Little Red Arrow I am lost without you

I am a long tern YNAB4 user and after many hours looking at the new version. I have come to the conclusion that I have to leave YNAB this is very disappointing however the (little red arrow) is a must for my way of budgeting I feel the new system is designed for people who need to be forced to budget a particular way and live by every cent but we do not we are a more general budgeter and have way to many overspends (that I need as to know what they are as its money to come back one day) and reimbursements for your system to work. I really do think that YNAB is limiting its customer base by having such a strict budgeting one size fits all approach when in reality people have many different needs when it comes to a budget. I do hope they change their mind in the future and put that feature back (to give people the option if needed) as I know after reading many posts that it is not just me who is no longer using YNAB.

YNAB lets you carry over any surplus money (credit) but not any overspend (debt) and I strongly feel this should be a feature (as it use to be) for people who do not live pay check to pay check and have surplus in their account that they may loan other people use to pay bills for family members use for a business or the huge amount of other life things that happen .

I am not saying stop your system, for first time budgeters (people with very simple budgets) or people who have trouble managing their money it is great just add that option back so all the rest of us can use it again then it would fit all people and you will truly have a winning product like you did.

I have read every workaround I could find and the setting up a reimbursements category will not work it needs to go back on the category it came from and give me a total each month in the budget as to if I am over or under. I have many categories that may be over for years or just a month here and their, it resetting all the time and asking me to move money from other budgets can not happen as this just looses the point (I would have to manually keep track of what moved were and it would put out the category I moved it from and who should have to keep a manual budget if you are paying for a computer one). I also have been using it from 2013 and have over 15 bank accounts so money going all over the place and many overspends or loans to other accounts and such. 

 

Does anyone know of any other programs/products that do carry over debt to the next month it would be greatly appreciated. 

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  • YNAB4.

    I don't get why people think they have to stop using YNAB4. It will still work, except in the new MacOS. If that's the issue, install a Virtual Machine on the Mac with a different OS that still runs YNAB4.

    What you need to do is petition YNAB to introduce reimbursement handling that still allows you to keep your budget honest. because the Red Arrow is not honest.

    Like 7
      • Agent99
      • Working to Get Smart at budgeting, finances and life
      • Agent99.1
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule It may not be honest but it sure gets and keeps my attention.   Now that I have five (5) categories with the red arrow for the moment, I know I need to put extra in those categories to clear those and leave others alone until I'm out of the red.  I should have them cleared by the end of November, early December.  As Iong as I'm married, I'm going to need to the red arrow. 

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

      nolesrule my method of using the stock credit card handling for it was great until they inexplicably removed the "your account balance will be [reimbursed amount]" wording. Now I have to always do math. Math is fine; I'm good at math, but dangit there used to be something akin to a notification. 

      Interesting how many things @jesse promised  in 2015 that are still nowhere to be seen...

      Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 9 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor I could have sworn they said somewhere they wanted us to not have to do math because it was some word with a negative connotation.

      Like 2
    • nolesrule 

      install a Virtual Machine on the Mac with a different OS that still runs YNAB4

      Whilst technically accurate, this statement glosses over the fact that it's a ludicrously convoluted solution to what should be a pretty simple issue to resolve.

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Sea Green Tugboat Yes, but the obvious solution, the one where YNAB converts YNAB4 to 64-bit Adobe Air isn't going to happen, unfortunately. Also less convoluted would be to buy a Windows computer, but when I mention that it gets poo-pooed.

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

      nolesrule Dude. 😋

      Like 1
  • For what it's worth I used the red arrow a lot in YNAB4 and even quit nYNAB once because it was not there.  I do not miss it any longer, I guess over time I have gotten used to it not being there.  I think people get accoustomed to different workflows over time, just like getting accustomed to the YNAB 4 workflow in the beginning.  

    You could do like nolesrule recommends and find a work around to use YNAB4 but then that is still another thing you have to do.

    Like
      • Falconar
      • YNABer since 2010
      • falconarx
      • 9 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      ynaber2613 i've come to a similar position. As a long-time YNAB4 (and YNAB3) user, the red arrow was part of my workflow, but some time with nYNAB tells me that I was mostly using to 'borrow from myself' and cheat around budgeting. Once you're established with YNAB4, buffered, etc., you can get away with cheating a bit and that's ok if you know what you're doing, but nYNAB forces me to be a bit more honest, and I think that's ok too, probably a net benefit. Goals seem to be a reasonable proxy in my workflow.

      The only area I really miss the red arrow is reimbursements, which seem broken without it (unless, maybe, you are always reimbursed in-month, without fail).

      So I guess my view (three weeks into the trial) is that I miss the arrow less than I thought, and there are other things that seem to be broken much worse in nYNAB - stealing from the future and reimbursed expenses, for example.

      I'm still waiting to see some of the new features we were originally promised too :)

      Like 5
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 9 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      ynaber2613 My problem isn't the lack of the red arrow, but the lack of a reimbursement solution. None of the reimbursement workarounds works because I have to change Payees to transfers. My main use of reimbursement tracking is for HSA and FSA type accounts, where we pay for the expense prior to requesting reimbursement. Sometimes I need to wait for proper documentation in order to make the claim, and that will cross months. On accassion there is work travel reimbursement, but that's less of an issue now that MegaCorp gave Mrs. nolesrule a credit card.

      I agree with the general reason why YNAB removed the red arrow, as it's too easy to just red arrow month after month in spending categories.

      Like 5
      • bobbucy
      • Tomato_Snow_237e7f17927
      • 9 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I've mentioned it before, but I didn't realize how badly I had been misusing the red arrow until I migrated from YNAB4 to the new YNAB.

      Like 2
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 9 mths ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      bobbucy Most people don't. Which is why I changed my tune from "I need the red arrow" to "I need a reimbursement management solution." Because I don't need the former, just the latter.

      Like 6
      • Falconar
      • YNABer since 2010
      • falconarx
      • 9 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule exactly this - in general, the loss of the red arrow is a good thing, as it forces me to be more disciplined. But, reimbursements, ...

      Like 1
  • Little red arrow I am lost without you! Exactly my sentiment!... I was going to upgrade to nYNAB but now I am going to continue using YNAB4 unless things change. I get that it's not strictly good budgeting, but it was so handy for thinking about how much less on a particular category if I went over, and managing chunky expenses such as a car purchase and how much more I hand to "repay" myself.

    Like 2
  • I thought I would explain exactly how I use the little red arrow and why it is important for me.

    We have a set monthly income so I break that up into a budget of what I would like to spend in each category for example (and it is the same for each month and only changes when a pay-rise happens).

    Wage $9350.59 per month (I do not budget the cents)

    General Expenses Cash $415.00 per month

    General Expenses $1600.00 per month

    Groceries $1500.00 per month

    Restaurants $450.00 per month

    School Expenses $950.00 per month

    Home Loan $1895.00 per month

    House Expenses $850.00 per month

    Health Expenses $515.00 per month

    Petrol & Transport $675.00

    Car Expenses $500.00 per month

    their is extra income from share dividends and yearly bonuses but this is not a known amount so I never put it in my budget. (Really this is just surplus that covers all the areas we go over in).

    I have been using YNAB 4 since 2013 so I have records for all those years and after all that time I can see with (the little red arrow) exactly how much I have gone over in all the categories, in particular restaurants (we really need to stop eating out). 

    Also in that time we had (for one year only) another category called working away from home when my husband was flying home each weekend that I never put a budgeted amount in as we just ate into a bonus from that year but I know we spend $16, 600.00 on air fairs and other such things thanks to the little red arrow.

    Another item that happened all over this time and still does I look after my ageing mother and I do her shopping and pay for her care until it can be reimbursed but her reimbursements are not income.  

    I should point out that I do not have my bank linked as it is not a option with Australian banks so it is all manually put in.

    From what I can see with the new system is, if I now go over in say restaurants it wants me to move money from another category to cover it for that month when I just want it to carry over what I overspent so I know after many years that we really spend way to much on restaurants. 

    I suppose my form of budgeting is trying to keep within a area for each category of what I want to spend  (we want to spend no more than $450.00 per month on restaurants however we spent $500.00 this month and $600.00 the next and so on)

    to me changing the budged amount each month for each category just tells me what I did spend not how I am going sticking to what I want to spend for that category.  

    YNAB works on more of a pool system all money in one pot and just change your budget (move it around) to fit each months spending yes you know what you spent it on each month but you never know what you WANTED to spend it on and how well you stuck to that. I want to track how I go sticking to each category that I set for myself and be able to over time curb my spending in any category to try and bring that back under control with the help of the little red arrow. 

    Like
      • Annieland
      • YNABbing every day since 2009!
      • Annieland
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Router I did the same thing both before YNAB, and during YNAB4. I used to do my budget in Quicken and see every month each category slide into the yellow, and then the red.  And I’d say, ok next month I gotta stop that. And then it would always go right back because, “reasons.”

      Then I started YNAB and loved that there was now some accountability brought in. I made it a point to NOT cover from other categories (WAM) and instead just let it give me less available income for the next month to make do with. Over time that amount shrunk and shrunk until my budget was unsustainable (but still way better than the Quicken situation).  So in came the red arrows for some good can kicking. Success when I could turn the red arrow back down! And then whoopsie, I need it again next month.

      I still paid off my debts, became much more in control and aware of my spending, but I really wasn’t on firm footing. The biggest change in switching to the new YNAB was letting myself WAM to cover overspending categories. But I got used to it, found my little workarounds for reimbursements, and I am now in the absolute best budgeting position ever.  

      So I'm just saying, I’ve been on both sides of the coin, and for much longer if you count my Quicken days (and maybe a test drive of Mint somewhere in there), and this way truly does work itself out if you just give it time to get used to it. I don’t miss that red arrow anymore in the slightest. 

      If you just want to see “how good you’re doing” in meeting your goals, then probably Mint or some other tracking app out there would be a fine fit. I just haven’t researched them in eons. 

      Like
  • As for the rest of it, once you have a single red category, literally every other category balance is inherently inaccurate. My general thought is if you are not going to follow the YNAB methodology, it might not be the best use of your funds to buy the software that was designed to enforce the methodology.

    Navy Blue Router said:
    to me changing the budged amount each month for each category just tells me what I did spend not how I am going sticking to what I want to spend for that category.  

    A simple suggestion would be to change the names of your categories. For example Restaurants $450. Then you can tell at a glance if you spent more or less than $450. Also, if you budget $450/month for years at a time, you darn well what you want the restaurant spending to be. And here is the thing. If you are spending more than $450 a month on restaurants on a regular basis, just face up to reality  and budget more than $450 from the outset.

     

    Navy Blue Router said:
    From what I can see with the new system is, if I now go over in say restaurants it wants me to move money from another category to cover it for that month

    This is not new. This was always the method, even in YNAB 4, you just weren't following Rule 3. The red arrow was designed for the purpose of pre-YNAB debt, but YNABers started to use it to kick the can down the road and keep themselves on the float. 

    (However I do feel you on the reimbursement issue and I am really annoyed that Jesse publicly stated years ago that a reimbursement handling solution was coming "soon" and ever since then it has been radio silence).

    Like 1
  • Navy Blue Router said:
    YNAB works on more of a pool system all money in one pot and just change your budget (move it around) to fit each months spending yes you know what you spent it on each month but you never know what you WANTED to spend it on and how well you stuck to that. I want to track how I go sticking to each category that I set for myself and be able to over time curb my spending in any category to try and bring that back under control with the help of the little red arrow. 

     Knowing you spent more in a category doesn't change that you spent more in a category. if you want to curb your spending, stick to the category balance you set or set a category balance you can stick to.

    Your method doesn't really give you an incentive to curve your spending. The idea that you'll make up for it later just kicks the can down the road. You are not actually creating any inducement for self-restraint, but rather always planning to deal with it later.

    Like 6
  • Put me down for needing a reimbursement solution as well.  While nYNAB has some great things about it, the lack of some form of "red arrow right" leaves it lacking. 

    I also agree that nYNAB has not delivered on its promises..

    Like 2
  • Navy Blue Router said:
    From what I can see with the new system is, if I now go over in say restaurants it wants me to move money from another category to cover it for that month

    I think you're missing the entire point of Rule 3. You went over in restaurants presumably because it was important to spend more than you originally allocated. I'll say that again, it was a priority to you, as evidenced by your behavior. By reallocating from a lower priority category, you are better aligning the plan with your true priorities.

    Common sense would hold that money is SUPPOSED to flow from low to high priorities, just as Rule 3 prescribes. Kicking the can down the road with a red arrow induces you to spend LESS on that high-priority (moving forward), which is exactly the wrong direction.

    A chronic overspending indicates you've repeatedly misrepresented your true priorities. Again, you've repeatedly demonstrated it is more important than various other things in the budget. You really should just own up to that and change your nominal plan to adequately fund that category.

    Like 6
  • Agree OP.  The work around for me is that at the end of the month I go on and change the date of my purchase to next month. 

    E.g. my gym membership goes in the red until I get my reimbursement from work. 

     

    I am a full month ahead in my budget so I don't mind the red. I wish they would add a non standard feature that users could allow such things. 

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