Negative amount in Budgeted column-Why?

I have been using YNAB for a few months now and have noticed that when I need to move money from one category to another to cover overspending or maybe rethinking my amounts for things, I end up with a negative number showing. Why is that? And if I add money to that category then I get a positive amount in the Available category that is the negative number plus whatever money I've added. That makes no sense to me. I have not seen an explanation of this in the videos either. I tried to ask on a webinar and they blew me off and said to contact support, however this seems like a fundamental part of the system that I don't understand, not a problem or bug per se. 

Any help or links to explanations of why this works this way would be appreciated! Thank you!

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  • I believe I understand your question and I'll do my best to answer it. Please forgive me if I also go over stuff you already know.

    If a category has an amount in your [available] column that is greater than the amount in the [budgeted] column (you'd get this often if you have money "leftover" from the previous month) then you can either ADD or SUBTRACT from the budgeted column. This is what happens when you use a category to cover overspending with another category.

    Let's say I have $35 Available that is leftover from last month in my Entertainment category and I haven't budgeted any this month. If I overspend by $12 in my Fuel category I'd have available -$12. YNAB's "Cover this overspending with" feature can SUBTRACT $12 from Entertainment and ADD $12 to Fuel. This will show -$12 budgeted for entertainment only because I had not budgeted anything yet. If I had already budgeted $5 for Entertainment (giving me $40 available) it would show -$7 budgeted.

    I like to think of the three columns (Budgeted, Activity, Available) as (My Plan, My Actions, My Result). If my actions don't go according to my plan I must tweak that plan to leave a balanced ($0) or positive result.

     

    I hope this helps, I'm sorry if it's not clear yet. I'd be happy to make you a video explaining this tomorrow. For now, I must get some sleep. Let me know if you still need some help!

    Goodnight.

    Reply Like 2
    • Michael  My issue is trying to understand why I have a negative number in the budgeted column in the first place? And why when I add a + dollar amount do I get the sum of both now appearing in the Available column as a positive number? I'm guessing this has to do with the status of the money as you have mentioned which is if it was carried over from last month as it does not appear to happen with current budgeting. It's very confusing and I wish they had a specific video showing how and why this happens. 

      Reply Like
    • Michael Maybe I will have to make a video too so you can see what is happening to see if it lines up with your example? I would like to see yours to see if it is the same thing. I'm not seeing this issue in December yet.

      Reply Like 4
      • Michael
      • I desire to inspire.
      • thepawnwithaplan
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
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      Slate Gray Sound (11dc3b5c9d37) Please do show me what has happened/is happening so I can better understand your situation. I will also try to better explain myself in a video as well.

      Reply Like 1
  • I think what you are wanting to see is the changes made in the budgeted cell this month, what was added, then reduced, and what was withdrawn from total category balance. YNAB just displays the final result.

     

    Another of my long-winded examples as a means of explanation

    On the first of the month I budget my monthly amount of $50 to clothing, bringing the category amount to $500. I've been budgeting $50 every month and haven't gone shopping for 9 months.

    The next day, I run into a change-of-plans scenario that requires I free up $100 extra dollars from anywhere in my budget quickly for an entertainment expense because I have zero left in entertainment. I begin looking at my categories.  Hmmm. Clothing seems like a category I can reduce by $100 and still have adequate funds for my immediate clothing needs. I won't take it from my emergency funds for a non-emergency expense.  I move $100 from clothing to entertainment.  This results in a -$50 in the budgeted column. 

    +$50 (originally budgeted this month) - $100 (moved) = -$50

    Not only did I not add $50 to clothing, I actually pulled out $50 previously added to the category in another month. My new category balance now reads $400.  ($500 - $50(not added this month afterall) - $50 more (for the $100 I needed)

    Because the budgeted amount is negative, it's like an ATM withdrawal. It withdraws $50 from the category balance I've been building. 

    Reply Like 3
    • HappyDance  Yes, This is what happens, however,  when I add money back to the category I see the available change. In your example, let's say two days later I am able to add $50 back into the clothing category, I would see in my Available column $100 added! How is that possible if I only added $50 to the category?

      Reply Like 1
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Slate Gray Sound (11dc3b5c9d37) 

      Okay, got you.

      If I took a hundred out of an envelope, and I want to add $50 back, the envelope is still down by $50 from the original amount before I took out the hundred.

      So, if you have a -$50 in the column, and you want to add $50 back.....

      -$50 +$50 = 0

      Manually change the entry from -$50 to zero.

      OR click on the cell, press [end] + 50  (also works to multiply *, divide /, subtract -, or add +, remember to use the [end] first.]

      Or use the move money tool (MMT) to move $50 from any other category or To Be Budgeted (TBB) header to the desired category.

      Reply Like 1
  • The budgeted column number simply reflects how much you have added or removed from a category via budgeting in a given month.

    The activity column shows how much you have spent from the category via transactions in a given month.

    The available column shows how much you currently have available to spend in that category in a given month.

    Reply Like 4
    •   My confusion comes from when I try to add back in money to the category. It made no sense what was happening to the Available column.

      Reply Like 3
  • I  am just trying out YNAB and hit his issue.  The thread above just does not answer the question.  I have been a Finance Director for 30 years so cant quite believe I cant fathom why YNAB is trying to do.

     

    All I really want to do now is ZERO everything in YNAB except the transaction history which has all my categories so I can start again with the budget bit.  There seems to be no option to do this so I wont carry on after trail.  Fancy graphics and animations but unusuable help.

    Reply Like 1
    • Turquoise Chef (48c9ef460958)  Yes. I am a bit disappointed in the support.

      Reply Like
      • Michael
      • I desire to inspire.
      • thepawnwithaplan
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
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      Turquoise Chef (48c9ef460958) I think I might have a better understanding of the issue you are experiencing. I'm hoping to get the opportunity to make a video explanation that will help clarify this.

      Reply Like 1
      • kayjenx
      • Debt Ninja Trainee
      • kayjenx
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
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      Turquoise Chef (48c9ef460958) If this confuses you then try this.

      Budgeted is -$50 you now got some money in your "To be budgeted" and want to add it back. Click on the amount in "to be budgeted" and move $50 (or whatever you want) to the category with -$50.

       

      Basically a negative in the budgeted column means you did not budget anything this month but rather used funds that you already had carried over from a previous month. 

      Reply Like 1
      • BajaChica
      • Purple_Memory.1
      • 1 yr ago
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      • Reported - view

      kayjenx so that means it’s ok to have a negative budgeted amount in a category? I’ve just encountered this same problem. And don’t like seeing that negative amount. I had money left over from previous month and used some of it in the current month without budgeting anything new and I still have “available” funds in that category but it shows negative budgeted amount. 

      Reply Like 1
    • Hi BajaChica !

      A negative in the Budgeted column is okay! It just means you moved funds out of that category. So, if you have $50 Available in a category and enter -$20 in the Budgeted column, you're taking $20 out of that category. Your Budgeted column would say -$20, your Available column would say $30, and there'd be $20 in your To Be Budgeted (if you use the move money option, the $20 will go directly to whichever category you selected).

      Reply Like 1
      • kayjenx
      • Debt Ninja Trainee
      • kayjenx
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      BajaChica yes, it's fine. It just means you used money from a category for something else. In all honesty, I like it because if you have a $50 monthly funding goal in that category it would remind you that hey you took 20 out so now you need to put $70 in there to get it back on track.  To me I treat the negative as like I am borrowing from that category. so it lets me know how much I have to put back.

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      • Ryan Hipp
      • hipphop
      • 1 yr ago
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      kayjenx I reallllly don’t like that. If I budget $300 for groceries and at the end of month I have $25 left over, and I soend that by moving it to Entertainment, YNAB now thinks I have to budget $325 to get back on track. That doesn’t seem right. It should still stay $300 wetger I have anything keft over or not. Especially if I want to know how much I need to put in regardless of if I spent any surplus.

      Reply Like 1
    • Hi Ryan Hipp !

      Are you using a Category Balance by Date goal? I'm not sure what you mean by needing to budget more to get back on track. If you have a Monthly Funding Goal, it will always prompt you to budget the same amount - whether there's a surplus or not.

      Reply Like
    • Faness Hi there. In this case, it is a monthly goal. So, ket’s say I have $300 per month set as a gial for Groceries, and at the start if the new month, I have $25 left, but gave not budgeted anything yet for the new month. If I move $15 of that $25 to Entertainment, instead of my monthly gial renaining $300, it will be $315, because it subtracts as a negative -$15. So when I write “back on track”, I am refering to the requirement that I would have to recover that $15 to start at a 0.00 starring point when I budget for this month’s groceries.

      Reply Like
    • Ryan Hipp Ah, got it! In this case, it's best to adjust the amount of those categories before the month rolls over. If you move that $25 left in July, then August will be $0 and the goal won't need to be adjusted. :)

      Reply Like 2
      • Ryan Hipp
      • hipphop
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness ahh that is actually a great fix. Thank you. I can just move it To Be Budgeted and then put into savings or For Fun to reward myself for underspending. Thanks fir the tipz

      Reply Like 1
      • kayjenx
      • Debt Ninja Trainee
      • kayjenx
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
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      Ryan Hipp Yes, sorry this is what i do. Actually, sometimes I cheat. IF I have extra funds and don't really need it in that category & I don't want my YNAB to nag me to put it back & I have to use it for something else, then I skip back to last month and move it to the other category (it's like time travel) lol

      Reply Like 2
      • Ryan Hipp
      • hipphop
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
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      kayjenx  that is a great recomnendation!

      Reply Like 1
  • Hi Slate Gray Sound and Turquoise Chef ,
    Michael is definitely on the right track with his explanation! The negative number happens because you've subtracted the budgeted amount. If there wasn't anything budgeted to that category in the first place (as in, the funds rolled over to a new month so only the Available field has an amount), then moving those funds subtracts from the $0 budgeted and gives you a negative amount. Here's a video showing what this looks like in the budget. Does that look like what you're seeing? 

    And HappyDance dance is spot on! If you use in-line calculations to add a new budgeted amount, things should add up correctly in the Available field. 

    Turquoise Chef , can you tell me a little more about wanting to zero everything out? Is it because it's a new month or was there something else going on? I'd love to help. 

    Reply Like 3
    • Janelle at YNAB Yes, that is what I see. I did not understand what what happening when I added some budgeted dollars back to the category though. The Available column was showing a number that did not make sense.

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      • WordTenor
      • Arranged the menu, the venue, the seating.
      • WordTenor
      • 2 yrs ago
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      The cell shows you the net of what you've budgeted this month. So if you remove 100 and then add 50, it will show you removed 50. 

      Reply Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Slate Gray Sound (11dc3b5c9d37) Did you start in November and now you're looking at December?

       

      Current month available = Last month available +/- Budgeted +/- Activity.

      It's not clear what you mean by "added some budgeted dollars back to the category".  What exactly were you doing?

      Reply Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Janelle at YNAB I'm a bit surprised they are still using the inline calculator in the Budgeted cells (and still haven't added any calculator for transaction money entry) rather than using a visual calculator widget that responds to keyboard commands like YNAB4 has. I think that would make it a little more intuitive to use.

      Reply Like
    • Janelle at YNAB  I'm new to YNAB (in my trial) and I really like it. But I'm challenged with negative numbers. In the reports, Spending, it shows my income as a negative. I've tried several times in the forum looking for an answer but to no avail. I wonder if you could help me understand.  Thanks.  Sandy

      Reply Like
      • Ben
      • Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer
      • furiousfalcon
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 3
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      Powder Blue Mainframe (c2889e00798a) Make sure when you're adding income transactions, you are categorizing them as "Inflow: To Be Budgeted", not directly to a category. Otherwise, YNAB doesn't count it as income, and counts it instead as a negative expense (like a refund on a previous purchase).

      Reply Like 3
    • Powder Blue Mainframe , 
      Ben makes an excellent point! How do you typically enter your income transactions? 

      Reply Like
    • Janelle at YNAB I'm sorry it took so long to get back to you. I happened to find one of the ynab people on FB and she walked me thru. What a difference it makes when I do something correctly....lol. Really like ynab and check in every day. 

      Reply Like
    • Powder Blue Mainframe So glad to hear that! :D 

      Reply Like 1
  • I guess what is causing this confusion for new user is that we get different experience in budgeting for the first time and the following month where there is a positive rollover in category. Let me illustrate using the scenario below and be advised that this is going to be a long winded one.

    When I first started using YNAB in January, I understand the workflow pretty well, paycheck comes in to ‘TBB’, plan for your budget and give every dollar a job, and the task is done when ‘TBB’ reached zero. The objective is clear, I plan ahead the budget and allocating them to categories e.g. Food, Fuel, Entertainment etc. and I see clearly that I have budgeted $100 for entertainment for my spending in Jan until the next paycheck.

    Now comes February, all figures in the budgeted column reset to zero and since I am getting paid on the 15th, I am still spending my paycheck in January and I don’t plan to do budget until I receive my paycheck on the 15th. Due to busy work life I didn’t get to spend my $100 in Entertainment, and I decided to move this to cover my overspent in Shopping category, now, the figure in the budget column of Entertainment has now changed to $-100, the available column is zero.

    Fast forward to 15th, my pay day, I received them and put it in TBB, I am ready to start budgeting, and I plan to continue to allocate $100 to Entertainment, now here is where people like me get confused, the first month is clear, I budget $100 for Entertainment, and I assigned $100 to the Budgeted column, and I can see it is showing $100 in that column, but for February, since I moved the rollover $100 to shopping, I see $-100 in the budgeted column, 2 problems occur, the first one being if I overwrite that $-100 with $100, the available amount will show $200. The second problem has no relation to the first one, in this scenario, I move the amount directly from ‘TBB’ to Entertainment, now, I can see the Available amount is showing the correct budget of $100, however, the budgeted column will show zero since $-100 + $100 = 0. The creates the confusion whereby it didn’t show what I plan (budgeted) for Entertainment on February 15th, in my mind it was clear that I budgeted $100 for it, but when reading from the budgeted column it’s saying zero, and this is where I have a difference in experience compared to January where the budget column shows exactly what I budgeted.

    I agree that the available amount is showing the correct budgeted amount, in the above scenario it’s showing $100, but I just find it hard to grasp and keep track of the actual amount that I plan for in February since the budgeted column is showing zero.

    Could someone advise if we should have a different angle to understand the logic behind so that it would make sense?

    Reply Like 2
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 yr ago
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      Slate Blue Sidewinder 

      In your example of an unspent $100 in entertainment needed for another category.... there is nothing stopping you from going back to last month and moving that $100 you reserved for entertainment (then never used) to the shopping category where the extra $100 was more urgently needed instead.

      I used to do that in my first few months of working with YNAB. The negative in the budget column initially caused me some confusion and too much mental math, so I would slip back into the previous month to revise my plan there. After 3.5 years of consistent YNAB use, I don't need to do that anymore, but it's a reasonable option that will keep negative numbers out of your current month's numbers. If you do this, just make sure you use the move money tool rather than manual entry in a past month and cover any negatives to make sure you only affect last month's total budgeted.

      Reply Like 5
      • Ryan Hipp
      • hipphop
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance I wish there was a way you could simply click the underspent money that rolls over into the next month as a “surplus” that doesnt impact “Budgeted” column at all.

      Reply Like 1
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
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      Ryan Hipp 

      Maybe it would help if you replace the word "budget" with another. 

      For positive budget column numbers, you could use "added" or "reserved", as in I added $50 to my clothing category, or I reserved $50 for car maintenance.

      For negative budget column numbers, try using the descriptions "moved" or "reallocated", as in I moved $25 from clothing to grooming, or I reallocated $100 from vacations to car maintenance to get the car ready for our road trip.

      I know someone who has serious negative issues with the word "budget", and I started using other words when teaching her how to use YNAB so it wouldn't trigger feelings of anxiety and frustration, and I have to refer to her budget as a "money plan". It seems to have been a good idea.

      Reply Like 2
    • HappyDance 

      Reply Like
      • Ryan Hipp
      • hipphop
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
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      Ryan Hipp it not the words that are tripping me up, although I like your suggestion in general. The issue I have is that If I have a positive balance carried over, I dont feel it should be affecting the budgeted column in a negative way. If my goal is $300 per month, that shouldnt become $325 just because I started tge month with roll over and then spent from it. It should still tell me “you still need $300 fo your monthly goal” instead of adding on top of that. I am not explaining it well, but others on this page have. I have budgeted zero at start of the month. It should reset to my $300 monthly goal and anything i have left over from the previous should not impact it

      Reply Like 1
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Ryan Hipp 

      I think I understand.  If YNAB was the kind of budget that reset everything to zero at the start of each month, I suspect that what you describe would be how that could work.  But YNAB is based on the real cash in envelopes system.  The only way you can move $25 from groceries to gas is to remove $25 from your groceries envelope and add it to your gas envelope.

      I do a housekeeping sweep of a couple of my categories at the end of each month, and that kind of does what you describe (I think).  After my last expenses and final shopping trips of the month, I clean out what is remaining in all my daily living categories, and move the leftover to an administrative category that I use for fixing overspends. This allows me to start each next month with my usual allotment in things like groceries, pocket money, etc.  I've come to understand that doing this is an unnecessary process -- I could just budget less in the next month to bring the balance to it's usual amount -- but it always makes me feel like I'm saving those extra dollars not spent on groceries or whatnot, so I continue the practice.

      Reply Like 1
  • My simple explanation: you are dealing with adding and subtracting with both positive and negative numbers.  (MATH: -$100+$100=$0; But if you type in the budget column that was -$100 to +$100, you have to add $200 to do that -- there's $100 between -$100 and $0 and a SECOND $100 between $0 and $100)

    My long winded version: You are trying to use the "budgeted" column to reflect only half of what you did that month. It just frankly, doesn't work that way.  When you use money from one category to cover spending in another, it shows as a negative number in the budget column (this is to tell you that you moved money). When you go to budget your monthly $100 to that category, you have to make a choice -- (A) am I going to return this category to its "Pre-WHAMed" amount (my brains thinks of this a  category float -- like a credit card float, but within my categories) OR (B) am I going to acknowledge that I needed that $100 elsewhere and only budget the monthly $100?

         A) Then you enter +$100 in the budget category, effectively adding $200 to the category BECAUSE you are covering the January $100 you 'borrowed' and the February $100 you are budgeting.

          B) Then you set the budget category to $0 because you have effectively SPENT $100 and Budgeted $100 in the same month.  It's just that your SPENT isn't activity -- because it was re-allocated inside your budget and not to a payee.

     

    Here's another way you can think of it (though, I'd tell you on the front end that it is over complicating it):

    Following your outline -- instead of using Move Money to cover the over spend in Spending with Entertainment, split the transaction when you enter it to pull $100 from Entertainment (WARNING: This will totally screw up some of your reports). But what you will see is that the spending will stay in the activity column and your budget will reflect that you put $100 in February when you do that on the 15th.

    Reply Like 1
    • MrsBabs  Thanks for the clear illustration, I will try to go along with it in the coming month, I got too frustrated previously and I started the whole thing new. Another question that I have is, aside your option 1 and 2, can I move my positive rollover balance from the previous month back to ‘TBB’ and then assign those money to the category that I need to cover, perhaps this way it will not show negative? But uncertain if this will mess the report up. Ideas? Thanks.

      Reply Like
      • MrsBabs
      • Mrsbabs
      • 1 yr ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Sidewinder 

      I just played with your idea and it records that you move the money regardless of if you move it back to To Be Budgeted or another category.  Basically, it's going to show negative because you moved money out of that category -- to not show the negative, would not be reality (which you know YNAB is all about).

      If what you are trying to do is show that you budgeted the $100 each month, then you also have to accept that when you use that money it will show as used (spent will show up in activity and transferred will show up in negative budgeted).  I think that where's you are tripping yourself up -- you want the "Good Budgeter" Sticker for having budgeted that money to the planned category; but you don't want the "Roll with the Punches" Badge when you have to re-allocate the money.  It doesn't work like that.

      When I think of what YNAB has brought to my life, it is reality. It is not patting myself on the back for putting $100 in a specific category then spending it elsewhere; it is understanding that when I have to move that $100 I won't have it to spend on what I originally wanted to spend it on. Sometimes those are easy choices -- I have no problems moving money from dining out to entertainment to cover a movie night instead of a dinner out. Other times, it requires putting on my emotional big girl pants --- I have a HARD time pulling money from my vacation fund to cover overspending on tech toys (the boys in my house) OR clothing (totally me).   But no matter what, I'm in touch with reality -- the balance between what I intended to use my money for and what I used my money for.

       

      I hope this makes sense and I'm not trying to sound judgmental -- I just think (if I understand right) that what you want it to show you, isn't what you did that month -- and that's what you NEED to see.

      Reply Like 4
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      MrsBabs 

      Excellent post!   I agree 100%. There is no reward for having the prettiest budget!  In retrospect, I'd have to say that letting go of my OCD compulsion to have the perfect and consistent budget template from day one was one of those quirky things I just had to unlearn in order to maximize YNAB's capabilities.  In the beginning, I felt like I must be doing something wrong, but it was the rigidity of the formula I was trying to impose that wasn't flexible enough to let me deal with what was happening in my life.

      Reply Like 2
  • I'm so glad that I participated in the budgeting journey and even more thrilled to join such an active and helpful community, I will take in all your advice and i'm hopeful that next month is gonna be great! Thank you and wish you all a very nice weekend.

    Reply Like
  • I had really been struggling with this too, but I made a mental connection that might help people.

    The thing that really frustrated me after the month switched is that "Okay, I don't really care that I'm not budgeting $10 dollars for Dining Out any more that was left over from last months incorrect spending guess" -- but setting the "-10" budgeted amount to 0 raised many worse flags... And importantly, doing so showed that I suddenly had $10 more available in that category, which was absolutely not the case: that's money I don't have. I just wanted it to look like 0, like the rest of my categories, and not feel like I'm being punished for "rolling with the punches" over an arbitrary date change that has no correlation to how I spend money.

     

    This is when I realized that the column for budgeted is not only for "planning to add money to spend" but also the "plan to spend money I've saved" -- having a negative budget is totally acceptable if you plan to spend that saved money. It just shows that you've planned to reduce that savings amount this month by however much. The folks above tried to hint towards this, but it didn't ring up for me until I noticed that 0'ing out my negative budgeted amount also unexpectedly was giving me money to spend for that month.

    I now realize the negative number isn't nagging me to say "You better put that money back!" -- it's just there to say "You've planned to spend 10 you have previously saved."

    Reply Like 2
  • Because of your explanation, I finally get it!! It's like YNAB is telling me, hey, what you had leftover last month should be replaced. I need that feature!!! Right now, I'm showing negative because I had funds in a category from last month that I had to use earlier this week. When I saw negative, I came right here and searched. Now I know, when I go through my budget process that to make it so my budgeted is positive again, (which isn't mandatory but will help me feel better about the now negative category) I will have to buget what was lefy last month and try to add a bit more to keep myself on goal. I LOVE THIS! Thank you so much for your explanation Michael

    Reply Like 1
  • nolesrule said:
    The budgeted column number simply reflects how much you have added or removed from a category via budgeting in a given month.

     This is super helpful. I wish YNAB would add this as a hover tooltip to the BUDGETED column header! Thank you!

    Reply Like
  • In a previous month: In Films & TV I moved 7.750 to another category, spent nothing, and I had 9.500 left to spend. On the internet, I budgeted 20, spent 20 and I had 2.000 left from a previous month. In Next month I budgeted 1.000 (okay, it's an experiment!!), spent none and ended with 4.000 available. In Petrol I moved 5.000 out to another category, didn't spend any (my car was off the road) and had 8.000 left for the next month. Finally, in Phone I budgeted 40.000 (I expect that's where all those moves went!), spent 40.000 and had nothing left at the end of the month.

    So there are negatives in Budgeted but it all makes perfect sense. Except, where did all that phone money go??? I must have been talking to my mum... :)

    Reply Like 1
  • I have read all these threads and still just do not get it.  😣  I just started YNAB in May. At the end of the month I had $150 balance in "savings".  I have a monthly funding goal of $50.

    June is showing budgeted amt $-25... You're $75.00 short of your goal for the month.

    Budget another $75.00 to keep on track.

    My sidebar says:

    "left over from May" $150

    "Budgeted this mo" -$25 ---- How do I tell where this money went???

    "Cash spending" $4.44 (interest earned)

     

    "Credit spending" $0

     

    "Avail" $129.44

     

    What is confusing me is ...

    1. how to tell where the $25 went and

    2.) if I have an avail balance of $150 and I use $25 due to an unexpected event.... per YNAB, I am falling behind for using any of the available balance???? Hence, the "your $75 short!"

    Thanks for any help. 

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      • WordTenor
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      • WordTenor
      • 5 mths ago
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      • Reported - view

      shely6875 

      Part I: The budgeted column 

      The budgeted column shows what you've added to the category this month, and absolutely nothing more. If you add money to the category, it will be positive. If you subtract money from the category, it will be negative. 

      You can add and subtract money by changing the number in the budgeted column directly, or you can add and subtract money by clicking on the "available" amount and moving money to or from that category. Either option results in a change to the budgeted column, because either options constitutes adding and subtracting money from the category. 

      In your case, at the beginning of June, the category had $150. 

      By either subtracting money directly, or, judging from your confusion, using the move money tool, you have removed $25 from this category. That's what the -25 is telling you. Note that $150 - $25 = $125

      Then you earned $4.44 in interest, which is "spending" and shows up in activity. $125 + $4.44 = $129.44

      So that's where your numbers come from. There's no way to know where the $25 went--you moved it somewhere, and there's no way to know from the budget. 

      Part II: The Goal

      Regarding the goal, the goals are kind of stupid in this regard. A "monthly funding goal" type just looks at the budget column to see if you have added that amount this month. So if you have a monthly funding goal of $50, it is looking to see if the budgeted column is at least a positive $50. It doesn't take into account anything else--so, for instance, if you inflowed $50 directly to the category, that wouldn't count either even though it would increase the available by $50. 

      Right now, your budgeted column is -$25. The difference between -$25 and $50 is $75--$25 to get to $0, and another $50 to get to $50. So that is why the goal is telling you that you are $75 short. 

      The budget can't tell you if your reason for not satisfying the goal this month was good or not; you have to know that for yourself. All it can tell you is "I'm looking for $50 added to this category, and you didn't add that much this month." 

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