Carry negative balance forward is still not possible, right?

I just wanted to make sure I'm correct on this. I left YNAB when the red arrow right feature was removed. I've read the discussions and I don't need you to tell me how it's better to not have it. I understand the rules and philosophy that YNAB likes to preach. But I was a user who liked the software for its own sake. I don't need, nor want, the software to force a strict adherence to its own method. So I moved to a different solution. The one I moved to is pretty slow and bloated and I'm evaluating my options and figured I'd check to see if YNAB was still unusable or not for my use case.

So can someone confirm that there still isn't a way to carry negative balances forward?

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  • Not automatically. You'd have to carry it over manually each month.

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    • Superbone Thanks for confirming. I guess I'll keep looking for something else.

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  • Superbone Can you explain "carry it over manually each month"?

    I have used YNAB all the way back to the YNAB Pro days and the red arrow right is something that I used a good bit to track categories that I receive reimbursement for.  I have the funds to carry the debt over, but I don't want it affecting other categories.   I agree with Orchid Trumpet , this missing features is one of the main reasons I have stayed away from the current YNAB.  Also the price has kept me away.  I am not a fan of the current software subscription world we now have.

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    • Hi Turquoise Hammer !

      Superbone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure they mean manually entering the negative amount in the Budgeted column to take the funds back out of that category (forcing it negative again). For instance, if the debt was for $1,000 you could enter -$1,000 in the Budgeted column to take that $1,000 out of the selected category.

      I've seen quite a few people express they'd like to see reimbursement handling improved in the web version of YNAB. If you have any specific ideas, would you mind submitting a Feature Request? That goes directly to our development team so they know what you'd like to see in the future. :)

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  • If your use case is work reimbursements, there are ways to handle things within YNAB that are fairly easy.

    Outside of that scenario, manually propagating the deficit (with a negative budget entry) is effective but perhaps more work than you'd like if there are a number of categories involved.

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  • I'm curious how work reimbursements that span two calendar months work. Say I charge $1000 on April 25th for work, but don't get reimbursed until May 15th (random, I know). Will that -1000 automatically be taken out of all my green bubbles on May 1st? And then how the heck do I know where it all came from so that I can put it all back when I'm paid? I often have to foot flights/hotel on my CC for work, so I want to prepare myself :)

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


      Here's are the "normal" reimbursement budget workflows (which differ in whether interaction with the CC Payment category is automatic or manual). In both cases, all transactions are categorized to the Work Expense category regardless of when they occur.

      FYI, this is contrary to the approach recommended in the YNAB User's Guide. The "official" guidance, sadly, will often cause reports to be inaccurate.

      As for what goes on in the budget, one of these is often used:

      • Pre-fund the Work Expense category with your money as a one-time setup thing (e.g., reallocate part of an Emergency fund) so any interaction with the CC Payment category is automatic. (I.e., nothing to do in the budget, just enter the inflow when you make the deposit.) These funds are obviously available to reallocate back for use in an emergency if no reimbursement is pending. (I'd make a Goal for the pre-fund amount so you don't forget where the "we're square" point is.)
      • Do not budget to the Work Expense category (just let it go negative/orange). If the Work Expense category ever goes positive/green, just move that money to the CC Payment category. This is primarily an option when expenses are made on a CC.
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