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