No Place to Maintain a Static Baseline Monthly Budget
Monthly I resolve overspending and sweep and excess funds into savings by moving funds between categories and then Replenish each Category with the Same Static Monthly Budget. No matter how I do this there is no where in YNAB to maintain a static baseline monthly budget amount for categories.
I first tried setting up Goals for my Categories to establish a monthly baseline budget amount. Whenever I moved $ from one category to another it would flag the category as being Under Funded and Updated the Budget Amount. I researched this and it was recommended not using goals and just set the budget in Month 1 and used it as the basis for the Budget next month.
Okay fine, I tried it and it too doesn't allow you to maintain a static baseline monthly budget either. When ever you move available funds from 1 category to another is doesn't just move the available funds it adjusts your budget amount even without goals being established. So I can't copy last month to this month. I would need to enter the same budget month after month after month after month......... and occasionally make a one time adjustment.
YNAB supports many ways to establish a Monthly Budget Amount except a Static Monthly Budget. Currently I Maintain my Baseline Monthly Budget in Excel (not YNAB) and Re-Renter it every month for every category because their is no way in YNAB to do it.
It would seem I should be able to both Set a Static Monthly Budget Amount that i can use every month and override as needed and Move $ Between Categories but as currently defined that is not possible since they are hard linked under the covers in your design.
The old-school approach is to simply put the nominal value right in the category name. E.g., "Eating Out $100/mo". Or if splitting across checks, "Rent $800/ck".
Regarding the nag of Goals after reallocation: you can squelch that by editing the goal in next month's area and just hitting OK. (This does not work for Spend By Date goals.)
One question: are you ahead enough where all your income is budgeted into the following month's area?
YNAB's stance is that there is no "normal" month; spending varies month to month. Putting the minimum/maximum in the category name guides allocation, and after the first month or two you can use Quick Budget to fill in the average or last month's spending with three clicks. It's easy to make adjustments after that.
Terry McDonald said:
I don't shift the budget during the month.
This ignores Rule 3 which is part of the method. You can use YNAB however you want, of course, but if you refuse to use the method, features which aren't important will seem important and this will be unnecessarily frustrating.
When you use Rule 3, the act of having to reallocate all the time gives a pretty clear indicator that you need to change the amount you're regularly budgeting. Having a nominal amount becomes much less important, and whatever nominal values you might have are easily handled with goals and Quick Budget.
I also wish that it had this feature. What I've done is use the Chrome Toolkit to add the goal column to my budget, and to change the colors of the available column (honestly, I forget what it used to be, only that it works much better for me the way the Toolkit makes it). Then I set up all my goals, and because I'm able to budget the whole month on the first, I know that on 5/1 everything is green and based on my goals. Then, if during the month I move things around a bit and the available column turns light blue to show that it's no longer fully funded, that's fine, I can ignore it and/or decide if it's time to change the baseline budget for that category. It works really well for me, but I'm pretty sure it would not work for me at all if I wasn't fully funding on the first of each month.