Using Goals for a Monthly Template

I am relatively new to YNAB and although I've done a lot of reading in the forums and watched many videos, there is still the chance I'm not doing something right, thus my frustration. I am trying to use goals to create a monthly budget template per the instructions in a YNAB article about this. Until now, I've kept my template in a spreadsheet and it would be nice not to have to refer back to that each month to set up my budget. So, I created goals for each category -- mostly monthly goals, but a few are target, etc. The problem I have is when I move funds around during the month to cover a category where expenses where higher this month (i.e. take $25 out of groceries to cover the extra cost of fuel this month due to extra travel, etc.), then the category I took the money from goes orange. This gets confusing because now it is mixed up with categories that are orange because they are truly not fully funded (i.e. waiting for the next paycheck as I am only 1 paycheck ahead, not a full month). So when paycheck #2 comes in and I want to distribute that, looking at my orange categories, I need to remember if it is orange because I intentionally reduced it to cover something else, or if it just wasn't fully funded yet and needs funds now. I can see how using goals as a template works if you never need to move money around, but that then is not really in line with rule #3 of rolling with the punches. It would be nice if there truly was a template, that was just that... a baseline for starting the monthly budget, before making any adjustments for varied expenses during the month. Or, am I just doing it incorrectly?

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  • Yep, a lot of people feel the way you do. Make a feature request with the link on the main support page.

    One tip in the meantime, you can turn off the nagging for intentional moves by re-establishing the goal in next month's area (Edit the goal and immediately hit OK). However, I would NOT do this for any Spend By goals, since the timeline will be reset resulting in higher than desired contributions.

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      • Owlette
      • owlette
      • 1 mth ago
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      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Thank you! Resetting the goal in the following month is the answer! To minimize WAMing I'm using the "Stuff I forgot to budget for" category to hold $100 to cover small overspending through the month. I apply a monthly spending goal so it resets to $100 on the 1st of every month. Tried entering the movements with a $0 net split transaction, SIFTBF stays green, but then the actual spending isn't recorded accurately. Had decided to just live with the category being yellow half the month, but now I don't have to :)

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  • If you use the Toolkit for YNAB, you can change the color for this situation to blue, preserving the real meaning of the orange blocks.

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  • I’ve requested a feature to have a budget template.  It’s funny how they have an article to create a budget template but nothing in the program to really manage a budget template.  I doubt they will actually create a feature that their clients are requesting.  It seems like it would be good customer service but I guess there aren’t enough of us that would like this feature.  

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  • 1 mth agoLast active
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