So I decided to change a few categories...

Because I wanted a bit of clarity around some expenses, I have decided to lump some categories together while splitting others. Obviously, if I deleted a Category, it would ask me to align transaction to an existing category.  

Where it was interesting the most is around my Internet Subscription... Because I had many that are yearly payments while others are big enough to be on their own, I split most of them... and I decided to reassign all transactions to these no categories...

Well, obviously the amount in categories became really different, but I did re-balance everything and felt good about it... until I found out that most of my past month are pretty weird now. A lot of categories shows negative now, because I created them now and assign them older transaction.

Should I care?  Are past budgeting negatives will affect anything moving forward if the current month balance?

I am debating doing a Fresh Start, but.... I like having the history., the net worth and everything...



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  • Forget about the past budget, everything flows forward. Any cash overspending is covered by the increase in TBB in the following months. Just make sure the rest of the current month's TBB goes toward various CC Payment categories that were shorted by credit overspending. (Hopefully you had TBB at $0 before starting all this )

    In short, make the current month satisfactory and move forward as normal.

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    • dakinemaui 

      This is a very good point, and it is true that the reports will show the new spending category appropriately throughout the available history. 

      I am thinking back to the people who want a budget report/graph, but are told that they should simply look at the budget to see how their money is allocated.  Of course, looking at the budget screen for such information doesn't show a graph, but in Eric Poulin 's situation, the older month budgets are also not displayed correctly.  This is because, when changing categories, the budgeted money is not given the opportunity to follow its transaction. 

      I understand that your primary use for YNAB is to inform current and future spending, but I don't understand why you're ok with completely messing old budgets up. 

      To me, it seems like, since YNAB can't keep it straight, I would have to keep track of the budget outside YNAB (which is silly. I think forecasting outside of YNAB is the only budget-related finance thing to be outside of YNAB). And there are certainly people who can figure out how to fix historical budgets (and have). 

      I would think someone who can figure out how to do that would have the same understanding of the software to still trust the software in the current month, even if the past is topsy-turvy. However, someone who doesn't know the software enough to fix the past (you're right - if it needs to be explained, they're not ready to do it) also doesn't have the skill/understanding of the software to trust what YNAB shows to inform their current/future spending.

      This issue ties together 3 features that I have requested multiple times: 

      Merging/Closing/Reorganizing categories where the allocated can follow transactions (but doesn't have to). 

      Committed, future transactions (because one of the reasons for the OP's reorganization is to deal with different types of spending within the same functional category. 

      Graph of budgeted/available amounts.

  • Eric Poulin said:
    A lot of categories shows negative now, because I created them now and assign them older transaction.

    That's still useful info though, as it makes the averages.

  • Thanks for the comments dakinemaui , Good Intentions & Move Light Sound Life  .


    I got the say that I agree it all should be easier than this. But if I accept the fact that there is no solution that would be me 100% happy, I will keep going forward and ignore the past. I do not want to loose the history of my transaction as I have more use to be able to search in the past if needed. I get I could do it from an archive budget, but I will give it a go anyway.


    Thanks for the input!     

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  • Move Light Sound Life said:
    I don't understand why you're ok with completely messing old budgets up. 

    It's not that I'm completely OK with it, but only because I think most people should be focusing on moving forward. Additionally, I'd say my response was targeting the OP's concern about the impact moving forward:

    Should I care?  Are past budgeting negatives will affect anything moving forward

    Mainly though, the delete already happened. It's going to be VERY difficult to back out what those budget entries used to be. On the surface it would seem that TBB would increase in the month, but as soon as there's overspending (in the new category) in a later month, that money flows forward to fix the subsequent correction.

    If there were budget-based graphs, I might have suggested to reallocate in every month -- before deleting the category. However, that is a fair bit of work for very little gain, IMHO. (Granted, that's based on my experience in counting the number of times I've looked back at historic budget entries.)

    People have complained to YNAB about the half... way... implementation. They should merge the budget entries just as they do the transactions. Time will tell if they ever do that.

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