Problem with repeating spending goals

I use repeating, by date "needed for spending" goals a lot to pay off annual subscriptions to different things. I noticed that the goal did not reset in most of these categories: even months after the target date passed and I spent all the money in the category, the goal is still shown as met. Nothing gets budgeted, and I'm now behind in budgeting for all these categories.

To make it clear, let me give you an example. I set up a "needed for spending" goal in November 2020, for category X, repeating every year, for a target amount of $100 and a target date of February 2021. YNAB budgeted until February 2021 as expected and I spent the whole $100 that same month. Since then (and we're in May 2021) the goal as been shown as met and nothing has been budgeted. The info screen does show that the goal target is $100 in February 2022, and that there is $0 currently budgeted for it, but it still says the goal is met.

I'm wondering if this could be the reason: does the goal repeat every year from the date I created it? In my example, that would mean that YNAB starts budgeting again for X only in November 2021. Or is it from the last target date (which I think would make more sense)?

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    • nolesrule
    • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
    • nolesrule
    • yesterday
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    A needed for spending goal looks at the amount of money in the category when it resets to determine how much you need to add to meet the new goal. If you have not spent the category to zero by the time it resets, any money remaining in the category will count toward the reset goal.

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    • nolesrule I'm pretty sure that I spent all the money during the target month. Since the goal resets on the first day of the month after target, the available amount should have been zero at reset time. But if I follow what you say, does it mean that if I spend the money a month later than the target (e.g. because I get charged late), then the whole thing is messed up because the goal resets while there is still the full amount budgeted?

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    • Turquoise Crab That's exactly right—this is definitely something we'll be taking another look at, but for now, if you get charged after the month rolls over, delete the goal and start it again in the month after the charge occurred.

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    • Matthew I see. I imagine it's not easy to have a behavior that fits every situation. But it's very misleading to have YNAB tell you that all is right, that you're on track to meet your budget goal by some future date, while the amount available in that category is 0 and nothing ever gets budgeted in it.

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