Still don't understand the point of Goals in categories and budget template ?



  I read the article about the budget template and goals in category. 

I known what I have to budget for a category for a month,  If i budget the same amount as the monthly funding goal , what is the value of setting the goal ??

Also for each month I use the quick budget and use the value I budge last month., so I dont known how the template can help ?



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  • Guess you are better at this stuff than I am.  Maybe YNAB isn't for you.

    Does you spending always agree with your budget?  If it does, please tell me how you do it.  

    My income is variable and the budget template gives me a goal to reach for, goals tell me what I would like to put toward something.  Sometimes my income is down and doesn't fully fund my budget so I have to get creative to fill in any gaps.  Sometimes my expenses are up and I have to move money around.  

    When I came to YNAB I didn't have a very good budget set up and needed YNAB's help in doing this.  Maybe you already have what YNAB offers?  All I can say is I've never before been able to accumulate as much as I have with YNAB's help.  It was a game changer for me. 

  • The goals are not useful for everyone.  My practice is to start from a set of fixed budget numbers, then adjust the budget based on where the numbers stand.  I use goals of "Budget $X per Month" as a budget template, populate the budget with one click, then adjust the budget based on last month's results.  When I trim money out of categories that have more than they need the goals yell at me that I should put more money in.  So I have the Toolkit turn them a muted blue instead of the native YNAB angry orange.

    Doing things this way makes goals unavailable for any other purpose, but I've not found another use for goals that doesn't just get in my way.  There are no YNAB budget goals for how I really want to manage most categories.  So I basically ignore the programmed in goals and budget to the way I want to manage each category.  For example, I manage several categories by a rule of, "Budget $XXX per month, but don't allow the total available to exceed $YYYY."  The program goals are great at telling me I should budget more, but none of them will tell me when I have money I can salvage for other priorities.  I have to figure that out on my own, and that's okay.

    This doesn't mean goals are useless; it just means they are poorly suited for how I want to budget.  If they are also poorly suited for how you want to budget, don't use them.  Your eyes will feel better for having less angry orange on your screen.

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    • Patzer Have you looked at the Toolkit function that gives the graph behind the amount budgeted that month, so it would give you an idea if you are reaching over what you want. 

  • Hi Slate Blue Vacuum !

    Whether or not you use goals/budget template is totally your preference. I do a mix of goals and scheduled transactions and sometimes "Budgeted last month"!

    One of my favorite parts about "payday" is that I get to go through each category and feel what I'm budgeting, no matter what method I use to actually put the money in the budgeted column.  Some users like to be able to select all categories and budget in one click, but others like to handle each category individually. Whatever makes you feel more in control of your money, that's what you should do. 


    As for the Goal feature, it's due for a bit of TLC, so would you mind submitting any ideas via the Feature Request Form? From there it's collected in a database, and just about every day, our Design Team combs through and codes them all, asking questions like Where is this person in their budgeting journey? What problem are they wanting to solve? Then, in regular research cycles they analyze all this collected feedback to plan for what’s up next  in YNAB!

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  • I just found the goals feature makes it quicker to budget my income when I get paid at the beginning of the month. I've been using YNAB long enough that I know how much I want or need to spend on each category, and so because each of those categories has an assigned goal, I single click and select all the goals in a section and then click the total amount to fill those categories to be budgeted. I have a few categories that I may have to adjust, but most categories stay the same from month to month, especially for the bills I have to pay and targeted future true expenses I'm budgeting for. I use YNAB for both personal and business transactions so I have about  two dozen categories. I don't want to fill them one by one each month. 

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  • Goals should really be split into "Goals" vs "Limits".  It would be great to have a savings goal tell you to "budget at least $X to stay on track," but a spending goal like dining out could be the other way, telling you "budget no more than $X to stay on track." I submitted this as a feature request today, although I imagine I'm not the first to think of this.

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