Overspent carry over next month

I read this in the help docs: If your category had been overspent in cash (negative red Available), that amount will be deducted from To be Budgeted in the new month.

I have a problem because it doesn’t do that.

I prepaid the vacation, so I had a negative red available in December, but in fact I have 3 months to pay for it, so I expect to budget money this money and to see the “available” money be the red amount from last month minus what I budget. But it is not doing this.

What am I doing wrong?

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  • You didn’t have the money in December so you did in fact overspend the category. That is literal fact. YNAB does not let you carry over negative category balances. There is nothing you can do to change this behavior in how YNAB works. If you paid out of a checking/current account then it did take it out of TBB. If any transaction in that category was on a credit card, even if it wasn’t the transaction that caused the category to be overspent, YNAB converted the whole overspend into credit card debt when the month rolled over. 

    Like
      • Green Cup
      • Green_Cup.5
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view
      jenmas said:
      YNAB converted the whole overspend into credit card debt when the month rolled over

       Can someone explain this further? It’s a nuance I wasn’t aware of and may explain why my CC’s are always slightly off.

      Like
      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Green Cup When you overspend using your credit card, the category goes orange and negative, and as much money as possible is moved to the card payment category. For example, if there's $10 in the spending category and you spend $20, $10 moves to the credit card payment category, and the spending category ends up as -$10.

      If the month hasn't rolled over yet, you can budget an additional $10 to the spending category, and it will move automatically to the card payment category. That will leave your spending category at zero and your card payment category at $20 (plus whatever was in it before, of course).

      When the month rolls over, the spending category goes back to zero. Now, if you want to pay off your credit card in full, you need to budget $10 directly to the card payment category.

      Like 1
      • Green Cup
      • Green_Cup.5
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      mamster perfect. I think that’s why I’m slightly off on my CC. I’ve been having 2-3 categories slightly overspent at the end of each month and I haven’t corrected it. 

      Like
      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Green Cup Yep, that'll do it!

      Like
      • Agent99
      • Working to Get Smart at budgeting, finances and life
      • Agent99.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Green Cup It's because YNAB won't let you manage your finances like an adult.  I hear everyone who says the Red Arrow in v4 was wrong and people were abusing it.  But it is a tool and one that can be used wisely if you have moved beyond paycheck to paycheck.    If you inadvertently spend over, nYNAB hides that from you if CC spending and then just like you've posted, you have no freaking idea as to what happened.  

      So if they are going to remove the Red Arrow, the need to provide some indication that you have created CC debt with your overspend and someone needs to give you your money (if a reimburse situation; one of the most common use cases).

      Like 3
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Agent99 Okay, but respectfully, if they're not able to track down overspends on credit at month's end causing their credit card payment categories to get out of sync, they're not ready to have a tool like the red arrow.

      I agree that in this case, there needs to be an indicator visible from the budget page  to call attention to the fact they need to deal with this specific issue, what credit card is involved, and what the transactions involved were (like the categories).

      Like 3
    • Agent99 New CC debt (credit overspending) is shown in the individual CC register, but it makes far more sense to show it in the budget... After all, that's where it will be corrected.

      Like 1
      • Agent99
      • Working to Get Smart at budgeting, finances and life
      • Agent99.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui  bevocat  Thank you for your responses.  I don't use and have only made a short term attempt to use nYNAB 2.5 years ago before I ran screaming from the computer.   As of now, it doesn't work for me.  So I will continue to use YNAB 4 as long as possible.   I make no secret that I leverage the red arrow as it works best for my personal situation.  But I have PIF cards, a buffer, EF and I'm not on the edge.   From the way nYNAB users are describing the stealth debt situation from negative rollovers, it seems a  UI improvement is needed or a minimum a dialog box warning the user at month end of the new debt situation. 

      Like 3
    • Agent99 Totally agree. Confusion could be eliminated with a simple UI addition to the header to summarize current month overspending. (As you know, that is easily seen in YNAB4 from the multi month display.) The common workaround is to run PIF cards as checking accounts to absolutely prevent stealth debt growth.

      No idea why they are so reluctant to pick the low hanging fruit.

      Like 3
  • YNAB is showing you your actual situation: you prepaid money on a vacation, and that money left your budget and now can't be used for other things. This really isn't a situation where you took on debt that can be paid back later -- if you paid using a checking account or cash, that's actual money leaving your accounts. 

    When you overspend using cash/checking, YNAB will reset that category to zero if it's unfixed at the end of the month, and remove that amount from your TBB. YNAB does not carry over that overspending to the new month -- that money has been spent. Every dollar needs a (single) job to do, and carrying over overspending means the money in your actual accounts has to do multiple jobs: do whatever you've assigned them to do, and also cover for your overspending at the same time.

    Going forward:

    -- I'd suggest adjusting your category balances, reducing your emergency fund or other categories to account for the overspending. This reflects the reality: you had more money leave your accounts than you had planned for, and you have to "roll with the punches" and account for it. You can rebuild your emergency fund over the next couple months.

    -- If you are in a situation where you need to pre-pay for something, make sure you either have the money available to pay for it, or at least can pay it using credit. If you use credit, you create debt that can be paid back over time. If you use cash/debit, that's actual money you no longer have access to.

    Like
  • Why do you think you have 3 months to pay for it? Because you're not going to go on vacation for 3 months? If you used a CC, that may be true. If you used cash -- and YNAB thinks you did since the overspending is red -- that money is gone.

    I mean, you don't go to the grocery store and walk out with food thinking you can pay the grocery store $50 next week because you're not going to eat the food until then! Same thing for vacations. :-)

    Like 2
  • Hmmm I'm not sure about this. It seems like a case of YNAB thinking they know exactly how everyone should run their finances, rather than providing flexible tools so we can run them as we see fit. 

    If I want to budget £300 per month for clothes, and spend a bit more / bit less some months, there is no easy way to do this with clarity. If I overspend in one month this is not carried forward, so the following month I have to remember that, or just have it deducted from TBB which means I'm not easily managing my intended monthly spend for a particular category. It's like they want us to set rigid budgets for every single thing, every month, and spend our time constantly re-balancing this. It's silly - I know how much I earn, I know how much I want to spend on clothes in a year - YNAB won't let me allocate that money month to month with any flexibility (unless I create debt with a credit card rather than my own capital???).

    I realise the premise of 'only spending what you've got', but for anyone who may have moved beyond living month to month and has some reasonable capital to distribute, the lack of any flexibility around how category balances are handled (and various other limitations) makes YNAB a frustrating product to use at times.

    Like 4
    • Silver Orca said:
      has some reasonable capital to distribute

      YNAB is simply asking you to do exactly that... distribute that capital to cover the overspending. The consequence is then, you can't use that capital for it's originally intended purpose -- that's the reality you seem to want to ignore.

      Like 4
    • dakinemaui yes, but YNAB wants you to distribute the capital as you go along, every month, in and out of every category, which is tiresome.

      I know how much money I will earn, and have earned. I know how much I want to spend on clothes. If I go a little over or under each month, i shouldn't need to do a lot of pointless admin work to reconcile this.

      As for 'YNAB Methodology' - the previous version did let you carry over negative balances, and it worked fine. They appear to have dropped this (and other useful features) in the new web version. It's a shame.

      It's funny how any criticism of this software is met with such stern defense on these forums. I really like YNAB, but would like it better if it had a more flexible feature set.

      Like 7
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Silver Orca 

      Silver Orca said:
      As for 'YNAB Methodology' - the previous version did let you carry over negative balances, and it worked fine. They appear to have dropped this (and other useful features) in the new web version. It's a shame.

       They discovered people were using it to lie to themselves about the true state of their budget, so decided to eliminate it.

       

      Silver Orca said:
      YNAB wants you to distribute the capital as you go along, every month, in and out of every category, which is tiresome.

       You don't have to manage it. YNAB will do that for you with their end of the month rollover handling by taking it out of TBB (cash overspending) or not increasing available payment to credit card (CC overspending). Again, this is a last resort autocorrection to keep people from lying to themselves about their budgets.

      YNAB is an allocation budget system, not a free for all, and you can't allocate money more money to categories than you have on-hand, because it makes the actual category balances invalid. If you want a forecasting/tracking budget system, there are a lot of tools out there that will do that for you... and some of them are even free.

      Like 3
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule Which probably means they're worth what you paid for them. I used Mint for a year and a half and all I had to show for it was a dozen accounts I didn't need (for goals, don'tcha know) and a mess, because it doesn't allow/force you to roll with the punches.

      Like
    • nolesrule I don't want to allocate more than I have on hand. I have plenty on hand, it's really not a concern.

      I want YNAB to allow me to go over and under a budgeted figure per category, month to month, like it used to, without me having to adjust figures up and down all the time. Like how budgeting is done commercially. I realise YNAB isn't a commercial accounting system, it's personal finance system, but it is a mature product, and they could maintain a feature set that allows some flexibility thereby pleasing more of their customers. These forums are all the proof you need that there are lots of different preferences over how people want to use the system. Why not let people who want the flexibility have it? And everyone else can just stick with the defaults.

      Like 6
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      Silver Orca I understand what you want to do. However it goes against the YNAB budgeting method. The software is written specifically to support the method. The Red Arrow in YNAB4 actually was a violation of the method and that's why it was eliminated in the new version.

      Like 6
  • Silver Orca said:
    If I overspend in one month this is not carried forward, so the following month I have to remember that, or just have it deducted from TBB

     Or option C -- the recommended approach -- you reallocate from a lower priority category making your budget a more accurate reflection of your priorities. Hindsight is 20/20 after all.

    Like
  • Silver Orca said:
    Hmmm I'm not sure about this. It seems like a case of YNAB thinking they know exactly how everyone should run their finances, rather than providing flexible tools so we can run them as we see fit. 

     YNAB is providing a tool that is specifically designed to work with the YNAB methodology. It's always been a methodology first and a piece of software second. Is the method for everyone? No. And that's okay. But it is doing exactly what it was designed to do - run a zero based budget by using electronic envelopes.

    Like 6
  • The more and more I read these types of posts, the more I understand why they chose to eliminate the red arrow.

    Like 8
      • bret
      • bret
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule 

      I sure wish I had that red arrow for simpler reimbursement tracking though. :( 

      Have you heard any hints about whether/how YNAB intends to address that? I don't track these forums very closely, but I could have sworn the company acknowledged it years ago and claimed to be "working on it..."     Should I give up hope?

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      bret I'm not sure they are working on it. Yes, there should be a reimbursement tracking mechanism, but it should be a category group that is backed by category within that's positive. This would, hopefully, limit the use, but it could still be open to abuse.

      Like 3
      • bret
      • bret
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule 

      Is that a community idea or something you heard from a YNAB representative?  It sounds like a great idea!

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

      bret It's been suggested by dakinemaui . I've not heard of YNAB mentioning any solutions to date, and they've been completely silent on the issue since they mentioned way back when that they were going to address it.

      Like 1
  • Silver Orca said:
    It's funny how any criticism of this software is met with such stern defense on these forums. I really like YNAB, but would like it better if it had a more flexible feature set

     Agreed on both points. There needs to be options like in the toolkit, but more fundamental functionality. 

    Like
  • But this isn't an oversight. I understand it's not your preference, and you liked the way you were using it before, but this was a conscious decision on the part of the developers not to allow anyone to use their product that way anymore. If the product doesn't meet your needs anymore due to their conscious choice, then it doesn't make sense to keep paying for it.

    I'm mad that Coke Zero changed their formula and now it tastes exactly like generic Coke Zero, which isn't good enough for me (don't get me wrong; I'm the generic queen, but this and Charmin are my two exceptions!). I complained, they're not going to change the formula, so now I get to save my money on Coke Zero.  I'm cranky about the fact that there's no alternative to give me what I want at any price, but that's not going to get Coke to change the formula back.

    Like 1
      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat there's a generic Coke zero?!? That would save me a lot of money!

      Re the actual topic, YNAB used to say they were primarily about the method. Things that break the method (in their opinion) aren't likely to get added.

      Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      adriana01 for example, if you buy the SodaStream version of Coke Zero (as opposed to their version of Diet Coke; they're different), or a store brand version. My store brand has a diet cola, caffeine-free diet cola, Diet Dr Pepper knock-off, and a Coke Zero knock-off. None of these taste as good as the old formula Coke Zero or Caffeine-Free Coke Zero. Coke Zero became Coke Zero Sugar a while back, but the caffeine-free version took a little while to run out and have them start stocking the new formula. Now it's here and it's yuck. I'm drinking my generic diet grape, strawberry, orange, root beer, pineapple, and lemon-lime (this one is surprisingly good) but I am really, really jonesing for a perfect cola taste!

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

      bevocat I thought SodaStream stopped making their version of Zero. I haven't seen it in a couple years.

      Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I guess I should've mentioned that I haven't used my sodastream very often lately. I had no idea.

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

      bevocat I use mine but haven't bought any of the syrups lately. I buy Squirt mix-ins (for regular water bottles) on Amazon and use two per liter pre-disolved in 1/4 cup of warm water. 10 calories. It's my favorite soda. Also I drink plain carbonated water.

      Like
      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat I haven't looked at the generic sodas available near me lately. Most of the generic colas taste more like Pepsi to me, which I don't care for.

      Like
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      adriana01 of course all personal choice, but no regrets here at giving up soda. On the rare event I have one, I end up thinking, why did I every like this? 

      Like
      • lindsay_g
      • Beige_Banjo.3
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Ben Khaki Storm Try putting vodka and some ice in one, you’ll remember then! 😎

      Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      lindsay_g I read "vodka and ice cream"! I can totally get behind that! (I don't drink, but I have fond memories of Guinness/Shiner milkshakes!)

      Like 1
  • I have medical expenses in January. They are reimbursed in February. So there is a negative medical balance at the end of last month, and now there is too much in medical expenses for this month. What would the workaround be in this case? 

    Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Beige Lion Cover it with money from another category, then pay back the category when you get reimbursed. Because that is what is happening in the real world. (Edit to clarify: I meant that you should do that in January. It's too late to do anything about it now.)

      Like
      • Beige Lion
      • Beige_Lion.3
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat Okay, thanks. That's what I'll do.  That said, this does not really reflect the way the money is being spent.  For instance, "Medical" is a tax-related category and at the end of the year I will not know how my money is really being spent.  I'm not sure if it's just my discomfort with something new, or if the software's design philosophy is just a bit too rigid. However, I appreciate your help and the always fast response.

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

      Beige Lion If you're concerned about having a fixed amount budgeted to medical, you can always offset your move by moving money in a later month from medical to another category. I just did this with gas I bought on Feb. 27.  In February's budget, I moved money to cover the gas. In March's budget, I budgeted less in gas so that I would have money to fill up the other category. 

      Like
      • Beige Lion
      • Beige_Lion.3
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor Thanks for that - it's a workaround for sure. 

      Like
      • Tif_Ann
      • Tif_Ann
      • 1 yr ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Beige Lion it's not a workaround, it's reality. You spent the cash in January. If you didn't have money in the medical category, you spent cash meant for something else so it isn't there. So you move the cash from the other category and when you are reimbursed, that cash can now go anywhere. 

      Your spending isn't affected by where the money comes from. If you categorize medical spending then you will know how much you spent on medical.

      Like 4
  • I'm having the same issue. I receive a scholarship for my tuition, so I must pay the tuition first and then submit a receipt to the scholarship program.Right now, my budget for Education is in a red deficit, but within 6 week (most likely next month), it will look like I have a surplus of education money. I guess I'm going to have to apply my family savings to my education for this month and then remember to put it back in the right category next month.

    Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      champagne_dame That's what you're doing in reality, so yes, that is what you should do in YNAB.

      Like
    • champagne_dame If you paid cash for tuition, that cash is obviously not available for use elsewhere, so adjusting the "plan" (aka budget) to reflect that makes a lot of sense (especially for substantial amounts).

      YNAB is very focused on your plans for every single bit of money that you have at any given moment.

      It would be nice if YNAB could better deal with reimbursements so you don't have to "remember" to put things back on your own.

      Like 2
      • lindsay_g
      • Beige_Banjo.3
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Rww I really don’t understand this complaint. It comes up a lot and I don’t get it.

      If you get a huge check from the University accompanied by a letter saying ‘here are your tuition expenses ‘, how is it hard to ‘remember’ that’s your tuition expenses? 

      If your work pays you, by cheque or bank transfer, an odd amount of money, not matching your salary, annotated ‘special payment’, reimbursement ‘, or ‘expenses ‘, how is it hard to remember that is your expenses being reimbursed?

      If you used your savings to pay for something how is it hard to write a note to record that? I do not understand at all.

      Heres an example from my life. In about February I buy flights to the UK costing around £650 which I record in my UK budget in the ‘flights to the UK’ category. In May my work pays for part of that, about 220KD (different currency) as part of my salary package. I send that money back to my UK bank account, and record it in the flights  category, not as TBB.  Simples. 

      Meanwhile, at work, I periodically buy stuff for school. I record the money as ‘work, to be repaid’.  When they repay me I record that income as ‘work to be repaid ‘, not as TBB.  There just isn’t any difficulty about it.

      What am I missing? I’m not being sarcastic, it’s a real question. I don’t understand what it is that’s supposed to be missing from the equation.

      Like
    • lindsay_g You probably seeded all of those reimbursable categories with your own money, first.  Otherwise, YNAB would have deducted the 650 from March's TBB or put it on your CC debt.  If you didn't then make high enough CC payments, you'd be incurring interest while waiting for the reimbursement.  In lieu of incurring interest for our employers, we either 1) seed our categories before spending for a planned reimbursable expense, or 2) spend, cover from another category, turn the month over, accept the reimbursement, and disburse the covered funds back to their original category(ies) in the appropriate amount.  That's the part that requires remembering - what category(ies) did I cover from?  How much from each?  That step currently requires some documentation that doesn't reside near the transactions, and must be intentionally left somewhere in the budget that will get looked at.  Hence, remembering.

      There's another workflow with tracking accounts that we don't need because reimbursables are rare in our lives at the moment.

      Like 2
    • lindsay_g 

      In the case that reimbursements are handled as temporary debt -- as most large work expenses are -- YNAB forgets at the month changeover that the reimbursement money needs to wind up in the CC Payment category. Depending on timing, that movement is either automatic or it's not. This inconsistency leads to errors.

      Additionally, not everything has an expense report to track amounts (e.g., between friends) and reimbursements aren't always paid without some prodding. YNAB wipes out negative categories at the month changeover, so it's easy to forget that you are owed money with the category-only approach.

      As an aside, the latter issue can be solved by introducing an auxiliary tracking account to keep the total. YNAB doesn't describe that in the Support Documentation, and most people don't think of it on their own. Additionally, one can get an easy indication of the first issue -- that you need to move money to the CC category -- but you have to go against YNAB's recommendations to get it. Again, the average user just won't do this. (It's beyond me why YNAB hasn't corrected their documents -- an incredibly easy fix.)

      I suspect, as Move Light Sound Life does, that you're floating your reimbursements from the budget rather than as CC debt. Doing so eliminates the above mentioned issues (and why it's the #1 recommended approach). Unfortunately, that approach is not appropriate for anyone.

      Like
      • lindsay_g
      • Beige_Banjo.3
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I’m paying for it from my own money , budgeting for it fromTBB, and repaying it when I get repaid. There’s nothing complicated about it.

      Yes, I have to cover it from my own money first. That’s how it works in real life and so that’s how I represent it in my budget. 

      As for the whole ‘easy to forget’ thing. Write a note. 

      Like 1
    • lindsay_g I was simply addressing your statement that you don't "get" the complaints. Those predominately come from users who use an entirely different approach than you do because they're in a very different financial situation than you are. 

      Like 3
    • dakinemaui , can you expand on your statement on an auxiliary tracking accounts.  I have multiple budget items that I know I will need money for and may not have the funds now. I need the flexibility to plan out over a years time not just month to month. I am trying to avoid moving money month to month and not having it saved when needed later in the year.  There has to be a better way to track quarterly installment payments.

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Gray Zebra Two thoughts -- the first is that tracking installments is unnecessary because that information is shown on your monthly statement. If you're definitely going to pay it, the need to budget $X / month to the CC Payment category is a given. ($X is the sum of each installment's remaining balance / remaining months, and doesn't change unless one of the installments is paid off or you add a new one.) 

      This naturally reduces the amount available elsewhere, but that is the case with any high priority category (e.g., Rent/Mortgage). The general approach to budget toward the highest priority first, then on down the list ensures the important stuff gets money. The less important have to wait -- that's reality. (Again, this is not just an issue with installment loans. It's simply a consequence of having a finite amount of money.)

      If you're worried that you won't be able to "make it up" toward one of those supposedly less important things (after one of the more important things like an installment payment "drops off", freeing up money), that is a signal that it's really more important to you than you are acknowledging, and should be receiving money now. The elimination of this timing concern greatly simplifies things. If what's left unfunded is truly a lower priority, you should be OK without it for an indefinite period of time. When your financial situation changes (e.g., one of the installments drops off, you get a raise, or priorities change elsewhere in the budget), you reassess what you can add in at that point in time.

      Until then, continually fretting over what should be -- by definition -- a lower priority is counter productive. I would strongly urge you to think about things a little differently than it would seem you are at present.

      That said, second thought -- I'll post Tracking account info in a subsequent post. Sometimes people want those balances in YNAB rather than looking at their statement (or there is no statement, as is the case with reimbursements), which is exactly what a Tracking account does -- it simply provides a balance within YNAB.

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Gray Zebra 

      In order to use a Tracking account to capture the cumulative balance of a subset of transactions, you will use transactions to update the balance. The best way to do that is to use a categorized transfer in the relevant transactions rather than a normal categorized (non-transfer) transaction. For example, you buy a couch for $600 on installment over the next 6 months.

      I assume this is on your normal CC. (If you sign up for a new credit account (e.g., at the store), I'll address it at the end.) The purchase is an outgoing transfer for $600 to the tracking account categorized as Home Furnishing, which goes yellow/overspent. The tracking account balance is now $600.

      The month rolls over, and the warning in the Home Furnishing category is cancelled (0 Available).

      You get paid, and distribute that throughout the budget, including $100 in the CC Payment category.

      To be clear, the mindset is that you are not paying for the Home Furnishing on installment -- you are paying for debt on installment. (How that debt came to be is immaterial at this point.)

      Let's assume you previously had $800 of normal budgeted purchases that are now due as well, so your CC Payment Available is now $900.

      At this point, you need to record your payment and update the tracking account. There are 2 options:

      The easiest thing is two separate transactions. A normal payment for $900 and a separate transaction in the tracking account for $100 outflow. You could even enter the $100 as a scheduled/recurring outflow to save some effort.

      If you want to keep things "together", you can record a split transaction in the CC account:

      Net: $900
      Split 1: Transfer from Checking $900 outflow
      Split 2: Transfer from the Tracking account $100 inflow categorized as TBB
      Split 3: $100 outflow categorized as TBB

      Split 2 adjusts the tracking account balance. Split 3 is necessary because you didn't really get any new money, and therefore must cancel Split 2.

      ---

      A caution for other readers: my original comment in this thread was regarding a reimbursement scenario. The workflow for reimbursements using a tracking account is quite different than the above because real money is coming from a third party.

      Like
  • Yes, YNAB insists you mirror your budget to reality, so you can't construct any sensible concept of forecasts or allocation of funds over time, just real-time tracking and endless adjustments. Oh wait, except for credit cards. You can build up debt and 'lie to yourself' about your budget there, no problem. 

    Like 1
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Silver Orca 

      Your credit card comment is bang on.  And that shift in perspective really frightened me about the web version of YNAB.  YNAB4 made you treat cc spending like cash spending, and you had to deliberately adjust your budget in order to carry debt.  New YNAB assumes you want to carry debt  and just accommodates that automatically if the account is defined as a cc.  Yikes!

      I set up all my credit cards as chequing accounts. Overspends turn RED, and subtract from TBB in the next month if I don't address them right away. I will not allow myself to  overspend a category on credit cards and carry debt casually.  I move the funds from another category to cover every overspend in the month it occurs. The seductive whisper to spend a little of next month's income right now for (insert justification) is such a slippery slope to the financial horrors of my past, and I just won't/can't go there.

      Like 3
    • HappyDance 

      Yes it surprised me too. It's a reasonable feature though, if that's what you want, but like a lot of YNAB it's mandatory and not flexible.

      I realise that YNAB works to match a certain, specific way of doing things, and there is a bit of a cult around this, but I like software to be flexible and provide features I can tailor to my liking. 

      Like 1
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Silver Orca 

      You will find that some of the harshest critics of the way the YNAB cult does budgeting now are those of us who learned to budget in the way YNAB cult used to prescribe.  I find the web version has a nicer interface, in some ways, than YNAB 4.  And the iOS app is superior to the YNAB 4 iOS app.  But the budgeting methodology took a hard turn towards mandating that everyone budget like they are living paycheck to paycheck.  I need several workarounds to get to how I want to budget, which was fairly natural in previous versions.

      Like 1
      • lindsay_g
      • Beige_Banjo.3
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Patzer I’m not sure that starting to accuse each other of being in a cult is particularly helpful. Godwins Law springs to mind. Also it’s actually pretty offensive given the connotations.

      Like
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      lindsay_g "Cult" wasn't my term originally.  I was replying to Silver Orca saying "there is a bit of a cult around this."  I apologize for the connotations becoming offensive.  I thought it was clear that YNAB is not in the same league as organizations that are commonly recognized to be cults.

      Like
  • nolesrule said:
    If you want a forecasting/tracking budget system, there are a lot of tools out there that will do that for you... and some of them are even free.

     What are they? I've done many searches to find something like this, but without success.

    Like
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Rww 

      It's not free, but my financial advisor has us set up with an account at Right Capital.  It has all of our retirement accounts, all the bank accounts, the savings accounts, the investments, our debts, the mortgage, the kids' college accounts.  It can forecast under a myriad different conditions. What happens if we pay more on the mortgage.  What happens if we increase our retirement savings a percentage.  What happens if we bump up the kids' college funds another $50 a month.  What happens if we buy a house at Y amount, selling our current house at X amount.  How much we can safely pull out per month at age X, age Y.  

      It's great at forecasting, it's not very good at tracking.  It won't track how you've increased wealth or decreased debt.  I can't make it give me more than 30 days of data in the past, so I can't see how our investment accounts are pretending to be on a roller coaster.  

      Like
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      I take that back, apparently I haven't looked at the details in a while (we've only had it since the spring).  It will track more than 30 days if you link your accounts.  It won't track unlinked accounts.  

      Like
  • dakinemaui said:
    I assume this is on your normal CC. (If you sign up for a new credit account (e.g., at the store), I'll address it at the end.)

    Forgot to mention how to handle a new credit account. In this case, I think it's easiest to leave the initial purchase out of YNAB. Create a tracking/liability account for the purchase amount. (This will have a negative balance.) Budget the required monthly amount to a Home Furnishing Debt category and record the payment as a categorized transfer from checking to the tracking account.

    Like
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