Reaching a goal and starting again?

I have a number of bills that come around once a year: school fees, son's marching band dues, Costco membership, etc. I use a Target Savings Balance goal to get there, aiming to have $130 in a budget line by August 2020. 

But when I get to August and spend the money on what I've been saving for, the goal freaks out and tells me that I no longer have enough money. Is there a way to avoid this?

Plus, I need to start saving for the next year again. Should I delete the goal and then create a new one in the category? Just change the due date?

Thanks for any advice, y'all!

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  • When you've paid, create the goal for the next occurrence *in next month's area*.

  • You can also create a repeated Needed for Spending goal, which will automatically repeat once a year (or at whatever interval you choose), and won't bug you when you spend money from the category!

    Like 2
  •  Matthew 

     I have a similar problems to Parkaboy.  I create a goal for yearly expenses, even a Needed for Spending goal, and the month I have to pay the bill it doesn't work as I would expect it to.

    I built a test budget to try this.  Let's say I have a bill I need to pay in June each year.  I created a Needed for Spending goal in June 2019 for $120.00, with a due date of May 31, 2020.  The goal repeats each year.

    Since that's 12 months of savings, YNAB is expecting I need to put away $10 per month to stay on budget.  Makes sense, and let's assume that I do exactly that.

    Fast forward to May 2020, and YNAB knows that I've hit my goal of putting away $120 and met my goal.


    And now in June 2020 I spend that $120 as expected.


    But for some reason, YNAB doesn't think that I need to contribute anymore?


    Clearly the goal has repeated (it says May 2021), so I would expect it to be asking me to contribute $10 in June 2020.  But it's not, nor is it asking in July 2020 or any other month:


    I've tried other goal types but those seem to cause me even more difficulties.

    There has to be something I'm missing, but whatever it is, it's not intuitive to me.  Any advice would be appreciated.

    Like 1
    • Brent  I ran into a similar issue with my HOA dues. I want to save $300/month for my quarterly $900 HOA dues. If set my goal to be $900 it would be completely satisfied by the $900 payment to my HOA. My workaround, such as it is, was to set my goal to double the amount or $1,800 in this case. I'll make a $900 payment and then the goal will prompt me to put away $300/month to make up the other half. Not that elegant but it's been working for me.

      • Brent
      • crazydownhill
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Gray Inspector That's an interesting solution, I'll see how that might work out.  It's like a Sisyphus goal, one that you never achieve!  Creative idea and thanks for sharing.

    • Brent this one you actually do achieve though! You have to recognize that YNAB treats both your savings and spending towards the goal. So in my example I’ll pay my $900 HOA bill on 4/1, 7/1, and 10/1. I started a goal in July for $1,800 at the end of September. The first $900 is immediately met by my 7/1 payment and the next $900 is collected $300/month for July, Aug, and Sep. 


      so at the end of September I have $900 saved and on 10/1 a new $1,800 goal is repeated and the first $900 is covered by my 10/1 payment. What we really need is a repeating target savings by date (i.e. doesn’t account for spending) but absent that this is what I use. 

  • I should also mention that in my case I'm doing things a little bit differently.  I'm using additional categories like you would a "Wish List".  Once I've budgeted enough, I'm transferring that budget into a different category for the actual spending.  A good example of why you would want to do this is Subscriptions.  I'll always have subscriptions, but my subscriptions will likely change as my needs change.

    So say I put money away for my yearly XYZ Product Inc. subscription, and then transfer that budget into my generic "Subscriptions" where the actual transaction will happen.  Then YNAB complains my budget is way off:


    But I already met my goal for May 31, 2020.  And what I would prefer is that with my goal of May 2021, it should really want me to contribute $10 again in June 2020.  But that's not what happens.

  • I think I may have just figured out some answers to my own problem.  I was trying to make sure that my last contribution to the goal happened in the month before the payment was due.  So with a bill due in June, I was setting my goal for June 1, 2019 - May 31, 2020.

    YNAB seems to handle your last contribution to your goal to happen in the month that it's paid.  So for my bill in June, if I set my goal range from July 1, 2019 to June 1, 2020, YNAB seems happier.  But once that's done I have to delete the goal and re-create a new one starting July 1, 2020 for June 30, 2021.  I can't use the repeat function otherwise I start getting incorrect values again.

    Like 2
  • I'm having this same issue! Set a needed for spending goal to repeat every year. I save up enough by month x, month x comes and the bill is taken out but the next month YNAB doesn't show the goal as underfunded for saving for the next year's goal.

      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Khaki Falcon Yeah, I had the same issue. Had to delete it and recreate it to fix it.

      Like 1
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