Newbie here: why is my TBB not in the red as I would expect?

I just started using YNAB last week, and am really thrilled with this program, but still learning. (Yes, I've watched many of Nick's youtube videos.)

I've got all of my money budgeted/spent/saved for this month (including extra grocery and Christmas/auto/home categories "savings" categories), and also have some money budgeted ahead for next month's early bills. Currently, I have $7.58 to be budgeted. One of my first utilities is my compost service for $20, but I noticed that if I go to next month and budget the full $20 for that service, my total amount TBB is $0/green and not $-12.42/red as I would expect. Why is that? 

Edited to add:

* also, I realize that I must be missing something pretty central to the way YNAB works, since I can actually budget for two bills, but not my mortgage. Doing so DOES make the TBB go in the red.

I see the "Funds in Oct" "Budgeted in Oct" and "Budgeted in Future" ; I see how adding those two upcoming bill alters those funds/budget, but still a bit hazy what all that refers to; and why my TBB doesn't really change when I think it ought to. Thanks for being patient with me!

Edited again to say:

*  Oh! do the "Funds in Oct" refer to the actual money I have available to spend? Because I have been used to doing the dance between 2 checking accounts and 2 savings accounts, I'm not used to thinking in terms of "lump sum of available cash" regardless of where it is located... 

18replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • It's a design flaw that's been criticized since launch. Only the future-most TBB is guaranteed to be accurate. Search "Stealing From The Future" for more information.

    A common workaround is to leave $1 in TBB. When TBB is $0, you may or may not have double-booked funds.

    Like 2
    • dakinemaui Wait - what? My TBB for the current month might not be accurate and I might have set the same dollars aside for more than one purpose? This seems like... not what is supposed to happen. I tried the search you mentioned but didn't see something that explained this - can you give me more specific guidance?

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Descriptor Noun In a test budget, give yourself $1000 in a checking account. Budget this to some category in next month's area.

      Switch to the current month. Confirm TBB is $0 (as expected).

      Budget any amount up to $1000. A sensible design would show a negative TBB. The current (flawed) design continues to show TBB is $0 in the current month, in spite of the fact funds are double-booked. Quite a failure from a zero-based budget tool.

      Again, I strongly urge you to leave TBB at $1 to guard against this misleading behavior. Others will check the accurate TBB (in the future-most month) often.

      Another reliable remedy is to install the Toolkit Extension, which provides an indication when funds are double-booked..

      Like 5
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Descriptor Noun In summary, earlier budget entries take precedence. The error indication is on an entirely different screen.

      Like
    • dakinemaui yes, I installed the Toolkit Extension, and BAM... the "budgeted in future" turned red and alerted me to an issue. I think (I forget now) I had mistakenly set some transactions to repeat... in December or something.

      Like 1
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Grizzly Scheduled transactions have no direct bearing on TBB, so it would have been something else. Regardless, I'm glad you're now better informed with that indicator.

      Like
    • dakinemaui yes, I forget exactly what happened, but the toolkit is very helpful. 

      Like
    • dakinemaui That's upsetting! but very good to know. Thank you!

      Like
    • dakinemaui  So I'm closing out December, and noticed a weird thing. When I go back to October and November, the TBB is $0, as expected. But both of them show money budgeted in future (I'm now using Toolkit). But, that money budgeted in future is no longer showing up as red. And when I look at the future-most month I can see, which is February, TBB is green. So... does that mean that I double-booked dollars in past months, but then ended up with enough money coming in to cover it? Does that even make sense? Or am I about to bounce a bunch of transactions...?

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Descriptor Noun Any red numbers anywhere -- TBB, categories, or Budgeted In Future -- means dollars are double booked. Otherwise there are not.

      If something was red but is now not red, you either changed allocations, received more money, or possibly both.

      Like 1
    • dakinemaui  December ended with a positive TBB, so I'm thinking that I screwed up by spending the same dollars twice, but then made enough money in December to fix it. Phew! 

      Like
    • Khaki Storm
    • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
    • Khaki_Storm.1
    • 4 mths ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    What's a compost service?

    Like 1
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Khaki Storm Like trash, but for organic waste.

      Like 1
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I've never seen anything like that in my area. Maybe a business opportunity for someone.

      Like 1
    • Khaki Storm It's awesome. You put out a bin with your food waste and they leave you a bag of compost. 

      Like 1
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Grizzly Thank you. That's interesting. If you're low on space to compost, have you tried: http://flush-it.com/product/power-compost/ I've not used this product, but I use this brand on their septic treatment and that really works well.

      Like 1
    • Khaki Storm Thanks for that tip. I had not heard about this. I went back and forth between the service and composting on my own. I ended up going with the service since I am low on space and can't compost meat and dairy. The service can! :) That said... I do compost my grass and garden clippings so the accelerator will surely speed things up a bit!

      Like
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Grizzly That's good to hear! Let me know how it works.

      Like 1
Like Follow
  • 1 mth agoLast active
  • 18Replies
  • 268Views
  • 5 Following