To Be Budgeted Different for new month

Today I categorized and covered all my last expenses from December. YNAB says I have a good, positive balance in "To Be Budgeted", which is good because I need to give some of those dollars jobs in January. But, when I look at my January budget (which is currently all $0), it says I have negative "To Be Budgeted".... why?! Where did those dollars go?

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  • December, probably.

    Someone who is more detailed than me will come along soon, but in the meantime, tempting as it is, don’t try to go back in time with YNAB.

    I spent several days doing this, and it was a total mess. After a lot of reading the blogs and listening to the podcast (I literally started at 1 and worked forward) I accepted my mistake and made a fresh start. Now it’s all great.

    Start with your bank balances today. Input transactions starting tomorrow. The past is done, you weren’t budgeting then, so it won’t make sense.

    This approach will leave you with loads of ‘keen time’ with nothing to input. Spend it reading  the blog, listening to the podcast and watching Whiteboard Wednesday on YouTube.

    good luck!

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  • What does the header at the top of January say?  It sounds like you have some overspending in December that is subtracting from your January TBB....

    Reply Like 1
  • Hi Orchid Viper !

    Check your December budget for any categories with red available amounts. When the month rolls over, any cash overspending in the previous month is subtracted from your To Be Budgeted in the new month. That overspending will need to be covered in order for your To Be Budgeted to remain positive in the new month. 

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    • Faness Thank you for the response, but I have no overspending in December. It's all gray or green!

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    • Orchid Viper It sounds like we may need to dive a little deeper on this one! 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.

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  • I'm new to YNAB and this happened to me as well.  I'm not sure, but my issue with negative balance seems to be that it hasn't accounted for my January Income yet, so of course my budgeted spending in January will lead to negative balances until I am paid.  Unless I'm missing something, it doesn't seem to look like YNAB allows for budgeting income?

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      • monkeyhanger
      • Magenta_Orca_afd6b700a9
      • 2 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Erick M the idea in YNAB is that you only budget with the money that you already have.  The budget is not a plan for how you intend to spend the money you expect to receive in January but a much more deliberate what are the jobs for the money that you currently have. Rinse and repeat every time you get more income.

      I'd recommend taking a look at the support material and signing up for an online class.

      https://www.youneedabudget.com/classes/

      https://docs.youneedabudget.com/category/133-quick-start

      Reply Like 2
      • bret
      • bret
      • 2 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Erick M 

      In YNAB, you should only budget with money you currently have -- not with money you expect to earn in the future.  Your "To Be Budgeted" balance should never be negative (an indication that you are over-budgeted.)

      If you don't currently have enough money to cover all of your January expenses, then you should only partially budget the month. Ask yourself, "What do I need this money to cover until I receive my next paycheck?"  Perhaps you expect to receive your next paycheck next Friday?  You'll probably need to eat for the next 8 days, so budget whatever amount you think is appropriate for 8 days of food.  Maybe you have some bills due before next  Friday also, so budget some money to those.  Keep budgeting money toward your top priorities until your "To Be Budgeted" balance reaches 0 then stop.

      Basically, YNAB asks you to budget "paycheck-to-paycheck."  Eventually, you might accumulate enough cash reserves that at the beginning of a new month, you'll already have enough money stored up that you could budget the entire month of upcoming expenses using your cash reserves.  That's a great milestone to reach. Not only will you have greater financial security, but it'll make the budgeting process far more convenient.

      Good luck!

      Reply Like 2
  • Thanks all, that makes sense. I think part of the problem is my situation , I HAVE already reached that milestone, and (thankfully) don't live paycheck to paycheck, and typically have more than enough in my checking account to cover expenses.  This is the first month I've rolled everything forward so perhaps its just user error!  Right now, I have more than enough sitting in my checking account, before my Jan paychecks, to cover all my current budgeted January expenses.   My Checking account is linked to YNAB and shows that balance.  However, my "funds for Jan" in my Budget report shows significantly less than that balance in my Checking account...like I said, probably user error for a Noob!

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      • bret
      • bret
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Erick M 

      However, my "funds for Jan" in my Budget report shows significantly less than that balance in my Checking account

      "Funds for Jan" is the total of:

      • The amount leftover in To Be Budgeted from December
      • The amount Budgeted in Future from December
      • All Inflow: To Be Budgeted transactions in January
      • Any Starting Balance transactions with a date in the current month on cash accounts (rare)
      • Any positive credit card balances in the current month (rare)
      • Any cash advances from a credit account to a cash account in the current month

      As you can see, there's a lot that's rolled into that number. But the top 3 are the most common source of funds, and where you should probably focus your attention if things don't seem correct.

      In your case, I'm curious what you mean when you say that you've "rolled everything forward." During December, did you ever jump ahead and assign some money into your January budget? If so, that would appear as "Budgeted in Future" inside December, and "Funds for Jan" inside January. Alternatively, at the end of December did you have one or more categories that had positive balances?  E.g. perhaps you budgeted a lot of extra money into "Groceries" during December and you didn't spend all of it?  Unspent money will also "rollover" into the following month, but it doesn't get included in the "Funds for Jan" or "Budgeted in Future" totals.

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      • monkeyhanger
      • Magenta_Orca_afd6b700a9
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Erick M If you already have more than enough to cover January expenses, why will your budgeted spending in January lead to negative balances until you are paid?

      Reply Like 1
      • Erick M
      • Khaki_Wrench.5
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      bret Sorry, I meant to say that I pushed the money spent in december to January as new budgets for Jan, I did not budget into the future for Jan during Dec.  At the end of the day, I'm trying to figure out why my "To Be Budgeted" number is different than my "Total Available," which I assume includes the extra money in my checking account mentioned before.  If the YNAB mantra of "every dollar has a job" holds true, shouldn't I budget for the money in my checking account, whether that be expenses, investments, savings, etc?

       

      Thanks again!  Everyone is very helpful!

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      • Erick M
      • Khaki_Wrench.5
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      monkeyhanger I'm not sure, thats my confusion - I currently have $19,606 in my checking account, and only $13,417 available for both funds and budget in Jan.  If I go over my budget, it will show as negative in the "To Be Budgeted" category, even though I have enough money in my checking account to cover that.  Yes, I went "over" my budget, but I'm not seeing an option to budget for the $6,000 or so that is different between my Checking balance and my Funds Available / To Be Budgeted balance...

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      • bret
      • bret
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Erick M 

      You probably (hopefully!) budgeted some money in December that you did not spend. If you followed YNAB's Rule 2 advice, you may have set aside some money for "Car Repairs", "Emergency Fund" or other so-called "True Expense" categories. If you didn't spend that money then it carries forward into January (as an "Available" balance in each category.)

      Reply Like 1
      • monkeyhanger
      • Magenta_Orca_afd6b700a9
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Erick M You don't need to push anything from December to January. Anything left in the available column in December remains available in January. We may just be misunderstanding the words being used. A screenshot would make things a lot clearer if you're happy to post that. You can always black out any sensitive/private information.

      Reply Like 1
      • Erick M
      • Khaki_Wrench.5
      • 2 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      monkeyhanger bret  Thanks for your help!  I have no idea what happened here but after some of your points about how things are supposed to work, i went ahead and just zerod out my Jan budget and started from scratch.  They fixed things, and I was able to pull through balances from December and budget out from there and now I'm at $0 to be budgeted and my fund more closely match my checking account!  Thanks!

      Reply Like 2
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