Why am I allowed to budget next month's money now?
Why does "the new YNAB" show me incoming money as available to budget immediately? It makes it awfully tempting to cheat on the "live on last month's income" rule...! And if I put off budgeting for a few days, or a paycheck comes early in a month, it gets confusing to figure out what I intend to spend this month versus next etc.
It is not my preference either. What you can do is flip over to the January budget and start budgeting in January. HOWEVER if you make a weird change in December it will impact the January budget and you may not notice. The other option is to create an Income for Next Month category and put the new money there and release it in the future.
The web version treats all income alike. You budget it in this month or into next month as you wish. Once you've budgeted in future months, it is important to either use only the tool to do rule 3 (click on amounts and move money), or to be certain that you check the latest month in which you've budgetedwhen you adjust this month's budget.
The other option is to create an Income for Next Month category and put the new money there and release it in the future.
That's actually a good idea. I'm also struggling with this limitation in YNAB. When I was just barely making it month to month, I liked seeing the green amount before my monthly bills were paid, then the gray $0 after they were paid. Now, I if I have enough to fund that monthly bill for a future month, it's confusing. "Did I forget to pay that bill? Oh, wait no. That's next month's amount." I think I'll take that advice and give it a try, then just move it all into "To Be Budgeted" at the beginning of each month.
Piggybacking off of ynaber2613 , there's a blog post that goes over creating a Budget Template. It walks you through setting up monthly funding goals so you can track what you need in the current month and then safely budget towards the following month.
For varying expenses, the averages are a good way to go - as nolesrule mentioned. That extra $6 may seem out of place in the current month, and you can use the move money tool if you really don't want to see it there, but rolling over from month to month should give you a good buffer for any particularly high usage months.