Help reconciling 1 month buffer to Actuals

Hey Everyone,


I've been a YNAB user for a few years now.  I'm buffered out 1 month.  Is there a way to figure out if I'm buffered even further beyond one month? 


Right now, February shows the negative amount under to be budgeted which will be covered by paychecks I'm holding in an "Income Next Month".  Otherwise, it would appear that my accounts less credit card payments have a surplus that isn't accounted for in a "category".  It would be amazing to have some extra money to send to a savings category! 

Is there an easy exercise to figure this out?

5replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • Release the "Income next month" in February by using the move money tool to put it into the TBB. Do this in February's budget, not in January's, to avoid Stealing from the Future. If that is more than you need to budget February, then you have more money to use for other goals, and you should budget that extra money to those goals.

    Most people wouldn't say they are "buffered" beyond one month. The classic buffer just means you can use this month's pay for next month's expenditures. Beyond that, if you're living below your means, you will have extra money. That money might be for an income replacement fund, to hedge against disasters, for future large purchases, to be sent out of the budget to investments, or any number of other things. But the buffer is just that one month. 

    Like 3
  • Compare the February Budgeted (in the header) to the contents of the INM category.

  • jestarr said:
    February shows the negative amount under to be budgeted which will be covered by paychecks I'm holding in an "Income Next Month".

    Be very careful about having next month's TBB be negative. Any money released in the current month (e.g., when reallocating to cover overspending, or even accidentally!) immediately flows into next month.

    Since you're using an INM category, you can refer to the "Budgeted In Future" header in the current month. That should be $0 in your case in the current month until you release your INM funds (and possibly even after, depending on how you're releasing that money). If BIF is not $0, then the future has money it shouldn't have.

    If this doesn't make sense to you, it's safer to keep next month's TBB at $0.

  • My TBB negative value matches my INM in Janurary so I can confirm that February is accounted for.


    I’m having a tough time reconciling the money in my cash + savings with my categories.  I’m wondering what the best way to check is to see whether I have money that is “unaccounted for” in a category within my budget that is in a bank account.  Is there a good way to do that?  

      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      jestarr If you’re concerned about checking that the budget has the money you think it should, then you should not be running a negative anywhere. Using negatives to get ready for new income or to offset some other spending is an advanced budgeting move. 

      The reality is that your budget matches your accounts. It must; it’s enforced. To check it, add up all your accounts with positive balances, and scroll to the furthest month where you have budgeting. In that month look at the “available” number in the inspector sidebar. To this number, add whatever is in TBB. (if TBB is negative, you’ll be adding a negative number, in other words, subtracting). The result will be the sum of the accounts. 

      Like 1
Like Follow
  • 8 mths agoLast active
  • 5Replies
  • 94Views
  • 3 Following