Being able to easy find and use Budget for Upcoming for multiple categories which have scheduled transactions

Hi guys!

I was wondering if there's a way to be able to see quickly on the budget's screen all my categories that would need to be budgeted for upcoming because there's a schedule transaction planified that month.

Those categories are the ones that I want to be budgeted as soon as I have a new income because they have a schedule expense planified and I do need to cover them asap.

Is there an easy way to do that?

Do not hesitate to ask me whatever you need for further information.

Thanks a lot and congratulations for your software (heavy user since 2012).

Cheers!

26replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • They will be yellow until you fund them....

    Like 1
  • On the web app, they will be yellow with a calendar icon.

    Like
  • The implicit goal associated with scheduled transactions only works in the month of the outflow. If your expense does not recur monthly, you may wish to use an explicit goal of some type.

    If the amount varies from month to month (e.g., Electric), an explicit monthly funding goal for the average amount is useful, but make sure you cover overspending if you haven't yet built up a surplus.

    Additionally, the "Underfunded" Quick Budget shows the total amount you need (both implicit and explicit goals combined).

    Like
  • Hi guys,

    Firstly, satcook , dakinemaui  and  Herah  thank you so much for your quick response. I do really appreciate so.

    I hadn't seen well the calendar icon to differentiate categories which "have a goal" AND "a scheduled transaction" vs the ones which ONLY "have a goal" WITHOUT any "scheduled transaction" coming. They're both yellow but the first has a calendar icon and the later hasn't. I think it would be great to have a different color to make a visual difference between both 'cause I think it is a VERY IMPORTANT difference.

    I think it would be great (my letter to Santa Claus) to be able to see in a list all your categories which have a goal and a schedule transaction coming ordered by due date (the sooner the first and the later the last), so that you could budget those categories as soon as you receive an income.

    Understanding that functionality does not exist, I will keep on looking for those tiny yellow calendar icons and watching (ONE BY ONE) what each scheduled transaction date is... Hard work, my friends...

    As I said, I am a YNAB believer since 2012 so there's nothing but good words to the Ynab team but, Ynab guys, I would appreciate if you could take care of this issue because I think that it would improve a lot the time we dedicate everyday to budgeting.

    And again, satcook , dakinemaui  and  Herah  thank you so much for your replies.

    Cheers!

    Like
  • equilatero said:
    list all your categories which have a goal and a schedule transaction coming ordered by due date (the sooner the first

    The account register doesn't do it for you?

    It's very common to organize categories in order of outflow. Some even use Check 1 / Check 2 category groups to really make it obvious.

    Like
      • equilatero
      • equilatero
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Hi and thanks a lot for your reply. No, the account register doesn't fit my needs because I just use the register to enter my bank or cash movements. My "working screen" is the budget one. In my opinion, it is there where I should need to clearly view which categories need to be budgeted asap because there are scheduled transactions coming (and if they were ordered by due date it would be awesome 'cause I would budget firstly the ones which their due date is coming sooner). Thanks anyway for your time and for giving me your point of view and try to solve my issue.

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 7 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      equilatero Thoughts about the common practice of dragging categories so they are in the order of payment? Or the group by paycheck approach?

      Like 2
      • equilatero
      • equilatero
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I saw in different YNAB workshops the use of categories grouped by its relevance but that doesn't work in my case, because reporting is something I use a lot and I need to be able to conclude information about my areas of interest: personal, finances, holiday, kids, investment and so forth. Organizing my categories into groups of importance would be a complete mess for me...

      Like
  • equilatero said:
    I think it would be great to have a different color to make a visual difference between both 'cause I think it is a VERY IMPORTANT difference

    What does it matter? Are you making a case that scheduled are more important? An implicit goal / scheduled transaction on the 30th is probably less important than a monthly goal for the electric bill (not tied to a transaction amount) due on the 10th.

    Like
  • I again dakinemaui  Firstly, thanks for your reply. I think that there is an important difference between a goal and a scheduled transaction. A goal could be something you just would like to achieve (and maybe nothing happens if you don't get it) but a scheduled transaction is something that it's going to be charged in any of your account (at least in my working flow), and you need to have that completely budgeted before the charge comes in. That's why I'm interested in budgeting before the categories in which there is a scheduled transaction previously planified. That's why I consider that focus on categories which have a scheduled transaction is so important and that's why I would like to see them as easy as I could. In the case you mention, I agree with you 100%. I would rather prefer to budget the category related to the electric bill because its due date (10th) comes sooner than the other one (30th). This is the example I'm just figuring out how to manage as easy as I could.

    Like
  • equilatero said:
    A goal could be something you just would like to achieve

    The mere presence of a category signifies a goal, in the layman's sense, of something I would like to achieve.

    I suggest you use a YNAB Goal (capital G for contrast) to drive actual budget allocations. In other words, if a category is important enough for a Goal in YNAB, it should be getting money.

    I agree having a sea of yellow categories which you have no intention of funding is counter-productive.

    Like
  • Hi again dakinemaui !!!!

    Great to read you again, especially because this is turning into a "philosophy" issue, and it's a field I love! hahaha

    I don't want to seem too accurate but, from my point of view, a category is something that you want to control whereas a goal is something you want to achieve. It's a subtle difference but I think that it is pretty interesting to just say it.

    Your G suggestion sounds good and it reminded me about a new feature which was released long time ago about being able to insert emojis into categories. Maybe you gave the key to a very pragmatical solution. I'll see if this works...

    I saw in different YNAB workshops the use of categories grouped by its relevance but that doesn't work in my case, because reporting is something I use a lot and I need to be able to conclude information about my areas of interest: personal, finances, holiday, kids, investment and so forth. Organizing my categories into groups of importance would be a complete mess for me...

    To end up, your comment about "a sea of yellow categories" is brilliant! I DO AGREE!

    Thank you so much for sharing your time with this issue!

    Like
  • equilatero said:
    a category is something that you want to control whereas a goal is something you want to achieve

    I'd counter that without something to achieve there's little point in controlling something, or even feedback/direction as to how to control it. 😉

    I'm coming from a background when YNAB didn't have Goals, so they only exist to save a bit of typing and help provide awareness when budgeting individual paychecks. Awareness, I might add that wasn't really lacking without Goals if you were engaged with your budget or took the time to order your categories, etc. TBH, I don't use Goals at all because there is zero benefit for me, but a huge drawback (conflict with Rule 3). They haven't implemented the one that I would actually use (i.e., a multi-outflow category like Birthdays), so I do that analysis outside of YNAB for the optimal contributions.

    Like 1
  • equilatero said:
    reporting is something I use a lot and I need to be able to conclude information about my areas of interest

    Again, on the philosophical front, to what end?

    Why would the total spending conclude anything about your priorities / areas of interest? In my view, it's the other way around: priorities influence budget entries and the totals are what they are. I find "guidelines" dictating X% should be for housing, etc. fairly useless because the combination of my priorities, cost of living, etc. never match the author's assumptions. I can't imagine they would for anyone, even the author!

    The longer I use YNAB, the less value I get out of reports. At this point at the category level, I like a yearly total for a few categories on my income tax return. If I didn't have to make a PDF of that information, I'd just get the total from a Search, as that's faster to execute. Averages are more useful to me when budgeting, which is provided in the Quick Budget button.

    Like
    • dakinemaui Sometimes I look at the spending reports to just see what happened, in a colorful, spatially represented sort of way.  It's quick and easy. 

      If I want numbers, I use the income vs expense report.  Or All Accounts view. 

      Also, sorting the All Accounts view has become annoying because all of my split transactions are sorted together, so half of my groceries transactions (instead of being nested under their parent, in alphabetical order) are in the S area, with anything else that has ever been split.

      It is nice to see the past, though taking the reports with a grain of salt is necessary, like any statistic. It doesn't mean you dwell on it. 

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life OP is reluctant to group categories to make budgeting easy due to a desire to report on "functional" groups -- at the category group level. I get it's nice to see graphs or reports for a given (leaf) category, but I question the utility at the group level. Without the constraint of functional groups, I think their issue of "which category should I budget now?" is trivially solved with per-check groups.

      I suppose I am assuming multiple checks, but it seems like normal True Expense computations would take care of the "paid once a month" case.

      Like
    • dakinemaui 

      Like the OP, I like the functional group reports, and that's what I look at most often. It's interesting to see that x% of my spending went to debt, or giving, or bills, or homemaking, or relationships, or professional over a certain time. I don't know that it necessarily informs details of my budgeting, but it's nice to put myself in context and see where I am. 

      Like the OP, when I started YNAB, I treated the Goal function like we treat it in language - what I'd like to do, not what I can do now. 

      When I realized YNAB wasn't set up that way, I had to redo/undo my Goals. 

      Unlike the OP, I did have a hybrid set of groups that facilitated different kinds of funding (bills, in order, monthly variable, long term, etc). It was only after I started planning a month at a time (and writing down that plan outside of YNAB) that I could navigate the budget in more functional groups.

      However, the main purpose of the software is the budget, so if making the reports nice gets in the way of the budget, I think the budget should be prioritized. 

      My last two feature requests were about making reports work better while maintaining a budget focus, incidentally.

      I'm pretty sure they were both things I've submitted before.  I'm just trying to clean up my budget right now and balance my priorities in both screens, so I revisited them. 

      Like
      • equilatero
      • equilatero
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Hi again!!!!

      I do believe reports are useful to complement what I do with the budget screen.

      I use the budget screen to give every dollar a job and to control what I should and I do expense in each category.

      By the way, I use the reports to complement that info:

      • Spending. Makes me see (in a visual way, important for me that point, at least for me) how my expenses evolve and the percentage that I dedicate to each of my categories. See how I am distributing my expenses give me a calmly and relaxing point of view about if I'm doing what I should. For example, what percentage of my expenses am I destining to savings? 
      • Net Worth. ESSENTIAL for me. How my net worth is growing. That gives me an essential information: am I richer or poorer?. It's easy to see how the line is going... I only evaluate the tendency, not just a focus point.
      • Income vs Expense. Great to see how I am doing every month and, an important info: what my average spending is. Does that fit with my income?

      I see reporting as a very quick way to see how I am doing about managing my money.

      Budgeting give me the strategy (how I prioritize my income, where I do decide to make the efforts and, to sum up, how I distribute my income) and operation (how my expenses are affecting my plan, how to manage all "the punches", if I am close or far away from my goals...) tools for my everyday.

      Like
      • equilatero
      • equilatero
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life I totally agree with you!

      Like
  • Move Light Sound Life said:
    the main purpose of the software is the budget, so if making the reports nice gets in the way of the budget, I think the budget should be prioritized

     This. Functional groups can come later. Once you can budget all of next month at once, you will have no need for temporal categories.

    Like 1
  • By the way, and moving back to origin, following dakinemaui 's wise advice about the "G", I found out that using emojis is perfectly available and it fits my needs. I have written a 🎯 before each category in which I have a scheduled transaction because those will be the first categories that I'm going to budget whenever I receive an income.

    Thanks a lot for all your help and support, guys. You're great!

    Like 3
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      equilatero Many will put the due date in the category name and order within the group by that date (just drag to move). This might augment your use of emojis with greater awareness.

      Like 1
      • equilatero
      • equilatero
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Great! Thanks a lot!

      Like
  • equilatero said:
    Income vs Expense. Great to see how I am doing every month and, an important info: what my average spending is. Does that fit with my income?

    I feel in particular this one is less optimal due to the "lumpiness" of actual outflows. I find the Budget itself does all this with the more consistent True Expense amounts. Moreover, it is a more proactive assessment. You know it fits within your income because TBB is $0 without uncovered overspending.

    I agree Net Worth is useful, but it is immaterial to this discussion as it is not influenced by how you group your categories.

    Like 2
  • equilatero said:
    See how I am distributing my expenses give me a calmly and relaxing point of view about if I'm doing what I should. For example, what percentage of my expenses am I destining to savings? 

    The Budget itself tells you exactly how you distribute your money toward expenses. I've already mentioned it's much clearer (based on True Expenses) and up-to-date elsewhere.

    As for the latter, EVERYTHING is savings. It's just a matter of how long it's held. In other words, "savings" is merely "delayed spending".  So 100% goes toward savings. Yes, that's a non-traditional viewpoint, but simplifies things greatly.

    Anyway, food for thought. A zero-based budget is a vastly different from the traditional way many people handle finances. Hopefully it won't be a surprise that some traditional metrics and workflows may not be optimal. 

    Like 2
  • Agree with everything. I already use the 0 TBB philosophy since I started working with YNAB (2012... almost a decade...) and reports only give me some other point of view which perfectly complements my own feelings and sensations I got about how I am managing my economy.

    Cheers!

    Like
Like Follow
  • Status Answered
  • 7 mths agoLast active
  • 26Replies
  • 170Views
  • 5 Following