Can I set 'To be Budgeted' to something other than the balance of a bank account?

I have my income going into multiple accounts and there isn't any account balance that can describe the money I want to budget. I'd like to set the amount to be budgeted to a fixed number per month, instead of an account balance. Can I do that?

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  • No. YNAB is an envelope budget. You decide what you want to do with every single dollar. What sometimes isn’t apparent when you start is that you only decide the job of a given dollar one time. So if you have an income of $2500 per month and you start with a savings account with $6000, you’ll define your plan for $8500 once. But then, the following month, you’ll define a plan for $2500 when it comes in. The other money will roll over in its category. 

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  • Pink Cello said:
    I have my income going into multiple accounts and there isn't any account balance that can describe the money I want to budget.

     If all of those accounts are on budget and not tracking then the money is considered one big pot of money as far as the budget is concerned.  A common problem some have when starting to use YNAB is trying to budget according to their accounts instead of treating the money as one big pot.  When I first started YNAB I had multiple savings accounts targeted for various purposes such as automobile, vacation and so forth.  I had mirror categories for these accounts and tried to keep them in sync with each other.  Once you get into the mindset of separating the accounts from the budget you will see how beneficial and freeing YNAB can be in managing your money.  This can actually lead to simplification of accounts if you desire.  I am including a couple of links below from YNAB on simplification and the relationship between accounts and budget.

    https://docs.youneedabudget.com/article/1132-simplify

    https://docs.youneedabudget.com/article/1679-why-doesnt-my-category-balance-match-my-account-balance

    Found this other link that may be helpful as well.

    https://www.youneedabudget.com/the-relationship-between-your-budget-your-accounts-its-complicated/

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  • Folks here are right—YNAB is a different kind of budget than you may be used to. In YNAB, you don't budget based on an idealized perfect month (earn $2500, allocate $2500). You take the actual money you have and ask, "What are my plans for this money?"

    Then, the next time you get paid, you ask yourself the same question. YNAB works because it's the right balance of flexible (you can change your budget any time you need to) and inflexible (...but you can't budget more money than you have).

    I often help new YNAB customers who are very experienced with budgeting in Quicken or other software, and they look at what YNAB does and say, "Whoa, that doesn't make sense!" Please give it a try. Worst case is, you'll spend 34 days with the free trial and learn a little bit about why you prefer your existing budgeting method. But I bet that's not what's going to happen. :)

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