Goals: Target Category Balance by Date - request for improvements

In the goals section, I use the Target Category Balance by Date feature for many annually recurring bills that tend to change each year.  

Homeowners insurance is due annually in January and the premium changes each year

So, for example, in 2017 I set up a  goal for my homeowners premium using target category balance by date.  I set a goal for $975 by January of 2018. 

Improvement 1:

In Jan of 2018, I had successfully collected the $975 I needed for the premium and YNAB displays a check mark showing I've met my goal, as expected.  

Next, I pay the bill in January 2018 and then YNAB starts complaining that I'm short.  I'm not short, I budgeted the money and spent it as planned! It would be great if YNAB could recognize that the goal was reached and the money spent and not show that the goal is short. In fact, we should be rewarded for properly planning for our true expenses!


Improvement 2:

Next, I go to February 2018 to update the target month and year to allow me to plan for Jan of 2019 when the homeowners premium will be due again.  I also want to change the target balance because I know the premium will go up a bit.   After making these changes, if I go back to January 2018, the goals were altered there as well and show 0% complete.   That's not the behavior I expect, it should still show the goal I set for Jan of 2018.


The system should allow target balance and target month and year to be altered without impacting previous goals from previous months and year. 


I think these improvements support and will make it easier for us to plan for our true expenses!

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  • Hi Red Screwdriver !

    We appreciate you taking the time to send in this feedback! :)

    Currently, goals are considered complete in the month that they're scheduled for (because the goal gives you until the end of that month to save the funds needed). If you want the goal to be complete before January, we'd suggest an end date of December.

    Also, only one goal per category can currently be in place. There isn't a way to view a history or past goals.

    I just forwarded your feedback to our Design Team. They collect it—every last bit of it—in a database. Just about every day, they go through all of it and code it, asking questions like Where is this person in their budgeting journey? What problem are they wanting to solve? Then, in regular research cycles they analyze all this collected feedback to plan for what’s next  in YNAB.

    We truly appreciate your feedback and it's in the very best hands! :)

    Like 1
      • GMPetti
      • GMPetti
      • 3 yrs ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Faness at YNAB Hello! I wanted to piggyback on this topic. Let's say you have a category for Vacation or (in my case) wedding. I know what my budget for the wedding is going to be, so I set a "Target balance by Date" goal. However, my spending won't all happen in October, when my wedding is. I need to make payments all along. Every time I spend any of that money, YNAB thinks I'm short. Is there any way for us to have a goal that takes into account what I have spent as well as what is currently budgeted?

      Like 4
      • Jen
      • Budget Expert
      • Jen_c
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      GMPetti so sorry for the delay in answering your question!

      @Weddings and vacations are great examples of this puzzle! In this case, we'd recommend a Monthly Funding Goal instead, which means you'd divide your desired total by the number of months you'll be budgeting, and that would be your monthly goal.

      We're also looking at ways to make that easier, thanks for bringing it to our attention!

      Like 1
    • Jen Monthly Funding Goals are terrible for this. They are often withdrawn from to cover other shortcomings ("rolling with the punches") - and often I forget to PUT THE MONEY BACK into them. If you SKIP one month of "Monthly Funding Goal" and fund the next, it will STILL BE GREEN in the future.

      Compare this to Repeatable Target Category By Date - you can withrdaw money from them, and even if you skip one month they just INCREASE the amount due for next month.


      I completely support and WANT the "Repeat" functionality in "Target Category by Date". I think it is the only "missing" feature in YNAB!

      Like 3
  • Yes please! See my problem description in reply to Jen

    Like 1
    • Hi Tomato Jackal !

      We've made a few changes since this post was first written. Would you mind filling out a Feature Request form? Feedback is now sent directly to our development team using that form so they know, in your wording, what you'd like to see in the future! :)

      For now, if the Monthly Funding Goal doesn't do the trick, you can use the Target Category Balance by Date, but you'd need to adjust the amount as you spend from it. So if you want $3,000 saved by the wedding date in October, but you spend $500 in July, you'd want to adjust the savings amount to $2,500 to still save the remaining balance.

      Like 1
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