TO BE BUDGETED negative balance

I am 3 months into YNAB (more of an art brain than a $$ brain) and I am completely overwhelmed by this point - I have plenty of money saved and properly linked in my accounts. I pay off my CC every month - and yet I show a gigantic TO BE BUDGETED negative number. I also see weird things happening, like a negative number in my budget with a huge number in the available. I feel like I am going round in circles on this basic step. Help?

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  • Following as I’m in the same boat. I pay off my CC in full. I have money in my accounts (thank goodness!).  But my “to be budgeted” is massively negative like in the thousands. Yikes. 

    Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 4 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Silver Colt If your To Be Budgeted is negative it means you have more money in your categories than you do in your accounts. You need to remove money from categories until To Be Budgeted is back to zero.

      Like 1
  • Rule #1 is to give every dollar (that you have) a job. With YNAB, you wait until you physically receive money to budget it.

    If you don't have enough to cover the whole month (most people don't when they start), remove money from categories until the red is gone. Think, "what do I need to spend before I'm paid again."

    You're right - there should be no red in your budget at all. 

    Like 2
  • Any negative numbers in To Be Budgeted or in category available amounts means your budget does not reflect the total amount of money you actually have, and you will need to make adjustments to your budget to correct this.

     

    j4 said:
    I also see weird things happening, like a negative number in my budget with a huge number in the available.

     What negative number are you referring to? The Budgeted column? Activity column? A particular category? More details are needed to better answer this question.

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      • j4
      • j4n
      • 4 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule Thanks for the reply here. IMAGE 1 (JULY): the activity is 2x the amount budgeted and then there is even an extra amount on the AVAILABLE column. IMAGE 2 (AUG) the BUDGET number becomes negative when I return the AVAILABLE to zero. 

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      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 4 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      j4 if you spending budgeted money on your credit card then you don’t need to also budget money to the credit card payments category. 
       

      the negative number in the budgeted column isn’t a problem. It just means you moved more money out this month than you budgeted. 

      Like 2
  • j4 said:
    I have plenty of money saved and properly linked in my accounts

    The problem is with a negative To Be Budgeted (TBB), you have made a plan to use MORE than that amount of money. (The budget is your de-facto spending/saving plan.) That means your plan is infeasible and relying on such a plan for spending guidance may not be the best idea.

    Move funds around in the budget to eliminate all red, both in TBB and categories. Then every penny shown in any category really is available to spend. Further, prioritize among the various categories so the money you have is devoted to covering the important things. Repeat when you get more money.

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  • Does this mean I should only enter into the BUDGET column when I am ready to assign the dollars a job? What happens if I have more than 1 month's worth of funds in my bank account?

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 4 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      j4 you should be planning for future expenses: semi-annual car insurance bill, Christmas presents, quarterly taxes, vacations, car repairs, home repairs, birthdays, technology replacement, etc.

      Like 2
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      j4 If you have enough funds, the best way to use YNAB is to budget next month with this month's funds. 

      Put all your liquid savings accounts into your budget. Budget a month’s worth of income into your monthly categories and true expenses (Rule 2). Budget the rest into long term savings such as Income Replacement, Home Maintenance, Car Maintenance, Car Replacement, Property Taxes, etc.

      When you get income, create an Income for Next Month category (one time) and store it there. After all income has come in for the month, release it to To Be Budgeted and budget all of next month.

      Like 2
      • j4
      • j4n
      • 4 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      jenmas Do I do this using goals? Those seemed to cause me most of the trouble, until I deleted them.

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 4 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      j4 you can use goals sure, but the important thing is to have the category and to allocate funds to them. For the vast majority of my categories, I allocate the same amount every single month.

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  • Hello, j4 ! In addition to the good advice here, if you'd like us to take a look at anything in your budget, please feel free to get in touch with support anytime by clicking the ? in the lower-right-hand corner of your budget.

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