Category positive carry over

I tried searching for this but keep getting "positive credit card balance".  What does one do with a category where you didn't spend what you expected to spend?  For example, I have a fuel category that I budgeted to spend $120.  However I only spent $100 so when I look at August I see the $25 as "cash left over from July" but it's telling me I need $125 to reach my goal for the month.  Thoroughly confused here, I must have missed something in the learning videos.

Thanks for any guidance.

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  • If you have the goal set up as a "for spending" goal then tomorrow when you check it will see that you have $25 already available and ask for the difference instead of the whole goal amount. Those goals don't look at what you have coming from the previous month until the month actually rolls over.

    If the goal you have is a monthly contribution goal, then it will still ask for the full goal amount regardless of what you still have leftover.

    So basically check back tomorrow.

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  • Oh goodness, thanks.  My brain is already in next month since it is effectively "payday" for us.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 days ago
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      • Reported - view

      Cadet Blue Inspector You might submit feedback that having the spending goal work immediately (before the new month arrives) would better match your budgeting process.

      YNAB has rationalized their choice by saying, "you might spend some of that". True enough, in which case you would also have a clear indication you need to make up the difference. Fits perfectly with the methodology. (Of course, if you don't spend it, it still works just fine.)

      Ironically, if someone is the type that waits, then having a goal that works immediately would still work for them. In other words, it is only the proactive users who are being penalized with the current design choice.

      Currently, if you proactively budget (before the month ends), the goal will request the full amount. When the month changes, you will not have such an obvious alert that you have budgeted more than needed -- with the obvious consequence you must also have less than is needed elsewhere in the budget.

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    • dakinemaui This is the main reason I've decided to keep my goals as Monthly Contribution for the most part. I'll just sweep the previous month if necessary.

      For the year long goals with sporadic spending events, I'd already calculated my monthly contribution. Those would be the goal types I'd consider changing, but at this point it doesn't seem necessary. 

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    • Cadet Blue Inspector One of our product designers went into greater detail on this thread. Our team has more improvements to Goals, and this workflow in progress. Our Produc team would love to hear your thoughts, if you have a moment!

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  • Hi,

    I'm still really new to this, less than a month and wrapping my head around it I feel like I'm getting there.  My husbands military retirement and VA disability can either come in at the end of the month or first of the month depending on how the 1st lands.  I get paid twice a month.  I also started this program mid month this month so I tried to be very careful to not set anything that was already paid as a goal for this month.

    Perhaps I'm missing something simple in the categories that would fluxuate no matter how hard you try to be spot on.  I did end up taking away some $$ from the categories where I knew we weren't going to end up spending any more (my books category and gaming category) and applying that to say groceries where we spent more than planned.  Call it stock piling so we can stay home as much as possible.

    dakinemaui are you saying that say I get to a point where we have really gotten ahead and I'm now using Octobers pay to fund January that the amounts won't cascade on to future months?

    Nicole thanks I'll check out the links.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 days ago
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      • Reported - view

      Cadet Blue Inspector No, October's pay would fund the November budget. That's as far ahead as you need to go so you don't have to divide income between two months. It simplifies a lot when working with the entire month-sized chunk of total income and only a single screen is involved.

      (Many people think going further ahead is counter-productive, although YNAB certainly allows it. Budgeting further than that just results in more numbers to edit when priorities/amounts invariable change.)

      The VA income is a little tricky since that switches months. The most obvious thing would be to treat VA income arriving on Sept 30 (assuming Oct. 1 falls on a weekend) as October income, which would be used to fund the November budget.

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  • Cadet Blue Inspector said:
    I did end up taking away some $$ from the categories where I knew we weren't going to end up spending any more

    This is perfectly normal and highly encouraged! Money should move to the categories that are more important to you. The only hard part to all this budgeting stuff is understanding what's important at any given time since that tends to shift around somewhat.

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