Help With Annual Review 💁🏻‍♂️🙏🏻

Happy New Year! 🥳

I have an overall struggle with YNAB, which kind of comes to a head when I try to analyze my spending at the end of the year.  My budget is organized by funding priority, meaning the most immediate and important items are first, such as monthly bills, day-to-day living, etc. but that isn't helpful when I want to take a step back and look at my overall life priorities, which fall more into life areas.  For example, I have a monthly bill for the New York Times.  It's high on my budget list because I pay it monthly, but in truth, it's a low life priority.  

What I'd like to do is rearrange my budget just for reporting / analyzing and then put it back to funding order for when I get my next paycheck, but I don't think there's a way to do this.  (I also wish that YNAB had one more level of category grouping *sigh*.)

I've tried exporting my budget and then working with it in Excel, but that's not the easiest method either, as I really like YNAB's (and the Toolkit's) reporting graphs and charts.

Does anyone have any advice in this area?  Are there any tools or spreadsheet examples you can share?  Sometimes I really struggle with something but once I look at what someone else has created, it really helps me along the way.

Thank you! 🙏🏻

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  • Hi do you use the flag colours at all? You could use those to assign priorities and then export and resort. Since you use the toolkit, you can name those flags for reference. The other possible option is to save a copy of your budget as back up for the “real budget” and then resort the categories into new groups and run reports that way.  

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  • You can drag and drop categories within category groups or from one group to another at any time. 

    What I would probably do is either screenshot my budget in it's current arrangement or do a fresh start to create a copy of my budget, so that I have something to refer back to when it's time to put my budget back in order, then rearrange to my heart's content. 

    This would be extra easy if you have a second monitor for putting up the rearranged and original budget/images side by side when it's time to put things back in order.

    Also worth noting that the reports themselves can be exported to excel. Sums and averages (as in the income/expense report) just pull in numbers so you'd want to swap in the formulas, but it might give you a tidier data set to work with than trying to work with the entire exported budget files. 

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  • Thank you for the suggestions (sorry, for some reason I didn't get email notifications of any replies).  Flags are a good idea as well as screenshotting (is that a word?) my current setup.  *sigh* I wish I could make a copy of my entire 2021 budget just to use for reporting.

    Good point about reports being exportable. 👍🏻

    I have been learning a little about Microsoft's Power BI Desktop app, so I might just export the entire year to Excel and then see what kind of reports I can come up with there.

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