Limit for fun money spending

My husband and I set a specific amount that we want to spend for the year in our fun money.  Once it is reached, we have to wait until next year to reset it.  I'm new to YNAB and see where it allows me to choose a goal, but what if I want to save an amount each month and track how much we spend up to a maximum amount.  When I set is as a goal, it keeps wanting me to save more to reach that goal, but that goal is the maximum I want all year.  Make sense?

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  • Have you tried the spending goal by date? It will show you the maximum you can spend each month assuming equal spending each month. Obviously, if you need to spend more on a specific month, and you can budget for that, you can budget more and the goal will reset the next month to a new amount so you don't overshoot. If you keep budgeting and spending more, it will eventually tell you, you've reached your goal for the year and don't have more to spend.

    At the opposite, if you don't want to budget as much as what the goal tells you to budget this month, then don't. The next month the goal will recalculate a new maximum (higher obviously). Keep in mind goals are indications not obligations and that's why the available is yellow and not red.

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  • A Spend-By Date goal will do what you want.

    However, I would suggest that not necessarily a wise thing to do. If you spend more than is in the plan, that's a sign that is more important than originally thought. You should be moving money from a lower priority category -- that's just common sense.

    The kicker is that next month the goal suggests less in an attempt to keep the yearly total the same. My take is that the lowest priority should again take the hit. If that's the category that was originally overspent, that's fine, but IME, it usually isn't. That Goal mandates lower contributions toward something that was just demonstrated to be important enough to change the plan!

    Furthermore, that plan, and indeed the yearly total, is likely to have been established months before and is therefore likely to be out of sync with your CURRENT priorities.

    I would use a monthly funding goal and not be afraid to change it as I better understand my ever-changing priorities.

    Best of luck whichever choice you make.

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  • I would use a monthly funding goal and then stick to the amount that's actually in the category with no compromises. This works better than setting an annual goal that can be deficit spent, because the money's gotta come from somewhere.  So if you don't have enough in there, you have to wait until you do. This does help teach some self restraint, which is a useful skill for other budget categories.

    I currently have 7+ months and my wife has 5+ months worth of money in our personal spending categories at the moment.

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