Available to Budget is Greater than Balances

I merged several categories into one category to clean up my budgeting a little bit.  I did this by searching for the relevant categories, selected "all", then edited them changing the various categories into one.  I then deleted the old categories.

All of the money I had budgeted showed up in various places, which I moved to "To Be Budgeted" .  It all looked well, but now I am exactly $3 higher on my available to budget than the balance of my accounts.  Nothing I do helps.  I don't have any hidden categories or accounts with an budgeted values or account balances, they're al zero.

The other strange thing is I end up with $3 "To Be Budgeted" in NOV.  When I assigned those $3 to categories, I get a ($3) for DEC.  If I add $3 to DEC "To be Budgeted" I end up with $6 in NOV.  And throughout all of this, it's still always exactly $3 higher than the account totals.  I'm sure my act totals are correct, I somehow ended up with $3 more dollars in my available to budget than actual dollars I have, and can't figure out how to get rid of those $3 in budget dollars.

Anyone ever have this?  I really, really, really don't want to start over, I have so much useful data going.

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  • Update: I think a user at the old forum solved the issue for me.  I will report back when December rolls through.  I think it’ll clear itself up when the month changes.

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  • I've got the same problem.  My balance is £482, but YNAB says I have £578 to be budgeted.  That's despite the fact that I still have future transactions set up for a further £140+.  that doesn't make any sense!

     

    Either I'm doing something wrong or YNAB doesn't reflect the fact that I've paid off an overdraft this month too!

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Silver Lion (bc419e839d57) If you have 482 but you have budgeted 578, you've budgeted more money than you have. You paid off the overdraft you say, but how was the overdraft entered into YNAB in order to pay it off?

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    • nolesrule No, sorry, I have a balance of 482 but YNAB still says that have 578 available to budget. When actually I've got 482 minus the future transactions I've already got set up.

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    • Silver Lion (bc419e839d57) YNAB won't budget for those future transactions for you.   You always have to budget even if you have a future transaction set up.  (However, if you look at the categories those future transactions are budgeted to, you should see that the Available balances are reported in yellow if you don't have enough budgeted there to cover the future transaction.)  

      Something you may want to double check is to ensure that you don't have any categories that are showing Available balances reported in red.  If you see any red, it means you've spent money in that category without budgeting for it.  Cover that by budgeting to those categories.

      Regarding the overdraft - what are you seeing in your budget that still shows the overdraft? 

      Thanks for the info, Silver Lion (bc419e839d57) !

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    • Ben at YNAB Thanks for the answers so far.  None of them quite solve it for me, but there are some things I've definitely learned from.  Just for further info, I have already budgeted for those future transactions, and none of the categories are red.  Many of them are yellow, even though I've budgeted the right amount, but none of them are in debit.

      I just can't work it out.  At the end of the month, if all remains the same I'll end up with around £380 in my account, but still have around £500 'to be budgeted' at the top of my budget.

      Any other suggestions?  Not sure I can trust my budget if it's not matching up with my actual, physical money in my account.

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    • Ben at YNAB Sorry - I should say that I started the month with an overdraft/debit.  I didn't reflect that in the budget in that I didn't allocate any money towards it.  But even if I do, that overdraft is nowhere near similar to the amount 'left to budget'.  I just can't work it out.

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Silver Lion (bc419e839d57) How much money do you currently have in your categories and how much do you have in TBB at the top?

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  • In my particular case, I checked back all the way to the first month I had YNAB and there are no negative values or red bubbles.  In the DEC tab, it does show -$3 overspending in November, even though there actually is not any overspending.

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    • rlogue06 Interesting! Do you have any hidden categories that might be hiding that overspending? If December is reporting overspending, it would be unusual for there not to be any overspending in that prior month (November).  

      Let's have you run through a little "self-audit" -- this will help us verify that every single penny in your accounts is accounted for in your budget.  Follow the steps below: 

      1. Advance to the first month with no budgeting. (The math is easier there, because all overspending is covered.)

      2. In the right sidebar, when no categories are selected, you’ll see your Total Available amount, which is the sum of the Available column.

      3. Add that to the amount you have left To be Budgeted and any amount Budgeted in Future, if applicable.

      Let’s stop here for a minute, just in case your To be Budgeted was negative. If it is, you would need to subtract it from Total Available, because that means you’ve given jobs to dollars you don’t yet have. Preferably though, you would go back to this month’s budget and budget less in a few categories until To be Budgeted is back in the green at $0.

      4. Now, add up the cash in your budget. That includes checking, savings, and cash accounts, plus any positive balances on credit cards if applicable.

      5. Your totals in step 3 and 4 should match, to the penny.

       

      Let me know what you find, rlogue06 ! 

      -Ben

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    • Ben at YNAB Hi Ben, thanks a lot for your help.

      I've done what you said, and got to December's budget with zero 'to be budgeted' and you're right that your steps 3 and 4 do add up.  But that's because I had to allocate the £500+ in November to a random category in November.

      what I have realised is that the 'total available' category equates to the amount I have left in my checking/current account added to my savings account.  I hadn't realised that my savings would be included in the 'to be budgeted' money.  I don't want to have to keep budgeting my savings every month, I thought I would be just budgeting the 'additional' savings money that I'm able to put away each month to that total.  I think of my savings account as separate to the money I have coming in each month, which should be enough to cover all of my budget on it's own.

      Would the easiest thing be to remove the savings account form my budget completely, and then I'd only be working with the actual money that comes in to my account each month 'to be budgeted'?  

      for example, my savings account plus me current account comes to £1500.  At the end of the month I'm going to move any money still in my current account so that I will be starting from zero for december in my current account.  My December wag cheque will be deposited in to that current account and it will be that money that I'm going to budget for December.  I do not want to include my savings in that amount.

       

      Does that make sense?  Is the savings account the reason that my November 'to be budgeted' money is different to my current account balance as described in my original query?

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Silver Lion (bc419e839d57)  Once you budget money to a category, it stays in the category until you spend it or move it to another category. This is the benefit of having all of your in the budget.

      You don not budget the same money over and over again each month. You only budget new money that you receive.

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  • I've actually closed my savings account and removed the money from the budget, but despite having no red categories and having budgeted for the upcoming transactions I still show as having £579.34 'to be budgeted' compared to only £489  in my account.

    I really don't know what to do about it.  I don't want to randomly allocate some monies to categories just to clear them, but I really want to start the next month with a zero balance, and equal to my actual balance.

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  • What does "available" say (in the inspector on the right), and what is the sum of your on-budget accounts (on the left)? 

    Also, I am assuming here that this month's TBB = 0 and that "budgeted in future" is 0. 

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  • The 'available' money says 794.39.  The sum of the on budget accounts is £2656 (all of them green).

    My account balance is £482 and I still have TBB of £579!!

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  • I'm starting to think that this is something to do with how I pay off my credit card.  YNAB calls it 'living on the float' or something similar.

    I use my credit card for most expenditure in the month and then pay it off at the end of the month.  However, my credit card statements are usually produced about a month in arrears.  So I'm paying off September's bill at the start of November, but still accruing further expenditure in November that isn't reflected in the payment that leaves my account that month.  Maybe that's why my account/TBB money doesn't tally.

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Silver Lion (bc419e839d57) That very well could be. When you started using YNAB, in order to not be on the float you had to budget enough to the credit card payment category to cover the starting balance for the account. This would have told YNAB that you had the money to pay for those unbudgeted expenses (they were unbudgeted because you incurred the debt before using YNAB, nad that needs to be offset).

      If you did not do that, then yeah, you are riding the float.

      The best way to get off the float is to budget your credit card payment category (positive) so that it is equal to the credit card balance (negative). If you can't do it all at once, budget some every month until they become even, but realize that being on the float means you have to continue to use the credit card for budgeted expenses so that you'll have the cash to pay off the floated charges.

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  • Silver Lion - I wanted to check in here! If you're still unsure about the numbers, one of our reps would be happy to take a look. If you write in to [email protected] and mention you posted this issue on the forum, we'll be able to send an official request to check out what might be going on here :)

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