Overspent/Underspent

  I am new to YNAB and I have a basic understanding problem when it comes to some of the monthly budgeting. Let's say you budget $500 for groceries and hit a real number of $800 but then you have to adjust for the shortfall from savings $300. Fast forward to next month - you still want to have the same $500 budget goal, maybe a little less from the following month due to a "stockpile" but now you have a budget goal of $0. Why do I have to reset all of my monthly allocations every month? How does this reflect that I'm missing my savings "goal" by $300. Any explanations are welcome.

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    • WordTenor
    • Can we agree that goals are dumb and immature? Sure.
    • WordTenor
    • 1 yr ago
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    YNAB is an envelope budget. It's not a "did I hit my target, smack my hand" budget. Every time you get income (not just every month), you need to apportion that income by budgeting it into the appropriate categories. If you spend more than is in a category, you need to move money from another category, just like you would if it was cash in a paper envelope. When you spend, you should consult the envelope (the available column) not how much you added to the envelope (the budget column). 

    Your priorities are yours alone. If savings is less important than groceries right now (evident by your spending in groceries), then that's where the money comes from. The software exists to help you manage those priorities, but it doesn't set them for you. 

    Like 2
  • Money's gotta come from somewhere. If you were better at predicting the future, you would have put more in Groceries instead of Savings to start with. No one is, so just adjust the plan (a.k.a., "budget") and move on.

    So what if savings doesn't get the money? If it doesn't, it's because it wasn't important enough to you.

    I STRONGLY urge you to check the Available amount before every purchase. If there's not enough there, move funds from somewhere else less important to make it enough first. If you cannot identify something less important to take from, then don't make that purchase. It really is that simple.

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  • 1 yr agoLast active
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