I've made a mess...

So, I've done a dumb thing.  I had my credit cards as tracking accounts, and I decided to move them into being budget accounts.  I opened new accounts in the budget section, moved transactions into them, and deleted the old tracking accounts.  That part is all well and good.

The problem is, that when I did this, I screwed up all my budgets.  So I've had to go back to the beginning of YNAB time (Oct '16) and try to recreate everything, so that the numbers match up, now that credit card spending is showing up in the budget.  

So, for the first three months, everything works just fine.  At the end of each month, there is a difference between what YNAB says is available, and what the bank balances are.  The amount for these months is always equal to the amount of interest & fees from the credit cards.  So, I figured I was doing ok.

Then I come to January 2016, and everything goes to hell.  When I add December's available amount to January's income, then subtract January's expenses, I come up with $2628.23.  YNAB comes up with $2631.16.  YNAB is showing $2.93 more than what I calculated.

When I add up the actual bank balances for the end of the month, I get $2,828.23, which is exactly $200 more than what I calculated above, and $197.07 off what YNAB says is available.

I have $200 of unbudgeted credit card spending in the month, so I feel like that is connecting with the $200 difference above.  But the INterest and Fees total for the month is $3.37.  

Does anyone have a clue how I can figure out what the problem is?  YNAB folks, I'm more than happy to let you look at my stuff to figure out what's going on.  I have 19 more months to figure out, but I'm stuck until I get past this one.  Not having my current end make sense is stressing me out!  Help!

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  • Honestly, if the transactions are all in YNAB, I would forget about making the past look pretty and just do whatever it takes to make September '18 correct and move on from there. One other thing that you could try, if your mobile app has been closed this entire time, is put your phone in airplane mode and then see if it will open a version that doesn't sync. 

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  • You might reach out to YNAB support to see if they have a way of reloading the version of your budget before you began deleting accounts. They may be able to work a miracle for you.

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  • I have managed to successfully rewrite history in my budget on a couple of occasions. Doing this in YNAB4 was a breeze. Doing this in the web version challenged my sanity and tested the limits of my intelligence.  The lack of walled months, makes everything too fluid. It's like trying to catch invisible fish with your bare hands. You can't see in the header how much was earned in the month.  You can open a second tab with your budget in it, open to the all accounts view, and use filters to get the data for the month in question and toggle back and forth.  Massive time commitment, as you've already discovered.

    But, let's just stop and consider the end result for a moment.  What would I desire most in this exercise?  Well, accurate account registers, obviously, and budget category balances in this month (and going forward) that reflect what I have saved to date.  Knowing myself, I know that previous months with no red or orange would also be high on my list. (Don't ask me why.)  I'm thinking that all this can be achieved fairly painlessly. Starting in your oldest month and moving forward, select all budget categories and using the quick budget buttons of Reset Budget Amounts (resets the month to zero budgeted) and then Underfunded (budgets only enough to cover your expenditures and transactions for that month, eliminating all reds and oranges).  Doing this in my budget would result in an increasingly larger amount of funds (all my savings) moving forward in time through my months unbudgeted.  That would result in this month having thousands to tuck away in my budget categories. I think given the options that I could budget those big lump sums to their savings categories in last month's budget screen and simply move on.

    What's really important to me is my average spending and not my average budgeting.  It no longer matters to me that my budget display $100/month for the last 24 months, as long as $2,400 is in the budget category today and there is no red in my budget and my accounts are reconciled.

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  • Hi Eric !

    As Jenmas mentioned, I'd make sure everything is accurate as of this month (match your Credit Card category Available amount to your Credit Card Balance - this way, you know you can afford to pay it off in full). Since things fell out of line towards the end of last year in your budget, any overspending has long been covered and credit overspending has accumulated in the credit card balance. As long as the balance itself is correct, adjusting the Available amount so that you can pay in full will allow you to move forward without issues (as long as all new spending on the card is budgeted for). :)

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  • Thanks, everyone!  I don't know what I did right today, but I went back through it, and everything worked out right!  I don't know how, I don't know why, but it worked, so I don't care!  LOL.  Now I just have to get my wife to buy into entering her transactions... but that's another battle entirely!

    Thanks again!

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