"Need for spending" goal doesn't consider available balance
I'm trying to create a "need for spending" goal to account for my YNAB subscription which comes due every September. When I create the goal, add the cost of my subscription, and set the due date to be September 2021 (repeat every 1 year), it says I've funded $0 even though the available balance in the category is $41. Why doesn't the goal recognize the existing available balance as funds towards the new goal?
I just hit the same issue. I got some last month's work expenses reimbursed, bringing this month's "available" way above the spending target. I'm not going to spend that much this month (that's why the target is lower!) so I tried to reduce my "assigned" by the reimbursed amount. When I did that, YNAB complained that I'm underfunded, even though I still had my target's worth of money available.
It looks like this happens if you try to create goals in a future month. I'm not sure I understand the logic here on why that would be the case, but if I delete the goal I was setting up in August (due date in September) and recreate the exact same goal in July, it works just fine. Anyone have an explanation?
Sky Blue Crab said:
If that is true, am I supposed to wait until the next month starts before assigning dollars to categories with goals? If I assign them before the month starts, I might rollover dollars from the previous month and end up over-funding a category.
And now we come to the crux of the how YNAB walls/doesn't wall off months is weird. As I understand it, Needed for Spending does not take into account previous month's available amount. Target Spending by <Date> does.
E.g., my Needed for Spending for groceries is $50 weekly. YNAB doesn't count that as fully funded in August unless I put in the full amount, even though I still have two weeks left of money in July. However, my Target Spending by <Date> for my Prime account is counting as fully funded in August, even though it was due and the available is now empty in July. (I'm assuming the latter will reset on Aug 1 - there seem to be a number of issues with the repeating version of that target.)
Many people do wait until the month rolls over to assign dollars to categories (both with and without targets). They create a category called "income for next month" and park the money they will use for the future month there until the month rolls over. That creates an artificial wall, and avoids the weirdness of YNAB targets.
Fuzzball Meows said:
Needed for Spending does not take into account previous month's available amount. Target Spending by <Date> does.
So actually, they both do. The difference is that the Target by Date calculates any changes in real time, like the rest of the software. The Needed for Spending waits to calculate anything until the month turns over.