worse than not doing the math I entered

One of the first things I tried in YNAB was entering calculations in a budget entry, and letting the computer do the math for me.

That was great, until I tried to set a target I could pay monthly on my home projects loan. I knew I could only pay the minimum and the interest right now so I entered "215+60"

It happily accepted that and immediately tells me,

"Assign $21,560.00 more to reach your target"

 

YNAB you FOOL!  you must either do the math correctly or TELL ME that you do not see a valid target entered... As a software engineer myself I know this was a NO BRAINER to get right and you failed miserably

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  • Yeah, I encountered this recently with targets as well. I seem to recall it used to be able to do the math previously, but could be misremembering.

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  • Hey Jeff ! In your budget, the in-line calculator is an option in the Inflow, Outflow, or Assigned fields. I did a bit of digging, and it doesn't look like this has changed. 

    If you'd like to see this functionality added while editing Targets (or anywhere else), our product team would love to know.

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      • Jeff
      • imajeff
      • 4 wk ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Nicole hi, I am not complaining about the ones that work (I use them often).

      The complaint is that you are dangerous in your code, especially given what people could lose not knowing you did this carelessly, because not only did you not do the calculation entered but made inconceivable concatenation and pretended that was addition, claiming "215 + 60" == "21560" which is ridiculous in financial software.

      I am saying we need you to either learn how to use subroutines because this should be simple for all entries to work the same if it simply parses a single dollar amount, or in any case we need you to warn us if you come across an invalid character.

      Fact is I would not have complained if you simply stopped parsing after the first numerical value in the feild, but especially do not concatenate text to do something stupid when there is no way the result could be what we needed.

      Like 3
      • Jeff
      • imajeff
      • 4 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Nicole are you saying if I click that link then a "typeform" product team could talk about this problem? It is not working.

      First it says I would have to sign in, but of course I have no reason to create an account there. I already have the YNAB account and you can forward the problem to them if it will help.

      Second, I actually tried creating an account using my junk email address, but when I tried to activate the account from an email they sent me, it says "404"

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    • Jeff Ack! Sorry about that - there was a typo in the link for feedback. I've corrected it in Nicole's post as well. Here's what I'm seeing: while you can use a calculator for loan targets, the calculator isn't available for other targets - which is why you're seeing that unexpected outcome. For now, keep an eye out for this to know when the in-line calculator will do that math for you: 
       

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      • Jeff
      • imajeff
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Marisa what do you mean that I can use a calculator for loan targets?

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      • Jeff
      • imajeff
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Nicole ironic that the first thing you directed me to begins with, "There’s no need to open an external calculator when budgeting"

      but obviously I am being forced to use an external calculator when budgeting.

      I have submitted the "feature request" describing the serious bug, and I am frustrated that you dismiss it so quickly by claiming that you should do unexpected ridiculous things without telling us.

      More experiment reveals that I can only do it correctly in the Android app. Also it can be impossible for me to know what's going on unless I'm a software programmer because if I said "215.00+51" it would result in $215.01 and if people were lucky enough to have done the math on their own and see the error they might still not guess that it first resulted in the string "215.0051" and then parsed that to a floating point number, and then rounded that up to cents. Strangely, "215.005" should have also rounded up the penny but it does not, so your rounding is not where I learned all my years in elementary school. All of the behavior is what we call undefined and very dangerous when we need to rely on results.

      I'm just saying, at least document what it does or give an error message!

      Like 1
    • Jeff  Thanks for sending in a feature request! I just confirmed that the design team has it and we'll be passing this behavior past our bugs team, too. They'll follow up with you via email. We appreciate your being detailed and testing this in your budget. We understand your concern here.

      You asked Marisa, "what do you mean that I can use a calculator for loan targets?" I've attached an image to illustrate. When you are creating a target for a loan category, you will see the math symbols icon in fields where the calculator will work for you, like in the Monthly Payment field in the image. 
       

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      • Jeff
      • imajeff
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Dela it must be confused then, because my "Home Projects" loan is definately a loan from wells fargo because it can only be paid off. But when ynab created it by logging in to wells, it chose that this is a "credit card" and does not have any calculator symbol when I create a target.

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    • Jeff You're right - credit card targets do not offer an in-line calculator. What type of loan is it? (i.e. consumer loan, home equity, line of credit?)

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      • Jeff
      • imajeff
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Marisa I'm still confused on what kind of loan this is even though wells seems to think it's a credit card that is not possible to use.

      That's right: when I called a plumber they had me pay by applying, and gave me a card (magnetic strip and all). I asked, "so where all can I use this?" but they said noplace. I said "well then when I need you again I just show you this card?" but they said no you will have to apply again if you need more; you can call the number printed on the card.

      So to add to YNAB it was like any bank: connect to Wells Fargo with Plaid and it found my checking and this one. So is there any way to make this one know it is just a loan (but with ridiculously high interest rate)?

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    • Jeff How interesting 🤔It's not possible to change an account's type once it's set, but if you're only paying down the debt, you could create a new loan account. 

      1. Click Add Account and follow the steps to create a new Loan account.
      2. When YNAB asks for the Loan's current balance, enter the balance of the Credit Card account.

      After you’ve created the new account, you can close the Credit Card account:

      1. Reconcile the account, entering an adjustment to change the account's balance to $0.00.
      2. Hover over the account name and click the pencil icon when it appears.
      3. Click “Close account.”

      Let us know if you have more questions about this! We'll be here to help.

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      • Jeff
      • imajeff
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Rachel this is of course connected and syncs with the bank via plaid (I like that it gets the interest charge when it shows up), but it sounds like creating a "new loan account" would not be able to do this

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      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Jeff Create the new account manually, and then link it afterwards. My suggestion would be a liability account and not a loan account since the loan feature isn't very useful at this time except for U.S. mortgages.

      P.S. This account you have is typical of this type of financing. When I got 0% financing for a new roof on a house many many years ago, it worked the same way. They actually opened a line of credit, but I couldn't use it for anything else.

      Like
    • Jeff I also think this loan is best set up as a liability tracking account, but it sounds like it is currently set up as a credit card in YNAB.

      If you'd like to make that change, here are the steps:
      1. Create a new account. Click Add Account > Unlinked. Choose Liability as the account type, give it a nickname (it will need to be slightly different than the original account), and enter 0 for the balance.

      2. Move the Transactions. Go to the original account, select all of the transactions, and move them to the new account by using the Edit menu.

      3. Delete the Old Account. Click the Edit icon next to the account name in the left sidebar, and you’ll see the Delete Account button. Be sure to save any text in the Account Notes field if needed.

      4. Edit the New Account. Now you can edit the name of the new account and/or link the account if you'd like.

      5. Create a category and target for paying off the loan (as noted previously, there isn't an in-line calculator in the Target amount field). If this account was previously a Credit Card, make sure the amount in the available column of the Credit Card Payment category is $0 and hide it.

      Like
      • Jeff
      • imajeff
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule thanks I could only assume this is common, as I haven't needed any loans the past decade. My ex said she had major roof problems, the contractor did the work for her before finding out their credit is horrible so she said I needed to meet with the guy to "cosign"... of course that's not what it was--he just wanted me to give my information and sign for my own loan on the house... but at least my ex has managed to get minimum payments and it still gives me a "special rate" less than half the regular rate, still high and I should have transferred to a better interest rate sooner but she was sure she was about to refinance the home to pay off this.

      Like
      • Jeff
      • imajeff
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Marisa thank you, I managed to get that converted to a tracking loan and then link again.

      I thought at first it wasn't worth changing it but it will make more sense when I don't have to treat the interest charge as an an extra thing expected to be in the budget.

      Of course as you mentioned, adding a target payment still has a bad bug instead of the calculator. I hope I can convince developers that it's not a big deal to just parse strings as simple math expressions. Would not need a graphical calculator everywhere it's supported.

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