Trouble with roll-over

My husband and I get $150 money to spend on whatever we want (fun money). We allow this category to roll-over month to month so we can save this money if we want. However if either of us overspends in this category we have a rule that we have to make up for it in the next month. 

When this happens in YNAB we are forced to reallocate money from other budgets to cover this overspending (which I fully understand) however there is no way I can see to track how much that person now needs to make up for for in the next month. 

For example:
March: Husband spent $70 of $150, so he rolls over $80 to April
April: Available shows $230, but husband spends $250. We reallocate $20 from another budget to cover this when we pay off the credit card. At the end of April when we're cleaning up our budget we can't remember exactly how much he originally had available, because that number is gone, now budgeted shows $250, activity shows $250, and available shows $0. There's no record that he spent $20 more than he was "supposed to" and owes that back to us.

Does anyone have a suggestion? Is there something I'm missing? Do we just need to do a better job of keeping track?

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  • Track it externally.

    Or better yet, enforce no overspending. Particularly with these spending money categories, it means the individual is being selfish and not putting the family above themselves.

    Like 3
  • I'm curious to see what more experienced YNAB users say, but our current solution is to make our monthly plan on paper so that we have that record of our original plan (and can more easily juggle priorities without losing sight of that plan when reality diverges). 

    At first, we took to making notes every time we changed the plan.  But we're still working on getting that habit going, and it's annoying to click on each category to see the inspector panel.  It's still something we're trying to do. We keep all the old notes, and just write {done} in front of them.

    Some people have mentioned putting $amounts in category names to help remember for next month. We did that once as well.

      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life I'm not sure the information is all that actionable. Sometimes there will be categories that need to be repaid, sometimes not. If you find you're constantly overspending certain categories, and constantly stealing from the same categories, it just means your original plan conflicted with your true priorities in the first place.

      Like 1
    • nolesrule It's more like here's the ideal plan we want, once X is taken care of. Now that we're past the stage of X, it turns out our original plan was really close. We've made changes where necessary, of course.

      Part of it may be the learning curve of a new system (and figuring out newlywed priorities/combining), but we were spending 3-7 hours twice a month trying to do that. We could not sustain that amount of time, and we could never remember all the changes we were making in YNAB, so we plan on paper. It's much easier to catch mistakes before they disappear in the software and cause some real damage (SFTF, twice, and I wasn't reading the forum, so I had no idea, and support evaded the problem).

      Maybe when we get a month ahead, things will be easier on the budget front, but right now we're building up true expenses and paying student loans... So we mimicked the workflow on paper.

      Maybe my response seems a little off topic, but I was having these same questions 8 months ago. Once we realized that YNAB is not the best tool for us to plan with, YNAB became awesome for what it actually is, a communication platform for the current financial status. We can make good decisions based on YNAB's info.

      And our overspending is more like, phooey, the home maintenance category isn't built enough for this, steal from auto maintenance, and vice versa. We're not trying to pay it back, but just get it up as soon as we can.

  • I could see the occasional overspend being reasonable if it's for a reason like "the $500 item I've been saving for is on sale for $250 this month and I only have $230". If it was a regular thing that would be a problem! But when it does happen, you need to make the plan for what happens next & implement it (or at least note what needs to happen) when you both agree to the overspend. Category notes, titles, changing goal amounts for the next month are the ways I know of to track it in YNAB. The one I use would depend on how long it would take to make the plan whole again. Personally I find category titles and goals are better reminders for me, but others have said they prefer the category notes.

    Like 1
  • I'm pretty new to YNAB, but I think you could handle this by creating a future transaction. Just go to the screen for your checking account (or whatever) and add a transaction for the 1st of the following month for -$20 in the husband's fun money category. Then when the new month rolls around that transaction will show up, and you can adjust budget accordingly and delete the transaction. There's probably a better way, but this way at least allows you to record the amount in YNAB and prompts you when the new month rolls around so you don't forget.

    Like 1
      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Aquamarine Song Except then your bank account is missing $20 compared to reality, in short you spend the money twice.

    • Ceeses I was assuming as a future transaction it wouldn't affect any existing balances, and the transaction could be deleted when the new month rolls around and you adjust the fun money budget, but right that might be a problem if someone has cash flow issues since it would "reserve" that money... I was mostly just trying to find a way the OP could record the item in YNAB because who wants to use paper? :)

    • Aquamarine Song actually i quite like this proposed solution. Especially if you put in the memo "Repayment of overspend" which would trigger that it is not an actual transaction but a budget item. Or you could create a payee of "Overspend Repayment" and have the memo be the particular info. Then, it would never match an import transaction so you would have to deal with it to reconcile your account. 

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