Have you ever just messed something up?

I feel like I've messed up an account/spending category/etc and don't even know how to fix it. 

Basically, I opened a Flexible Spending Account through work. I set it up so that I would have $650 available for medical related expenses. (The benefit of this type of account is that the money comes out of my paycheck tax  free). The full amount was available to me on Jan 1, and every paycheck a certain amount is deducted until I pay it back (kind of like a loan).

After I created the account and added a starting balance, I suddenly had $650 in To Be Budgeted, but I knew that I'd be spending from it over a long course of time. I created a spending category "Medical Expenses" and moved the $650 into it, but the numbers never seem to line up with the account. I've gone line by line with my claims and payments from the FSA website to make sure they were recorded in YNAB correctly, and it's just too confusing.

I don't even know how to explain how things went wrong, but I wish I could just delete that whole account and act like it never happened. I can't though because it's tied to so many transactions. At this point I've spent the entire $650 but my account is still showing that I have money available, and I can't get the transactions to line up.

Medical billing makes my head spin and it's really annoying to me that my budget isn't lining up, when I know that a) there is no more money in that account b) the money to pay back the "loan" is coming directly out of my paycheck and I will never see it anyway.

 

Has anyone else ever really messed something up and been overwhelmed about how to fix it?

7replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • Reconcile the account. Tell YNAB the balance is $0. They will enter an adjustment transaction so your account has the correct balance. 

    Like 1
  • satcook  I'll be honest, not all of my YNAB practices have been best practices. I'm cleaning house right now though. I haven't reconciled an account before, I've mostly relied on them being linked and trusted that they were right. I went through my accounts last night though and realized they were all really off as far as reconciliation. I'm a little scared to see what would happen if I reconciled my FSA account because I'm worried I'll suddenly owe hundreds of dollars to TBB. I have some digging to do...I wish I could be more specific about what was going on, but I mostly wanted to know if anyone else ever felt like they are being the point of no return with an account.

    Like
      • Peter
      • Professional Designer, Web Developer
      • lasty
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Colleen Cirocco I was feeling that way once and after some careful consideration I took the plunge and performed a Fresh Start. Using the function YNAB provides for that creates a copy of your budget with all your categories and accounts intact structurally but your available balances and transactions / account balances wiped. You then enter your current account balances like if you were adding new accounts, and use the resulting TBB to re-populate your categories.

      Maybe you want to give that a spin. If you're struggling with it your old budget is still right there, you just have to switch over to it. You can even open the old and new budget in separate tabs or windows so it's easy to compare.

      Hope this helps.

      Like 1
      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Colleen Cirocco It may be reality that you have less money than you think.  It's better to find that out though before you overdraft somewhere!

      Like 1
    • Peter  that's really helpful! I reached out to YNAB and that's what they recommended as well, so I think I'll try it out even though I wish I could fix what I've already started. Maybe it'll be a good chance to re-think some things.

      Like
  • Don't feel bad about having to re-start the budget!  I did the exact same things my first few months on YNAB!  I made a "spaghetti mess" that I could not "undo".   I had a similar situation to your FSA experience.  I decided it wasn't worth or necessary to track that account and saved myself more headaches.  Once I understood where I was going wrong I have been able to keep things straight ever since.   @satcook  is right:  better to know what you have!   

    Like 1
    • Lavender Nomad that makes me feel better! It was annoying that my FSA messed me up when I opened that account because I thought it was a smart money move. 🙄 Oh well, it helped me realize that my other accounts needed some love too, and now my fresh start is helping me re-think the whole process. 

      It turns out that I was only off about $100, and I think it was from some uncleared transactions that I recorded in my previous budget. So, I was actually doing a bit better than I thought. Moving forward I'll be able to make more sense of things like reconciliation, which I'm looking forward to.

      Like
Like Follow
  • 1 yr agoLast active
  • 7Replies
  • 161Views
  • 4 Following