Reports and Inspector Don't Make Sense

So, I've built up a year of history, thinking that the reason the reports were inaccurate was because of the way averages can be skewed with small samples.

I always budget to zero.  In the inspector, shouldn't my "Total Budgeted" match my "Total Inflows"? And, if the "Total Activity" is less than the "Total Inflows" for a month, shouldn't my Income vs. Expense Report show a positive number at the bottom?

I know I've asked before, but...

How do people use reports?  Especially if they make no sense?

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  • Make sure you aren't filtering anything in your reports.

    Also, inflows directly to a category are treated as negative expenses, so you need to account for that.

    Like 1
    • nolesrule I'm only filtering for a date range.

      I would have thought that because inflows directly to a category are treated as negative expenses, they would be counted in the activity within that category and added appropriately.

      For example,

      income = +2000

      return to clothing category = +50

      all other expenses = -1900

      net month should = +150

      However, it's a random negative number.

  • As far as the inspector goes, the amount budgeted might include money from the previous month.  That amount plus the income in the current month gives you the amount you can budget.  If you then budget it all to zero, ok great.  But the Activity in the inspector is going to include payments made on credit cards.  Those payments aren't in Income vs Expense reports, just what was actually spent in that current month.  

    So far this month I paid some large CC bills and my total activity is -$9027 with $3400 inflows.  Yet my report has a green $259, because those expenses were last month even though I paid the CC this month.  I had more than $9000 to be budgeted because a chunk of that was last month's income.

    I guess it's complicated, but the numbers really do work out, it's just as our budgets get more complicated and we're good about sending income from this month to next month (in whichever workflow we choose) it gets difficult to parse out every penny.  That's why I generally trust the software, and if there are numbers I want to see more specifically without some of YNAB's additions or exclusions, I put them in a spreadsheet.

    Like 2
    • Annieland I suppose the credit cards could be the culprit here, since I don't pay the balance off in full anymore. That's about the month where things go haywire. Thanks! I will try to watch reports again with this new perspective.

      Like 1
  • I'm having the same issue where Total Budgeted doesn't match Total Inflows even with zero TBB.

    I have a budget which I started on Aug 31 that only has entries for the current balance at that time.

    When viewing August, "Funds for Aug", "Budgeted for Aug", "Total Budget", "Total Available" and "Total Inflow" are all the same.

    In September, I paid off my cc in full and budgeted to zero with no future stealing.

    When viewing Sept, "Funds for Sept", "Budgeted for Sept", "Total Budget" are all the same as expected. However, "Total Inflow" is ~$20 less than "Total Budget" and I'm confused as to why there's a difference.

    This same issue carries out for Oct, Nov and Dec. All of them are budgeted to zero and have the same for "Funds for [month]" and "Budgeted for [month]" but "Total Inflow" is just slightly less.

    I feel like there's some transaction or something I'm missing but I can't figure out what.

      • Wei
      • weizilla
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ok this seems to be somehow related to how I pay for some stuff via paypal.

      When I use paypal, I log outgoing item with a category then create a transfer between paypal and my credit card for the same amount. I assumed it's the same as if I put the outgoing item in my credit card directly as the transfer should cancel out but it's causing some weirdness and treating the paypal incoming item as extra funds.


      Buy coffee for $5 via paypal

      CC:     -$5, transfer to paypal
      Paypal: +$5, transfer from cc
              -$5, coffee

      I think somehow that +$5 in paypal is being counted as "incoming funds" even though it's a transfer.

      • Wei
      • weizilla
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      That was totally it. I removed the paypal account and transfers and moved the actual outgoing transactions to the cc account. The numbers all lined up after: "Funds for [month]", "Budgeted for [month]", "Total Budget" and "Total Inflow".

    • Wei Nice detective work! This can definitely get tricky trying to follow the money as it runs around your budget with PayPal. Transfers from a credit card account to a cash account in your budget represent a cash advance situation in real life. 

      When you make a transfer from a credit card to your PayPal account, the funds will leave your credit card (increasing what you owe on that card) and go to PayPal where the Inflow will show up as money To be Budgeted in your budget. 

      So, whenever you make a transfer from a credit card to PayPal, you’ll immediately want to budget that same amount toward the credit card for your next credit card payment (the inflow you're seeing).

      In most cases, PayPal is acting as a payment processor, and the money is flowing through from your credit card to the vendor you're paying, with PayPal being essentially a passthrough between. If you don't keep a balance in that account—I would recommend keeping PayPal out of your budget altogether. You'll record purchases that you make via PayPal as regular, categorized outflows from your credit card—just as you described.

      Like 1
      • Wei
      • weizilla
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Nicole Ahhh makes sense. Thanks!!

      Like 1
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