Wow! It's so different!

I've been a user of YNAB3 and YNAB4 for 12 years now and finally decided to check out nYNAB.  I've avoided it because it's pricey and we can't take advantage of what I see is the main reason for the annual fee: the automatic linking to our bank accounts.   But YNAB4 is gradually grinding to a halt with 12 years of budget data packed into it so I thought I'd check out nYNAB and see if it was worth paying a hundred dollars a year for or just archive my old budget and start afresh with YNAB4.   MAN!  What have you guys done?!!  Where is the "Income: Available to Next Month" category?   That was such a big part of the YNAB philosophy and you've abandoned it?   So everything is THIS month's money now?  Isn't that living paycheck to paycheck?   Did you guys kidnap Jesse and corrupt his beautiful creation while he was tied up in a cell, unable to stop you?  I can't even wrap my mind around the way it works now.  So, all the money is just available always and I can flip back and forth from month to month and assign it where ever I feel like?   Also I can't roll over overspends into future months and therefore keep track of debt on my Fun Money category?   So I can spend a $1000 of my $100 fun money (because it was a BARGAIN honey!  I had to buy it RIGHT NOW!) and next month it's refreshed with a new balance of $100 and no sign I overspent it?...hey...that's actually not a bad feature... 😉   

YNAB was unique and bound by the Four Rules and the goal of getting a Buffer.  But now, I'm not sure.    Are you long term users and especially YNAB4 converts sure it's still great?  It seems really weird now whereas YNAB original seemed to make perfect sense right from the first time I discovered it.     Is there a Blog (or a lot of blogs probably, you YNAB bloggers are prolific!) detailing the reasons for the changes from YNAB4?  Especially the loss of the "Income: Available to Budget Next Month" category which intrigues me.

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  • And why does my Credit Card activity show $85 on the top view but the true value of $95 when I drill down?  I know it's deliberately showing me only the FUNDED CC activity but why?  Isn't that kind of hiding my overspending on the Credit Card?  I know I will see the big red $10 in the spending category.  But just wondering about the philosophy of showing Credit Card Activity=$85 when in reality there was $95

    Like
      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Kingston activity only shows the budgeted spending. 

      Like
      • Kingston
      • Orchid_Horse.12
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      satcook I know it does but WHY does it?  It hides your real activity

      Like
      • Kingston
      • Orchid_Horse.12
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      I should say it SEEMS to hide your real activity.  I'm sure it will make sense when I fully understand it

      Like
    • Kingston No, you're right - it's very subtle.

      The thing you need to look for is that your CC Payment category is always the absolute value of your (negative) CC working balance.

      There's a Toolkit browser extension that gives you a better warning.

      Like 1
    •  Kingston That activity number's purpose is to show the amount moving in and out of your Credit Card Payment category (so it works like the activity number in other categories). You should still be able to easily find what you're looking for, in terms of overspending, by flipping to the account register, and checking the overspending bubble at the top. You can also use filters to narrow down to a specific date range if you'd like to see your spending in the current month, for example - you can select those transactions for a selected total of your activity for that time frame.

      Like 1
      • Kingston
      • Orchid_Horse.12
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Marisa but it doesn't seem to work like that Marisa.  In my example I had an $85 CC expenditure on a funded category and a $10 CC expenditure on an unfunded category and the Activity amount only said $85.  When I clicked on that $85 link, it showed both transactions totaling to $95.  Why doesn't it show $95 in the Activity amount?  All the other categories show the full amount of spending and payments in the Activity column.  It would make sense for the CC to.  In fact if EVERYTHING I used my Credit Card for is Unfunded then NO value appears in the Activity column for the CC and that makes no sense at all.  If I drill into it I can see both transactions but neither of them are registering at the top level.  The way I think would make sense is that the Activity column should show ALL the acivity on the CC and the Payment column should show the same, only; in green what is covered by Funded Categories if everything is covered, yellow if only some of it is covered and red if none of it is covered.  At the moment, a Credit card that is loaded with debt, none of which is covered by Funded Categories shows ZERO in the Activity column and ZERO in the Payment column which makes no sense.  As far as that appears, I did not use the CC and I have nothing to pay

      Like
      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Kingston ynab is showing you the math. Only $85 was budgeted so only $85 moved to the payment bubble. 

      in your example spending unbudgeted money on the credit card it is correct that both activity and the payment bubble would say $0 as unbudgeted money doesn’t cause any money to be set aside for payment. The payment bubble is showing you how much of the money in your checking account is reserved to pay off the credit card. 

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Kingston FYI, there's another undocumented workaround to make credit cards work exactly the same as in previous YNABs for us PIF users that don't want to mess with the middle man. Let me know if interested.

      Like
  • Not rolling overspending into next month is one of he best features of ynab. You are forced to deal with the reality you have overspent and not just roll the ball down the road. The $909 on your example does not just disappear. If it is cash based overspending you will have $900 subtracted from next months tbb. If it is credit based overspending you will increase your credit card balance by $900 and will have to budget to pay that off. 

    Like 1
      • Kingston
      • Orchid_Horse.12
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      satcook  YNAB4 does that too, but you can choose to automatically subtract it from the actual category that was overspent, or hide it in the entire budget.  Lets just say there are three people in my family and they all have "Fun Money" categories.  If Kingston overspends his fun money category then he has a big red -$900 in HIS category but wife and daughter still show a nice green number.  When next month's money is allocated, say $100 each, it will show -$800 owing for Kingston and Wife and Daughter's available is growing by $100 (actually we are all growing by $100 but I won't have any available for further spending until 8 months later which is good, because I need to pay back the overdraft before I start considering new purchases).

      If the YNAB4 rollover function is not turned on, then that $900 would be deducted from the general budget money, possibly impacting categories that have nothing to do with Kingston.  There would be no link back to Kingston and no record that he "owes the budget $900".  It should be deducted only from Kingston and YNAB4 can be set to do this automatically but nYNAB can't.

      Another case in point, Daughter likes to use our credit card to buy purchases for herself.  Those purchases are allocated to a category called "Daughter Must Pay Back"  It grows and shrinks as she makes purchases and repayments.  We always know how much she owes because of that little red number with the arrow.  If I turn that category back into a "take from next month's available" then we lose all visibility of what she owes us.   We would have to make sure that she pays it back every month which is not a bad idea, but it's lost functionality.   It is back to YNAB3 functionality I believe and that was great even without that feature, but the rollover into the next month is really useful for tracking money owed and money spent on projects where you don't know the end cost so nothing was budgeted.    How do we do that now?

      I honestly don't mind changing the way we do things.  I would just like to know the reason things were changed and how things are better done in nYNAB.

      Thanks for your reply

      Like
    • Kingston There's a big long thread about the disappearance of the red arrow. It's called something like YNAB Doesn't Carry Negative Amounts And It's Stupid or something similarly witty.

      I encourage you to read it (all - it's like 800 replies and has been resurrected multiple times... If you resurrect it without reading it all, I might simply respond with links to things people have already said in it, but I might not bother. Can't speak for others on the forum).

      I'm not terribly interested in going back to it and finding a good summary to link to from here (and I can't do that on mobile right now, anyways). Others might be more willing to rewrite stuff here...

      Like
      • Kingston
      • Orchid_Horse.12
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life Thanks.  I know I have a lot of reading up to do.   I probably shouldn't have really given my "first impressions" until I have read up on everything but I love YNAB and wanted to jump into the Forum and say Wow! and I got a bit blabby about everything I've noticed so far.

      Like
    • Kingston Naw, it's ok. It's just that people have gotten very... Emotional on that other thread. It can be draining trying to talk people off the edge when it's clear they didn't read/process what someone else already asked. There's quite a bit of good info on the responses, though. And they will probably address the things that matter to you.

      Like 1
    • Kingston I take it back. Reading that other thread is excruciating. I found myself skimming through and I only got 5% down.

      If you do want to read through some, HappyDance had a nicely succinct response. Nolesrule, Dakinemaui, WordTenor, Jenmas, iwaddo, bevocat, and Tiff_Ann all had good things to say as far as I read tonight. I didn't get involved in that thread until much later. I think I've read the whole thing, but it's possible I missed some.

      Some topics that I remember: end of month timing, reimbursements, using credit to finance something, floating, kicking the can down the road in one category vs. looking at the month as a unit, timelines of rule 3, being partially buffered, basic YNAB philosophy with not as obvious implications as applied in various situations, etc.

      Maybe someday I'll be inspired to write a summary map of that post, because there really are some gold nuggets in there. It's just no fun to wade through the slush to get to them - and I know they're there! I'm sure it would be worse if I didn't know which groups of comments were separate conversations already (much of the threading is convoluted in terms of when people posted), and kind of which topics arrived in what order/written by whom.

      However, if you have specific questions, feel free to ask here or make a new post. People are happy to explain things or offer ways to optimize your processes.

      Like
  • Kingston said:
    Where is the "Income: Available to Next Month" category? 

     It's pretty easy to manually recreate this bufferdom.

    1. Make a category called Income for Next Month (INM). Since you're starting out now, you'll just assign the sum of your July income to the category. 

    2. After you've gotten the rest of your budget organized with proper amounts in savings categories, delete the number in the cell in July, then flip to August and budget it there.

    3. Categorize inflows throughout August to INM. I use scheduled transactions to save work.

    4. When it's time to budget September, go to All Accounts, select your INM transactions, and recategorize to Inflow: RTA.

    5. Assign in September. 

    Repeat steps 3-5 in tech subsequent month.

    Like
      • Kingston
      • Orchid_Horse.12
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life thanks.  That works.  I seem to have a problem assigning that income in August though using  Auto Assign though.  All of the options are $0.    Even the "Assigned Last Month" although I have fully assigned July.  Does it think i'm still in July because of the real date?   I have flipped to August in the budget but it's not treating me like I'm in August but maybe still in July.  Manually assigning August's values works fine though

      Like
  • Kingston said:
    So, all the money is just available always and I can flip back and forth from month to month and assign it where ever I feel like?   

     Not quite. It's flow forward from when you receive money.

    Some people do seem to budget months in advance, but it's more efficient to just use the INM and have a separate category for loss of income (6 months or whatever).

    Like
  • Kingston said:
    Does it think i'm still in July because of the real date? 

     Yes, and I really disagree with this design choice. 

    I only use the Savings Builder: Monthly Contribution targets because of this.

    Like 1
  • When the month turns over:

    Any positive available amount left in a category will roll over and stay in that category in the next month.

    Any negative available amount in a category due to cash spending will be taken from the next month's RTA.

    Any negative available amount in a category due to credit spending will be (is already, technically) added to the credit card debt (no CC debt means the amount available in the CC Payment category is the positive equivalent to the working balance on the card at all times).

    The Assigned cells, which simply represent the math of moving money into/among categories in a given month, will be empty in the new month.

    Like
      • Kingston
      • Orchid_Horse.12
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life yep got that.  All of that is the same as standard YNAB4 except for the CC part which I need to read up more on.   That's really different.  I only use "roll over into next month" for a few categories.  The rest of them are set to the default of "Substract from next month's budget".   I thought it was a useful feature but maybe I was fooling myself.  Maybe using it in the "clever" ways I have has really only allowed me to overspend while feeling like I was in control haha

      Like 1
  • Kingston said:
    Maybe using it in the "clever" ways I have has really only allowed me to overspend while feeling like I was in control haha

     That does seem to be the consensus of people who have migrated from YNAB 4 and given this new way a chance. 

    Like 1
  • With my migrated Budget across it's AMAZINGLY fast especially for a web app.  12+ years of data in there and no grinding when I flip between months.   Amazing compared to the YNAB4 desktop app

    Like 1
    • Kingston Nice. I know at least one other forum person has kept a very long, migrated history as well 

      Like 1
    •  Kingston I can't remember how reconciled transactions import when you migrate, but if they aren't reconciled (i.e. don't have little locks) - reconciling will make flipping between accounts speedier as well.

      Like
      • Kingston
      • Orchid_Horse.12
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Marisa thanks Marisa but all my accounts are fully reconciled in YNAB4 so it's probably as speedy as it can get

      Like
  • Kingston said:
    We would have to make sure that she pays it back every month which is not a bad idea, but it's lost functionality.   It is back to YNAB3 functionality I believe and that was great even without that feature, but the rollover into the next month is really useful for tracking money owed and money spent on projects where you don't know the end cost so nothing was budgeted.    How do we do that now?
    I honestly don't mind changing the way we do things.  I would just like to know the reason things were changed and how things are better done in nYNAB.

     The way to do things for reimbursements now is either to seed the category or float it on credit. There's a help doc on the official YNAB sure, and it's addressed (maybe buried) in that Red Arrow thread I mentioned.

    The reason it was changed is because, evidently, a lot of users were abusing the privilege. This is also mentioned in the other thread.

    Like 1
      • Kingston
      • Orchid_Horse.12
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life You know what, I think I'm just going to go to Darling Daughter and say, "You know that $1500 you've accumulated over the years?  You have to pay it ALL this month because I've switched to the new YNAB and it's not capable of handling your profligate ways any more."  😂

      Like 2
    • Kingston Make it 1584 and have her get YNAB as well. 🤣

      Like 1
      • Kingston
      • Orchid_Horse.12
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life She does have YNAB4 using her own budget.  I think YNAB4 allowed for multiple budgets within the one family (or we are going to jail!)  It "stopped working" for her when she got her new Macbook but that was just because of the Dropbox not being set up properly I think and every time I offered to help her set it us she was too busy.  So she hasn't updated her YNAB budget in a few months.  But it was working well for her when she was.  That was part of the reason to take a look at nYNAB because I thought being web based it might work "straight out of the box" for her without a lot of mucking around.    I'll have to investigate the YNAB's family plan.  I wouldn't want to pay twice

      Like
    • Kingston No family plan (actually, it IS a family/household plan, the way they used to be done when there would be one computer sitting in the house for everyone to "nicely" take turns using).  There's one set of permissions per paid account. Make as many budgets as you like on your account.

      YNAB seems to be working on a model that would ostensibly allow different permission levels for children/split couples, but that's not the way it is now. I hope it's done in a manner that's A) not more expensive and B) not more restrictive. We shall see. 

      You can have your daughter set YNAB to automatically open to her budget both on her computer and phone. That way, she'd have to intentionally snoop to see yours.

      Like 1
    • Kingston I have 3 teenaged/young adult children who all have access to one of our credit cards (each one has a different card so I can usually tell which kid went to Starbucks, etc. based on what card was used). They each get $150 allocated to their category for spending money for the month. When their category shows it's been overspent I just transfer money from their bank account into our budget to cover the overspending.

      Like 2
  • Kingston said:
    You know what, I think I'm just going to go to Darling Daughter and say, "You know that $1500 you've accumulated over the years?  You have to pay it ALL this month because I've switched to the new YNAB and it's not capable of handling your profligate ways any more."  😂

     In all seriousness, though, she won't change overnight, so you can choose to

    A) put #hername on the memo of all her transactions, including when she pays. Then you'll search/filter for #hername in All Accounts. Select all those transactions and you'll see how much she owes.

    B) make her an off-budget tracking account and change the payee to be a transfer to that account. This cuts out a having to filter to see her total, but it also gets rid of the payee. Getting rid of the payee will make it harder for you to remind her what the $50 was for two weeks ago, and it will also likely make things more complicated with importing*.

    *I know you can't direct import, but file-based import can be handy sometimes.

    Like 1
      • Kingston
      • Orchid_Horse.12
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life it looks like it will also work just to do an Income/Expense report for her "Must pay back" category and it shows me the final tally of all Expenses and negative Expenses (when she paid back).

      Like 1
      • Kingston
      • Orchid_Horse.12
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      I was a bit nervous about where all of those Red Arrow balances went to though.  I would have thought having them swap back to "subtract from next month" would massively upset all the months down the line but it doesn't look like it happened.    I think it's because the "To be Budgeted" amount is now a global figure instead of a monthly figure.  I think those red arrow amounts actually subtracted from a global "available to be budgeted" instead of the next month's "available to be budgeted".  Is that right?    If so, I'm starting to like this "global" figure which is divorced from any particular month...   It means I can fix a mistake from 2015 (if I wanted to) and only have to sort out the resulting change in 2021.   I mean, technically you could do that in YNAB too if you never went back and looked at the previous months but I always went back and fixed everything up so that the months all had zero TBB at the top.

      Like
      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Kingston if you didn’t have money to budget in that month in 2025 then you can’t go back and budget more. Money flows forward, not backwards. 

      Like
      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Kingston if you used the red arrow in categories you will want to fix the budget in this current month so the category balances match between ynab 4 and web ynab. The categories you used the red arrow in probably have to much in their available bubble. 
       

      also if you  have a credit card you want to make sure you have enough in the payment bubble for the card. The amount in the payment bubble should equal the total due on the card. So if you owe $2589 then you payment bubble should have a positive $2589 in it. 

      Like
      • Kingston
      • Orchid_Horse.12
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      satcook I would have had the money, just tucked away in one of the many Rainy Day savings categories.  Generally fixing up a mistake from 2015 in YNAB4 involves tediously going back to that month one click at a time and then reducing one of the savings categories by the amount I have to allocate to cover the redness. 

       I'm in the process of fixing up the red arrow categories, thanks for the tip.  It seems that web YNAB remembers the months that they were positive and accumulates that balance but forgets the months they were negative.

      Like
  • Kingston said:
    Are you long term users and especially YNAB4 converts sure it's still great?

     Yes. It's easy to implement the old Rule 4, live on last month's income.

    Like 1
  • Welcome Kingston !! I've been around since YNAB3 as well, although I admit to remembering basically nothing. I held off from the new membership fee for about 3 months before making the switch, and didn't look back. I've found that reimbursements from my kids got trickier, but my budgeting has improved 100 fold.

    If you have a chance, check out this video on Creating Your Budget in YNAB - I think it's the most efficient overview. 

    Like 2
  • I used YNAB4 for years and finally switched to nYNAB in ‘19, reluctantly. I finally found my way into workarounds for the buffer and red arrow changes. It was a learning curve but it’s fine for me now. Be grateful you’re not just now starting. The live on last month’s income and buffer explanations from the YNAB4 days changed my financial world, whereas age your money is diluted and non-concrete. I’m not sure it would’ve had the same impact for me now. 

    Like 2
      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 2 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Sky Blue Tugboat there are plenty of us who may never have had firsthand experience with YNAB4 and earlier but who have nonetheless embraced (and become wild evangelists for) the old Rule 4. 😉

      Like 5
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Vibrant And before that, it was Rule One. 🙂There is a reason Jesse felt so highly about it at the beginning of his method. I think the only reason it when from 1->4->a memory is that it wasn't easy for users to achieve or to understand how to achieve. Plus, most users can't start off there.

      Like 3
    • Vibrant for sure. Everyone has their own approach that seems to fit well for them. We came from Ramsey’s “gazelle intensity,” so having a goal of saving all of a month’s expenses in order to live on last month’s income was something I think we needed at the time. Even though it took us two years to achieve. 

      Like 1
      • Kingston
      • Orchid_Horse.12
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Sky Blue Tugboat I combined YNAB and Ramsey's Baby Steps too.  I found them around about the same time and they revolutionised everything for me. 

      Like 2
  • Kingston said:
    I combined YNAB and Ramsey's Baby Steps too.  I found them around about the same time and they revolutionised everything for me. 

    Me too. However, after I was out of credit card debt, I deviated greatly on credit cards and his investing philosophies as well as BS6. He eventually wore thin on me and I stopped listening. Especially the constant selling of his preferred providers. Turns out that it's quite easy to invest on your own and not take a financial advisor hit on your investment funds.

    Using credit cards in YNAB is no different than cash since all of your purchases are cash based and then just transferred to the CC each month. Might was well get the cash back rewards and a good credit score.

    For investing, the Bogleheads are invaluable. There are very simple 2, 3, or 4 fund portfolios that are just as effective if not more than what the average financial advisor will do with your money. Fiduciary or not. Did you know that just 1% in fees each year can add up to you ending up with 1/3 less money after a 40 year investing period?

    And as far as paying your house off, everybody's situation is different and there is no one size fits all solution like Ramsey would have you believe. For me it makes NO sense to do that. I have a very low 2.875% rate and I'm not in my forever house plus I live in a very high cost of living area so my mortgage is quite large. My money is much better off sitting in liquid equities rather than illiquidly buried into my house.

    Like 4
      • Kingston
      • Orchid_Horse.12
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Superbone sounds like we all did the same sort of thing:  the Baby Steps got us thinking about our money and making some concrete steps and then we all deviated and are doing well.  I think that's the benefit of the Baby Steps, they give you a clear path and so you start and once you start it's easier to keep going.  It's getting started that is often the hard part.  YNAB was the same for me, it gave me Four Rules and helped me implement them and that's all I needed.   And now I also invest in ETFs through a managed fund called Raiz (formally Acorns).  Again, it's investment on automatic.  It just works and I don't mess it up.  Whereas my personal Share Trading sometimes works and sometimes doesn't and sometimes I forget to check what's happening and miss opportunities.   That's what works for me:  simple strategies that sound sensible and simple rules and repetitive tasks  every month.  

      Like 2
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