Account Balance Doesn't Equal Money in Budgetted Categories
All figures hypothetical..
Every payday, I review my earnings. For example, my balance left over before pay day is $500 and I get paid $3000.
I review my bank account and YNAB and see that my previously budgeted $500 is still accurate and then I begin to budget dollars from my new pay to my categories.
I have several post-dated, recurring transactions that occur bi-weekly in YNAB such as Mortgage payment, Electric, Gas, Car Payment etc...
I enter in the total amount I'm paid, subtracting the previously budgetted amounts (Becuase this money already has a job) and then begin to allocated these dollars to my recurring payments and regular categories such as Mortgage, Electric and Gas bills etc...
I do this until I reach $0.
To recap, not only should my previously budgetted categories have dollars assigned to them becuase I haven't touched that money yet, i should also have matching balances for what i had just budgeted within my categories and the amount I calculated as pay in my checking account correct?
The problem I often find is that the amounts stated in my YNAB categories do not match or equal the amount in my checking account. I don't budget money in the future and I live strictly within the monthly pay periods. When using the credit cards I usually assign a budgeted category to any purchase thereby allowing YNAB to set aside those monies for the repayment of my credit card.
I have several categories where it seems like there is money budgetted but a quick tally of the most imporant YNAB categories such as Groceries, Transportation and Insurance etc..shows me that I've already reached the balance stated in my checking account while further down my categories list there is money still budgeted.
If I'm using YNAB correctly, which I believe I am, then how is it that I'm left with these funded categories which are not reflective of my actual checking balance? As stated, I have not budeted any money into the future nor have I overpurchased items on my credit card without assigning it an appropriate category.
Sea Green Tugboat said:
I enter in the total amount I'm paid, subtracting the previously budgetted amounts (Becuase this money already has a job)
Why do you subtract the previously budgeted amounts? Either I have misunderstood or you aren't entering the transaction for $3000 (your actual pay), but $2500.
Either I've got the wrong end of the stick, or that's the problem. Probably me.....
Hey Sea Green Tugboat !
To trust your budget, you can check to be sure that the Total Available matches the total amount in your cash (positive-balance) accounts:
Here are the steps you can use to verify that the amount in your account(s) matches exactly with your budget in YNAB – no more and no less.
- Advance to next month's budget. (The math is easier there, because all overspending is covered.)
- In the right sidebar, when no categories are selected, you’ll see your Total Available amount, which is the sum of the Available column.
- Add that to the amount you have left To be Budgeted and any amount Budgeted in Future, if applicable. Let’s stop here for a minute, just in case your To be Budgeted was negative. If it is, you would need to subtract it from Total Available, because that means you’ve given jobs to funds you don’t yet have. Preferably though, you would go back to this month’s budget and budget less in a few categories until To be Budgeted is back in the green at zero.
- Now, add up the cash in your accounts. That includes checking, savings, and cash accounts, plus any positive balances on credit cards if applicable.
- Your totals in step 3 and 4 should match up exactly.
Let me know if you still have questions, I’m happy to help!
Sea Green Tugboat My husband and I feel your pain. We can't make the totals in the "available" categories come out to what is in our checking account. In fact, when we predict cashflow in our checking account (outside of YNAB) we're short for the month despite having money available in our YNAB categories.
Chrissy We used your process, and our total cash on hand (including savings accounts) is consistent with the amount in the "available" column. However, we don't want to be going into our savings to pay for our day to day expenses. Honestly, we're not putting money into those savings accounts now, so I'm not sure how it is that money that was allocated is there.
So, Sea Green Tugboat , I'm going to guess that somehow you ended up in the same place that we did -- somehow we have money that's allocated ("available") in YNAB that is actually in a savings account (which we don't consider "available"). It exists, but you don't really want to be using it the way that it's been allocated. I'm not sure how to fix it for either of us.