Ready to Assign Category isn't changing

Hi! My ready to assign amount at the top isn't changing, despite my assigning transactions to it. I'm so confused!

I wasn't able to reconcile before the month changed so I realize that I would have to manually add $ to the credit card categories -which I did - so that shouldn't be affecting it. 

One transaction of inflow of $133 I tried to count assign to 'ready to assign' but when I did, it didn't show. So I then added it to a category and it showed up and I could then move the funds. 

I'm scared I'm missing something big here. Please help.

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  • FYI - there's a ? in the bottom right hand corner of your budget, if you click it it will open up tech support, and they are great about helping to figure out strange quirks when things don't seem to be working the way they should. If you haven't checked in with them, that might be the fastest thing to do, if you enable support (they'll give you a link) they can look directly at your budget. It is likely some small quirky thing that isn't set correctly or you're missing that will straighten out the whole thing. :)

    Like 1
      • Irene O
      • Salmon_Cobra.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Thank you! I didn't know that was there!

      Like 1
  • Are you budgeted into the future?

    Like 1
      • Irene O
      • Salmon_Cobra.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life Yes - budgeted out through January

      Like 1
    • WordTenor
    • Can we agree that goals are dumb and immature? Sure.
    • WordTenor
    • 2 mths ago
    • 2
    • Reported - view

    This is most likely stealing from the future. If you're on the web, look at the right-hand panel to see if you have negative RTA in a future month. 

    Like 2
      • Irene O
      • Salmon_Cobra.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor Thank you. What does RTA stand for? what should I be clicked on the left when I'm looking on the right? I'm not seeing what you're offering. Can you screenshot?  I'm scheduled out through Janaury because I"m living on student loans and needed to get my  mortgage, car payment, etc done so I don't overspend. Perhaps it would have been best to put that in the current month, rather than spreading out in each month? IS there an easier way to forecast w/o causing this issue? It's maddening.

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      • Emma Catherine
      • Civil engineer getting back on track
      • emmacatherine
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Irene O as far as avoiding stealing from the future, I would create categories with names "October Money", "November Money" etc and assign a certain amount in each category that will be used for bills and expenses for that month. Then when its the first of October, move the money from the "October Money" to Ready To Assign (RTA) and fund all your bills and expenses and goals for that month. That way currently you can see that you have money through January, and each of those dollars have jobs once that month comes, but don't actually assign it into each month's budget until the time comes. 

      Like 2
    • Irene O 

      Make a category to hold your money for the semester.  Keep all money in the current month. Normalize your budget so you know what you'll assign each month (note in category title, goal, scheduled transactions, etc).

      Every month, pull only the money you need out of the holding category. Assign the rest of that month's categories.

      If you have other income, either assign it wherever you need (directly to a category, paying down student loan interest, the larger holding category, etc), OR look into the INM workflow so it doesn't get lost.

      Like 1
      • Irene O
      • Salmon_Cobra.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Emma Catherine Thank you - this is helpful. I'll see how I can do this w/o creating too many categories, which is what I was trying to avoid. Thanks!

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      • Irene O
      • Salmon_Cobra.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life Thank you! This is helpful. What do you mean by: note in category title, goal, scheduled transactions, etc).?

      And what is INM?

      Like 1
    • Irene O INM = Income for Next Month. There are instructions on how to use it tucked into many places of the forum. I'm on a phone now, so I can't link to a specific comment at the moment, sorry.

      Those other things are all ways to remind you what your normalized budget numbers are. Each technique has pros and cons. 

      Note in the category: Doesn't turn orange when you use Rule 3 - 🙂. It doesn't save clicks on assigning, though using the assigned last month button and/or scheduled transactions can give you less clicks. 

      Goals (sorry, I meant Targets. They used to be called goals). If you're new, I wouldn't worry about these until you get tired of typing numbers each month. Then you'll know what your use case is and will save a ton of work setting them up properly. The only kinds I use are the monthly contribution and the savings target.

      Scheduled transactions: Use them for upcoming bills and they'll be included in your underfunded button. For example, if you pay rent monthly, set the scheduled transaction to repeat on the 1st and you can use a single click to assign that amount when you budget on the first of the month.

      Like 1
      • Irene O
      • Salmon_Cobra.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life Thank you! I've been using YNAB. for over a year but didn't care for the goals feature. I manually distribute my $ each month. Never had to worry much about putting in the future until I quit my job to start school. I clearly have lots left to learn

      Like 1
    • Irene O All of the suggestions above have been spot on! It does sound like there may be a negative Ready to Assign amount out in the future. Let me know if you'd like to enable Support Access and have a support team member take a closer look!  

      Here's a bit more detail, and a resource that might help: Once you've assigned money into future months, your most up-to-date Ready to Assign amount will always be in the future-most month to which you can toggle. If you continue to assign dollars in the present, Ready to Assign will go negative in the future first, before going negative again in the present. You can read more about that behavior here! 

      I always find this budget audit process helpful in moments when my budget numbers feel a bit off, too, so feel free to take that for a spin 😊  Let us know how it's going and if any numbers still don't seem quite right - we want you to feel 100% confident in your budget!
       

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      • Irene O
      • Salmon_Cobra.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Rachel Thank you! Support enabled - I don’t see any negative future RTA. Not sure what’s happening here. Great resources offered. Thank you!

      Like
    • Irene O Thanks for enabling Support Access! I don't see any Stealing from the Future, either. 😊 I have a suspicion as to what the cause is, so I've sent you an email. 

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      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Marisa Way to leave all the rest of us in suspense. 😄 Irene O , please check back and spill the beans!

      Like 2
      • Irene O
      • Salmon_Cobra.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Vibrant I will for sure share when I understand it! 

      Like 1
  • Do you see anything like this:

    With the red box for a month in the future where you have budgeted money? That's what WordTenor was referring to.

    Like 1
      • Irene O
      • Salmon_Cobra.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ceeses I do not. Perhaps it's the view I'm in? I do have an assigned in the future box. I did try to change that one transaction (Which I had to move to a category to use instead of ready to assign) but the 'assigned in the future' didn't change.

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    • Irene O It could be a domino effect of other overspending, or it could be that the warning doesn't show past next month. 

      SFTF (Stealing from the future) is a problem that's only starting to attempt to be resolved on YNAB's side. I'd just avoid the situation. 

      P.s. the way to do that is get all your money in one month's budget page view, and take care of any red. Ensure all income is categorized as RTA during this process. 

      After you're square with the disappearing money trick, then worry about any other workflows (INM, normalizing the month budget values, etc)

      Like 1
  • Move Light Sound Life said:
    it could be that the warning doesn't show past next month. 

     I tested before posting the screenshot. It shows past the next month if the overbudgeting does not affect the next month.

    Like 1
    • Ceeses Is that a toolkit function or a native to YNAB function? If I recall correctly, toolkit shows SFTF no matter how far ahead, but native YNAB only shows the warning in the inspection bar for the next month (and not in the header). I didn't check this time, so I may be remembering wrong. 

      Like
      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Fuzzball Meows You are right, I had forgotten about the toolkit.

      Irene O Here is another screenshot. You can see it in the budget inspector (on the right-hand side of the budget screen) with no category selected:

       

      It shows the month where the Ready to Assign is negative in the future if any.

      Like 1
      • Irene O
      • Salmon_Cobra.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ceeses I have this, but nothing shows negative. Even when I go to January - as far out as I allocated $. Is this on the app or the laptop? I'm on my laptop as I don't see this at all on mobile.

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  • @Irene O what the wise women of YNAB have said is perfectly correct.   

    It is definitely worth digging into the method for saving an Income for Next Month or Future Months Income category (which contains multiple months) and using this instead of trying to put all the money into future months.  I have an irregular income and have in the past had some success with Next Month and Next Month +1  in my categories as well as an income replacement emergeny fund. 

    The key advantage I find to this method is there a lot less busy work in changing allocations for future months eg. if I change phone providers and halve the bill.  I only have to work on keeping this months budget up-to-date and planning out allocations to true expenses (eg. the tax bill due in 4 months), as opposed to tidying up allocations in three months time.  And if I change my categories or allocations I only have to change this month.

    Like 2
      • Irene O
      • Salmon_Cobra.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Yes I can This is helpful, thanks! I've never been in this situation before so it's definitely a learning curve! Thanks for the tidbits!

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