One Category, Multiple Goals

I've often wished YNAB would release the ability to add multiple goals within the same category. For example, I have 3 different club memberships that are due at 3 different times of the year. Instead of using 3 separate categories with "Target Date Balance" goals for each one, it would have been great to have one category called "Membership Dues" and enter all 3 of those goals separately but within the category itself.

However, given that is not an option. Is there another work-around besides setting up a separate category in the Budget for each club membership? This is just one example but there are many other services or subscriptions that could fall into one main category but because I need to set a target date balance goal for each one, I'm forced to setup a separate category for each.

I have recently created an excel spreadsheet that would calculate the required savings per month to achieve the goal and thereby allow me to use a single category like Membership Dues but was hoping not to have to rely on Excel at all for something like this.

Any ideas/suggestions?

Thanks

10replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • Hi 10SNE1 !

    Currently, there isn't an option to set multiple goals to a single category - if you have a moment, would you mind submitting a Feature Request for that option?

    In the meantime, it takes a bit of math, but you can include those dues in the same category. To do so, add the cost of all three memberships together and divide by 12 - that will tell you the monthly amount you need to budget in that category. 

    For instance, let's say the membership costs are $40 each, due in January, May and September - for a total of $120. If you budget $10 every month, you'll have enough in the category to cover each expense. 

    This gets a bit trickier with varying amounts and due dates, so things will have to be adjusted based on your expenses. I broke down the approach for another YNABer in this forum thread. If you'd like to share your expenses in detail to go over the numbers for your budget, please let me know! :)

    Like
      • Sarah Green
      • Turquoise_Hammer.6
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Faness is there a way to vote on feature requests? I would really like to have this added!

      Like 2
    • Agreed, this would be super useful!

      Like
  • Faness said:
    add the cost of all three memberships together and divide by 12 - that will tell you the monthly amount you need to budget in that category. 

    This has only an 8% change of being correct, as it requires that you start doing this at the exact right month for it to work. That's a 92% chance the required funds will NOT be there.

    OP, you're correct in that it is not a trivial problem to ensure money is there without tying up too much money. 

    A multi-outflow goal to handle these calculations would be great. The example I used in my feature request was a Birthday category.

    Like 1
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view
      dakinemaui said:
      ensure money is there without tying up too much money.

      For example: $200 outflow in Jan, $100 in Feb., and $200 in July. You're about to budget for Dec with nothing saved toward Birthdays thus far. What do you budget?

      The optimal schedule is actually $100/mo Dec, Jan, and Feb and $41.67 March onward. (Cumulative amount is $508 through July.)

      The easy/obvious approach (separate categories with Goals on each) would front-load contributions at $158.33 in Dec & Jan (= $100+33.33+25), $75 in Feb (= 16.67+33.33+25), $50 March through July (= 16.67+8.34+25), then finally $41.67 Aug onward. (Cumulative amount is $642 through July.)

      That cumulative difference of $135 will forever be tied up. That's the price of "easy" for this example.

      I do the calculations outside of YNAB as well, so I know many others would benefit if YNAB were to implement such a goal.

      Like 3
  •  dakinemaui 10SNE1  I do this within YNAB. I did this in steps. This gave me the advantage of not tying up money needlessly. And Gave me the money I needed by the time I needed it. For my example I combined my software renewal(2), Domain Fees(1) and amazon(1). I put them in the category "Software". 

    Step (1) Setup all recurring fees in scheduled transactions.                                                       Feb 2020; YNAB; Software; $45.00 (year)                                                                                         May 2020; Domain; Software; $69.00 (Year)                                                                                    June 2020; Amazon; Software; $99.00 (year)                                                                                             Oct 2020; ScreenCastify; Software; 24.00 (year)

    (2) Identify the biggest payment due in the next twelve months. (Amazon; June)

    (3) Open Goals and set "Spend by Date" to June 2020 Add up all amounts due in May and before. In this case 99.00 + 45.00 + 69.00 =213.00. 

    This being Nov This will give you a monthly goal of 26.63

    (4) the month that the biggest payment is due, set the the "spend by date" goal to the month before the biggest payment is due the following year (in this case May 2021) Add up all payments due for all the payments. (99.00+45.00+69.00+24.00=237.00) 

    This makes the monthly goal 19.75 per month.

    Like 1
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      kevman479 You're on the right track, but it's not always the largest outflow that indicates the critical month. (For example, that approach fails for the example I gave above.) 

      A more reliable indicator is the month of maximum drawdown within the category when assuming the nominal contribution level. Then set the Spend By goal through that critical month. Switch to the nominal contributions thereafter.

      Like 1
      • kevman479
      • kevman479
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Oops I see. This Just happened to work our because of the order of draw down. 

      Like
      • Sarah Green
      • Turquoise_Hammer.6
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui what do you mean by "the month of maximum drawdown within the category when assuming the nominal contribution level"? Could you give an example?

      Like
    • Sarah Green Ignoring overspending for the moment, the amount in a category will depend on the amount/timing of outflows and the amount of inflows/budget contributions. For the example I gave above:

      $200 outflow in Jan., $100 in Feb., and $200 in July; starting in Dec. and recurring yearly

      the nominal budget entry is 1/12 the yearly total or $41.67. The running balance in the category would be $41.67 (Dec), -$116.66 (Jan), -$174.99 (Feb), -$133.32 (Mar), ..., -$8.31 (Jun), -$166.64 (July)

      The lowest balance (aka max drawdown) occurs in Feb with a shortage of $175 that needs to be made up by then; this is another $58.33  per month. (It needs to be made up because negative money isn't a thing.) That requires budget entries of $100 in Dec/Jan/Feb, reducing to $41.67 thereafter.

      You might check out this thread for a few more details as well as why a common alternative is both easy and perhaps undesirable. (Same example used there.)

      Like 1
Like8 Follow
  • 8 Likes
  • 1 yr agoLast active
  • 10Replies
  • 813Views
  • 7 Following