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"?

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  • 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!).

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  • 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.

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    • MsTJ
    • YNAB has given me back my future
    • Believer_in_YNAb
    • 8 mths ago
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    • Reported - view

    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. 

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    • MsTJ Ah, I think this answers it! After asking the question I was turning over in my mind about the month with the expense and having to pay twice after funding, paying expense, setting up new goal. Sounds like if I set up the goal for the month before I should only be hit once for the expense month.

      But do you have to manually fund for the expense month or does creating a new goal for the next year prompt you to fund it for the right amount?

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      • MsTJ
      • YNAB has given me back my future
      • Believer_in_YNAb
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Gray Packet I manually fund the expense once a year only, in the month I reset the goal. 

      To expand on the example I used earlier.  I have an annual bill that is due in March of each year.  I set it up in YNAB to be fully funded in February and in February I have enough in the category to fund the expense which will go out in March.  Then reset the goal to again have it fully funded by February of next year.  When the month rolls over to March, before the expense is incurred, my budget category says it's fully funded so I don't need to budget any money to the category.  

      This is when I manually enter what would normally be required monthly to fund by February of next year.  Technically, I could skip funding the category in March then just let the goal fill in what I need every subsequent month for the balance of the year.  But, being overly obsessive, that would mean more monthly for the remaining  months.  I want my desired monthly budgeted amount to be as small as possible so I get  a little bit of a head start by optionally funding in March so the rest of the months are as small as possible.  Then in April, after the payment has gone out, YNAB shows me what I need to budget to fully fund by February of next year.

      Finding it kind of hard to explain what I do. Hope that clears up your question. If not, please ask another.

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