New Goals

Hopefully someone here can enlighten me on a solid approach.  We had a spending goal (pre-new Goals) to have $500 to write out the check for our summer pool fee by June 2020.  Check written in June & has cleared the bank.  I changed the goal to now reflect $500 by April 2021 (normal month for it to be paid).  However, it still is saying my goal is complete.  Can these goals not be reset?  Or do I need to delete the goal and start fresh?  Or should I instead be using the Target Savings Balance instead?  


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  • Move to the July budget and create the goal.

    A Target Savings Balance goal will be effectively identical to a Spending Goal since you're not actually spending from it. The only real difference shows up after the goal is met, since the Spending Goal can be set to repeat for the next instance.

      • malmomma
      • Beige_Octopus.8
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      I just deleted the old goal since it still was there in July and editing proved fruitless. 

      I assume, based on this, that whenever a Spending Goal is reached for a category, I'm going to have delete it and create new one the following month.  Unless repeat works in some magical way, but I had it checked off and it didn't do anything.

      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 11 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      malmomma Yeah, I'm still a little unclear on how those work.  I haven't gotten them to roll over successfully yet.  I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.  I usually just delete and restart them too.  :(

      Like 2
  • Hi! Alan here, from the YNAB design team. I wanted to chime in real quick on this one, because I know it can cause some confusion at times.

    When you create a Needed for Spending: By Date goal, the goal will record when it was originally started. You can see this date under the progress bar for the goal—you'll notice that your goal in the screenshot above was started in April 2020, for example. When you edit your goal, this start date does not change, however. This goal type will track the amount of funding from the beginning of that start date up until the goal's end date.

    In your scenario, you edited your goal to push the end date out until 2021. However, the start date wasn't changed, so the goal is still including funding that has occurred since April 2020 (the start date). Since you funded the goal since then, it's still going to sit at 100% progress.

    Similarly, if you delete the goal in the same month that you spent the money, you'll notice the new goal is immediately considered funded, even if you set the target date well into the future. That's because you had $500 in this category this month (which is considered funding) and the goal allows you to also spend that money (which you did this month).

    It's been mentioned that there are two ways to correct this situation:

    1. Delete the goal and create it again in the next month (say August)—this way your spending in the current month (July) won't be included in the goal, since the start date will be next month (August). This is a bit of work...
    2. Use the Repeat option for your goal.

    I think the easiest way to solve this challenge (and continue solving it, forevermore) is to setup a repeat for your goal. For example, if you have an expense that is due by July 16, 2020, and then due again July 16, 2021, you could set your goal to be due July 16, 2020 and then repeat every year.

    When you do this, your goal will automatically create a new goal prompt the month after your goal completes—in this case, August2020. You won't ever need to delete the goal and recreate it by hand. Plus, you can also set it to repeat every year, or every few months, etc...

    Like 6
  • That was SO helpful,  Alan  I appreciate the detail you went into.  It makes much more sense now.  One question - I just went into the new goal and checked off repeat and made it one year.  So now, just to confirm:

    New goal created July 2020
    Spending goal of $500 by April 21, 2021.
    Repeat set to 1 year

    Since $500 will be funded by April 21, this means my goal will prompt me in June 2021, correct?

    Thanks for your help!  Just another reason why I love YNAB so much - the support is unparalleled.  :)

  • I'm glad Alan's post was helpful.

    In that case, YNAB will create the new goal starting in May 2021. And if there's any money left in the category at the end of April 2021, YNAB will consider that a head start on fulfilling the goal. I hope that helps!

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