Starting a new category
Hi everyone, I've decided to start a new category called "Subscriptions" which is meant to show me how much I am paying on things like "Netflix"; "Office"; "Dropbox"; "One Drive" etc. I'm hoping it will give me a clear insight into how much it all costs over time and how much I am doubling up.
I want to hoover up all of the old subscriptions that are scattered in different categories. In the past (YNAB4) we used to be given a choice when we changed recurring categories from one place to another as a pop up. This doesn't seem to happen anymore. Any suggestions would be welcome and apologies if I have missed something obvious!
I suggest you make a Subscription group and keep the dedicated categories with a goal for each expense. It will be very easy to ensure enough money is reserved.
It is possible to use a single combined category for everything, but figuring out what to budget is not trivial. Long term, you would need to budget 1/12 of the yearly combined total each month. However, as with most True Expenses, that is likely to be insufficient in the short term, because you haven't built up the category. You would need to cover overspending on top of that 1/12th amount.
You can do the math to figure out the right contributions that will avoid overspending in the combined category, but it's not trivial. See this thread for more details:
Hi, Martin! I like the suggestion dakinemaui gave you. It's absolutely clear that they've thought through this big time! Love it!! :)
Another idea (if you're like me and prefer to keep higher level categories instead of more granular categories) might be to set up a big category like "Subscriptions" and use Scheduled Transactions to keep on top of it. If you enter all of your annual/monthly/etc. subscription costs into your account register, you'll get a yellow reminder of upcoming Scheduled Transactions in your Subscriptions category; once you've funded your category, the reminder will go away.
Hannah talks about using Scheduled Transactions in this YouTube video (check out Benefit #3):
I'll use a hashtag #subscription that is great for searching for all the Scheduled subscription Transactions I have planned for the year. After seeing them all in one place (All Accounts), I total them up, then set a monthly spending goal in the category for the total divided by 12.
I don't mind having a little extra in the category throughout the year, and the scheduled transaction reminders will always tell me if the category is underfunded.
Food for thought! It's so fascinating to see how everyone budgets! Will you let us know what you decide on? :)
Thanks everyone. Good suggestions and good video on "Scheduled Transactions".
I'm still not sure how to proceed with the second part of my question which was how to deal historically with the subscriptions that I have already entered. I will certainly use #subscription in the future.
"I want to hoover up all of the old subscriptions that are scattered in different categories. In the past (YNAB4) we used to be given a choice when we changed recurring categories from one place to another as a pop up. This doesn't seem to happen anymore. Any suggestions would be welcome and apologies if I have missed something obvious!"
Martin Butler - I don’t have answers to your questions but rather a follow up comment. I too have a “Subscriptions” category. I used the note area to list the amount, due date, and description. It’s an easy reminder for me to keep track of what monthly subscriptions I have (see screen shot). this list pop up on the web app when I hover over the category.