True Expenses

Any tips on how to deal with unexpected expenses? I have True Expenses categories that I'm not sure if or when I need to use it. I want to be able to move my True Expenses in future months if I need it elsewhere. It's currently on Monthly Budgeting Goal. How else can I contribute monthly but move it any time in the future too? After month, do you just disregard the Available column since the month is already done?

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  • Yep just keep budgeting the same amount monthly so the available amount grows.  Once it's there it's there until you move it elsewhere.

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    • TechieM2 thank you

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  • Hey Jaime Jaurigue ! For categories like Auto Maintenance, I budget a set amount each month. The Available amount grows with each month when there is no spending, and the money sits in the category until needed.

    Your budget is flexible, so if you budget $200.00 to Auto Maintenance this month... but then need some of those dollars in another category in July—you can move money. This video has some great tips and examples on predictable and unpredictable True Expenses!

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    • Nicole thank you! do you have a preference when to transfer? Mid-month, end of the month or start of the month?

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      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Jaime Jaurigue When needed...  Preferably, if it's a true expense category, you don't want to use it for something besides what the expense is for.  But, as sometimes happens, we might spend more than expected in one category, and need to move money. If your true expense category is a lower priority than what you need to buy, then At that time, when you need it, is the right time to move it.

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      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Jaime Jaurigue Let's say you want to buy something, the workflow is. Find the price. Check your budget. Is there enough money in the category? Yes, buy what you want to buy. 

      If there is not enough money in that category, can you find another category (or categories) with lower priority for you that has enough money to cover what you want to buy? Yes, move the money in your budget, then buy what you want to buy.

      If you can't find enough money in your budget: you either don't buy what you want to buy or you have to buy it with credit/loan, in short, create debt.

      I saw in another post of you, you said the yellow makes you worried. It's a good thing and a bad thing: if a category has less priority than another, it's fine to move money out even if it makes the Available yellow. The yellow is only there to tell you: "Hey if you have some money you don't know what to do with, I could use some!" It isn't necessarily dire, you've made the choice to move the money out.

      About priorities: you decide them. It's your life, it's for you to decide whether you value more a take-away coffee or paying your rent on time 😉

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    • Ceeses thank you! I think got a good grasp of how I will use YNAB. Thanks to everyone's inputs!

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  • We have a question about True Expenses.  Since we have several categories, where should we place the money (besides a savings account), and once you have a lump sum in that account, do we itemize what each dollar is for.  

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    • Orchid Mask In YNAB, it doesn't matter what account your money is in—and, in fact, we recommend simplifying as much as you can! Many folks have just one checking account for day-to-day money and True Expenses and perhaps one high-yield savings account for longer-term savings.

      Instead, your categories are where you give your money a job. So, as long as your money is in a category, it's already "itemized." Until you move that money from one category to another, that money will continue to have the job you gave it.

      This Helpdoc explains how this works. Give it a read and let us know what other Qs you have! :)

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