Random Over-budgeting Amount In Future Months?

I don't know if this a human or coding error but here's the situation:

There's this July 2021 event I've been budgeting for since July 2019. I had managed to save up for each month all the way to March 2021. However, plans changed and I decided to go to a different, more expensive event. So on August 2020, I took all the money saved up for the initial event in March 2021 and moved it to the new event's category in August 2020 and hid the old ones. While looking at my budget today (September 2020), I noticed that the months December to March 2021 had the big red "Over Spent" warning with the number increasing from -139 to -825. I haven't touched anything else beyond the normal budgeting per paycheck since then. Is this my error or a coding error since I was saving so much for so far in the future?

TLDR: I was saving for Event 1 and putting money into each future month's budget all the way to 2021. I took all the money from Event 1 and moved into Event 2 starting August 2020. There is now a over-budgeting warning over some of my future months' budget.

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  • You can search the forums for Stealing from the Future. But the bottom line is don't put the money in future months. Simply remove all money budgeted in the future and put the total you have already saved in the category for that event now. It will stay in that category until you spend it or move it to another category. If you don't have enough to cover the whole cost now and want to remember to add in future month, put a goal on that category.

    If when you remove the money from the category in the future months, you will likely have TBB in the current month to be lower than the total of the money you took back from the future. It's because you inadvertently spent some of that money on other purchases. It's very easy to do if you budget in the future and unfortunately, YNAB doesn't warn about it. For that reason, and the fact it is so much easier to change one number in the current month when things change than flip through several screens, it is not recommended to budget in advance as you have done. You can budget for a future event/spending by simply putting the total amount of money now in the current month in the correct category.

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  • How did you move those funds? A mistake in typing the amounts could result in this behavior. Alternatively, those future months may have been overbudget even before you messed with this reallocation.

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  • Did you ever unbudget the money from those future months? It sounds to me like you took the March 2021 balance and removed it from the category in August 2020, so all that budgeted money in future months is still there. You've double budgeted it.

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    • nolesrule Thanks, it turns out that was exactly my problem! Now I'm trying to figure out how to sort this out 😖

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    • Type a 0 in the budget column in all future months in the Event 1 category 😊. 

      If this was the only category you budgeted in in the future, you will now only be able to see the past, present and next month. Makes it simpler and much easier to prevent complications in the future too.

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