Starting Balances

I'm a newbie, and just calibrating and setting up my first month (trying). My starting balanced largely went into my emergency fund categories, but then it looked as if I had assigned that whole amount that month, not accurate to how I'd want to set it up. To have my current month look as it seems it should, I moved the starting balance back to last month. I'm chasing an overassigned amount in previous month or future month now and confused. Any advise welcome - I think the issue is how best to deal with starting balance.

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  • YNAB Isn’t a “I earn this much every month” budget. It is about how much money comes into the budget each month. If you stick with it for years on end as many of us have, you will have many months where huge amounts of money come into the budget: from bonuses, from home sales, from inheritances, from big job changes. You will similarly have many months where your outgo exceeds your income because you’ve been saving diligently for something large. 

    In December, you brought $X into the budget. Budget that money where it needs to go and do the same in January, even though January’s inflow will be much less. 

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  • Hey I had this issue too. I wanted to accurately see what I had allocated this month not what I had allocated previously before ynab. 

     

    I changed my starting balance transactions so that they are the last day of November. I also set the totals of my savings and sinking funds that I had already been working on in November too. Nothing else. 

     

    I had heaps left to assign bit I did that in the December budget instead of the November one. That way the first month is a better representation of what I did. I'm hoping this will help me to plan for January effectively. 

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  • Silver Boa Welcome to You Need A Budget! This is your very first month and it's okay that your assigned amounts this month will look different. You're following Rule One: Give Every Dollar a Job to distribute the money you have on hand, in your accounts, right now. That might be more than a usual month, especially for those emergency categories.

    In the future, you'll assign as new income arrives. However, there are tools to set yourself up for future months and streamline the workflow! Check out this article on Creating a Budget Template. You can use scheduled transactions or Targets to help with assigning dollars in a few clicks each month. 

    I see you wrote into Support already and are working through this. I've sent a note to my college to loop them in! Go ahead and respond to their last message when you're ready to continue.

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