Need a way to forecast before I get funds

I am a new YNAB user and until now have been riding the credit card float. Before I started YNAB, my money planning for a month was relatively simple -- though it didn't result in me living within my means.

At the end of each month I would look at my credit card statement, which accounts for most of my expenses. I would add to that about seven bills which I pay out of my checking account (mortgage, utilities, and a couple of others.) Those were my projected expenses for the month. In the other column I would list my projected income (which is steady and predictable) and money on hand and figure out if I needed to take some money out of my savings.  As I said -- pretty simple.

Now that I'm using YNAB, I'm not sure how to forecast for the upcoming month. I'm trying to get off the float, so I'm going to need to actually plot out all my various expenses that used to all go indiscriminately on my credit card. That's a lot of different categories and I need to plan for the spending ahead of time. But YNAB won't let me budget with money I haven't yet received. I understand why that is but it makes it hard to plan ahead until I have a month's worth of spending in the bank, which I don't currently.

My question is, how do you forecast for the upcoming month?

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  • You could set up a test budget to do that. I have one for fussing around with various life scenarios

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    • broke_budgeter How do you set up a test budget?

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      • broke_budgeter
      • skint trying to be more savvy
      • broke_budgeter
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Green Nomad go to open a budget and hit new, set up your categories and put your numbers in

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    • broke_budgeter That won't delete my current budget?

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Green Nomad nope, you can have many budgets going at the same time.  Just make sure you are in the right one at any given time.

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  • See my comment in your other thread, which explains how to deal with the float and budget for your expenses using money on hand. 

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  • Here is what you can do. First, add all of your spending categories to your budget. Then, go to next month and budget the entire month until To be Budgeted is equal to the negative amount of the income you will receive that month. (Make sure all TBB funds are budgeted to 0 before you do this.)  This is what you have to work with. Now you have an idea of the breakdown and can now reset that month back to 0. Make sure you account for your Rule 2 true expenses in your monthly budget.

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    • Superbone if you have scheduled transactions, does that automatically go against your future monthly budgets?

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    • Slate Blue Mill If the transaction hasn't fired in the current month, I don't think it will show up in next month's "Underfunded". Similarly, a weekly or bi-weekly recurring transaction would only show one instance (and possibly none).

      In either case, just manually budget the necessary total to get the answer you need.

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  • Hi Green Nomad !

    In YNAB, your budget is a plan for the money you have right now—but you may want to plan ahead for what to do with money you'll get in the future. We call this a budget template. 

    When you have a moment, watch our video on How to Create a Budget Template or take a look at the Set Up Your Budget workshop. There's also a How to Create a Budget Template Blog post. All three will teach you how to use scheduled transactions and goals to outline priorities and plan for future expenses. :)

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  • YNAB works best if you plan for future expenses, as opposed to past expenses. That means budgeting for things that will be purchased moving forward first.

    Use the credit card for these budgeted purchases, and the CC Payment category will increase. Hopefully, these will raise the category enough to pay the CC bill without explicitly budgeting toward that category. If not, then budget to cover the difference.

    Assuming no credit overspending, everything you budget to the CC Payment category is progress toward getting off the float. You're done (meaning paid in full status) when the category Available covers the entire CC account balance.

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