Plan for future by Monthly or Target Balance By Date Goal?
I have to plan for upcoming expenses like car insurance, HOA dues, etc. I have been using the Target Balance by Date Goal. But it bothers me that if I plan for a bill. Say $600 in 6 months. Well when I get to the 6th month and I spend $600 it complains that category is under budget. So, do set the Target Date the month before and then spend it the next month? Then the month after the bill is paid I set a new goal to the next upcoming payment. So It seems that I would be budgeting 5 months instead of the 6 month intervals between payments.
I have not tried the Monthly goal type yet. How does it handle a case where I might need to shift funds from that category to another just for the current month? Will it track that as a spend or next month will it adjust and say you need 'catch up' amounts to stay on track?
Using the example above if I am in the 4th month, I will need $400. or I have saved $100 along the way. But something came up and I need to shift somethings around. So, I move $100 from that to another category. no I have only $300 instead of the $400. Then next month will the goal say you need to set aside $200 instead of the normal $100 to stay on track. Or will it just say you have not gone over $500 so you are okay but in reality I am behind $100.
when I get to the 6th month and I spend $600 it complains that category is under budget.
Create a goal in next months area for the next instance of the bill. The current month will not show a warning.
Similar when you shift funds around. Either ignore the warning or redo the goal in next months area to turn off the warning.
The target by date prompt recalculates every month based on the formula (Goal - Available) / Months Remaining. Months remaining is inclusive of the goal month (month 6 in your example).
If you have been adding $100 every month and have $300 available in month 3, you can look ahead to month 4 and it will tell you to budget $100. (600-300)/3 = 100
If you don't budget anything in month 4, you are still at $300 available so in month 5 it will prompt you to budget $150. (600-300)/2 = $150.
If you find extra cash in month 4 and budget $200 instead of $100, you are now at $500 available so in month 5 it will prompt you to budget only $50. (600-500)/2 = $50
I guess I really want a simple way to keep track a bills that are paid at certain intervals not just monthly. Like car insurance, HOA dues, etc. I have not come up with a good strategy.
I have tried just manually calculate the monthly payment and budget that per month. But I don’t really see progress to how much is left to save without manual calculations
but I thought I could use the target by date goal. Say I create a goal in Jan for June due date. I would save $100 per month until June. When I get to June I have budgeted enough and when it gets paid. YNAB flags category as underfunded.
I have not tried the new Monthly spend this much By date. But I concerns if I move money out of category will it keep me on track for future months with ‘catch up’ amounts.
I'm a new trial user of YNAB and I like it so far (and the support is great!). So I really want to get things set up correctly right from the start. Been taking workshops, reading doc's, and looking at this forum.
I have a question about goals and found this thread. My question is similar to carterbunch. I want to budget for my $2200/year oil heating bills but not sure what is the best goal to use. My oil deliveries are sporadic but most, of course, happen in the winter months---now. Not too concerned about having to budget more when the delivery happens this winter as I am in a position to budget more (from savings). But for my goal type should I use Monthly and just save 2200/12 letting unused budget roll over? Have my oil budget get bigger each month until a bill is due? Should I use Spend By Date and let YNAB do the monthly budget calculation? And what about using Monthly Contribution?
The thing is---I do need to budget for this so I eventually can have the money budget and ready when bills come do. I don't want to withdraw from savings by next winter!