Funds for the month are too high

I've been  using YNAB for several years now.  In February of 2017, I changed to the new YNAB and started a new budget and new accounts.  Looking over why my "To Be Budgeted" is not correct for this month (December), I'm noticing that my funds for the month are much higher than what it should be.  I have nothing overspent from each month since February.  To get my funds for the current month, I'm adding my inflows plus my "future budgeting."  However, starting in March, my "Funds for March" category is $1000 too high.  This was only the 2nd month of my newly started budget.  Now in December of 2017, my funds are too high making my TBB $1200 too high.   What am I doing wrong?  Thanks in advance for anything you can offer.

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  • Hi Turquoise Koala !

    If your current account balances are correct in this month's budget, it could mean that discrepancy was worked out in a previous month (perhaps by reconciling?) even if the To Be Budgeted seems high.

    Of course it’s vital to be able to trust your budget, so here’s a way you can verify every dollar in your bank account(s) is reflected in your budget – and not a dollar more.

    1. Advance to next month's budget. (The math is easier there, because all overspending is covered.)
    2. In the right sidebar, when no categories are selected, you’ll see your Total Available amount, which is the sum of the Available column.
    3. Add that to the amount you have left To be Budgeted and any amount Budgeted in Future, if applicable.

    Let’s stop here for a minute, just in case your To be Budgeted was negative. If it is, you would need to subtract it from Total Available, because that means you’ve given jobs to dollars you don’t yet have. Preferably though, you would go back to this month’s budget and budget less in a few categories until To be Budgeted is back in the green at $0.

    4. Now, add up the cash in your budget. That includes checking, savings, and cash accounts, plus any positive balances on credit cards if applicable.
    5. Your totals in step 3 and 4 should match, to the penny.

    Give that a try and let us know if things still seem off!
     

    Like 1
    •   Faness  I followed these steps and found that the total from step 3 is about $800 higher than that from step 4. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do to fix this?

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    • Orchid Inspector Are you doing those steps in July, or August? You'll want to make sure to move forward to a future month, so overspending is covered. Or a positive balance lurking in a closed account!

      If that doesn't explain that difference, we're happy to look closer! If you’re up for it, go ahead and enable Support Access for your account. Once you’ve done that, let me know—and mention whether you’d like to continue the discussion here or via email instead.

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view
      Nicole said:
      You'll want to make sure to move forward to a future month, so overspending is covered.

      Total Available includes overspending, so this rational is flawed. More correctly, you're trying to find a month where Budgeted In Future == $0 to simplify the budget-side math to TA + TBB (and the latter should be $0 anyway).

      Like 1
    • dakinemaui said:
      Total Available includes overspending

       Careful here - we mention moving forward to next month because credit overspending is also included in Total Available for the current month. This means Total Available will be lower than your actual account balances if there's credit overspending, causing the numbers in steps 3 and 4 of the self audit not to match. We do mention taking the Budgeted in Future amount into account, but there isn't an easier way to account for credit overspending than to move to a future month.

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  • There is one more question: do you have a credit card on budget? Have you budgeted for the initial balance if it's a paid in full card? Or have you budgeted for the debt repayment if not a PIF card?

    Like 1
      • Blue Pony
      • Blue_Pony.2
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Ceeses  This was my problem. Thanks so much

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  • Hi, 

    My accounts have been reconciled on YNAB, and they all match the exact amounts in my bank. Despite this, my "Total Available" number in my July budget is showing about $800 more than what I actually have. I don't have any money earmarked for a cc in the July... so I can't figure out why my numbers are off.

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      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Salmon Camera do you have any overspending currently??

      have you taken the steps outlined above to compare your total available in categories to the bank balance.  

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Salmon Camera The budget includes the money in ALL on-budget deposit accounts -- including savings -- as well as positive credit card accounts (though that's rare).

      Like 1
    • satcook FWIW, overspending doesn't matter since that's already included in Total Available.

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    • satcook Yep! I've done all of the steps. No luck there. 

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    • dakinemaui Yeah, I'm including all of the accounts. I've had YNAB for 2 years, and this is the first time this has happened. 

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    • Salmon Camera Are you adding up individual categories yourself or using the provided Total Available value that is seen on the right when no categories are selected?

      In the current month or later, these should match. (If TBB is negative, you'll need to subtract it.)

      • Total Available + Budgeted In Future + TBB
      • Sum of all non-credit on-budget accounts (anything without a category in the CC Payments group) and positive CC accounts.

      A screenshot might shed some light, but I can understand not wanting to post that. In that case, having Support look at it with your permission is about the only remaining option.

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    • Hi Salmon Camera !

      I see you wrote into support and there was a bug at play in your budget. Things seem to be back on track now! If you're still running into trouble, please let us know and we can take another look at things! :)

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  • Faness said:
    credit overspending is also included in Total Available for the current month. This means Total Available will be lower than your actual account balances

    I appreciate the clarification. I didn't realize that TA includes credit overspending.

    I must say, though, since the point of the budget is to characterize your plans for your *cash*, including credit overspending in TA is a design error. After all, YNAB has repeatedly said they are striving for an "honest budget". There's nothing honest -- or useful -- about a summation that is corrupted by increased debt. 

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    • dakinemaui Total Available is the net balance of all Available amounts. It's meant to be a quick view of how much is left Available to spend in all of the categories. We don't want to ignore that debt, so TA currently states how much can be spent while keeping enough funds to cover overspending (credit and cash). Ideally, the plan for that cash is to cover the credit spending first. When that isn't possible, the overspending is reflected in the increased credit card balance and TA no longer reflects the overspending after the month rolls over.

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  • Faness said:
    It's meant to be a quick view of how much is left Available to spend in all of the categories

    Hey, I'm simply embracing what YNAB now teaches. I still have that cash, so I might want to spend it on something other than overspending. Therefore, TA is clearly in error.

    You may recall a previous disagreement about YNAB refusing to allow future transactions impact balances and totals... Because I might want to change my mind, that money had to remain in the budget, right? Now here you are on the other side of the fence with an implementation that pretends that money is gone from the budget (after cancelling overspending).

    You simply cannot have it both ways. May I count on you to file a bug report for at least one of those issues?

    Like 2
    • dakinemaui Those funds are still included in your category balances, as with future transactions. The Inspector, which also takes future dated transactions into account, is the area that considers the credit overspending. The behavior is the same between the two.

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    • Faness Not sure I'd say TA, etc. are in the Inspector, although they are certainly on the right party of the screen. :)

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