that looks like it is a single line input field. But I realise now, if I press SHIFT+ENTER, I can type in multiline text. Wasn't obvious though.

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    • Pieter Nagel Ah, sorry that wasn't more clear and happy you were able to get it to work!  Thanks for taking the time to submit it! :)

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  • Another justification for integrating future transactions and goals:

    I had a goal to set aside enough money for my YNAB subscription this month. Now that YNAB is waiting for me to approve or reject the future-dated transaction to pay YNAB, it deducts the amount of the transaction from available in the budget category.

    So my budget category now complains that I am only 4% towards my goal, because it doesn't know the transaction actually *achieved* the goal.

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      • Martum
      • Martum
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Pieter Nagel Yes that's happening to me too all the time. I just sent the feature request as  Faness  suggested. Hopefully, they will implement something like this.

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    • Martum Thank you for submitting that feature request! I'm a fan of this idea! :)

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  • Really hoping that they do this! I just submitted a feature request for it too.

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