So I am testing out YNAB for the first time. I have been using ms money for over 21years now. I found YNAB to be the closest to how I am doing my budget. So far I am liking what I am seeing except for one aspect. Future Transactions...
I do our budget for the next month before that month begins. As soon as I get my last check for the month, I plan the next month. This means that I pay all of my bills at the beginning of the month for the entire month. What I don't like is how YNAB views those bills. They fall into the scheduled transactions as opposed to "this just happened". I could just date those bills for today but according to YNAB's website, they only auto match up to 10 days. Some of my bills are at the end of the month so those probably won't auto match when the bill comes in.
I also don't like how the amount spent is not already removed from the budget line item. The transaction will go "through" in X days but the funds should be viewed as "gone" now. When I look at the entire budget, I want to see where that category is at "now" as it pertains to that month. I should not have to go into the inspector page to see what it would be after future transactions are reconciled as it pertains to this month. There is a difference between "Scheduled Repeated Transactions" and "Enter Now/Set Future Date". Once I enter the transaction (aka sever it from the Scheduled Transaction), I would like for it to be accounted for in my budget (regardless of whether it is dated for the future of this month). As long as it is for this month and has been entered in the register, count it against that budget category.
I do my bills via my bank which mails the check. I date my transactions for the dates when the check is slated to be delivered. Those funds should be viewed as spent already.
To be fair, this aspect is irrelevant. I started (continued?) this discussion and I _am_ currently using the software. Strawmaning the topic based off of whether nolesrule is currently using YNAB seems silly.Reply
So yes we are talking about the same thing but you all are wanting YNAB to change something that is working the way it should be. If you are only wanting it for auto match, wouldn't it be easier to ask YNAB to change the number of days it will match up to say 30 instead of 10?
It would be better if they were able to match transactions within 30 days instead of 10. I feel alot of these problems could be solved with "put todays date and it will still resolve. Date will update as soon as it matches"
As a middle ground I did ask for that 3 days ago. Personally, to be more accurate with budgeting, allowing entered future-dated transactions into the register would be better.Reply
Blue Filly said: I dont know why but you guys are reminding me flat-earthers and anti-vaccine supporters.
Blue Filly said:
I don't understand why you are making this personal
Blue Filly Seriously, please just stop.. http://bfy.tw/N5bu
These lines of comments help no one nor deepen the pool of thought.
Others are also not helping but you seem to keep going to new levels.Reply
Just to reiterate, some of us have been asking for this feature for over 3 years. It would be very useful, it's a good idea, and we're not going to stop asking for it.
I have yet to see a legitimate counter argument for why it can't be done.... not from any users in this thread and not from representatives of YNAB.Reply
This is why I find the decision confusing: YNAB recommends entering transactions manually because sometimes we know about transactions the bank doesn't yet have, but YNAB does not allow entering future dated expense transactions that affect the budget because the bank doesn't have them yet but we do.
DING DING DING.
This is what drives me crazy about all of this. YNAB already draws a distinction between "working balance" and "cleared balance." Future-dated transactions ought to effect the working balance (without resorting to falsifying the transaction date.)
More generally, I roll my eyes whenever YNAB apologists defend these inconvenient software features by arguing that YNAB's approach is more "accurate" / better matches reality. Pardon me, but this entire budgeting system is based imaginary abstractions -- my money isn't actually sorted into ~30 envelopes. Likewise, my "Funds for April" and "Funds for May" is just an imaginary distinction I choose to make, not based on any real-world attributes of that money. The whole point of my budget is to help me see my money in ways that don't match reality, but help me make better choices. Just because cash is still in my accounts doesn't mean I need to see it in my budget. YNAB has separate views for "Accounts" and "Budget" and they have different purposes.Reply
Even though the transaction is planned, things can still change up to the date the transaction is planned - what if the amount changes?
IF the amount changes, I'd simply change the plan at that point. Perhaps you've heard of Rule 3?
Resorting to, "what if such & such happens" as an explanation is ludicris. By that logic, I shouldn't budget at all, because I MIGHT lose my job and would have to conserve finances. All those budget entries would have to CHANGE, so I definitely shouldn't enter them now, right?
Assuming you see the unreasonableness of that approach, can you see how a future-dated transaction is the identical issue?Reply
Clearly, I'm forced to date all of this month's bills with April 1 if I want my categories to provide useful, pro-active spending guidance. So much for "better matching reality".Reply
To me this is a very solvable problem. Keep future inflows in the scheduled transaction but allow outflows to show up.
Precluding future inflow transactions doesn't actually prevent people from budgeting money they don't already have. Two trivial workarounds are to either leave TBB negative or even enter their paycheck dated early.
It just makes things difficult for people who want to temporarily add it to understand cash-flow then remove it to restore accurate spending guidance.Reply
I can definitely see how this would be desirable to have ynab adjust to budget for scheduled transactions, but I can also see how, especially for newer budgeters who don;t have much buffer if any may want to put scheduled transaction in that they don't currently have the money to cover, but they will (if all goes well) before the transaction date. This falls into the category of to protect new budgeters we are going to block certain things advanced budgeters who have sufficient buffers may want to do. IMO ynab should have an advanced mode toggle, to allow such things for those who want them (I'm also thinking of the old ynab4 red arrow which much like this works just fine if you have enough buffer but may cause problems if you have little to no buffer).
I think your best bet is to just date the transactions for the date you schedule them, as as far as cash flow planning you should checkout some local credit unions, alot of them offer interest checking accounts that pay ok. Like my credit union pays me 2%APY on the first $25,000 of my checking account balance. To compare the online bank I have my high yield savings account at pays 2.2% APY on that account with no minimums or maximums. So I just keep everything in my checking account except for funds specifically budgeted towards savings based categories, I actually read one person on here who lumped all there savings categories under one master category grouping, then used the budgeted this month amount for the whole group to decide how much to transfer to savings, and since my checking account is almost as good as my savings account for interest I have chosen to adopt that method to keep things simple rather than having to carefully forecast my cash flows.Reply
Unpopular opinion here and maybe it's because I'm a noob.
I just don't see why this is a feature that needs to be changed. I think the request adds a level of difficulty that wouldn't be ideal for a lot of people. For example, I got my best friend and her boyfriend set up in YNAB. She's very savy but some of the concepts are still proving hard to understand. (Looking at you account balance vs budget category balance). Her boyfriend is even worse. He's not the most technologically savy and we've had to break everything down for him to get it.
My thing is this, if you are paying a bill today, meaning you are giving those dollars a very specific job that will for sure happen, why not just record the transaction as happening today? Out of sight, out of mind, done. It's no longer available. It doesn't matter when it comes out of your account, you can't spend that money because technically you've already spent it on something else.
The only issue is the extra step of matching that transaction when it actually hits your account. This point I will give you. I haven't experienced it myself but from what others have said YNAB only matches transactions within 10 days.
Faness I'd be curious to hear the thought process behind not extending this to say 30 days. I think this would solve this issue entirely.
The issue I find in changing the behavior of future dated transactions in the app is that not everyone views this in the same way so it would add another level of complexity.
For example, Person A might write a check on the 1st with an effective date of the 20th. You send it out on the 1st because for whatever reason you know it will take some time arrive. Person A has fully funded that category and wants those funds to reflect as gone from their available balance on the 1st.
Person B does the same thing however Person B has not fully funded that category. Person B knows they have a paycheck coming in on the 15th and they'll add funds to that category at that time. Person B does not want that transaction to affect their available balance until the effective date written on the check. Person B may have other transactions that will come in before the 15th that will use up the current available balance.
In this case I think the system works for both situations as intended. Each individual gets to decide when their money is spent.
I really don't see the need for an extra step to complicate this. The only thing that I can see as necessary is the ability to ensure the transactions will match.
Again noob opinion here but this is just how I understand the software and the methodology.Reply
Captain Taniele said:
Using my example above, if I'm Person A, I'd want to take that $100 out of my cash envelope so I don't spend it during the week. I still have that $100 but perhaps I'd put it in another envelope for scheduled spent funds or something.
I think this is covered above, but the way YNAB the program works is that $100 is still in my envelope (category). So when I'm out to eat with my other friends this weekend I forgot that I've already planned for that $100 and maybe spend too much. It's not obvious in the app that is accounted for - I have to remember or look at the inspector. Or the workaround above and as you describe is create another envelope (category).
Captain Taniele said:
I know that I'll receive money next Friday for example and I'll use that to fund the category for the weekend.
YNAB doesn't want you to do this and for good reason. True story ... Last month my employer forgot to give me the small stipend (bonus) I was to receive on 3/15 ... it came in my check at the end of the month instead. If I was counting on that money I was out of luck.Reply
YNAB doesn't want you to do this and for good reason. True story ... Last month my employer forgot to give me the small stipend (bonus) I was to receive on 3/15 ... it came in my check at the end of the month instead. If I was counting on that money I was out of luck.
That's exactly my point though. That's what Faness was saying about things can come up. In my dining out example, Person B has not spent that money, they have not budgeted that money either. They just know they want to spend that money. In my check writing example the principle still holds.
Not everyone can have their current categories fully funded at the beginning of the month. That doesn't mean they shouldn't plan for those scheduled expenses. You can't budget money you don't have. If you're living paycheck to paycheck and trying to break that cycle you will have scheduled transactions that you simply do not have the funds to cover at the beginning of the month.
It's the same for groceries that you'll need to buy with your second paycheck. The only difference is that you aren't necessarily scheduling your grocery transaction. Scheduling a transaction does don't meant the category is full funded. It does not go against YNAB principles.
but the way YNAB the program works is that $100 is still in my envelope (category). So when I'm out to eat with my other friends this weekend I forgot that I've already planned for that $100 and maybe spend too much.
That's what I'm trying to address. The cash example is a way how you would do it in "real life". You don't have to move the money anywhere in the app. The issue for the app is that the scheduled transaction won't post until a future date so it still shows available. My point is why schedule it for a future date if in essence you are saying the money is spent now. Just say it's spent today, the day you write the check. This way it takes it out of your available balance. Then you won't overspend the category because you'll see the money is not available.
I just think it's not that complicated. The only issue is that the OP wants the transaction to a) be deducted from the balance when the check is written and b) post on the correct date for when the check is processed.
My fix is:
a) mark the transaction date as the date the check is written in YNAB
b) match the transaction as it comes in on the correct date the check is processed.
It's not even a fix in my book. It's just the normal process of how things work.
This is how your bank account works. If you were budgeting on paper you would record the payment on the day you write the check and deduct it from your available balance. It wouldn't matter to you when the check clears your bank.
I just really can't see the issue beyond that of transactions automatically matching in YNAB.Reply
Agreed which is why I'm saying you would match the transaction when finally posts on the correct date.
If it happens multiple times a month it just that means you are making multiple entries and you are then matching them when they come through.
You have to approve transactions anyway. I just don't see the issue here.
As has been mentioned, the workaround to this is category bloat and complicated reporting.
I definitely was not suggesting adding categories. I don't think that's necessary. If the goal is to adjust the available balance when you write the check the solution is to use today's date as the transaction date until the transaction posts. I don't see a need for a new category.
I think the point Faness was trying to make is that even though something is scheduled, it doesn't necessarily mean the transaction will be processed.
For example, say you write that check and you deduct it from your available balance and you move on. Then, your check gets lost in the mail. How do you know the money hasn't been deducted from your account in reality?
Or for example say you have a Netflix subscription and you know that money comes out every month. The OP would want that to be deducted from the available balance before nthe transaction happens. But then what if you decide you want to cancel your Netflix subscription this month? If you don't remember to go back and delete that transaction that never actually happened then your account balance is out of wack.
All this to say I get where YNAB is coming from. Simply scheduling a transaction for a future date is not an absolute. Things change. In this case I think it's the individual's responsibility to track this sort of thing, not YNAB.Reply
Captain Taniele said:
why not just record the transaction as happening today
Because many people use YNAB to answer questions other than, "Can I afford this purchase without shortchanging myself on anything else". Having transactions dated for when the money leaves my control facilitates better decisions.
Not to mention dating a transaction today that clears weeks later screws up importing. While not insurmountable, it is more work than is necessary. Call me lazy if you wish -- it's a badge which I'm proud to wear.Reply
Blue Filly said:
If you were an accountant you would not make a comment like this. Or you are a junior accountant, just graduated from the uni who does not know how an accounting software works. I'm getting these Junior accountants all the time. All they know is MYOB or Quickbooks like Nolesrule, nothing else. As soon as they are introduced with a proper ERP system, they start complaining that it is not as straight forward as it is in MYOB. They think it is time consuming and stupid.
Do you know why they think like that?! Because they do not understand the fundamentals of accounting.
Wrong again, 31 years... however, a personal budgeting app is not accounting software and following strict accounting principles is not generally the best approach to help individuals manage their finances. YNAB generally works because it isn't accounting software. I think we've identified who is really the troll here.....Reply
Not to mention dating a transaction today that clears weeks later screws up importing. While not insurmountable, it is more work than is necessary. Call me lazy if you wish -- it's a badge which I'm proud to wear.
I'm in no way calling anyone lazy. I think I've made clear that I do agree a change needs to be made, I just don't agree that it's the change that some people are requesting.
IMO if YNAB adjusted the date range for matching transactions then this whole issue is fixed. That's the whole basis I'm trying to get across. That's just based on my opinion and my relatively new understanding of the software.Reply
In MS Money the Scheduler wasn't even part of the account register. It was a separate module cashflow data. I actually spent more time there then in my account register. I'd post a screen shot, but my MS Money data is 5 years out of date, so it wouldn't make any sense.
So true! Cashflow forecast is what has kept me using money all these years!Reply
Exactly. Right now (in YNAB4) I can look at my checking account register and see that it will go negative on April 20th with no new money coming in. I also know that we're receiving 2 paychecks on the 12th and 15th, so I don't need to worry about it and I have 5 days to move some money around if both checks fail to deposit for some unlikely reason.
I can do the same thing in YNAB with the Toolkit extension (without which, YNAB would be terribly hobbled and nearly useless) and running balance activated. A simple glance at my scheduled transactions yields the results you describe.
I've been in favor of future dated transactions all along -- still am, for the other reasons that have been beaten to death here and pushed aside by YNAB staff -- but this particular problem doesn't exist for me with the all-essential Toolkit.Reply
The way I was reading things, I thought the point was to replace the Scheduler completely with the future dated transactions.
Respectfully, to the best of my knowledge, following the posted arguments, that was never mentioned as the goal. I don't think anyone suggested dumping the Scheduler. Correct me if I'm wrong.Reply
ynaber2613 I would say "does not" rather than "cannot". While I personally treat Rule 3 as a rule and correct all overspending (even CC overspending), lots of people don't. YNAB could easily be consistent with its choice of which CC to short (e.g., first-come, first serve after cash transactions are covered).
(Regarding that "after cash transactions are covered" part, I do think that practice is wonderful as it blurs the line between purchase methods in favor of the view that "spending is spending". I just wish it were more obvious when ANY overspending has occurred.)
Not really hung up on word usage too much but the software as designed/written cannot differentiate purchase order or purchase account and therefore can assign a cash transaction to one or more credit cards. In my opinion that makes no sense at all. I had a situation where all credit cards were paid in full and then made a cash transaction in a category that just happened to have had previous purchases using 2 different credit cards. There was not enough money in the category to cover the transaction so instead of making the category go red (cash overspending) it made it go orange and assigned the overspending to 2 different credit cards. Why would YNAB assign cash spending to a credit card if it is paid in full, the credit card cannot possibly be used to cover cash spending in that situation. I know I could correct the problem by covering the overspend from another category but sometimes I just prefer to allow a category to go red until the end of the month when I true up everything.
Anyway, since I am a paid in full user I converted all credit card accounts to checking accounts and the problem is solved for me, now "spending is spending". However, I still think the current credit card implementation is wrong in some cases.Reply
For my fortnightly paycheck, I have two transactions each of which is an every 4 week scheduled transaction.
Of course, you'll still have 2 months a year where the projected running balance will be inaccurate. 😉Reply
Was the check for a specific amount? Since transactions are only matched by date and amount, the date frame was shortened to help prevent matching issues.
That feels too simplistic of rules for matching. The name of the transaction should be a factor as well as some fuzzy logic for the amount (for instance "transaction downloaded matched date, name, but was 11.54 while register was 11.87. Lets choose that one" )
Here was an old article for ms money. My point is only two points of comparison seems fairly limited. Matching with more aspects could easly allow a wider net for the comparison date range.Reply
Seriously right! Why dont those leaders just cash those darn things... sooo funny. So glad it is not just our troop.. thats awesome..Reply