Available for the month should deduct scheduled transactions

Not sure why I am just thinking this now. Maybe all the discussion about nomenclature. 
 

example 

category called groceries. I assign $300 to it. I have spent nothing yet. On the 27th of the month I have a scheduled transaction for a meal kit subscription for $100. 
 

i would think that available should actually be $200 since I have essentially already committed to spending $100. 
 

why this is important.  

Let’s assume I have purchased groceries throughout the month totalling $200 up to the 20th of the month. Available on the 20th will show $100. But I have to remember that $100 scheduled transaction so I don’t spend the $100 I need for that upcoming transaction.  Say that on the 20th I see that my favourite cereal is on sale and I decide to stock up. Looking at my Available amount it appears I can do that. If I do, the category available will become yellow but at that point it’s too late and I’ll have to WAM. 

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    • Vibrant
    • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
    • vibrant
    • 4 mths ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    100% agree. 

    Like 1
  • First, until the scheduled transaction actually happens, that money is available to spend.

    Second, clicking on a category will show you in the sidebar what upcoming transactions you have and what your available in the category will be, with those transactions taken into account.  The information is already there.

    Like 3
      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 4 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Purple Device 

      Purple Device said:
      First, until the scheduled transaction actually happens, that money is available to spend.

       This is not necessarily true. The money may be committed, but the transaction just hasn't executed.

       

      Purple Device said:
      clicking on a category will show you in the sidebar what upcoming transactions you have and what your available in the category will be, with those transactions taken into account.

       In other words, you have to do more than look at your category's Available balance to figure out how much money is really available. Which means you have to know there are scheduled transactions.

      This is still a shortcoming of the user interface. At least the Toolkit shows you upcoming transactions right on the UI next to the Activity, but that's only on the web.

      Like 4
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 4 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule Ahh  future dated transactions,  a battle being fought since the beta and soft release.    My single biggest issue with ynab is so much of the coding being date specific.   I suspect they would have difficulty changing it even if they admitted to agreeing with us.

      Like 2
      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 4 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Herman I don't have the energy to fight the battles anymore. I still think YNAB is wrong but I just don't want to fight them on it anymore.

      Like 3
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I agree.  They are wrong.  They shouldn't care what date I want to put on a transaction, if i want it in the register it should be in the register along with all that goes along with it.  Unfortunately they coded it so the date is what tells them it is "scheduled".  It also doesn't impact me much so i won't waste my time arguing either :)

      Like
      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Herman I need "Budget for Upcoming" back.  I am grossly putting off my budgeting for the next month because of this.  And then at the beginning of the month I'm overwhelmed.  I've been doing this for 11 years, I'm not a "one click" budget-amount-last-month kind of gal.  YNAB has caused me great mental and emotional exhaustion in the last few months.  Not that nothing else has, but just saying :).

      Like
    • Annieland I don't know if it's that I'm new or that my memory stinks - what's the difference between "Budget for Upcoming" and "Underfunded" in terms of functionality?

      Like
      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Fuzzball Meows #1 Underfunded encompasses many reasons.  You could have a scheduled PLUS a goal. Or target?  The scheduled would have a higher priority, most likely.

      #2 My problem is, you can't budget for upcoming in the next month until this month is done.  It will show as fully funded for much of the month since the current month's transactions haven't fired yet.  I spend so much time typing in my scheduled transactions (there's a lot) and now I'm spending time manually typing them all into my categories. 

      I get it, I'm apparently an outlier in having this issue, but "Budget for Upcoming" has been in my YNAB since as long as I can remember.  I also really liked the separate "Budget for Goal Amount" but that's gone too and I can deal, but I know I'm missing some insight that I used to have with everything now in some vague under/overfunded bucket.

      Like 1
    • Annieland Ah, so Budget for Upcoming *only* looked at scheduled transactions and there was a separate Budget for Goal Amount, which are now (annoyingly) combined into Underfunded, which follows the arbitrary month break logic.

      Like
      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Fuzzball Meows Exactly!!  And it worked perfectly and I had fun using YNAB and looking at all my stuff and the magic math of my dynamic goals.  Now I’m just “funding” and half the time I don’t know why.

      Like
  • So many people got annoyed by this at the start of the web-based YNAB! It's the reason a lot of YNABers will use different categories for subscriptions and "spend-as-you-go". So in the groceries example, you would have the categories:

     - groceries

     - meal kit

    It leads to more categories but if you pin the "spend-as-you-go" categories, they'll appear at the top on mobile so you should be able to find the info you need when you are shopping relatively quickly.

    When assigning money, it doesn't matter as much if you have lots of categories.

    Like 1
    • WordTenor
    • Can we agree that goals are dumb and immature? Sure.
    • WordTenor
    • 4 mths ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    Yeah, we fought this fight, unfortunately. They wouldn’t do it for the category balances and they certainly aren’t likely to do it for the overall balance. I actually could see the sense in the overall balance *not* including upcoming transactions because it exists for auditing the budget and providing large - scale statistics. But since they wouldn’t budge on categories besides putting them in the inspector, I don’t see this happening. 

    Like 1
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 4 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      I figured you and others had fought this before. It only came to mind recently when having a discussion with hubby about the “fitness/golf” category.
      Hubby is all in on entering transactions and also checking available. The recent moves feature has reduced the need for me to make notes on why a particular category available has gone down due to WAMing. 

      That being said, he does not get involved in the day to day management of the budget and ongoing expenses. For example, I am the one that sets up targets to ensure we have money for insurance premium renewals etc.

      So we had this discussion on the weekend. Husband “I am golfing on Monday” Me “How much does that cost”? Husband “it’s ok. We have enough in the category”. Me “There’s only $5 there”. Husband “ No, there’s should  be $60. I only bought golf balls and when I looked there was $60”. Me “When did you look? (me wracking brain to think what I WAMed and why - checks budget and sees that $20 monthly recurring fee came out on 30th). Well, why would it tell me there’s $60 available when there’s not”. Me 🤷. 
       

      yes I can set up separate categories but it just seems flawed. The same as if I have 3 boxes of cookies in the pantry because I agreed to bring them to work for a meeting. Son sees 3 boxes of cookies and thinks great, cookies and eats a box. I need to put a post-it on the cookies to say these cookies are not AVAILABLE for consumption. The scheduled transaction should do the same. 
      In a true budgeting model, the idea of budgeted vs spent is a reporting metric. In YNAB the concept is “these dollars have a job” which includes planned expenses. 
       

      i am not going to raise the issue with YNAB. Users greater than I have tried and failed Ceeses  WordTenor nolesrule But it is a flaw. 

      Like 5
  • https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/8005ma/feature-ideas-discussion-1

    Scroll down to the reply called Committed Future Transactions. Sorry, I can't link directly there on mobile.

    Like
  • nolesrule said:
    In other words, you have to do more than look at your category's Available balance to figure out how much money is really available.

     This is the crux of the matter, and I hate it. 

    I'm not going to dial into the inspector, especially on mobile. I'm going to look at the available - it's supposed to tell me what's available, right?!

    And I'm not going to lug my computer around just so I can have the Toolkit show me scheduled transactions when I'm out and about.

    I think it's a fight worth having. 

    A scheduled, committed transaction is a higher priority than discretionary spending. 

    My savings categories are a higher priority than discretionary spending 

    If I don't have the information to properly act according to those priorities, YNAB is lying to me.

    Like 6
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life Fight the good fight, Move Light! 🙂

      I agree that it's a hole in the YNAB logic. Unless you like surprises. 😉Unfortunately, they're the bad kind of surprise as in "Surprise! You forgot to take into account an upcoming scheduled transaction this month in that category!"

      "Wait, I thought I could look at my budget to make spending decisions?" Well, yes and no.

      Like 3
      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

       I would even settle for some kind of icon in the mobile app (like the calendar in the web app) as a prompt to check the activity detail if needed when making my spending decisions.

      For that matter, I would also like to see the calendar icon on the web app all the time when there's an upcoming scheduled transaction, instead of only popping up when a category is underfunded.

      Like
  • I know I’m preaching to the choir but the colour in the budget says Available to Spend. When I click the category then I get Available after Upcoming. Available to spend implies (states) hey Susan you can spend this much money whereas Available after Upcoming is telling me the truth. There is nothing available to spend. 
    On the category detail it states Available which is correct. That is the total amount assigned to that category that has not been consumed at this time. Since YNAB already calculates Available after Upcoming  it shouldn’t be a big deal to show that in the budget screen. I understand that it can only do that for the current month correctly as the next month’s scheduled transaction doesn’t exist until this month’s is posted (unlike how Outlook creates an entry for each day’s calendar for a recurring meeting). 

    Like 2
    • MXMOM 

      Fascinating. Mine just says "Available." But the mouse over text says "Do I have enough to buy that handmade didgeridoo? With this column, now you know."

      Which, as the arguments above note, means it should not include already assigned dollars with a scheduled transaction.

      I think changing it would make some users unhappy as it would result in a change in work flow (e.g., I set up my groceries with a recurring weekly transaction for my average monthly amount/4, to keep track of the running balance of the account that pays the groceries - but since it's a weekly adjustable amount, the total available without those scheduled transactions is accurate for me), but from a "following the YNAB rules" and "application set up to apply the method," the "Available" accounting for scheduled transactions makes much more sense, and seems more important than my weird grocery use-case.

      Like
    • tekgy
    • Neuroscience & Technology
    • tekgy
    • 4 mths ago
    • 4
    • Reported - view

    Interestingly, Toolkit update (2.34.0) helps with this issue! Not a perfect solution since we can't use Toolkit on mobile, but it's a step!

    New Features:

    • Colour Blind Mode Enhanced! #2412 (samhpickering)
      • You can now pick whatever color you want for the traditional Positive/Warning/Negative colors in the "Display Options" menu where you typically select your them for YNAB.
    • Subtract Upcoming Transactions from Available Balance #2397 (adamhl8)
      • New feature where we will subtract the total upcoming transactions from what you see as "Available".
    Like 4
      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      tekgy I just saw that update and thought about this thread...  So I came here and see that you already mentioned it.  I haven't tried it out yet, but that sounds like a good fix for this issue.

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      tekgy Thanks for pointing this out. Just turned it on. The toolkit really needs a search function now as there are so many choices. Went to the Budget screen options and searched for "subtract" to find this one.

      Like 1
      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 4 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Superbone I already freaked myself out and spent 20 minutes trying to figure out why my "available" didn't match the OLD way of looking at it!  I'm like, "where the heck did that money go?!?"  And then on another category, with a scheduled income, I couldn't figure out why the numbers were too high!

      I'll give it a couple days to get used to it, but this might be too much for my poor old brain!

      Like 3
    • Bruce Which would be why choosing which transaction to "commit" (with automation options, of course) would be preferable.

      I would never commit a scheduled inflow.

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Bruce Yes, I had the same reaction too. I left it on for now but I too had gotten used to the old way. And the toolkit already shows me upcoming bills. First I thought, well now I don't have enough available but then I realized that it had already taken out that upcoming bill. We'll see over time if I like it or not. Maybe I will turn off the toolkit option to show me upcoming bills. It almost seems like it should be one way or the other. If it's already been taken out, then I don't need to see the upcoming bills.

      Like 2
    • My observations from personal use of the "subtract scheduled transactions" being turned on:

      I turned it off thus far in two instances: 

      1) I was changing where I WAM'ed things from, and since I had WAM'ed exactly to 0, it was more difficult for me to figure out how much was in that category that I needed to move. (Math was involved. Math was easier not starting from 0. There were other ways I could have handled it.)

      2) The paid in full cc status of "available for payment=-balance of cc" is broken, if there are scheduled transactions. I turned it off to make sure the amounts lined up.  I'm not entirely sure of an easy fix for this; I'd probably have to remember I had a scheduled transaction, go look it up, then add that to the available for payment. (I know the toolkit also has show upcoming transactions, and I could just add that and the available for payment amount for cc, but if YNAB were to implement this, I don't know that they'd implement both.)

      Like 1
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      tekgy 

      Like 1
  • The Toolkit only works with Chrome, right?

    Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Blue Moose or Firefox

      Like
      • pgauntlett
      • pgauntlett
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Blue Moose it will also work by installing the Chrome extension in certain other browsers including :

      Microsoft Edge

      Opera

      Brave

      Like
    • Annieland
    • I was told there would be no math.
    • Annieland
    • 4 mths ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    Just saw this.  I was screaming about it in the big release thread for days.  Three months ago I was told it was a bug.  Still not fixed.  I can't do any planning in the next month.  I have the meal kit situation too, and I go through such pains to change the variable amounts and skipped weeks in all future month transactions.

    I didn't realize there is a fix in the new Toolkit update though.  I'll check it out now, thanks!!

    Like 1
  • pgauntlett said:
    it will also work by installing the Chrome extension in certain other browsers including :
    Microsoft Edge

     Really!?!?!  I'll have to try that.  I use Edge for almost everything except YNAB.  If the toolkit works there too, that would be great!

    Like
      • pgauntlett
      • pgauntlett
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Bruce Yup. Any browser that allows access to the Google Chrome store. Working for me here (on Mac) in all the browsers I mentioned .Just need to export your current toolkit settings and paste into the extension on the new browse

      Like 1
      • pgauntlett
      • pgauntlett
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      I just noted on GitHub that Microsoft posted recently mentioning to the developers that the Toolkit extension could be also added to the Edge add-on store itself with very little tweaking.

      Like 1
  • Annieland said:
    magic math

     That's what I used to call my husband's version of allocating income.  He always seemed to think the same inflow could cover multiple expenditures. 

    Like
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