Best way to (re)start mid-month using linked accounts?

I'm about 6 weeks into YNAB (although not new to budgeting), and I made some mistakes in setting up that I can't rectify, so I'd like to start over.

What is the best way to set up mid-month while still using linked accounts? Any tips?

In my mind, I just need to start with the 'starting balance' as of today, not input any pending transactions, and budget from there based on what I know is upcoming. 

[I just feel like 90% of what I have in my current budget is good, and it took me So. Many. Hours. to get there, that I want to maintain integrity. However, I MUST start over.]

Oh, and please don't advise me to do anything manually - ain't gonna happen! 😂

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(If anyone is interested, here is where I erred: 1) I didn't add in my savings accounts initially, and when I did so yesterday I could reconcile some of it but not all due to how I handled transactions earlier in the month....long story.... 2) I started by making budget categories for some longer-term savings and categorized them as transactions versus transfers, because going back to #1, I didn't have those savings accounts in the budget. It all just turned into a big clustermess so I'm starting over!)

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  • Lauren E said:
    not input any pending transactions, and budget from there based on what I know is upcoming. 

     

    You do need to consider pending transactions. If you are starting today (Tuesday) but you bought groceries Monday after work on a credit card, you do have to account for that because that transaction will import after today (probably Wed or Thurs).

    Reply Like 2
      • Lauren E
      • Powder_Blue_Python
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      jenmas Oh yes, for sure. I meant more like to start with the official cleared balance as my starting point. Thanks!

      Reply Like
  • You're looking for a Fresh Start, but you may not actually want one.  I'll explain:

    There's a button in the top left drop down that lets you do this. It will sever your last 6 weeks of transaction history and budget into an archived budget, then have you say what the current account balances are (not counting pending transactions). Doing this Fresh Start keeps your category structures/notes/goals, so then all you would have to do is budget for the upcoming (including pending transactions). You'll be starting from 0 in every category.

    From your other post, the only things incorrect seem to be the transfers from savings, and then adding the savings accounts to categories. Those are things that you can easily fix without losing all your transaction history with the Fresh Start.

    An easier way is to set your available amounts to 0 in all categories (you can do this in two clicks: select the top checkbox, then use the Quick Budget tool on the right). Although, you may not even need to do this step if you don't want to. Read on.

    Then, add your other 12 (or so) savings accounts.  I'd put the starting date as 6 weeks ago (check your bank for the running balance in that date - it won't have changed much, presumably), and enter any interest earned transactions until today. If you're set on no manual, you could perhaps wait for the import for the interest, but it's likely around the same amount of clicks to manually input a single transaction... Either way, you'll need to manually address the transfer in question by clicking on it and making its payee "To/From your credit card account that's on budget". Once your registers reconcile (are the same as your bank), you can budget the money to its savings categories.

    Make categories for the savings accounts' previous functions, if you still need to.  Put the money in the appropriate categories. Put the rest of your money in it's appropriate categories (remember, you set everything to 0, so it's in TBB again). 

    Reply Like 2
      • Lauren E
      • Powder_Blue_Python
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life Thank you! Yes, I'll try that! I have about 3-4 savings accounts to add in. And I'm hoping as long as I declare what I originally had as transactions to transfer, and move the savings accounts...somewhere..haven't quite figured out how to work those...it should be ok.

      I still can't wrap my head around how to use savings accounts (I've read this: https://docs.youneedabudget.com/article/202-budgeting-your-savings), but I think I need to live it in YNAB to fully get it. 

      Onwards!

      Reply Like 1
    • Move Light Sound Life 

      Note: when editing the transfer in question, it might be slightly easier to go to the credit card register and change the payee there to be "To/From proper on budget savings account" 

      Reply Like 1
      • WordTenor
      • Arranged the menu, the venue, the seating.
      • WordTenor
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Lauren E Did you make transfers to those accounts from your on-budget accounts before? Those are the things which will need to be changed. You won't make transactions or transfers to deal with the money that is sitting in those accounts--you'll just budget it. 

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      • WordTenor
      • Arranged the menu, the venue, the seating.
      • WordTenor
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Lauren E To handle the accidental credit card payment: 

      1. Bring the savings on budget, dated before that payment. 

      2. Budget the amount in that account to savings categories. 

      3. Enter a transfer from that account to the card. This will reduce the credit card available but leave the savings categories unchanged. This is because some of the money you were saving is now in checking--you used a different pot of money to pay the card, which means your checking now has more money in it than you'd planned. 

      4. (optional) transfer money back to savings. This will leave the budget entirely unchanged and is unnecessary but it may help in the beginning of grasping account/category independence. 

      Reply Like 1
    • Lauren E 

      This is how you use savings accounts: https://www.youneedabudget.com/the-relationship-between-your-budget-your-accounts-its-complicated/

      But it took me more than 3 months to trust I fully understood how YNAB works and be ok with that. 

      For now, if you're going to mimic what you had been doing before, you need to keep your account registers up to date. Does your bank automatically transfer $100 each month into each savings account? Set them up as scheduled transactions that repeat monthly to keep your registers correct. This also makes importing easier, I hear.

      That, however, has nothing to do with the budget. Each time you get paid/budget, you'll need to start out by putting those $100 chunks into the right categories, then continue with the rest of your budget. You can help automate this by putting a monthly funding goal on each savings category and then use quick budget to fill them up. 

      The way savings categories work is that, when you are spending money, you should always check the appropriate category balance. If it's a savings category for a vacation, college fund, car maintenance, medical, etc, you'll never look at it when you're buying groceries or gifts, so you will treat it like it's not available for groceries, because it's not. When the time comes to use it, that's when you look at it as available.

      Or, if you've drained all other categories and you have some pressing need, you could choose to move money out of it to prevent debt. But, that's obviously not your go-to choice for everyday spending.

      Good luck! And don't be afraid of a little manual work here at the beginning. It will help you understand what is truly doing on in the software, and help you learn the most efficient workflows for you.

      Reply Like
      • Lauren E
      • Powder_Blue_Python
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor Before, I set them up as categories to be funded. I have two savings accounts in which $xxx comes out weekly - one to fund a general catch-all of savings, and one to fund my home insurance and property taxes. I originally set them as up categories and then budgeted the amount for the month. But, I was doing it as a transaction (maybe that was OK since these savings accounts were NOT in YNAB). In fact, this might've been OK now that I think about it. Maybe. :)

       

      Then, I added ONE of the savings accounts into YNAB and reconciled the month by converted those transactions to transfers. The balances netted out pretty nicely, but I was someone having issues...somewhere...it's been so convoluted I can't recall.

      Reply Like
      • Lauren E
      • Powder_Blue_Python
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor Makes sense. Yesterday, I "righted the ship" on my side by fixing it all. I went to the bank and did a withdrawal from checking and added it into savings. I was able to reflect this in YNAB at the account level, but my TBB was still thrown off somehow.

      Reply Like
      • Lauren E
      • Powder_Blue_Python
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life Yes, how I had it working was each week I have two $XXX transfers automatically sent from my checking to two different not-in-YNAB savings accounts. Both of those were set up as a category to be funded. Honestly looking back, I think I could've kept it that way. 

      Reply Like
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