Saving goals off by a month?
I have set up a number of savings goals for yearly and quarterly expenses. The messaging is all about budgeting the amount so that it's ready before the month. But it seems like YNAB is really saving so that it is full in the target month.
For example, I have a category that on the sidebar says "Save $xx.xx by March 1st, 2020". Funding by the goal target still leaves me short by about $80. If I advance into March then that last bit is suggested and shows green for the 100%.
Is this intended behavior or is it a bug? How should I interpret "by March 1st"?
I take it as "budget the last bit IN March". It seems to assume you will be budgeting the last bit of money on the first of the goal month but well, you can do it any time in the goal month (March). So if you need the money ON the 1st of March, I'd set up your goal for February instead. That way it's fully funded by the last day of February (if you stick to your goal!).
Ignore the specific day in that message. (Perhaps file a bug report that it's confusing since the budget cells are labeled by month.)
The "messaging" is actually that you have the category budgeted before the *outflow*, and YNAB expects that you will budget in the target month. If you cannot do that prior to the outflow, then set the target for the prior month.
Yes, that is how the goals work. When I need to pay a bill in, say March, the calculations will include money added in March. The way I work this, as others have said, is to enter my goal month, in the above example, is to say I want the money available in February.
Then I add a like amount in March to have the money ready for the next March (February in YNAB). That way the amount I have to budget monthly stays the same, and a little smaller amount, for this year. Otherwise, the goal will say the goal has been reached in March, until the payment actually goes out.