Your Budget Just Got Better!

Well, hello there, fellow YNABers! We have exciting news today…🎉

After many moons and many iterations, then re-iterations, we got a glow up! We’ve made some significant changes to the First Time User Experience, as well as some upgrades to YNAB as a whole—mobile and web. Check out our blog post for the whole story

 

While this update affects the new user experience drastically, there are also some changes to YNAB as a whole. The most obvious of these changes being to the verbiage—we hope these new terms will help clarify many questions that new users often have. 

  • To be Budgeted is now Ready to Assign

  • The Budgeted column is now the Assigned column

  • Goals are now Targets

  • Overbudgeted is now Overassigned

  • Quick Budget is now Auto-Assign

Perhaps the most exciting of all changes is the Stealing From the Future alert! When you have overassigned money in a future month, you’ll now see an alert in the inspector: 

 

For all the details, take a peek at this Help Doc. As you explore the changes, our team would love to know your thoughts. Your feedback is always appreciated!

And a big thank you to our Forum folks who were part of the Alpha and Beta groups. 

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  • I like the new changes! One issue I do have is that clicking "Reduce overfunding" does a blanket change. I can go into "Recent moves" and see what changed (thank you for that), but I would really like the option to preview what "Reduce overfunding" will do before it happens. For example, I have an extra $200 in my gifts category this month, because some extra occasions came up. Reducing overfunding takes that out. It's accurate in some categories, but not in others, and I'd like the option to see a list of checkboxes of what YNAB thinks is underfunded so I can override it.

    Like 2
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      kbgroover Agreed. I ended up changing some of my Target types because of this.

      Like
    • kbgroover Thanks for this feedback - I've definitely run into this in my own budget, too! Would you be up for getting in touch with our product team with your request? 

      Like
  • Marisa said:
    For now, a good workaround would be to also add a target to that category for the amount that includes the scheduled transaction.

     I wouldn't call that a good work around. So every time I update my scheduled transaction, I also have to update the Target amount? That would be a great thing to automate. Well, for starters I guess I will add Targets to these variable categories. At least it'll budget something there by default.

    Like 1
    • Superbone Ah yes - it does add a layer of extra work! I'm sorting out how to manage these in my own budget as well.

      Like 1
  • Seems like I asked for auto assign and poo poo’d… but you get a pass and a 🙌 because it looks smarter than Simple (progress bars are welcomed too) 

    Like
  • ❓does the new platform for mobile mean that API development will change? 

    Like
    • Black cat Hmmm - can you be more specific? I'll check once I better understand your question!

      Like 1
      • Black cat
      • Blue_Stallion.6
      • 5 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Marisa geek question…the video mentioned that the platform was rewritten to use a different language that can be supported across devices instead of having to support multiple releases. There is a library of YNAB and user developed api integrations. I’m wondering if those are affected. There is one I want to use. If not when would documentation be published? 

      Like
    • Black cat Jumping in here with an answer informed by the dev team 😆! YNAB's API was already using the cross-platform framework, so it hasn't been affected by the update. Some API properties use old terminology, e.g. to_be_budgeted, but there are no current plans to change those (because that would break existing integrations).

      The Works with YNAB list should still be working as expected, so feel free to use any of those with your budget!

      Like 1
      • tekgy
      • Neuroscience & Technology
      • tekgy
      • 4 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Rachel awesome! Thanks! 🤩

      Like 1
      • Black cat
      • Blue_Stallion.6
      • 4 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Rachel great, thank you!

      Like 1
  • Hi, 

    In the Accounts view on Android can you make negative balances (i.e. credit cards) show in red rather than black please? Makes more sense to me that when I'm "in the red" it shows in red. 

    Dave

    Like
    • Thanks for that feedback, @Dave Allen! We decided to make that change after finding many folks (especially those with a lot of debt) found all of that red discouraging. We're not here to shame anyone and want to encourage folks to make progress in a way that fits for them.  Positive balances are green, so debt is now shown in a more neutral black.

      That said we know that it isn't a change that fits everyone's expectations! If you have more details on your preferences than what you've shared here, could you send those over as a Feature Request?
       

      Like
  • In the new release of the iOS app, is it possible to see by how much and entire month is underfunded? I like to take a look at the upcoming month and see how much the total month is underfunded by to be a month ahead.

    Like
    • Breau Those budget-wide options on mobile have been removed in the most recent update, but they are still available on the web! Our team is looking at ways to re-incorporate that information back into the mobile app without increasing confusion for newer YNABers 👍🏻

      Like 1
  • Marisa said:
    We decided to make that change after finding many folks (especially those with a lot of debt) found all of that red discouraging.

     Why does YNAB think it is better to sugar coat reality?  Negative account balances should show red to get your attention, that is the point.  YNAB used to advocate hard core budgeting principles, it seems like it is more concerned with feelings now.  Reflecting reality could help someone be more proactive in tackling debt.

    Like 5
    • ynaber2613 Reflecting reality could also cause people who find it discouraging to quit, because it feels like they'll never get the red to go away. Because emotions are so tied up into how we use/think about/manage money, having something that's discouraging can make people avoid doing that thing - even if they intellectually know it would help.  It's a balancing act - I'm guessing (hoping) that YNAB is responding to behavior, rather than just "it's discouraging."

      (YNAB, if you're not basing it on behavior and just basing it on "it's discouraging," then I'm adding my voice to wanting the red back.)

      Like 3
      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 4 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Fuzzball Meows I haven’t yet noticed where red doesn’t appear where it otherwise used to, but I believe you all it changed and I’ll come across it eventually. But to your point, shouldn’t red be something important to stare a new user in the face? I mean, yellow/orange is one thing, I’ve had months not even that long ago which could be mostly orange (or toolkit blue) for 3 weeks, but red is like, dude that money is GONE and you didn’t have it.  

      I’ve read this forum long enough to learn how many new users totally freak out and unfortunately give up when they start, but my tentative opinion is that someone has to draw a hard line somewhere, and red should be pretty much it. No reason YNAB can’t even add other colors to differentiate like the toolkit’s blue, or maybe something on the red-yellow spectrum to indicate over budgeting, ugh assigning, vs. real cash overspending. I dunno, just my morning thoughts.

      Like
      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 4 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      ynaber2613 I have such a strong memory of my first months using YNAB3 in 2009 and realizing after immutable bills are paid, we have about $25-$50 to eat out for the month, when we were spending at least $500.  That really hurt. I remember scrounging up a bunch of coupons to divvy up some take out sandwiches so we could have a night without cooking. I felt like some kind of money warrior, and for YEARS after that every extra penny of income (usually my unloading of junk on eBay) went straight towards Restaurants because I really like to eat.

      I still budgeted myself into a bunch of holes over the years, but I never had this budgeting nervous breakdown so many now seem to have. Makes me wonder what changed along the way… people? Societal expectations? The economy? Or just the software and on boarding approach?  Shower thoughts for me…hmmm. 

      Like 2
      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 4 days ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Black is a positive number. Red is a negative number. It's a standard markup convention. Why reinvent the wheel over feelings?

      Like 4
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 days ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I agree with you but have you been paying attention to the younger generations? This is apparently the new way. Everybody gets a trophy. Also, apparently, nobody is in debt. They are just savings challenged. 😉

      Like 6
      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 4 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Superbone if everybody gets a trophy, I want the Stanley Cup.

      Like 2
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 days ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule Too soon. Let's not go there. My team that I've been following for my entire life just missed out on the Larry O'Brien trophy after a rare Finals appearance (3rd time in 53 seasons). Is one championship in my lifetime too much to ask for?

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 4 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone can't win em all... although my teams have won two Stanley Cups and a Lombardi Trophy in the last year. Stanley is more impressive though.

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 days ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I guess I need more teams in the mix. I've only got the one team that I follow. Oh, well. It took the Cubs 108 years between championships. Just gives me a good reason for longevity. It's all about the journey. At least that's what I keep telling myself. 😄

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 4 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Superbone I have one college, one NFL team, one NHL team, one MLB team (which may go halvsies with Canada) and no NBA team.

      Like 1
      • ynaber2613
      • ynaber2613
      • 2 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Annieland On the iPhone mobile app in the accounts view negative account values show up as black with a negative sign, positive shows up as green.  The web app still shows red for negative but I'm sure they will cater to the weak minded and change red to black to avoid discouraging them.   My view is reflect reality to encourage discipline in budgeting not avoid discouraging someone.

      Edit: I have my credit card accounts set up as checking accounts so I'm not sure if this behavior is the same if they are setup as credit card accounts, I liked the YNAB 4 method of handling credit cards better.

      Like 1
      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 2 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      ynaber2613 Ah, so it’s accounts, got it.

      And I totally agree. It’s the older crowd and parents who I think are on the side of reality :). Don’t forget the play-dough and crayons for those rooms. 

      Like 2
    • ynaber2613 Good point.  Facts don't, "reality" doesn't care about feelings.

      Like 1
      • ynaber2613
      • ynaber2613
      • 2 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Annieland LOL, you must have read my post before I edited the cry room comment out.  I removed it to avoid offending anyone, does that make me a coddler now too?

      Like 1
      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 2 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      ynaber2613 Bahahh that’s so meta. You deleted a lighthearted joke not to offend the even lighter hearted. So that would be a yes from me, dawg. 

      Like 2
    • nolesrule Not only are those standard conventions, but in my app it shows these numbers with colors:

      Total Amount in Budget = Black (positive)
      Credit Cards = Black (negative)
      Bank Accounts = Green (positive)

      Negative transactions within accounts show Black.
      Negative numbers while editing the transaction show Red (thank goodness, it's already a pain to select/toggle the field in splits on mobile).

      Positive transactions within accounts show Green.
      Positive numbers while editing the transaction show Green.

      The pattern isn't consistent here...

      The thing is, red and black are easier colors to see on a white background, but they're also easier to distinguish between each other than green and red.  I can only assume that YNAB, like me, doesn't really want our budgets to look like garish Christmas colors all year (forest green and deep red are beautiful, but anything brighter is not for me), which is why they chose to nix the red.  Oh, wait... Surely those who may have more difficulty distinguishing between green and red when only one color is juxtaposed with black would prefer relying on the standard convention.

      P.S. I am all for scaffolding and meeting people where they are, but if that scaffolding must be applied to everyone, regardless of whether it's appropriate, then maybe YNAB really should think of beginner/normal/advanced modes.  If you want to see how an app has done that really successfully, I would be happy to point to an example.

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • yesterday
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life Interesting. I’m looking at my iPad YNAB app right now and the only colors in the Accounts screen are green and white on a dark background. Positive account balances and transactions are green and negative account balances and transactions are white.

      But then the total Budget balance and total Tracking balance (positive balances) are also white. Strange.

      Like
    • Superbone Haha, you're right - the inverse is true on a dark background. White and green are easier to see, whereas red is... almost dizzying, somehow. 

      I use dark mode for a lot of things, but not YNAB for that reason. The funny thing is that my husband likes the dark mode on his web app, and I don't, so we get to play the Don't Let It Refresh game when we're having the budget meeting. Oh, and we get to change that setting each time a new person (on the other device) looks at the web app.

      Regardless, my mobile device doesn't seem to have a dark mode available (there's color inversion, but it makes my background picture scary, so no) and YNAB took the local option away, so I couldn't use dark mode on YNAB app if I wanted (without destroying my background picture, which is a higher priority).

      Like 1
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