Future Transactions

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.

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  • Faness said:
    If we changed how Scheduled Transactions affected the budget, the total of your Available amounts would no longer match your account balances as a definite - it would depend on how Scheduled Transactions are affecting your account registers and would bring cleared and uncleared transactions into question as well. We don't want YNABers to feel we aren't listening (we are!), 

     This makes no sense. It's a completely normal thing for things not to match due to uncleared transactions. If I write a check today but the person I hand it to doesn't deposit it for months, things won't match, but the system lets me enter it in YNAB. It is fundamentally the same situation. The real answer is you don't trust people not to enter future income so you have to completely block off an avenue for that to happen and everyone else is required to put up with the lack of a useful feature because of that.

    Reply Like 10
    • jenmas It was raised above that the option would only be for outflow transactions, so I hadn't considered future inflow as another problem here - but you're right. There are a number of aspects that would need to be considered in order to implement a change of this magnitude. Thank you for being willing to discuss them! :)

      Reply Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 8 mths ago
      • 10
      • Reported - view

      Faness this is not a new issue that has never been discussed before. It was first raised on the old forums in December 2015. This forum started in fall of 2017 and I'm seeing posts on this exact issue from January 2018 and that's only on a quick search because I bet it goes back before that and you have responded on some of those threads. It's frustrating to have every new thread approached as if you've never heard of an issue before.

      And the constant refrain of just submit a feature request has reached the point of being meaningless. You make it sound like it is a legitimate way for users to get something done and that if there is just a critical mass of requests an issue will actually be addressed. Should I just submit the same feature request every single day to prove that something is really really needed? Because you also have said that things aren't on the radar because you haven't received a feature request on it in a while so it must not be important to users. This makes it sound like unless everyone is asking for the same thing at a constant rate over a sustained period of time, you'll just spend your time fixing direct import bugs. That may not be your intention, but that's how it reads.

      Reply Like 10
    • jenmas That is definitely not my intention and I apologize for the miscommunication. I don't mean to be redundant, but I usually learn something new with each discussion of desired features (and toss around new ideas from different perspectives). Currently, we don't have plans to change how scheduled transactions behave, but that isn't to say that won't change in the future. If or when that happens, having the shared experiences and opinions here are a great help because it's not just determining if the change should occur, but also how that change should be made and how to implement it - this is why I push for feature requests to be submitted. I understand it feels like a void (we're working on making the process more transparent!) but they are used for reference during the research phase of our development team.

       The ideas listed here mention new vocabulary and new behavior, which means creating those options and updating current behavior to include them. This would also affect calculations in the budget, so it's a lot to consider and even more so to implement. We are listening, but this isn't something we plan to change at the moment.

      Reply Like
  • Faness said:
    If there's a middle ground or a topic where we truly need to bend, I want to find it, exhaust it and properly communicate it - like with Stealing From The Future (which we're still working on). 

     Okay since SFTF was first raised by users in 2015 and here we are in 2019 with no fix, we shouldn't expect any changes until at least 2023 even if it is decided that Future Transactions being reflected in category balances are in fact the useful feature that users have repeatedly told you they are.

    Reply Like 6
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      jenmas Yes. That is a reflection of the benefits of subscription-model software as opposed to up-front-purchase model.

      Reply Like 2
  • Faness, thanks for replying. I have added my comments below your response. I am confused by some of the aspects you are stating as they seem a little inconsistent/concerning. Please correct me where I am misunderstanding. Thanks in advance.

     

    Faness said:
    Currently, scheduled transactions show in the inspector and don't update the Available amount because those funds are still in your account, for the time being. What happens between the current date and the date the transaction is scheduled to take place can change whether the category is underfunded or not.

    If I understand right, since the funds are still in my possession then the Available should not be touched because things might still change between then and now. Doesn't this argument mean that YNAB already violates that though process? If I get gas today, record that transaction via the mobile app, and then check my bank, I am fairly certain it will not reflect that transaction. In addition to that, from the time the transaction clears my bank from the time I placed the transaction, many things can also change. This is where budgeting comes in (AKA YNAB). Right? 

     

    Essentially, we don't want to penalize you before that spending takes place, but I understand what you mean by that amount not reflecting the month you have planned. 

     

    This stance seems like a direct violation to budgeting principles. These are not savings goals where things can change. If I record the transaction, that event is _going_ to happen. This isn't a vacation that I might take. This is a bill that is going to happen. Brace and plan accordingly.

    To continue my previous point I made about Gas, "penalizing" (as you put it) is exactly what YNAB should be doing. In college, I swear my bank could have sent me a XMAS card every year that read "Thanks for all of your overdraft charges!".

    I would check my checking and see $100 available. Then I would think "huh.. lets get jamba juice". I would then go one more day and check my balance again and see $100. Nice, lets go somewhere else. This would continue for several days until my bank would finally call one day and go "ummmm... you are -$80.." I would argue with them that they were stealing my money as I had $100 just the other day. This is where budgeting comes in which corrects your thinking of "Available" from "Balance". Your stance of "don't penalize" would violate that principle. Again, YNAB is already consistent with that principle if the date of the transaction was today but violates if I put the date for tomorrow. Again, you teach to budget one month in advance so we can do our entire months budget before that month begins. In a world of SaaS/online banking where I can schedule the date my check should arrive at different service providers , establish auto withdrawal, etc... your perspective feels slightly dated/inconsistent to how bills can be paid nowadays. 

     

    We try to avoid toggle features where we can, for a number of reasons, which is a part of why some of the YNAB 4 features weren't carried over.

    Hmm that stance doesn't seem scalable from a customer base. Such a stance results in extra complexity of the customer's budget in order to compensate for the simplicity of your code base. I feel YNAB should be providing building blocks which allows your more senior budgeting audience more flexibility in their final budget portfolio.

     

    YNAB currently behaves this way by design - this feature hasn't existed in the web version of YNAB and currently isn't on our roadmap for the future. 

    I feel I have presented some strong arguments why this should change. I am not sure I have heard a reason yet why it should remain as it stands now. Can you provide one argument where such a more accurate reflection of "Available" would cause problems. Like a detailed concrete example with numbers. I am just confused why this aspect has not been addressed yet. Just trying to understand. 

     

    If we changed how Scheduled Transactions affected the budget, the total of your Available amounts would no longer match your account balances as a definite - it would depend on how Scheduled Transactions are affecting your account registers and would bring cleared and uncleared transactions into question as well.

    Not matching would be the entire point. Again, to continue the Gas example, they would not match for any transaction that is not reconciled. This is already the case with YNAB and the entire purpose of budgeting. Right? Entered future expense transactions should be treated like unreconciled transactions no different than if the date were today. 

    Again, and I can't stress this enough, we need to differentiate Income from Expense and "Scheduled Transactions" from "Entered Scheduled Transactions". Here would be the matrix:

    • Unentered Scheduled Transaction/Expense: Does not affect "Available" as these are reminders/placeholders of bills to come
    • Unentered Scheduled Transaction/Income: Does not affect "Available" as these are reminders/placeholders of inflows to come
    • Entered Scheduled Transaction/Expense: This should be reflected in "Available" as I have entered it and effectively stated "This is going to happen". Date be ignored except for the month that it happens in.
    • Entered Scheduled Transaction/Income: If no dough, you no show. Entered or not, these should probably not affect "Available" since those funds are not in your bank yet and should not be spend. One could argue that they could be viewed as available for next month but until that date is reached, one should not plan/spend it according to the YNAB model.

    I don't see how adjusting "Available" to reflect "Entered Scheduled Expense Transactions" is in any way a violation of the YNAB principles. On the contrary, I feel it reenforces them more.

     

    We don't want YNABers to feel we aren't listening (we are!), but we don't take making changes lightly and this would be a huge adjustment.

    Hmm this seems confusing to me. How would this more accurate view of my budget be a huge adjustment?

    Reply Like 4
      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney I've been following the discussion of this topic. I'm a user of nYNAB who never used YNAB4. I came from Quicken, which I really just used as a checkbook register, along with a passel of savings accounts to roughly give dollars jobs.

      I understand the problem you're trying to solve here: when I've committed to a transaction in the future that is definitely going to happen, YNAB shouldn't tell me that money is still available to commit to another job. It's a violation of Rule 1.

      Here's where I'm stuck, and I'm guessing YNAB is, too: the solution you've proposed sounds complicated. I feel like I have enough clarity in my budget without adding an additional property to scheduled transactions that determines whether they affect my budget or not. The ripple effects of this change would be huge. When I enter a future transaction, I already need to decide whether it's recurring or one-time; would I also need to decide whether it's Entered or Unentered? Or is that only a separate step after I enter the transaction? Could a recurring transaction be Entered? Or are recurring transactions something totally different?

      Right now, when I look at my budget, I know exactly how it's being affected by future transactions: they turn available amounts orange if there isn't enough to cover them in the current month. Other than that, they don't affect the budget at all. That is kinda wrong but also very simple. I don't think I'd want to trade that for a situation that is more correct but more complex, because I think that would end up causing me more frustration with my budget. In other words, there are virtues that compete with budget accuracy, and simplicity is one of them. But maybe this is much simpler than I imagine.

      Reply Like 1
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 8 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      mamster My view is ynab should stop being so hung up on the "date".  A transaction should be scheduled or entered.  2 states.  It doesn't matter what date I put on the transaction.  I think the real issue i that ynab built the web version using the date as the key indication of whether a transaction is entered or scheduled and this is too much trouble to change so they are pretending it is intentional.

      Reply Like 4
    • RIP_MSMoney I'm going to try to answer these concerns in order, but please let me know if I miss a section! :)

      I know you mentioned being able to see the Available After Upcoming amount without checking the inspector, but that's where that information resides. The Budget for Upcoming and Underfunded Quick Budget options take any scheduled transactions or goals into account to keep you on track. If you spend the funds that were needed for those planned obligations, the Available amount turns yellow as a prompt to budget more before those transactions come due.

      We strongly advocate for manual entry to prevent your balance from falling behind. If you manually enter that Gas or Jamba Juice, you'll know that $100 is no longer present to be spent. If you have your Scheduled Transaction entered, then once you buy that Gas or Jamba Juice your budget tells you to move money in order to cover that upcoming transaction. Even though the transaction is planned, things can still change up to the date the transaction is planned - what if the amount changes? 

      We avoid toggle features because we want every feature we implement to be with the YNAB method in mind. This is also to prevent issues across multiple platforms, scale back differences in troubleshooting, allow for ease of updates, give parity between different versions, and more. Handling different situations with varying levels of complexity is then left up to YNABers - for instance, some users prefer budgeting months ahead while others use an Income for Next Month category. We don't want to force either option on users, but allow preference to take over. 

      The biggest issue I personally see with changing how those transactions behave is having YNAB align with your bank. Currently, if your bank accounts have $500 in them, YNAB should reflect that $500 and you may have $200 budgeted towards Dining Out and $300 towards Gas. If we change the behavior,  your bank may say $500, YNAB may say $500, but then there's $200 budgeted towards Dining Out and $200 towards Gas - which is incorrect mathematically. I think overspending would be another issue - if a category isn't funded enough to cover an expense, it would appear as overspent for a transaction that hasn't taken place yet. 

      If the bottom line is wanting Scheduled Transactions to behave as Uncleared transactions, I think entering them as Uncleared transactions is best. If you use direct import or File Based Importing, when the transaction imports YNAB will match them for you (updating the transaction details). If you only enter them manually, you can make a note to update the date once the true date comes to pass.

      Making this change would require adjustments to the current formula for how the Available amount is calculated and how dates are treated in YNAB - essentially an overhaul of how Scheduled Transactions are treated. Scheduled Transactions currently behave as designed - we currently don't have plans to alter this, but I wanted to share it would be a large undertaking if it were to happen.

      Reply Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 8 mths ago
      • 11
      • Reported - view

      Faness 

      Faness said:
      The biggest issue I personally see with changing how those transactions behave is having YNAB align with your bank. Currently, if your bank accounts have $500 in them, YNAB should reflect that $500 and you may have $200 budgeted towards Dining Out and $300 towards Gas.

       I've had checks sitting uncleared for 6 months. How does that reconcile with the need to align with the bank?

       

      Faness said:
      If we change the behavior,  your bank may say $500, YNAB may say $500, but then there's $200 budgeted towards Dining Out and $200 towards Gas - which is incorrect mathematically.

       No. The bank balance in YNAB would be affected too.

       

      Faness said:
      I think overspending would be another issue - if a category isn't funded enough to cover an expense, it would appear as overspent for a transaction that hasn't taken place yet. 

       Why is that a problem?

       

      Faness said:
      If the bottom line is wanting Scheduled Transactions to behave as Uncleared transactions, I think entering them as Uncleared transactions is best

       No. The bottom line is that we don't want all transactions with a future date forced into the scheduler. We want to choose whether they are in the scheduler or the register. If in the register they should behave like any other transactions and affect account balance and budget accordingly.

      Faness said:
      Making this change would require adjustments to the current formula for how the Available amount is calculated and how dates are treated in YNAB - essentially an overhaul of how Scheduled Transactions are treated. Scheduled Transactions currently behave as designed

       What we're trying to tell you is the "behaved as designed" is designed wrong and they should make the effort to redo it. 

      Reply Like 11
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 8 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Faness I would also be remiss if I din't point out the irony here.

      There is crazy weirdness that happens in the credit card categories regarding payments and refunds and overspending where things end up budgeted against the wrong credit card account because you chose not to look at the dates that transactions occur in those categories. That's actually the spot where dates and transaction order do matter.

      Yet in the area where the dates don't matter, you force date reliance.

      Reply Like 4
      • ynaber2613
      • ynaber2613
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule Agree 100% with the fact that YNAB cannot determine transaction order and thus assigns category spending to random credit cards, that issue alone made me ditch the way CC are handled, I now have them setup as checking accts.  You are also correct, if YNAB cannot determine transaction order for credit cards then why would they care if future dated transactions are used.  

      Reply Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      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.)

      Reply Like
    • nolesrule  I hope you don't mind me numbering these!

      1. I didn't know checks could take up to 6 months to clear. That would be a pain point for me.

      2. That makes more sense. The transaction would be treated as uncleared and thus not affect reconciling - got it.

      3. We don't want the budget to lie about overspending - it's not overspending if the funds haven't been spent yet. That's why the Available amount turns yellow as a warning if an upcoming transaction isn't budgeted for, but not negative and red for spending that hasn't taken place.

      4. This was my mistake. I was reading Entered Transactions as a replacement for Scheduled Transactions, not as an addition to them.

      5. We don't believe the current behavior is wrong, and I'm starting to see that that isn't the point. It's not that Scheduled Transactions are designed wrong, they do what they're supposed to, but they aren't Entered Transactions, which are being requested. Correct me if I got that last part wrong.

      Reply Like
  • mamster said:
    Right now, when I look at my budget, I know exactly how it's being affected by future transactions: they turn available amounts orange if there isn't enough to cover them in the current month

    The category might be green if you have enough money to cover the upcoming scheduled transactions. But then you spend some money and it turns orange -- oops, it turns out the money you spent wasn't really available after all. And now it's too late.

    That's what RIP_MSMoney means when he calls the approach "reactionary."  YNAB tells you about a problem after it's already too late.

    To get a true picture of what's available before you spend, you have to drill into the category and view the "inspector" details. Not ideal UX.

    The workaround I've adopted is to avoid having categories that involve a mix of discretionary/ad-hoc spending and future-dated spending. I have separate categories for "Groceries: Subscriptions" and "Groceries" to separate our Amazon Subscribe & Save and Imperfect Produce spending from other kinds of grocery spending. It's not ideal -- it creates some category bloat -- but it's easiest solution to this problem.

    Reply Like 11
    • bret I use the same workaround. My budget has about 47,000 categories. Partly because my brain works better with granularity. And partly because I don't know exactly how it's calculating what so I make a separate category for everything. 

      Reply Like 1
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      lebdavidson2 Golly. Good thing they have that "filter categories" thing now!

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

      lebdavidson2 I don't even want to work with a spreadsheet with over 100 rows let alone 47,000 rows without some automation. 

      Reply Like
  • bret said:
    The workaround I've adopted is to avoid having categories that involve a mix of discretionary/ad-hoc spending and future-dated spending. I have separate categories for "Groceries: Subscriptions" and "Groceries" to separate our Amazon Subscribe & Save and Imperfect Produce spending from other kinds of grocery spending. It's not ideal -- it creates some category bloat -- but it's easiest solution to this problem.

     This absolutely works and is probably the only sane solution. But now we run into the issue that YNAB lately has been touting the idea of simplifying categories and not having too many. And creates reporting headaches were you have to look at multiple categories instead of a single grocery category. They create inconsistencies but then tell us it is all part of the plan.

    Reply Like 5
  • mamster said:
    Here's where I'm stuck, and I'm guessing YNAB is, too: the solution you've proposed sounds complicated. I feel like I have enough clarity in my budget without adding an additional property to scheduled transactions that determines whether they affect my budget or not. The ripple effects of this change would be huge. When I enter a future transaction, I already need to decide whether it's recurring or one-time; would I also need to decide whether it's Entered or Unentered? Or is that only a separate step after I enter the transaction? Could a recurring transaction be Entered? Or are recurring transactions something totally different?

     "Entered" should be viewed no differently than how it is now. With a scheduled transaction you have two options:

    • Allow it to reach the date you have scheduled. When this occurs you get notified to "Approve" the transaction and it gets entered into your register.
    • Click on "Enter Now" from the drop down menu. Effectively you are "Approving" it now.

    When you select the "Enter Now" option it will update the date to now and record it. You have to manually update the amount if it is incorrect.

    What I am saying is that if you update the date to a couple days from now, the transaction moves into Schedule Transaction and gets added back to your "Available". I don't understand why that should happen.

    Can you elaborate where you see the complexity? 

    Reply Like 1
      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney I'm concerned that if I have a mix of future transactions—some entered, some not—it won't be immediately clear to me which ones are affecting the budget. Honestly, I don't even understand the need for a distinction. Why not just have all of them affect the budget?

      Reply Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 8 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      mamster It's pretty clear on the register the difference between regular and scheduled transactions. The scheduled ones are in the scheduled section and a different color.

      On the budget screen the same is true. Activity only includes regular transactions, not scheduled.

      YNAB is arbitrarily putting a restriction on newly entered transactions that force those with a future date into the scheduler, rather than allowing the user to decide.

      Reply Like 4
  • bret said:
    The workaround I've adopted is to avoid having categories that use a mix of discretionary/ad-hoc spending and future-dated spending. I have separate categories for "Groceries: Subscriptions" and "Groceries" to separate our Amazon Subscribe & Save and Imperfect Produce spending from other kinds of grocery spending. It's not ideal -- it creates some category bloat -- but it's easiest solution to this problem.

     I am starting to lean that direction but this seems like I am adding complexity to my budget when I hope would have complexity reduction. The more complex the budget becomes, the harder/complex our Budget Committee Meetings become between my spouse and I. 

    jenmas said:
    This absolutely works and is probably the only sane solution. But now we run into the issue that YNAB lately has been touting the idea of simplifying categories and not having too many.

     I would agree with YNAB on this point that fewer categories result in cleaner budgeting. I would say that this goal would be another reason why a true reflection of "Available" is important.

    Reply Like 3
  • mamster said:
    I'm concerned that if I have a mix of future transactions—some entered, some not—it won't be immediately clear to me which ones are affecting the budget. Honestly, I don't even understand the need for a distinction. Why not just have all of them affect the budget?

     I find that to be a great question. Here would be my approach (Anyone else feel free to jump in if my perspective differs from the norm):

    You setup your budget. You establish what your Scheduled Bills are, the dates they are due, and the amount that needs to be paid. Some bills are locked (like Sprint) where the amount never changes. Other bills are variable (like electric) where the amount fluctuates based off of usage. In addition to that, some bills are irregular (like garbage pickup) which can come every other month.

    Now you have that all setup. When you look at your budget, those scheduled bills probably should not be affecting your "Available" as they are not recorded. Rather, they are your budget template. Serves as a reminder of what is to come and when they are next due. 

    When you are ready to record your payments you typically need to verify/adjust two things: The amount paid, the date they are due. As soon as you do that, they should be viewed as spent. They are entered into your register and should be viewed as gone. You can view this as Budget Template in action.

    I think the concept of "Future transaction" is dangerous and error prone. I would suggest the perspective of "Entered Transaction".

    Reply Like 2
      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney Okay, I think I can get on board with that. Thank you.

      Reply Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 8 mths ago
      • 10
      • Reported - view
      RIP_MSMoney said:
      I think the concept of "Future transaction" is dangerous and error prone. I would suggest the perspective of "Entered Transaction".

       "Future transaction" is just used as the phrase to distinguish the difference in behavior between Online YNAB and pretty much everything else. It is simply an Entered Transaction with a future date as opposed to a scheduled transaction.

      So when we say we want future-dated transactions in the register, it means we want the ability to push a scheduled transaction into the register while maintaining that future date instead of changing the date to today... and additionally being able to enter a single transaction with a future date that is not forced into the scheduler automatically.

      In other words, we want the YNAB4 behavior. I'd be happy with the compromise of only allowing it for outflows.

      Reply Like 10
  • RIP_MSMoney said:
     I am starting to lean that direction but this seems like I am adding complexity to my budget when I hope would have complexity reduction. The more complex the budget becomes, the harder/complex our Budget Committee Meetings become between my spouse and I. 

     Completely agree. I'm very anti- category bloat and prefer to keep that list as short as possible, for clarity/simplicity and to avoid endless scrolling. It pains me that I have to adopt this workaround.

    But I only have two categories where I've been forced to do this -- the aforementioned "Groceries" and also "Media."  I'd prefer to combine spending like Netflix/Hulu/Spotify alongside ad-hoc rentals/purchases and trips to the theater, but I now keep those things separate.  I've learned to live with it.

    Reply Like
  • jenmas said:
    Because you also have said that things aren't on the radar because you haven't received a feature request on it in a while so it must not be important to users.

     Faness does/can YNAB publicize the backlog of feature request which your user base can then vote on for importance? I am not sure what your burn rate is but I would greatly appreciate my vote to count towards the importance of certain items that are in your backlog. I think this would provide a valuable metric for what your customers are really looking for. If everyone voted for everything then you would know you can work on whatever you want. Rather I am fairly sure your customer base will provide the true top list of items that are being desired. It would be in our interest to only vote only for our most important items to ensure they bubble to the top. 

    Reply Like 1
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney No they do not; yes I am sure they can. Near as we can figure, the way to vote on something as being important is to submit a feature request for it every day.

      Reply Like 3
    • RIP_MSMoney We currently don't publicize feature requests and there isn't a voting procedure in place. Currently, filling out the feature request form goes directly to our development team and they code that feedback for ease of analyzation. While the forum is a great place to discuss things with other YNABers, the form is the next step to getting our developers to consider an idea.

      Reply Like
  • bret said:
    Completely agree. I'm very anti- category bloat and prefer to keep that list as short as possible, for clarity/simplicity and to avoid endless scrolling. It pains me that I have to adopt this workaround.

     When I first migrated to YNAB I had 87 categories (lol, listen to me... its been 18 days.. we still have 87 categories...). My spouse was a little overwhelmed as MSMoney hid some of those details from the user. As a MSMoney consumer we could rather just focus on the CashFlow Forecast report and discuss "We are on target" vs "We need to make adjustments". YNAB puts those details right in your face (which is not a fault). When I saw all the categories my initial thought was "Nice.. oh man lets make more". But this is coming from someone who setup a 3 year budget with named years when we were saving for a house. I have learned that the simplest of budgets work best when multiple eyes need to review and maintain. 

    I am fairly concerned that the added complexity will just create problems.

    Reply Like
  • nolesrule said:
    In other words, we want the YNAB4 behavior.

     Ahh apologies. I am very unfamiliar with YNAB4 and its terms. Thanks for the clarification. 

    Reply Like 1
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 8 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney It's not just YNAB 4.  It was YNAB 3, and YNAB Pro, and Quicken, and MS Money.  Every financial app I've looked at has allowed for future dated entered transactions being a different animal than a scheduled transaction which has yet to occur.   (Exception:  Some of the earlier versions of YNAB lacked scheduled transactions.)

      I conclude that allowing future dated entered transactions is the easy way to program it, and YNAB affirmatively decided to expend programming resources to make future dated entered transactions the same as scheduled transactions with a frequency of "once." 

      It was very clearly a deliberate decision, and economic resources were expended to make it happen.  I think is was a poorly thought out decision, but there is apparently no way to get YNAB to back down from poorly thought out decisions. 

      Ah, well.  I have my workarounds, though they are not as nice as having entered transactions would be.  Then someone else starts a thread like this, and I get all worked up again over the stupidity of programming YNAB for the case of someone living paycheck to paycheck, to the point of ignoring the effects of those decisions on people who are beyond living paycheck to paycheck.

      Reply Like 5
  • The one place this could get sticky is with Transfers, and I'm really not sure how that should be dealt with.

    1. Transfers between budget cash-based accounts. Not an issue.
    2. Transfers from budget to tracking. Not an issue.
    3. Transfers from tracking to budget. There's an issue here because it's an inflow to the budget.
    4. Transfers from cash-based accounts to credit accounts. I don't think this would be an issue because it's effectively an outflow as far as the budget is concerned.
    5. Transfers from credit accounts to cash-based accounts? What are the repercussions in the budget? This adds money to TBB while increasing the debt. There might be an issue here.

    Finally, a split transaction that may contain #3 or #5.... how do you deal with that?

    Reply Like 1
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 8 mths ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I honestly think it is not worth worrying about excluding inflow transactions.  The person that wants to 'fool themselves' by entering an inflow early is just going to use a current date.  Heck, i sometimes enter my inflows a couple of days early if i'm going to be gone and want to get my budget up to date. The whole idea that making the date the driver is going to somehow protect people from themselves is ridiculous.

      Reply Like 6
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Herman Good point. I can't disagree with that.

      Reply Like 3
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Herman true. I was focusing on the expense aspect to reduce the scope of my argument.

      Reply Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Herman I forgot to finish my thought. While I agree with you,  the concession is to make this palatable to the folks at YNAB so they'd be willing to implement it.

      Reply Like 3
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

        nolesrule  I agree with that but after almost 4 years and the lack of recognition that there is even an issue, I don't have high hopes.  Keep fighting the good fight.

      Reply Like
      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney You can, yes.

      Reply Like 1
  • Patzer said:
    It's not just YNAB 4.  It was YNAB 3, and YNAB Pro, and Quicken, and MS Money. 

     Correct. I was referring to my defining of terms of "Future Transactions" from "Entered Transactions". More a matter of semantics. In terms of feature set, yes I completely agree that most budgeting applications have a more conservative approach to the issue at hand.

    Reply Like 1
  • mamster said:
    You can, yes.

     Interesting. To that point I would still only have "expenses" affect the "Available" and not apply the inflow to the "Available". I say this for several reasons:

    • It is the more conservative approach
    • It puts in your face that this fund is in need of attention (aka you better make sure you get money here because you recorded a transaction but depends on funds that are not scheduled to arrive until time X. If you didn't want to see that red, than you should not have Entered this transaction now or rather front load this category one month.)
    • To account for the inflow prior to it happening seems dangerous

    How would others approach that use case? I will admit, that is an interesting use case.

    Reply Like
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney 

      I'm big on giving the user control, which is pretty much the antithesis of the current YNAB philosophy.

      If I have a split transaction, either it's an entered transaction that I want to affect the budget, or it's a scheduled transaction and the issue doesn't arise.  As things happen, the vast majority of my split transactions happen in real time.  I have one scheduled split transactions for a total of zero, with matching inflows and outflows.   It is scheduled for the 1st of each month.  I'd like to be able to push it into the register on the last day of the month, then do the next month's budget including what that split does; but if I push it, it gets moved up to the current date.  (Discussion of why I need this transaction omitted.  Let's not go down that rabbit hole on this thread.)

      For now, I'm living with doing my April budget on March 31, then changing the date on my split the next morning.  For a low volume like that, it's reasonable.  For a dozen entered transactions per month that YNAB insists are scheduled for 6 or 8 different dates, it would be a real nuisance.

      Reply Like 3
  • Faness said:
    If the bottom line is wanting Scheduled Transactions to behave as Uncleared transactions, I think entering them as Uncleared transactions is best. If you use direct import or File Based Importing, when the transaction imports YNAB will match them for you (updating the transaction details). If you only enter them manually, you can make a note to update the date once the true date comes to pass.

     I want Entered Transactions to be viewed as Uncleared Transactions, not scheduled. I do "Enter" them but I might change the date as my bank will be sending the check in a week or so. That _entered_ transaction should show as money spent.

    My accounts are linked. 

    Reply Like 1
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 8 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney No, she isn't saying Available must always match the bank.  She's grasping at straws, because her job is to justify the way YNAB works no matter how stupid the program is.  Sometimes the justification resembles a cat trying to cover up on linoleum.

      Bottom line is, it's not going to change.  Either we learn to deal with it, or we move to another budgeting solution.  I'm dealing with it . . . except when I get reminded again of how incredibly stupid it is to say, "Look in this other place, one category or account at a time, for information that really ought to be on the budget page and preferably reflected in the category Available when you're looking to make a spending decision."

      Reply Like 5
    • Patzer I'm sorry you don't think my concerns are legitimate. I was sharing them from a personal stand point of why I wouldn't want this feature. I don't like the idea of my budget living in the future, but I see that others in this thread prefer that approach and Uncleared transactions allow for that option to be put in place. I understand changing the date later on is an extra step, but it does give the desired affect for those who want it. :)

      Reply Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Faness Or, since you feel you don't need it, you could just not use it an leave your transactions in the Scheduler. Your method (the current behavior) would still work with this feature.

      Reply Like 3
    • nolesrule Forgive me, but I think I'm getting lost between the terminology. The idea is to have Scheduled Transactions, Entered Transactions and Regular Transactions, where Entered Transactions are dated for the future but affect the budget now - is that right? The way I was reading things, I thought the point was to replace the Scheduler completely with the future dated transactions. 

      Also, I was about to respond to your post below - I, in no way, mean to make excuses. I'm not saying changing Scheduled Transactions is impossible, it's just not something we currently have plans for or intend to change. I also don't want anyone to feel ignored - if i've missed responding to a question, I do apologize.

      Reply Like
  • Faness said:
    Making this change would require adjustments to the current formula for how the Available amount is calculated and how dates are treated in YNAB - essentially an overhaul of how Scheduled Transactions are treated.

     That just means it was hacked together. Scheduled transactions should be a normal transaction with a flag on them to differentiate, and calculations should be keying off the absence of a flag, regardless of the date. They shouldn't be relying on date at all beyond calculating for specific months, certainly not using "today" as a limiting value.

    Reply Like 1
  • Why is it every time the customers ask for something reasonable and useful, all we get are either excuses why it's not possible (and they are excuses, not reasons) or get completely ignored?

    Reply Like 5
      • Blue Filly
      • YNAB
      • Blue_Filly.2
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule You are a troll! 

      Reply Like
      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Blue Filly Cool your jets please. A disagreement is no reason to be so disagreeable.

      Reply Like
      • Blue Filly
      • YNAB
      • Blue_Filly.2
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule You are not even using YNAB. you are here for trolling! I explained to you how to fix the problem. but you are still insisting on your old-fashion, out-dated opinions! YNAB works just fine! it is perfect the way it is! If you dont like it, go and find something that works. 

      Reply Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 8 mths ago
      • 8
      • Reported - view

      Blue Filly I play with it every month to see if it meets my needs with the free trial.

      I also have 5 years experience using YNAB4, and am a well respected participant of the forums both old and new.

      I take objection to you calling me a troll. I am an advocate for the customers of the software.

      Reply Like 8
      • Gogo_Dodo
      • Gogo_Dodo
      • 8 mths ago
      • 8
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule AMEN! You are absolutely not a troll unless we've changed the definition of troll to "someone I disagree with who won't be brow beaten into submission".  People are allowed to have different opinions Blue Filly , that doesn't make them trolls.

      Reply Like 8
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 8 mths ago
      • 13
      • Reported - view

      Blue Filly 

      Blue Filly said:
      YNAB works just fine! it is perfect the way it is!

       LOL.  There are many problems with YNAB, which become more severe the further the use case gets from living paycheck to paycheck and carrying credit card debt.   Some of them don't bother me, because there is a one time workaround that avoids all future problems.  Others don't bother me, because there is a workaround that isn't all that much effort in comparison to the benefits it gives me.

      The lack of future committed transactions being distinct from scheduled transactions bothers me, because even thought I have my workarounds to deal with it, it reminds me several times a month that I am required to take a few extra steps to deal with it, and I *still* have less perfect information than if the transactions just worked the way they did in YNAB 4.

      A statement such as the one I quoted sounds a lot more like a troll than anything nolesrule wrote does.  And for what it's worth, I have had extensive forum conversations with him.  He understands budgeting, even though we may disagree on the optimal way to do some things.

      I would hope that everyone on this forum could disagree without being disagreeable.  You have presented a workaround to address the issue.  It will work, for some situations.  In other situations, it will cause problems or be undesirable for other reasons.  One size does not fit all.

      Reply Like 13
      • Blue Filly
      • YNAB
      • Blue_Filly.2
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      @Gogo_Dodo  nolesrule  go and learn some accounting basics. Without understanding the fundamentals of how accounts work, you will sit there and cry on why you dont have a YNAB that breaks every logical rule! You are like a high school student arguing on why accountants credit cash account when they actually spend money. Jesus! 

      Reply Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 8 mths ago
      • 8
      • Reported - view

      Blue Filly said:
      nolesrule You are a troll! 

      And you, Blue Filly, are incorrect. About a lot of things, but definitely about nolesrule being a troll. Nolesrule and the others (including myself) that come here and give their time to try to help people learn to budget using YNAB have a combined experience of decades of using YNAB in the current iteration and earlier ones. We are entitled to have critical opinions about YNAB, because the criticisms are constructive and based on years of loyalty and experience with the product.

      Just because something you have described as a possible work-around will work doesn't mean it's optimal, nor does it mean we should absolve YNAB of the need to listen to feedback and improve their product based on that feedback. These are not trivial cosmetic issues, these are serious design flaws that some have even offered YNAB the solution for on a silver platter and the response is crickets, while they waste time churning on other issues that are not design flaws. For years. We will absolutely take them to task for that.  It does not make us trolls.

      For what it's worth, not that I feel the need to establish my "cred" with you, I have been using nYNAB since the day it released and was not a user of YNAB4 prior to that. Having said that, even I can see that YNAB4 is the superior product.

      I will not engage in ad hominem attacks on you, but I can say in fairness that your behavior towards the other contributors on the thread is unpleasant. I request that you kindly change your tone to disagreeing without being disagreeable and thank you in advance.

      Reply Like 8
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Blue Filly Please school us on accounting and how it is applicable to this discussion of budgeting. I await your dissertation as to why certain accounting principles must be strictly adhered to rather than having flexible use cases that represent people's realistic needs. 

      Also, I can't tell if you are using the word "accounts" to represent actual accounts or representative of the categories used in double-entry accounting. As a non-accountant, I find it annoying that the same word is used for both, as it can lead to confusion. But what do I know?

      Finally, as a Sole Proprietor and former owner of an S-Corp, I use YNAB for the budgeting and for making spending decisions, while I use Quickbooks for the actual accounting and reporting for the business. Accounting packages are terrible for making forward looking spending decisions if you want an envelope-based budgeting system for spending management. And envelope-based spending management systems are terrible for financial reporting and taxation.

      It comes down to the fact that the needs for managing the budget and the needs for reporting are not always in sync, and having a single view structure can make for a difficult time trying to do both

      Reply Like 1
      • Blue Filly
      • YNAB
      • Blue_Filly.2
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat   

        nolesrule Patzer First of all YNAB4 is definitely not a better product! You got so many things incorrect. I don't where to start. To be honest, I don't want to start! I want to end this time-wasting conversation. You guys obviously teamed up against the new YNAB because you don't want to change your old habits. It is funny that you are treating YNAB as if it is an ERP system LOL, demanding things that do not work! 

      You need to understand something. You are not a finance software adviser or someone with a finance background (maybe you are, but I doubt that). Your knowledge is limited regardless of how many years you have been using YNAB. You are thinking very highly of yourself, and you think you have solutions on a "silver platter" well my friend, you do not have the answers. Sorry, it is sad but true. Sometimes you have to trust the professionals and let them do the work for you. I really don't think you are qualified to criticise YNAB or any other finance software.  I get it if you have opinions, suggestions. But you do not have solutions on a silver platter. If you insist on holding the solutions for YNAB and try to draw the roadmap for YNAB you are just a troll! 

       

      bevocat said:
      while they waste time churning on other issues that are not design flaws.

        YNAB is not wasting time. They are genuinely working hard to make this product better.  As I said countless of times, If YNAB does not meet your requirements, which is possible, you should look for a product that suits your needs.

       

      I don't understand why you are making this personal. It is just a budgeting software, nothing else! My advice is that stop complaining and try to use YNAB without prejudice. 

      Reply Like
      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 8 mths ago
      • 10
      • Reported - view

      Blue Filly calling someone a troll just because you disagree with them makes this personal.

      Reply Like 10
      • Blue Filly
      • YNAB
      • Blue_Filly.2
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule Jesus you are a joke man! 

      nolesrule said:
      Accounting packages are terrible for making forward looking spending decisions

       Are you for real??????? What do you know about accounting software! All you know is Quickbooks which is built for small businesses 10-15 years ago. Stop talking about accounting and accounting softwares as if you know something! you do not know! 

      Reply Like
      • Blue Filly
      • YNAB
      • Blue_Filly.2
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule  You wanna talk about finance softwares. lets talk about SAP. it costs over 5 million to implement. It is a finance software just like Quickbooks. The difference is kinda mind blowing tho!! My point is there is a product for everything. YNAB is a budgeting software and it does the job just fine. There is no point comparing YNAB with Quickbooks or Xero etc.  

      Reply Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 8 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Blue Filly 

      Reply Like 4
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Blue Filly I don't know why you thought I was referring to myself when I said solutions had been presented. I never made that claim. The world is not all about me.

      What on earth gave you the idea I was using YNAB with prejudice? I just told you that I started using it before I used YNAB4. Do you have issues with reading comprehension?

      Reply Like
      • Blue Filly
      • YNAB
      • Blue_Filly.2
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat   nolesrule I dont know why but you guys are reminding me flat-earthers and anti-vaccine supporters. 

      Reply Like
      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 8 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Blue Filly ?!?!!!! Where do all your antagonism & ad hominem attacks come from? You have repeatedly demonstrated that you do not understand either the problems caused by not having future dated transactions in the register or the various solutions proposed in this thread, so your continuous attacks on those who do are way out of line.

      Reply Like 4
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 8 mths ago
      • 7
      • Reported - view
      Blue Filly said:
      I dont know why but you guys are reminding me flat-earthers and anti-vaccine supporters. 

       What does that even mean?

      Envelope budgeting is not a hard science. It's a personal finance philosophy, where some of the details make a difference in how effectively it can be used to success.

      You are arguing that because the Dr. insists the vaccine go in the left arm because the Dr. always put it in the left arm, that the fact someone wants it in the right thigh to avoid additional pain because they strained a muscle in that arm is wrong.

      And I hate using analogies.

      Reply Like 7
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Blue Filly I use nYNAB and your "fix" sucks.

      Reply Like 3
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Blue Filly I am an accountant but ynab isn't accounting software so that is meaningless.

      Reply Like 2
      • Blue Filly
      • YNAB
      • Blue_Filly.2
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Herman It does not suck. You just need to take your time and understand how the software works. Stop being lazy and spend some time! 

      Reply Like
      • Blue Filly
      • YNAB
      • Blue_Filly.2
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

       Herman 
      nolesrule bevocat RIP_MSMoney

      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. I was one of them once upon a time. Now I understand that there is a bigger picture, a reason behind all these complications. So what I'm saying is that relax, don't be quick when judging something that you do not fully understand even though you think you know everything about it.(You do not!). I tried so many different personal finance apps. None of them worked for me. They had more functions, more reports, like Quicken and Banktivity. 

      nolesrule said:

      Where's the investments module? Where's the cashflow management?

       But they are not proactive apps like YNAB. YNAB does a great job and differentiates itself from all these other personal finance apps out there. So stop complaining about that it doesn't have a detailed, professional cash flow management or any other advanced, specialised features so to speak. It is a budgeting app and it works like a charm! Can it be better? Hell yeah, it can be. Go ahead and suggest your opinion. Like how I did to YNAB support member, don't be an arrogant, egoistic a self-centred when you are asking help.  read my communication with YNAB below, 

      Hi there

      Melissa B.

      Hello! :)

      You

      Hi Melissa, Have a quick question.

      Melissa B.

      Sure!

      You

      I budgeted more than what I have in my bank account mistakenly. But to be budgeted didn't go negative figure. however, when I go to February, it shows over budgeting. Why cannot I see overbudgeting in the current month?

      Melissa B.

      Ah. Do you have any budgeting in your February Budget?

      You

      yep I do. I budgeted around $600 in Feb

      Melissa B.

      Okay. That's likely the culprit. Let me explain.

      You

      please

      Melissa B.

      When you have money Budgeted in Future, once To be Budgeted is $0, you should only move money between categories. If you continue to budget additional dollars, you're pulling from that Budgeted in Future amount and you'll be overbudgeted in the future month.

      Melissa B.

      Let me explain why that is. If you have money Budgeted in Future, you are actually pulling from that number when you increase budgeted amounts in the current month. You'll notice it decreases if you budget additional dollars this month, while the To be Budgeted number stays $0. That is until you budget more than the total Budgeted in Future amount. Then it will go into the negative.

      Melissa B.

      When To be Budgeted is $0, but you have money Budgeted in Future, if you budget additional dollars, it's like saying, "I know I budgeted this money next month, but I'm changing my mind. I'm going to budget it this month instead." If you switch over to next month's budget, you see you're over budget there.

      Melissa B.

      We're looking at ways to make it more prominent that you are taking from Budgeted in Future.

      You

      Make sense. Now that I think about it. That is the right approach. It should be taken out form future month because I don't' have the funds to budget more this month.

      Melissa B.

      You

      Having said that, it would be great to see that I am using future money to budget this month in the current month. Like a notification or something that warns me when I steal money from future

      Melissa B.

      Yes—I totally agree.

      Melissa B.

      I'll definitely pass that feedback along to our designers. :)

      You

      Because I can't see anything in January. It looks all green and shiny but when you go to Feb, it slaps you across the face

      Melissa B.

      So true. 🙈

      You

      Yeah thanks for the help Mel

      Melissa B.

      Of course!

      You

      have a good day

      Melissa B.

      Let me know if I can help with anything else!

      You

      will do bye

      Melissa B.

      Bye!!

       

      See Bevocat! YNAB is listening to your problems and trying to find an answer. So they are not really wasting their time as you said above.  Because you all think you are all entitled to criticise YNAB, Well do it but do not patronise when you are doing that. Show some respect to the people who developed this magnificent software! 

      Reply Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 8 mths ago
      • 9
      • Reported - view

      Blue Filly They've been saying they've been working on fixing Stealing From The Future since January 2016. They even rolled out a beta for their fix idea a few months back, and from what some of the beta participants said it actually made things worse. Meanwhile, a long-time user sent them a spreadsheet (multiple times) with a sample calculation for header numbers that works perfectly long before the failed beta attempt, but they seem to have refused to implement it... my guess is because because the idea came from an outside party.

      And finally, YNAB isn't an accounting system. It's a software implementation of the envelope budgeting system. As such it should respect what the user considers an outflow from a category, rather than the forcing of ignoring things dated after today's date. That was just an arbitrary choice that has a negative impact on usability by the software developers because they didn't want people budgeting income (which, as has been noted by others, can easily be worked around... by fudging dates). One should not be forced to have more categories than they need/want due to developer-driven unnecessary software limitations. It introduces cashflow awareness problems and category balance problems for what is essentially an arbitrary decision.

      So stop thinking like an accountant. Think outside the box and look at the big picture. Think about the needs of the customer within the context of the system, and whether they violate the 4 Rules of YNAB's envelope system. because the customer should be allowed to do anything they want within the confines of the 4 Rules.

      Online YNAB doesn't suck, though I really can't think of any ways it actually improves on YNAB4 other than Direct Import and perhaps credit card management, but that's debatable given the fact that it doesn't handle certain situations very well. Budgeting as far into the future as you want is, IMO, a mistake, because of the way it affects the user's focus on budgeting. Online YNAB could be better if they brought back a couple of the features from YNAB4 that don't violate the 4 Rules. You'll note I don't advocate for the return of the Red Arrow functionality. But things like Income For next Month, Running Balance, and the ability to choose between whether a Future Dated transaction lives in the register or in the scheduler are all features that would make it better.

      Reply Like 9
      • Blue Filly
      • YNAB
      • Blue_Filly.2
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule Really! So this "stealing from the future" is more than 3 years old problem?  That is concerning! 

      Reply Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Blue Filly The first public discussion of it took place on the old forum within about 5 days of the soft launch, which was mid-November 2015. Private beta testers (customers) said they reported the issue. It was actually me who first mentioned it publicly, and I coined the term Stealing From the Future. So there's a reason I am one of the noisiest when it comes to this issue. I can still remember receiving a particular bill that went up $0.73 so I edited the category... and my TBB stayed zero. There was no indication on the screen where the money came from. I was shocked.

      The public discussion was ignored entirely by YNAB, until the Reddit AMA by Jesse that was part of the online YNAB launch push (first couple days of January 2016), in which I asked the question about it and it was acknowledged they would look into it.

      In August 2016, I asked a question on the YNAB official Facebook group about it, and got a response from Jesse that a fix was in the works, and they were just waiting on a change to the mobile app header so they could roll it out.

      Silence, until sometime in late 2018 when they announced a beta test to fix it. Many of the users that I trust signed up for the beta. The report was not good, because they did weird things like locking the TBB value in a past month once a month had ended, resulting in utter confusion, because it meant you couldn't fix a month properly once the clock struck midnight and the month rolled over, even though you might not even have all your transactions for the month in yet. Supposedly they've made some changes but it's been pretty quiet.

      And as I said, one of the users actually developed a spreadsheet with reimagined header calculations that would work in a universal manner and not cause confusion and solve the issue. The sheet was submitted multiple times. It was rather robust and works well, but has been ignored. We engaged Faness about this about a month ago in an effort to try again to get it implemented.

      Reply Like
      • Blue Filly
      • YNAB
      • Blue_Filly.2
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule  I didn't know the existence of this issue when I contacted support (Melissa). It seems as though it is quite a hot topic. Now it makes sense why you are angry about it. I hope they fix it asap and it would be great if they can add receipt attachment to transactions. 

      Reply Like
      • TheTabby
      • Just a common cat trying to budget uncommonly well.
      • TheTabby
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Blue Filly yup, between that and the fact that they haven't released a single major update I can remember - only updates I can think of are adding the little pie chart next to categories with goals; they did another thing with goals where they took out an "s" to make things handsomely correct and billed it as a major update; and the api thing, which I suppose could have been major, but I don't know how to use api stuff, so it's irrelevant to me.  They've done a good bit of bug squashing, but major software flaws or design upgrades have never occurred since launch to my knowledge. 

      Reply Like 2
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 8 mths ago
      • 7
      • Reported - view

      Blue Filly Seems obvious to me that improvements can always be made. Are you too lazy to use paper envelopes? I sure am, which is why I'm using YNAB -- a clear improvement upon old-school envelope budgeting. The less time spent doing tedious things the better, IMHO. Telling people not to be lazy? That's a cop-out excuse for a poor design.

      The things people continually gripe about align squarely with the desire to reduce tedium and confusion. One only has to read these forums as new members have the same issues over and over... and have for the last several years.

      Regular posters are also passionate because they see the problems, have suggested clear improvements that would benefit current AND FUTURE users, but have been ignored. Frustrating. Even moresoe when some new person without the benefit of years of helping thousands of people casts the extremely knowledgeable users in a disingenuous light.

      Reply Like 7
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Blue Filly  I understand it perfectly. You need to understand that just because you CAN work with something, doesn't mean you should have to.  You are either blowing smoke or an idiot. 

      Reply Like 3
    • Hey folks,

      It looks like this thread has gotten far off topic from the OP’s initial post and I thought it might be best to jump in. Our Community Guidelines were put in place to help this support forum focus on being a welcoming and encouraging community for all people, regardless of their age, their journey with YNAB, or any other factor. 

      We don’t have any issue with folks having differing opinions, frustrations about the software, or wishlists, but threads should do everything they can to stay on topic and address differences in opinion in a respectful and constructive way.

      If there are ever any questions regarding the Community Guidelines or the Support Forum in general, please feel free to send me a private message. 

      Reply Like 1
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 7 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Veronica at YNAB I think the temperatures have calmed since a couple days ago.

      Reply Like 2
  • So I have read this whole thread. My question is why does it matter what day it clears the bank? What am I missing? As I said above I am old school, I come from the age of writing checks. So when I did I would sit down on the first and pay my bills for the month. I dated my checks for "month"/1/"year". Record it in my checkbook register. and go on. When my bank statement came I would reconcile my account and go on with my life. 

    For things like groceries or prescriptions I wrote a check at the counter, dated for that day, recorded it in my checkbook and went on. 

    I made the commitment when I wrote the check. I didn't write the check and then wait till it cleared the bank to decide if I was going to pay it. 

    So just because it is electronic why does the date it goes out matter? I mean why should I put in future dated transactions, Why don't people use the date they commit to the payment?  

    Reply Like 2
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      kevman479 so you have a point here that makes sense for things like paying the water bill. But for certain subscription payments, you could make the argument that I committed the funds 2 years ago when I signed up for the monthly subscription. I also think the frustration is that this is a feature that used to exist in YNAB that they took away in their infinite wisdom.

      Reply Like 1
      • kevman479
      • kevman479
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      jenmas That doesn't makes senses for an argument. You're not asking for the whole purchase amount for a car loan to be entered. You want that to be a scheduled transaction. Yes you committed to it when you got the loan but you are not taking it out all at once. 

      So I bought a car. Every month the payment is due on the  24th. Is there a reason I need to date it for the 24th? If there is a problem I would use the bank records for proof of payment not my YNAB register. 

      MY electric bill. I enter a payment in YNAB on the 1st. I always budget for the highest bill + 10% so I enter it for this amount dated for the 1st. I get the bill on the 5th payable by the 22nd of the month. I then take literally a minute and a half to change the amount in YNAB, still dated for the 1st and and then forget it. I is set up on auto pay so on the 22nd it is pulled from my bank. 

      So my question is why do I care that I have it in YNAB for the 1st even though it is not pulled until the 22nd?  

      Reply Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      kevman479 one instance where it will absolutely cause a problem is for people who use the import feature. If you date it the first but the transaction actually happens on the 22nd, YNAB cannot match these two transactions when you import from your bank/credit card. I only do manual entry, so it's not my problem. I'm sitting here arguing because YNAB's justifications for why they took away the feature don't make a lot of sense.

      Reply Like 2
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      jenmas It won't auto-match due to the date disparity but you can still manually match them.

      Reply Like 2
  • Blue Filly said:
    I believe, as an accountant, YNAB is advanced enough to handle one's personal finance with ease. 

     Haha. Where's the investments module? Where's the cashflow management? YNAB is an asset-based spending plan program. So it should be able to help me manage my spending plan the way I need it to without making compromises on how I wish to categorize things.

    Don't throw around "accountant" like it makes you a personal finance expert. I'm not an accountant, though my father and brother are.  There's plenty of personal finance issues that a professional accountant is not trained for. I'm better at personal finance management than either of them.

    Reply Like 3
  • There is a lot with what you said that I agree with :) I actually can't tell if you are agreeing with us or disagreeing. 

    kevman479 said:
    So I have read this whole thread. My question is why does it matter what day it clears the bank? What am I missing? As I said above I am old school, I come from the age of writing checks. So when I did I would sit down on the first and pay my bills for the month. I dated my checks for "month"/1/"year". Record it in my checkbook register. and go on. When my bank statement came I would reconcile my account and go on with my life. 

    Correct, why _should_ the dates matter? You have committed to the payment so you reduced the checkbook balance to reflect the true "Available". That is exactly what I am asking for. Date has no aspect on this equation. :)

    Secondly, back in the days of check righting, reconciliation was manual anyway so it was tedious no matter what. In the age of auto matching against the bank, we now have an issue. With YNAB they will only match transactions out 10 days. So every month you will put the 1st and the budget will look right but any bill that goes through after the 10th will not auto match.... That manual aspect will be a pain. I even suggested earlier to match out 30+ days. I believe MS Money went back 90 days (but they actually had a check field and was able to auto-match REALLY well)?

     

    For things like groceries or prescriptions I wrote a check at the counter, dated for that day, recorded it in my checkbook and went on. 
    I made the commitment when I wrote the check. I didn't write the check and then wait till it cleared the bank to decide if I was going to pay it. 
    So just because it is electronic why does the date it goes out matter? I mean why should I put in future dated transactions, Why don't people use the date they commit to the payment?  

    Your argument of "Why does the date matter?" is exactly our point with the same reason as you say "I made the commitment when I wrote the check. I didn't write the check and then wait till it cleared the bank to decide if I was going to pay it.". When I setup the transaction at my bank, there is no plan on backing out. If I record that transaction with YNAB, ignore the date and adjust the "Available" like you did back in the days of checkbooks. 

    In the days of checkbooks, you didn't know when the bill would arrive at the service provider so you would date the check on the day it was written. Nowadays I specify the date I want the bill to arrive and my bank takes care of the rest. As such I put that date on my transaction. Again, I could put the 1st but YNAB will not auto match for anything further out than 10 days. 

    Reply Like 2
      • kevman479
      • kevman479
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney If the whole point is just because of auto matching. How hard is it to delete the one you entered, the one the bank entered, or go ahead and manually match them. 

      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?

      Reply Like 1
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 8 mths ago
      • 7
      • Reported - view

      kevman479 at the end of the day, it's YNAB's product so they can do whatever they want, whenever they want. But users still get to say "I don't like it and I would prefer it to be this way instead".

      Reply Like 7
    • kevman479 This seems to make the most sense band would completely solve this issue. 

      This topic got a bit off the rails but this seems to solve the OP's issue. In the interim I take the manual approach and just match the transactions when they come in.

      I have to do this a lot because I manually enter transactions as they occur. Most of my transactions are in JMD so when they finally post to me account they end up being off by a few cents. When this happens I have to go back and manually match. 

      I just take a few minutes each morning.ro review transactions that come through.

      Reply Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 8 mths ago
      • 9
      • Reported - view

      kevman479 It's not just about auto matching. It's about knowing how much money is in my account at any given time. The reality is my CC Payment will take $X out of my account on 4/21. I know I can afford it, because it's budgeted. However, I want to know before then if that's going to be an issue so I can move funds from another account.

      Dating the payment for when I've entered it in the scheduler as YNAB recommends (e.g., 4/1) yields an erroneous balance and would cause me to make poor decisions that cost me money.

      If YNAB would pay me the 2.2% interest on my cash holdings, then I'd happily consolidate to a single account as they recommend and would date transactions when they are committed for accurate spending guidance. That's the current design, but that's quite incompatible with my desire to earn interest. Thus the tedious workarounds and subsequent requests to reduce the tedium.

      Reply Like 9
      • kevman479
      • kevman479
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Thank you I now get the point. Don't really agree with it but I get it. Thanks again

      Reply Like
  • RIP_MSMoney said:
     This is steering towards ad hominems. Lets not get off topic.

    Blue Filly said:
    You are a troll!

     lol.. seriously? 

    Reply Like
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