To be Budgeted does not go negative

I get paid twice a month. My To be budgeted number was +254.00 ( I hadn't decided where to allocate it to yet.) 

Payroll contacted me to day one of my direct deposits did not go through two weeks ago and it would be made up next payday. My bank account rejected it.

I deleted it from my register for the account it did not deposit to. The amount deposited was supposed to be about $1700. I deleted it and expected the To Be Budgeted number to go negative. It had $254 in it, minus the check that did not clear -$1700=What I expected to be -$1446 in my To Be Budgeted amount and it would turn red.

It instead went to $0.00 When I added a test amount of $1700 the To be Budgeted amount went back to the original $254.

Why didn't the number go negative in the current Month?

 

Thanks, Roger

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  • Check the TBB in December.

    Like
  • I checked a couple of months out and they were all $0... I would have expected a negative number not only in Nov, but also the following months. Thanks

    Like
      • nolesrule
      • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Beige Barnacle Is that as far out into the future that you have money budgeted?

      Like 1
  • No it goes a lot farther. Do you suppose it goes negative in a later month? Let me do some more checking

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  • There it is. I am surprised it is not negative right away.

    Like
      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 1 mth ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Beige Barnacle This is a long-lamented quirk of the software informally known as Stealing From The Future. The software assumes that if you budget more money than you have, you intend to take it from the furthest-out month that you have budgeted so it rolls the negative forward all the way to that month.

      Like 4
  • Hi, there! Vibrant is right. If you have money Budgeted in Future, you are actually pulling from that number when To be Budgeted drops below zero in the current month. 

    To give a bit more clarity: when To be Budgeted this month is $0 and you have money Budgeted in Future, if you budget additional dollars, it's like saying, "I know I budgeted this money next month, but I'm changing my mind. I'm going to budget it this month instead." If you switch over to next month's budget (or the furthest month you've budgeted), you'll see you're over budget there.

    We know this can be confusing and we're looking at ways to make it more prominent that you are taking from Budgeted in Future. For now, the best way to handle fixing this is to reduce the amount you have assigned to categories in the furthest months so you are no longer overbudgeted.

    Like
  • The approach many veterans use is to not budget past the current month, for this and other reasons. Any money meant for next month goes in a holding category until the end of the month. Financial cushion is achieved with an Income Replacement category rather than budgeting out the next 6-8 months. Priorities and bills change, and I'd rather not set myself up for all that busywork to change all those budgeted months.

    Like 7
  • Dela said:
    when To be Budgeted this month is $0 and you have money Budgeted in Future, if you budget additional dollars, it's like saying, "I know I budgeted this money next month, but I'm changing my mind. I'm going to budget it this month instead." If you switch over to next month's budget (or the furthest month you've budgeted), you'll see you're over budget there.

     What an unintuitive assumption. 

    See, when I first started YNAB, I put money in the future month so that it would for sure STAY THERE, and I could adjust within the current month. This would have ensured my high priorities were funded (groceries before getting paid again > fun/charity/savings/debt paydown) first. That's what the YNAB educational materials told me to do. 

    Alas, there were a number of times I had to shuffle things around last minute, not understanding that the extra $ spent out of my falsely funded lower priority categories was the reason I didn't have grocery money.

    It's too bad the warning isn't shown right away, because there have been several people I know personally who were bitten and turned off of the software. After that, when I started saying, "It's great, you just have to watch out for XYZ..." they weren't interested in trying something with that complexity.

    It's really not a hard concept, though, so it's too bad it's presented that way in the UI. 

    Why on Earth would you go look at the furthest month out of you thought you'd set it already? I've only seen that advice on the forum, which I didn't read at all my first 6 months of using the software.

    Again. Unintuitive. 

    Like 1
  • This has caught me twice now. I wish I would have remembered it from the first time. As an example I have some extra $, and the plan is to use it on replacing shingles in 5 years. This is under the Future Spending/Shingles catagory. As well as some other long term spending goals. I want to have those dollars accounted for so I dont see a big pile of dollars and go buy a fishing boat because I forget the money was earmarked.  

    Maybe there is a better way, Just keep it in a month out budget.

    Thanks for all the replys

    Like
    • Roger Make a separate category for the shingles.

      Like 1
      • Roger
      • Dirt Farmer
      • Beige_Barnacle.6
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life I di, but it is in an envelope for Jun 2026. Keeps my mits out of it

      Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Roger Are you saying that you have a category called Jun 2026 or you have actually budgeted out all the way to June 2026. If it is the latter, that is just not practical. You say it keeps your hands off that money, except that it doesn't. Any time any single one of your categories is overspent, then every single other category - even those budgeted in the future - is inherently inaccurate.

      Like 1
      • Roger
      • Dirt Farmer
      • Beige_Barnacle.6
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      jenmas I need a better way then. Back to YouTube I go. I have a catagory called Shingles that is fully funded in June 2026. Seems to work until I have a problem like I did described at the first of this thread.

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Roger The money should be budgeted to the category now, not in the future. You keep your mitts out of it by not using it to cover overspending.

      Alternatively, it seems like you are fully funded 6 years too soon. Why is that? Could that money be better served funding other things now, and you just add to it every month so you can reach the target by June 2026? What makes it such a huge priority that it needs to be fully funded so far in advance?

      Like 2
      • RocketBran
      • rocketbran
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule Agreed. You plan to spend the money in the future, but you've allocated those dollars now. It should sit in a category until the time comes.

      Budgeting those into the future gives you an inaccurate depiction of your current allocations. You can have 10k in the bank, but looking at all your categories only adds up to 5k. If you don't remember you budgeted the other 5k in the future, you can go mad trying to figure out what your current money is actually set aside for. That's why I am staunchly on team budget-all-dollars-in-the-same-month-you-get-them, and use holding categories if you have to. You can also "clean slate" at any time by resetting available amount to $0 for all categories in the current month, and your TBB will match your cash on hand.

      Like 2
    • Aquamarine Rhythm I'm also a strong proponent of not splitting up my plan/budget across months. 

      The ONLY time a $0 TBB is guaranteed to be accurate is if Budgeted In Future is $0.

      (Naturally, I keep both at $0 until the end of the month.)

      Like
      • Roger
      • Dirt Farmer
      • Beige_Barnacle.6
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I am in a different spot than some. I am a saver with a lot of grey on my head. I moved from Mvelopes where I had been saving up for long term purchases. No kids at home, no car payments, no mortgage. So I can have a pile of cash waiting to be spent on when the roof goes bad. That way I don't have to set a new goal a year or two out and really stress my income.

      Like
      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 1 mth ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Roger No one is telling you not to set the money aside. We’re saying, if it is here now, budget it now. I have loads of money to be used years from now. It is budgeted in my YNAB budget now. 

      The “oh I want to do it this other way because I have much more money than you” move isn’t a good move on this board. It’s not usually the case.  Most people who use YNAB well over time become high net worth individuals pretty quickly, so any long term user giving advice is likely to have quite a bit set aside. We’re telling you to do it this way because it’s the best way to do it. 

      Like 5
      • Roger
      • Dirt Farmer
      • Beige_Barnacle.6
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor I apologize for my words. I am trying to learn from all of you that are here willing to help. I think after the holidays I will rework the budget so any big piles are in the current month. Makes a lot of sense to do it that way.

      Happy Thanksgiving

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Roger I'm in the same boat/spot. Listen to WordTenor  , she knows what she's talking about!

      Like 2
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Roger Happy Thanksgiving! Don't think of it as being in the current month. Just that it is in the category for your entire budget for all months. I have a fully funded 6 month EF, a highly funded Car Replacement fund, and a stuffed full Vacation fund due to lack of any vacations during the pandemic, and many more under my Savings master category.

      Like 2
    • nolesrule
    • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
    • nolesrule
    • 1 mth ago
    • 5
    • Reported - view
    Move Light Sound Life said:
    What an unintuitive assumption.

     This has been my crusade for 5 years, yet here we are. 🤷‍♂️

    Like 5
  • I can redo it so the money is in a budget item in the current month. I like haveing my age of money building up so I hate to restart but I will probably work on it after the holidays. Stay safe out there,

    Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 1 mth ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Moving your money around does not require you to start over. Age of money is only impacted by outgoing cash-based transactions so reallocations have zero impact on AOM. 

      Like 4
      • Roger
      • Dirt Farmer
      • Beige_Barnacle.6
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      jenmas ok, I thought I might just restart the budget so I could change it quicker

      Like
    • Roger Adjusting two budget entries IS the quickest way.

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  • In my example I had one catagory that was funded clear till 2026. For simplicity I described it that way. 

    I have several that run into 2026. Is there an easy way to "Unbudget" those months?

    Like
    • Roger Click on the category budget entry, hit the delete key, click on the next month button. Repeat.

      Like
      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Roger There’s no one click operation for all of the future budgeting. You’ll need to go to each month in the future and click “remove all budgeted amounts” (I think that’s the wording. I’m on my iPad right now.) Presumably in order to have reached 2026 you’ve budgeted at least a little in each month between now and then, so you’ll have to do that for each month. 
       

      Then you’ll come back to Nov 2020 and budget the TBB which will now be there to zero, moving money into “shingles” and other categories as appropriate. 

      Like
  • I am working the night shift tonight with access to YNAB. If we are not busy, I know what I will be doing. Thanks

    Like 2
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