Transactions vs. Goals

Hi There

I am very confused by the relationship between Transactions and Goals. When should I use each? How do they interact with each other? Does this affect Quick Budgeting? I set all my reoccurring payments up as Transactions, but now I am not sure if they should rather be goals. Do I set up a transaction and a goal for the same items (ie. school fees) or is this double counting. I have attended the training but I am still unclear. The one instructor seemed to only use goals and not use transactions at all. What is the benefit of this? 

- confused!

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  • @faness_ynab

    • Spring Green Pony Great question!

      Scheduled Transactions are a way to keep your budget updated. They allow those transactions to automatically be entered on the day they're scheduled to take place. This also affects the Quick Budget options, as it adds to the "Underfunded" amount and the "Budget for Upcoming" option will appear for a category with a Scheduled Transaction.

      Goals work in a similar manner as they also affect the "Underfunded" amount but Goals don't affect your accounts. No matter what type of goal you enter, it will never cause a transaction to automatically take place. 

      You should think of Goals as prompt reminders for what you plan to do, while Scheduled Transactions are things that are going to happen no matter what (like rent) and need to be budgeted for accordingly. In some cases, the two are interchangeable and you can use both for the same category if you'd like (though you don't have to). 

      For instance, let's say you have a Category Balance by Date Goal to save $600 in 6 months (so $100 a month) for Car Maintenance. You can also enter a Scheduled Transaction for that category - let's say $100 for a brake inspection. Your Underfunded Quick Budget option will be for $200 to take both items into account.

      I hope that helps clear things up! If you still have questions, please don't hesitate to ask! :)

  • A scheduled transaction creates an implicit goal to have $X Available in the month of the transaction date, and turns the category yellow if that's not the case. Actual goals are more useful for things for which you need to save up across several months.

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