Overspent Categories Going Into New Month

Hi everyone, 

I just checked YNAB this morning and got a direct deposit from work. Since the month ends tomorrow and I have a couple slightly overspent categories, should I use my paycheck to fix the overspending or just starting budgeting my next month and let the automatic correction to To Be Budgeted occur? Does it even matter which I choose?



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  • I think both would work. I myself usually prefer fixing the overspending by hand in the same month, as the choice where to take the money from feels more like a concious choice. Some overspend categories het covered by a different categorie that otherwise would have build up money. Others I would use that money that just came in for.

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  • I too would fix it this month. Overspending turns into CC debt when it rolls over and then for me it gets confusing and all messed up. If you fix it now, then you can budget the rest tomorrow and will work with a more realistic idea of what you have. 


  • I'll echo this and say that I typically cover all my overspending from the current month in the current month. Like Grogu mentioned, this is especially important for credit overspending! If you don't cover credit overspending in the current month, it won't be automatically covered by your To be Budgeted amount when you roll over.

    Instead, it will be represented by an increased deficit between your credit card's balance and the amount available in your Credit Card Payment category. To cover past credit overspending in a new month, you'll budget directly to your Credit Card Payment category 👍🏻

    • Rachel This makes sense, thanks! 

      I do wonder though, what about situations where like today I got paid and would normally fund my next two-week grocery budget in the next month's view on YNAB....but I need to buy groceries today (the 31st) and my grocery budget for December is already depleted? Do I allocate funds in December, and let the excess roll into January? Won't this affect my metrics re: spending and income between December and January (it'll show that I spent more on groceries in December than usual, and less than usual in January)?

      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 yr ago
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      Din Djarin It will show reality. You spent what you spent when you spent it. 😄

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    • WordTenor
    • Can we agree that goals are dumb and immature? Sure.
    • WordTenor
    • 1 yr ago
    • 8
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    So a thinking point would be this. If the check you are getting today would normally be a January check and you are not a month ahead, I would cover that overspending not with this check, but with anything else in the budget, and only after I had exhausted all other money in the budget would I use money from this new check. Why? Because getting into the habit of relying on income to cover overspending gets you out of the habit of looking for categories to cut before you overspend, which keeps you in the habit of overspending instead of confronting your bigger priorities. 

    The only asterisk here is that a lot of “today” checks are really 3 paycheck January checks. So technically they are extra money. And dealing with old mistakes is a great thing to do with extra money. Neverthelessmy preference would be for covering the overspending before budgeting this new money, even if you ultimately decide to use some of the new money to refill the categories you pulled from to cover the overspending. Principles over process here. 

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