Budget rollover vs available balance

As a long time user of the old YNAB, I am going through my first full month and have an issue. It appears that if I am negative at the end of the month in an account, the "available balance" (negative) just disappears (it carried over in YNAB 4)! If I have a positive, it carries over (that makes sense). So, where does it go? For example, I "spent" $588.23 in January added to my credit card that I was reimbursed in February. It showed negative available in January and now February shows a positive $594.24 (some mileage reimburse is the reason its higher). This makes no sense. Does the same thing for Fuel, but the numbers are smaller. 

I am an accountant so looking at this from a cash flow perspective, the ending balance doesn't equal the beginning balance for the next month! See attachment examples for two of my accounts (Fuel and Work to be reimbursed). Help!

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  • Overspending in your categories does not cross over to a new month and works differently depending on if the overspending was in cash or credit. With cash, overspending would be cleared out of the categories for the new month and the overspending would go up to your "To Be Budgeted."

    Credit overspending does just disappear and is considered added debt on your credit card. You would need to budget funds directly to your credit card payment category to cover the added debt since the overspending has left the categories.

    I can't speak to how this differs from old YNAB, but that's the general handling of cash and credit overspending now.

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

      Tobias In YNAB4, all overspending came out of the next month ATB (now TBB), unless they were using a feature known as the "Red Arrow", which kept overspending in the category.

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      • Tobias
      • Toviathan
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule  Oh, that's  the red arrow I keep seeing everyone refer to. I have been wondering forever what everyone was talking about when they mentioned that feature.

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  • Gonna have to figure this out. I need the funding to hit the credit card (can't wait to try and reconcile that now!). I can clear out the minor negative at month end, but my idea was to make it up the next month. Doesn't make sense for large item, but for $10 it did to me. Also, the reimbursement for work expenses doesn't make sense this way either. I guess I will set up an "asset" account as my employer "owes" me the money and see if that works.

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      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nedlohs You need to budget to the credit card payments category in the next month.

      Or preferred is to inflow the money to your reimbursements category and then move the $582.23 to the credit card category using the move money tool.

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  • As an accountant, you'll probably understand that any red numbers are due to sending money that was implicitly stolen from another category. (No such thing as negative money, after all.) nYNAB doesn't let that fly, so you'll need to be explicit about which category was robbed.

    Yellow/Orange overspending signifies debt growth without any plan in place to pay it off. (It's new debt the instant you swipe the card.) You have until the end of the month before YNAB turns off the warning. After that, you'll have to explicitly budget to reduce debt in the CC Payment category.

    If you're handling reimbursements without budgeting to the category, you will need to manually reallocate the reimbursement to the appropriate CC Payment category if it's received in the following month. In your example, you would move $594 from the (now) green reimbursement category to the CC Payment category.

    If you're looking to automate this movement, you can offset/seed the Reimbursement category's "even point" by budgeting enough to keep the category positive. (Typically, people carve off a portion of their emergency fund for this, with the understanding they could always put it back if needed and no reimbursement was pending.) In this case, the movement to the CC Payment category takes care of itself.

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  • I'm just discovering this is as well and it's frustrating that the negative isn't carrying forward.  As an accountant, I understand why but I was hoping to avoid manually keeping track of reimbursed expenses. Ugh!

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    • M Durdle The "offset" approach above avoids manually keeping track.

      Alternatively, a tracking account can track the balance (shocking, right!), including across the month boundary. You needn't budget for this approach if you're using a credit card for charges. (Additionally, one can often convert cash overspending to credit overspending.) You may have to manually shift funds with this approach, but you have a clear indication that you need to do so.

      At any rate, there are a number of ways to avoid manually tracking reimbursements while keeping your budget accurate.

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