I still don't get orange!

Please help! I don't understand what's going on here.

The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th entries in the Weekly categorically  have all been paid so having nicked £140 from my Savings to cover what is going out on Mon & Tues next week including Groceries. 

But only Groceries are green, the rest, which all have the correct amounts in the budget, are ORANGE!  Why???????

My income comes in on a weekly basis for three weeks out of four (next week will be week 4) so there will never be a month where I can put the entire months amount in and I speak with 6 years YNAB experience.

 

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  • Hey! It's orange because you have scheduled transactions that amount to more $$ than you have budgeted in the category and the software is trying to warn you that the category needs attention.  You can see on the right that it has highlighted "3 Upcoming Transactions" that amount to $60, but you only budgeted $40 which will leave this category as -$20 when those transactions process. In order to get rid of the orange, you will need to budget $20 more to the category.  If you don't have the money to budget $20 more to that category right now because of the weekly pay cycle, it's fine - the software is just trying to nudge you to remember that when you do get paid, at least $20 needs to go to cover a scheduled commitment there.

    tl;dr it's a feature, not a bug!

    Reply Like 2
      • Helen1958
      • All At Sea!
      • Maroon_Admiral
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      blondeambition As I replied to a later reply, I want the option to be able to have the same display as my iPad - i.e two columns - if I so wish. The iPad still has the orange but not the 'nag' column to the right of the actual budget.

      Reply Like
      • blondeambition
      • damn millennial.
      • blondeambition
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Maroon Admiral Helen  I'm really not trying to be rude, but a major function and feature of the YNAB software is to nudge/"nag" you to budget according to your actual expenses and hiding that feature would cripple a pretty major part of YNAB. If you aren't utilizing the features like this to help you see your budgeting priorities, are you using YNAB solely to track your expenses vs. actually budgeting? I understand that it's frustrating to not have the money for the category right now, but the orange is there to help you remember that when the money does come, it is already spoken for. The real goal should not be to turn it off, but to slowly and steadily build a buffer up so that the orange never appears at all because you've finally gotten ahead. 

      Reply Like
      • Helen1958
      • All At Sea!
      • Maroon_Admiral
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      blondeambition I know you aren't being rude, and nor do I intend to come across as rude either. 

      You said:
      The real goal should not be to turn it off, but to slowly and steadily build a buffer up so that the orange never appears at all because you've finally gotten ahead. 

      A life on British state benefits means that a single payment will, at most, will last 10-12 days depending on what is going out of the budget, and yes, to an extent, I am using YNAB to control my impulse spending because I now know what leaves my account and how much and how much.

      Reply Like
    • Ben
    • Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer
    • furiousfalcon
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    One other comment:

    My income comes in on a weekly basis for three weeks out of four (next week will be week 4) so there will never be a month where I can put the entire months amount in and I speak with 6 years YNAB experience.

    Maybe consider working towards getting ahead of your expenses, slowly building up roughly a month's buffer so you can budget out an entire month at a time? That should give you more financial stability, helping break the paycheck to paycheck cycle so money isn't spent immediately after you receive it, and making budgeting easier to work with as well.

    Reply Like
  • Ben said:
    Maybe consider working towards getting ahead of your expenses, slowly building up roughly a month's buffer so you can budget out an entire month at a time? That should give you more financial stability, helping break the paycheck to paycheck cycle so money isn't spent immediately after you receive it, and making budgeting easier to work with as well.

     That's easier said than done. I can get halfway through the month, which I've done this month, but I can't go any further because benefits are calculated to just carry the person to the next payment. Believe me, I've tried over and over again.

    Reply Like
    • eloquentz
    • Numbers Wizard (Accountant), Acoustic Artist (Musician) and Jill of all Trades (Wife & Mother)
    • eloquentz
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    You could make them green by moving some grocery money to them if the orange is really bothering you (I can't see the under funded part of the collection category so not sure how far away from your monthly goal you are).  And then refund groceries when more money comes in.

    Reply Like
      • Helen1958
      • All At Sea!
      • Maroon_Admiral
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      eloquentz As it's the lean week starting on Monday, the weekly outgoings (including the variable amount for groceries) have all got this coming week's payments allocated. I'll be able to load more money into the cells on Monday-week as well as loading more of the monthly outgoings.

      Reply Like
  • You've gotten some great advice, so I'm just hopping in here to offer a pat on the back -- when you're struggling to get out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, it can be frustrating to see how far there is to go. You're doing a great job by persistently updating your budget.

    We do have some resources for you:

    - our Break the Paycheck to Paycheck Cycle workshop

    - the Budgeting When Money’s Tight workshop

    - this podcast episode, Boosting Income by Thinking Small

    - One Simple Way to Incrementally Increase Your Income on the blog

    Let us all know how it goes! Even small steps are progress!

    Reply Like
  • While you are working toward a goal of growing a buffer, you could maybe break up your categories further by having the same name but adding a week 1, week 2 etc after them.  Like:

    groceries week 1

    groceries week 2

    groceries week 3/4

    do that for each category where you can’t fully fund it for the month. Then only fund week 1 during the first week. After that week (next paycheck) fund week 2 and so on. 

    Reply Like
  • One of the bits in this topic that I find really hard in YNAB now is that Orange means too many things.

    If I recall - it can mean:

    • Credit Card Overspending in that category, that will create new debt.
    • Some kind of goal under-funded.
    • Scheduled transactions exceed the total budget. (as seen here).

    Having one colour to mean all those things, especially if they don't come up very often, I think makes the budget page a bit confusing - and a bit harder to understand at a glance the health of your budget. 

    So when you see Orange - keep an eye out for all those things. 

    Reply Like 3
    • Maroon Admiral Helen - basically the Orange Highlight on your budget amount can represent three different things - so it's not as handy a visual indicator as you need to drill down into each orange flag to know the root cause - not an easy "glance".

       

      In my budget below - each  of the 4 budget lines have an "Orange" warning - but each of them has a very different reason. 

      Line 1: Underfunded Goal

      Line 2: Scheduled Transactions exceed budgeted amount for the month.

      Line 3: Underbudgeted Credit Card spending.

      Line 4: All of the Above.

      So by assigning different meanings to one colour, it's harder to infer valuable meaning with a quick glance - just means you have to be aware that Orange means multiple things, and you need to be super aware of what they could mean.

      Reply Like 1
      • Helen1958
      • All At Sea!
      • Maroon_Admiral
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      BritishMuseum Thanks for the explanation - it's also very nice seeing a £ sign on this site! LOL

      Reply Like 1
      • eloquentz
      • Numbers Wizard (Accountant), Acoustic Artist (Musician) and Jill of all Trades (Wife & Mother)
      • eloquentz
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Maroon Admiral Helen But having only 4 colours makes it simple, not complicated.  Green - you're good!  Red - Hey, this needs attention!  Orange - Just have a peek in here please to keep aware of what's coming up.  And Grey - Nothing to see here, Move along.  For all the things you describe, there would be a rainbow of colours and that's when people would get confused.

      Reply Like
      • Jeff Reetz
      • Electrical Engineer
      • jefflilj
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      yea, i look at the colors as anything Red needs immediate attention, as that is actual physical cash that has just left your pocket (or bank) and you better have that funds available. 

      Orange is upcoming transactions that haven’t happened yet (or a goal was set that’s not met yet) and you haven’t budgeted (set aside) any money to take care of those when they do come. 

      So if money is tight, that’s why they suggest to set up your budget by bills in order of being due. 

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

      eloquentz I find that having 1 color representing 4 different things to make it more complicated. Because everytime I see it, I then have to figure out if it's something that needs to be addressed immediately or not.

      The problem with so many different meanings for the one color is that it becomes desensitizing. An underfunded goal? Who cares. All it means is your goal is underfunded, and that in and of itself doesn't mean much. Particularly if you originally funded for the goal and then moved money elsewhere. But if you are using goals to help template your budget, then the Orange becomes a meaningless warning.

      But... one of the meanings is Underfunded based on scheduled transactions. And it looks exactly like an underfunded goal. Well, when is that scheduled transaction? Could be as early as tomorrow.  If I just let it go then I'm overspent. So I need to take a deeper dive and see.

      I also don't care for the fact they think credit card overspending isn't as "important" as cash-based spending. The whole point of YNAB is to control overspending. When you've given dollars more than one job because you spent money, it should be red and begging for immediate attention.

      And because of that, it means I'd have to constantly review why all the orange category balances are orange.

      When I tried using YNAB back during the original soft launch period and open beta, I got desensitized so quickly (in about two days) that first I stopped looking at the orange at all (in which case what's the point?) and then I decided to stop using Goals because the underfunded goal warning had no meaning and was the cause of the desensitizing... and in that case, what's the use in using the Goal feature at all.

      The overuse of orange is one of the reasons I'm still using YNAB4, although it's lower on the list than some of my other reasons.

      Reply Like 2
    • nolesrule I was listening to a podcast today, talking about 'Alarm Fatigue', which talked about the end user being so desensitised to what became a myriad of different alarm sounds, all blaring all too frequently, that the management of this business decided to 'turn alarms off' at night, as not to wake their sleeping shift workers during false alarm. 

      It's an extreme example - but the whole 'fatigue' of warnings is a genuine thing - and if the users of a system adapt ways to ignore alarms, or become desensitised in the first place, then the UI needs some work! 

      I really hope that YNAB will take on board some of the feedback, and indeed some of the options that Toolkit provides. 

      Reply Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      BritishMuseum Watch the movie How to Steal a Million starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole. Fun movie, and alarm fatigue plays a role in the successful mission.

      Reply Like
  • Jeff Reetz said:
    While you are working toward a goal of growing a buffer, you could maybe break up your categories further by having the same name but adding a week 1, week 2 etc after them.  Like:
    groceries week 1
    groceries week 2
    groceries week 3/4

     Having fiddled with my budget as you suggested, I think I'll keep the weekly category collapsed unless I have money to allocate. It'll be physically as well as emotionally simpler for me. Thanks for the suggestion though.

    Reply Like
      • Helen1958
      • All At Sea!
      • Maroon_Admiral
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      I'm cross-posting from a post of mine in Tips and Tricks ( https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/361cxb ) in the hope it helps others:

      Browsing the forum  and searching on "color" I discovered that there's a Chrome Extension for YNAB. Now I don't usually  like extensions but I thought "what the hell?" and got it. and it solved my hatred  of the two things in the web YNAB - namely, orange and the fixed width inspector in the Budget pane. 

      Despite not being colour-blind I activated that setting and hey presto, orange turned blue, thereby confirming my hunch that I was actually reacting to the actual colour rather than what it stood for.

      The other irritation, the fixed width inspector (whoever developed the Extension/Toolkit actually gave it a name I understood) can be shrunk, thus giving more space if you need larger font size.

      This find has made my choice to stay with nYNAB go from "mm, maybe..."  to "almost definitely" in minutes.

      My only sorrow is that it has taken a 3rd party to do it, and not YNAB.

      Reply Like
      • Jeff Reetz
      • Electrical Engineer
      • jefflilj
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Maroon Admiral Helen no problem. This would be a very tedious way breaking down categories by weekly.  I prefer simpler. 

      Glad you found another 3rd party that helped with your issue. 

      Hope all goes well. 

      Reply Like
  • If you are a paid in full (PIF) credit card user then you may find it easier to convert your credit card accounts into checking accounts.  This will simplify the color scheme and all over spending will then be red and orange will indicated either an underfunded goal or scheduled transactions that are not adequately funded.

    Reply Like
      • Helen1958
      • All At Sea!
      • Maroon_Admiral
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      ynaber2613 I don't have a credit card, don't need one as my lifestyle is very adequately served by my debit card, which stands in for  the old-fashioned cheque here in the UK.

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