Available money turns yellow when I move remaining money

When I meet my goal of $50 for my water bill, it turns green.  Then when the bill comes for $36 I want to transfer the remaining $14 to a different budget.  If I do, then the "Available" number turns to a yellow $0.00.  I think I've read that I should ignore the yellow, but I start the month all green, and then the yellow keeps growing throughout the month:  The water bill, then phone bill, the electrical bill, if I don't spend the entire mother's day budget, or a birthday budget...  

It's depressing because I'm conditioned to eliminate the Yellow.  I wish there was a "Goal Met" or "Bill Paid" button that transferred the remainder to "To be Budgeted" and turned the $0.00 Gray for the remainder of the month rather than ignore it.

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  • Silly question, but why is your goal $50 if your water bill is $36?

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      • Budget Conquistador
      • Ready for the next big adventure
      • Khaki_Screwdiver.8
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Numbers Nerd  Some places have constant water bills, but here the bill is variable depending on how much water I use.  $50 is a high estimate to make sure I always have enough. I have the same practice for electricity, I also have a Verizon Visa that reduces the Verizon bill based on points, so that bill is variable.  So that's 3 yellow spots at the end of the month. And then I have a gift budget for every gift event;  birthdays mother's  day, etc. I don't exceed those budgets, and so after the event want to budget that remaining money somewhere else.  This month was Mother's day and a child's birthday, so two more yellow spots there.

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    • Hello, John Bohan !

      First off, I agree—it would be great if there was a way to say, "I'm in charge of this budget, and this goal did what I intended. Stop turning the category yellow!"

      However, if the yellow categories keep growing as the month goes on, you probably need to adjust some of your goals.

      Let's take the water bill as an example. I think there are a couple of good ways to budget for your water bill, and neither will result in a yellow category most of the time.

      1. Set a monthly spending goal for the highest bill amount you expect. After you pay the bill, leave the money in the category. Next month, YNAB will prompt you to top the goal up back up to $50, or whatever you set it for.
      2. Set a Monthly Savings Builder goal for your average water bill. Money will accumulate during lower months and be spent during higher months. You may need to occasionally adjust the category if your average drifts up or do, but I can't remember the last time I had to move money into or out of my water bill category, and my bill varies a lot.

      For the Mother's Day or birthday category, this isn't going to work, of course. You can leave the money in the category and YNAB will prompt you to budget less each month for next year's gifts, because the category started with money in it. But you may prefer to use that money for other purposes now, and in that case you're going to be stuck with a yellow category for part of the month.

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      • Budget Conquistador
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      • Khaki_Screwdiver.8
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Matthew Suggestion #1: I think I read that I actually have to wait for next month to happen for it to work correctly right? I looked at next month and tried reducing the amount budgeted by how much I was rolling over, but then next month turned yellow, I think this describes that situation (https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/63c7gp)

      #2 is a good idea, I think I'll consider that with a small twist, I'll just budget a little over the average amount and make it a yearly budget.  Then if there is money left over in December, I'll move it and just have a yellow mark once a year.  The only downside is not getting that extra bonus every month from reducing utility usage - it would just be an annual bonus.

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  • John Bohan said:
    I wish there was a "Goal Met" or "Bill Paid" button t

     Oh, I like this, except not having it transfer to TBB. That's easy enough on it's own. 

    The button could just turn off the yellow. 

    Until such time as has been implemented, try the toolkit. There's an option to turn yellow to blue in certain cases.

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  • I'm glad you think so too.  When you on click on the amount, it already preloads the dialog box with the remaining amount and prompts where I want to transfer it to.  If it would treat it like a charge instead of a reduced budget I'd get a gray dot instead of a yellow one. 

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  • 6 mths agoLast active
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