Starting on new month with left over money from previous month.

I  have left over money from Feb. When I placed my budget for March, the left over available money from Feb added up to March.  This gives me a false impression on my budget. How can I start "clean" at the start of every month? 

Thank you. 

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  • Why is it a false impression? If you budgeted 500 in grocery each month in grocery and had 10 left in Feb, you have 510 in grocery now in March. If you don't want 510 in March, you can adjust it. You could also chose to budget what was spent last month using a Quick Budget option so you only add 490 to the category.

    For items like an annual bill, you definitely want the money you put in to accumulate over time. If you don't want the category to accumulate, you can move any remaining funds from that category to where you want them at the end of February, or adjust the balance to what you want them to be now in March.

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  • Hello.  Thanks for your inputs, your approach is simpler and practical. I never thought of the excess money as a budget for the future. My initial notion is to budget a fixed amount for each categories every month and the excess money from previous month will be put to additional savings. 

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  • Sky Blue Cleric said:
    My initial notion is to budget a fixed amount for each categories every month and the excess money from previous month will be put to additional savings. 

     That is indeed one way of doing it. I budget the same amount to about 95% of my categories (I have 60+ categories). On the last day of the month, I sweep the remainder from Groceries, Dining Out, and Gas and allocate to another category. My month is also fully budgeted on the 22nd of the preceding month. I have a few categories like Utilities, Home Maintenance, Vehicle Maintenance/Repair, Entertainment, and Admin that I allow to accumulate up to a certain amount. If on March 1 I see that Admin is over the limit I set, I'll go back to February and reduce the amount budgeted there (doing it in the previous month instead of the current month will make it easier to Quick Budget April when the time comes because the March budgeted amount with be the monthly standard amount).

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  • TLDR: How can I easily top up a budget item (ex. Transit, not reoccurring expense, varies month-to-month) to $50 every month when there's rollover surplus from the previous month, that I am also unable to move to TBB? Currently using "Monthly Funding Goal." Could switch to "Target Category Balance," but then it won't tell me in the new month if it's underfunded because it will be Green.

    This is my first roll over. I think my issue might be with "goals" here, but I really find them useful and want them to work.

    Here's my issue: I have a Monthly Funding goal set to budget $50 for transit each month. I only spent $25 last month, so there is $25 left over.  It rolled over from Feb to March. Now, I have $25 "available" for transit for March. I want to add $25 to bring my monthly "available" amount to $50 total (which is the monthly funding goal I set). But when I do that, it says I'm $25 short, because I said I would budget $50 total this month, on top of whatever was left over from last month. When I try to delete what I've budgeted and move the "available" funds rolled over from last month to TBB, it says I'm budgeting -$25. I can't seem to zero out the "available" balance for Transit then add $50 for my goal. 

    Now, I understand that this "issue" with this Goal is actually beneficial if I'm saving up for a downpayment on a house or something: I can set a monthly goal of say $200, then one month I can throw $500 at it, and the next month it will still just ask me for another $200. Great.

    But the Goal types don't seem to work as well for monthly expenses (which, I imagine, is the most frequently used type!). I could switch it to "Target Category Balance," but then it looks Green when it's not fully funded and I might miss the fact that I haven't budgeted enough for that category for the month. Though it seems like the Green would be helpful if I gradually spend that amount throughout the month, and it's not saying I'm short.

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      hartdm Don't use a goal. None of the goals will do what you want. Put the amount in the category name so you remember. Also, you can use the Quick Budget option that will Budget the amount spent from the previous month.

      If you have a balance, that carries over from a previous month, then you do have to budget a negative. The Budgeted column is telling you how much you have added or subtracted from the category via budgeting in that month. So if you start the month with a $25 balance, you have to budget -$25 to get the available to zero.

      If you want to zero it out and rebudget the entire amount, zero it out in the previous month at the end of themonth, and then budget the full amount in the current month.

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      • hartdm
      • Anthropologist & Cat Parent
      • hartdm
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule  Thanks! I'll give the "no goal, just Quick Budget: Spent Last Month" trick a go.

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