Budgeting for future months
Can you budget for more than 3 months? I want to budget my savings in September but I can scroll months only till August. My subscription is ending on February next year.
You can, but I find it counter productive to go beyond even next month. I don't relish flipping through screens changing numbers when priorities or amounts inevitably change. Instead, I just grow an Income Replacement category.
However, if you want to go further, you need to budget in August to open up Sept. If you're trying to fully-budget an outflow that will be paid after August, it's recommended you just budget that in the current month or uniformly in the months leading up to the outflow (Rule 2).
Aquamarine Cartridge said:
This sort of content-free quip does absolutely nothing to help the OP
So, there were other responses that outlined details. I instead read Nolesrule's as something to make someone stop and think, which is beneficial.
It was an almost an identically styled comment of his a while back that made me stop and think about how I was (over)paying my credit card. I had another issue, and he basically said the real question was 'why was I paying down to $0 repeatedly?'. I then realized I should maybe learn something new, asked about it, considered the option, and have since chosen to both streamline my YNAB workflow and earn perpetual, compounding interest on my credit card statement amount.
The fact that someone is concise, frank, or possibly uses dry humor without emojis doesn't necessarily mean they're being rude. People from different geographical areas (and even social circles) have different mannerisms when they communicate. What may seem brusque in one region may be considered polite in another. I know when I traveled to New York as a student, the organizers warned us that the people there may seem rude, but they just have a different way of interacting than where I come from (somewhere further south).
I only write this response because I think it's important for the civility of the forum that people don't project unpleasant tones where they're not necessarily present. I, for one, have enough imagination to picture someone who typically uses few words and would say "No you don't. You just haven't realized it yet." with a slightly raised eyebrow, almost smile, and a twinkle in the eye that says, "I know where you are in this - come challenge your idea and you'll learn something you don't know yet." (OK, the smile is unnecessary - I've known great people whose laser-like attention is their version of acknowledging me as a person, and it's just as respectful.) Pedagogically, this is a good practice, because the learner doesn't have everything spelled out for them - they have to figure it out.
Anyways, the forum is a text-based medium, so we're missing many nonverbal cues. Why interpret the worst intention?
aka DerekSmalls said:
I receive commissions in amounts that would allow me to budget for several months into the future
I suggest you consider a different, but equally useful job: enable planning once more information arrives.
To answer your question plainly, it is so much easier to budget each month once. Here are some specific scenarios.
1) If you have 3 months' worth of expenses saved up, great - stick it in a category called Loss of Income now and leave it there. You will presumably get paid regularly to maintain regular budgeting (unless you lose your income, in which case, reallocate from that category to cover regular expenses).
2) If you have irregular income, and you know you'll need what you have to last for a few months, great - put it in a Deferred Income category now, in this month. Each new month, take some out so you can fund that month.
3) If you're saving the money for something specific in September, make a category for it (tuition? big concert? whatever?) and stick the money there now, in the current month. It will be there waiting for you when it's time to be used. It's up to you whether you want to spend from that category or move the money to another category that makes more sense (tuition would stay, the concert would be categorized as fun and the money moved to support it).
The benefit of saving in a category separate from its spending is to maintain guidance on normal spending. For example, say I was going to some $200 event in December and the tickets go on sale in September. I have the money now and I don't want to accidentally spend it. If I put it in my regular fun category, I would look at the category to decide if I can get a woodworking tool, see the $225 available, and forget about the $200 dedicated to the concert. I would be sad come September because I would have to find the money all over again. Separating the specific savings is better for the budget, but when I actually buy the tickets, I'd categorize them as fun and move the money appropriately.
I hope that helps you out, Navy Blue Trumpet . If you have another scenario in mind, please ask! There are a lot of people on the forum with experience about the best ways of using the software to help your financial position.