Get a month ahead - no "income for next month" like in classic

Hi, 

I've got a category called "get a month ahead" and it's fully funded.  In cYNAB, I would have instead been stashing this money in the "income for _next month_" option when income comes in and you choose to make it income to be budgeted.  In cYNAB you could make that income to be budgeted in the following months.

So, in this YNAB, once you've saved enough to be a month ahead, how do you incorporate that into your system?  

Thanks

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  • Exactly as you do: a holding category for Income for Next Month ("INM," for simplicity sake.) It's a decent workaround. Release next month's funds from it, when the month rolls over.

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  • I have a separate category called Income for Next Month right at the top of all my other categories. As income starts to arrive in the current month, it goes to TBB and then into income for next month. At the end of the month, I release all those funds back to TBB and fund the following month all at once. 

    Like 2
  • All the workflows employ a category to hold/accumulate funds. They differ in how they put those funds in and then release them, with pros and cons to each.

    I prefer to directly categorize to the INM category because that can be automated (scheduled transactions and payee rules) and is impossible to mix with money received early in the month if I don't get around to budgeting until then.

    That choice mandates that I edit the transactions to release the funds in order to keep reports accurate. Search for INM, Select All, (possibly deselect transactions that are too new) Edit, Categorize as...)

    The above priorities ease of use (fewer manual operations) and error resistance.

    For someone who is still budgeting something to the current month, I'd recommend prioritizing flexibility. Bringing in money as TBB and budgeting it to the INM category. The release at the end of the month is achieved by simply deleting the budget entry.

    A better approach (IMHO) will instead release with a negative budget entry in next months area. This has the obvious feedback of progress if you can get the budget entry positive before the month ends. This would be my preference when some income is still needed in the current month. In fact, I used this exact approach in YNAB4 when I was "partially buffered".

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    • dakinemaui Are you saying it would be better to move all incoming funds for next month directly into INM category, bypassing putting into TBB first? I don't budget anything for the following month until the very end of the current month. I do have scheduled transactions for the following month(s) but the actual budgeting doesn't get done at the time I schedule a future transaction. If I were to put this month's income directly into INM, I'm confused about how to release those funds when the end of the month rolls around. Do I then move all the money in INM to TBB and proceed to budget the next month?

      Thanks for any help you can provide!

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      KnitPurlKnit If you push all your income into next month, then yes I believe it's best to categorize as INM as money arrives. When you're ready to budget those funds, release with:

      Search for INM, Select All, (possibly deselect transactions that are too new), Edit, Categorize as... TBB)

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    • dakinemaui Thanks. Going to re-categorize my June income going directly to INM and then see what happens when I budget July on the last day of June.

      One of my concerns with categorizing income in June as TBB, moving it to INM, and then moving it back to TBB again at the very end of the month was that I was afraid YNAB would count the money going into TBB twice and then report  my "real" income for the month of June doubled.

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    • KnitPurlKnit Nope. YNAB calculates the reports in real time, based on the current state of your transactions. The INM categorization will show some (large) negative spending for the current month, but that's no big deal. As soon as you change the categorization, the reports will reflect the income in TBB again.

      It saves so much work, protects my budget from errors, and prevents money popping up where I don't want it. You can also just exclude the current month from reports, which makes sense for other, unfinished categories as well. 

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      KnitPurlKnit it won't double count your income either way. 

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    • dakinemaui Good to know. Thanks.

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      KnitPurlKnit I wish I could double count my income! 🙂

      Like 1
    • Superbone Me too!

      Like 1
  • I just begin budgeting in the next month. I basically fill in my categories from the top down until I've received all income for the month.  If at any given time I don't have time to allocate, I just drop in the first category I have not yet funded until I decide to go back and finish. I don't find the need for a specific category to hold it in. 

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    • Herman This is exactly the same as I do.  When I get a paycheck and all this month's categories are funded, I move to the following month and start funding those balances starting with my critical ones first....I don't see a need to add a category to track next month's budget...just go to the next month and start budgeting

      Like 1
    • Aquamarine Keyboard Of course, you're welcome to do that, but here are some reasons to use INM category.

      1. Protects from SFTF.

      2. Most efficient workflow (in terms of clicks/streamlined actions).

      3. Prevents errors.

      4. Allows for a clear picture of the whole month at a time. 

      5. Prevents large sums of money from popping into my TBB on payday when I'd rather check my budget in public with the person looking over my shoulder only seeing my groceries available. 

      6. Most importantly, for me: I can budget when I'm ready to each month. I don't have to budget every paycheck. Why budget paycheck to paycheck if you're not living paycheck to paycheck? 

      7. Minimizes the work necessary to adjust the budget when bills or paychecks change. 

      Like 3
    • Aquamarine Keyboard When doing it this way, just be careful that you don't run into the Stealing from the Future issue. If you're not sure what that is, do a search in the forums for it. It's been discussed ad nauseum and still has no fix from YNAB. It's one of the main reasons I set up the INM category. It's also why I don't budget anything in future months until the last day of the previous month.

      Like
    • KnitPurlKnit Good point, but isn't that what the overspent in (PRIOR Month) is for in the view above?  Plus when I overspend in one category in the current month, I cover the spend with one of the categories in the current month to prevent that...

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    • Aquamarine Keyboard No. SFTF can be present when all categories are fully funded. It's about overbudgeting, not overspending, though sometimes the overbudgeting occurs when correcting overspending.

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    • Aquamarine Keyboard SFTF doesn't have anything to do with what you overspent in the prior month.  If you have budgeted money for categories in future months and you either overspend in the current month, YNAB will take money from one of those future budgeted categories to fill the current month's overspending WITHOUT ANY NOTIFICATION THAT IT'S DOING SO.  For me, that's the issue. So you think you're all set for future months, but you come to find out later that YNAB has grabbed some of that money to cover current overspending. I think if you were to move money into a current month's category that you know will be overspent BEFORE actually entering the transaction(s) you would be OK. But lots of times I don't want to do the math beforehand when I know I'm over so I enter the transaction, and then see how much I'm short and need to cover from a different category. If I continued to do it that way and I had money budgeted an any future categories, YNAB would steal that money immediately when you entered the transaction. 

      If I haven't explained this correctly, or someone can do a better job, please do!

      Like
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life I agree with #1 but i don't care about sftf.  The risk is overblown for someone that knows what it is.  I disagree with 2 - 4 and 5 is not something i can think of a scenario where it would happen to me or would I care.  It's good we have options. 

      Like
    • Herman Yes, of course! I just like to try to make sure both ways are represented in a thread so newbies 1) find out about SFTF and 2) know their options. 

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

      Move Light Sound Life All good, that's why i posted it seems the option to just budget is usually skipped in these conversations.  But yes, #1 is important to make sure new people understand. 

      Like
    • Herman Ah. I suppose I don't focus much on it because that's in the training materials. 

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Herman Why? Just curious. Is it because you like the act of budgeting multiple times a month?

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      • TerbaTron
      • my mom is an accountant. I think I love budgeting
      • Green_Boat.7
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone I can't speak for Herman but I 100% do.  Filling in the goals little by little is entertaining. 

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      • Jim D
      • Bidimus
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Herman FWIW I budget into future months as well.  As far as the SFTF issue people talk about, it really has no impact on my as long as I'm not stealing from next month.  The real advantage for me is I can be months ahead this way and know that if I lose my job, exactly how long I have before I can't pay bills.  I love doing it this way.  As an extra step, when I'm budgeting, I check my future budgets to ensure my TBB is not red. 

      As a trade off, when the month rolls over there is nothing to do as I'm already budgeted.  Both ways work but for me I prefer it this way and this is after having started on classic doing it the other way.

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      • Jim D
      • Bidimus
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone I do as well.  The exercise of putting eyes on your budget also keeps you aware of it.  And that said I only really fine tune the budget once a month.  The rest of the month is just applying TBB using the templates a couple times a month and honestly even that is optional.

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      • Herman
      • herman
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Jim D 

      Jim D said:
      Superbone I do as well.  The exercise of putting eyes on your budget also keeps you aware of it.  And that said I only really fine tune the budget once a month.  The rest of the month is just applying TBB using the templates a couple times a month and honestly even that is optional.

       Jim D this would be my answer as well,  i'm in the budget regularly so this adds almost no effort.  I didn't answer  because i don't really think it was a serious question. It just doesn't fit with what some have decided is "best practice".

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Jim D Thanks, Jim. I'm in my budget often as well. Even though I only budget once a month, I'm always looking at my categories and making sure I stay within them and making adjustments as needed. I also like to stay on top of my accounts so that reconciling is always simple.

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Herman It was a serious question. I'm trying to understand why you would do it this way if you don't have to. Awareness is a great thing. If that's what it takes for some to stay active and stay aware, then more power to them. Obviously, YNAB themselves thought this is the way to go.

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      • Herman
      • herman
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone It's not "what it takes for awareness".  I'm in my budget regularly.  This is not budgeting, it's a few clicks to begin the process.  15 to 30 seconds max.  No extra categories and no extra time.  The final pay comes in, review a few priorities and done. No recategorizing transactions, no extra effort.  Frankly if I don't feel like the 15 seconds, it all goes into the first category.  It's not like a "buffering" or INM category provides me with any benefit over putting it in the first category in my budget which happens to be groceries if that matters.  I think the other options presented here are more effort for zero benefit, for ME. 

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Herman Gotcha. Putting it in the first category in the next month is very similar without the extra category. When you're  not doing that and you're budgeting the initial paycheck, how are you budgeting it? Are you using goals and underfunded quick budgeting and selecting a subset of categories? Or are you just starting at the top and working your way down until those funds are all categorized? Or I guess another alternative would be to do the same thing I do when I budget and use Underfunded on everything and just leave that next month negative and then fixing it up after the last check of the previous month arrives? I'm genuinely interested in your process.

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

      Superbone I generally go top down, select the first couple high level categories and use budgeted last month.  Leftover goes into the long term category that all my leftover funds go into every month. On the final pay event if the month if I come up short for all other categories I pull a little from that same category. Usually there is a little left over and it adds to that. Quick overall review of priorities, quick discussion with my wife to see if if any other adjustments needed and done.  Probably 10 to 15 minutes total over there course if the month. This is outside more in depth discussions my wife and I have on priorities usually over breakfast at our favorite breakfast place pre-pandemic, now usually over bloody marys on the screened in porch built thanks to ynab.

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Herman Thank you! We're actually not that different. I too have an overflow/long term category. I especially enjoyed your last sentence! 😄I miss my favorite pre-pandemic breakfast place! But your alternative isn't too bad either.

      Like 1
  • INHO, INM all of this is greek. Is writing in full words difficult?

    As for in future budgeting I've never had a problem with using the To Be Budgeted use. Budgeting, maybe I'm just not overthinking and making this a money program. Lets keep it a budgeting program. I had this confusion.

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    • Magenta Mixer INM was defined in the very first reply to this post. It's certainly easier to write than Income for Next Month. Saved me a good 5 seconds, just there...

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    • Magenta Mixer INM=Income for Next Month.

      TBB=To Be Budgeted

      SFTF=Stealing from the Future

      YNAB=You Need a Budget 😊

      Hope that helps.

      Like 3
      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Magenta Mixer IMHO =  in my honest opinion
       

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      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor I've always thought it was In My Humble Opinion, but either way works, I guess.

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor My guess for INHO is In (my) Not (so) Humble Opinion.

      Like 1
      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Bruce "H" absolutely never stands for "humble" when I use it. 😂

      (But then, that's why I use IMO). 

      Superbone the original post used IMHO and the reply made a typo likely because they didn't understand the acronym. 

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor I knew it was typo. 🙂

      Like 1
      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view
      WordTenor said:
      "H" absolutely never stands for "humble" when I use it. 😂 (But then, that's why I use IMO). 

       Lol. I've always interpreted the "H" as being somewhat ironic, but I see what you mean. And IMO is less prone to (mis) interpretation 

      Like
  • Ok... that was clarifying and utterly confusing!  Thank you everyone for answering.  

    I still don't know what to do.  If I have a lump sum saved in a category (get a month ahead), should I pull that money out on the first of July, and then start dumping future paycheques directly into that category instead of TBB?  Or put them in TBB and then categorize them to INM?  I don't like the idea of messing with the total budgeted... I like to see that total budgeted is the same as total income, which I think this will mess with? 

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    • Violet Device I have a line at the top of my header that shows income for the previous month, which then should match my total budgeted for this month. It might be a Toolkit feature. 

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life It is a toolkit feature.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Violet Device Please see my earlier reply for thoughts on specific actions/workflow.

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    • Move Light Sound Life What is Toolkit?

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      • Owlette
      • owlette
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Violet Device Here's a good intro to the Toolkit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4-igXQLEkw

      Like 1
  • Violet Device said:
    start dumping future paycheques directly into that category instead of TBB?  Or put them in TBB and then categorize them to INM? 

     Either way works. 

    The first way can be more automatic, and is what I was referencing in my list above. 

    The important thing is that you match the way the money got into the category to the way you take it out of the category. If you budgeted it in, budget it out. If you categorized it in, categorize it out. 

    Like 1
    • Move Light Sound Life I don't remember how I got it into the category, lol.  It was some lump sums we received a while back.

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    • Violet Device Your Income Vs Expense report will tell you if you've ever categorized transactions to it. Most likely, you budgeted to it, so you'll budget money out on the 1st of July. 

      After that, it's up to you!

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    • Move Light Sound Life 

      I figured out that I categorized it rather than budgeted it.  If I recategorize it on the first of each month to TBB, does it show up as that months TBB or back when those transactions were dated?

      Like 1
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Violet Device Shows up in the month of the transaction date. 

      Like
    • dakinemaui I was actually doing this today with funds that I had placed in a "deferred Income" category (Not INM, that is separate for me). The funds were initially categorized to "deferred income" between Jan and Apr. Today, I selected those items from all accounts and recategorized them to TBB only to have them show up as income for June, not Jan-Apr. 

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      B's Gambit It definitely uses the date shown in each transaction. You can look at reports to verify that.

      Anything dated in Jan will therefore show up in the budget in Jan, but that money will also show up in all months after January. (That's just the normal forward flow of funds in action.) If you're looking at June immediately after recategorization, I can see how you'd think it was June money.

      Like
  • My system is pretty much the same as yours. I have a category named Buffering in a parent group named Holding. I keep the Buffering category hidden except for a few moments each week when I move each new paycheck from TBB to Buffering. 

     

    On the last day of each month, I zero out my Buffering category, sending everything back to TBB. Then I open up the new month and begin budgeting with everything I just pulled out of Buffering. 

     

    I love this workflow so much! It's changed my mindset so much. Also, keeping that Buffering category hidden makes it easy to never even feel tempted to spend from it. Mentally, I treat the money almost like a CD awaiting maturity. I would feel like I'd lost something if I were to spend it earlier than I planned. I don't even mentally consider it to be part of an emergency fund or savings... It's as if it was imaginary money that hasn't even happened yet. 

     

    It's a very cool feeling to not even feel tempted (with minimal or no effort) to spend a good sized chunk of money.

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Budgeting Person The next step in your evolution is not to have to hide it from yourself. 🙂You know its purpose. You know it is not a category to take from until it is time. You should have quite a few categories that are off limits such as mortgage/rent for example.

      Like 2
    • Superbone Very true! It's also fun to unhide it at the end of the month after leaving it hidden... and see a whole month of income just waiting for the next day. 

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Budgeting Person Ha ha! It's like buried gold! 😄

      Like 2
    • Superbone Exactly!

      Like 2
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