Goals just got better (Summer 2020 edition)

Do you have goals? You know, like seeing the Galápagos someday, or ordering that 70s-style extra long shag carpet?

So do we. In fact, we’ve overhauled Goals in YNAB to make them simpler and more powerful at the same time… and there’s more to come!

We’ve reorganized Goals into three categories. All of your favorites are still in there, along with some new friends.

Needed for Spending

Formerly “Monthly” or “Spending by Date,” this goal lets you set a budget and spend from it along the way. It’s perfect for your holiday budget, or for a monthly bill that you’d like to replenish up to $50 at the beginning of each month.

What’s new? A lot! Needed for Spending goals can now repeat. Let’s look at that holiday gift category again. That’s not a once-a-year event, unless you’re pretty Scroogey. So let’s set a repeating goal, like this:

 

You can also set a goal with a specific date, and YNAB won’t turn the goal yellow if it’s unmet until after that date has passed.

Oh, and we now have Weekly goals. Right now, a Weekly goal is sort of a Monthly goal with special powers. For example, if you set a Weekly goal for $50 on Friday, the category will ask you to budget $200 in months with four Fridays, and $250 in months with five Fridays.

What if you’re not ready to budget the whole month at once? Yeah, we’re thinking about that too. I can’t announce anything today, but stay tuned.

Target Savings Balance

This is the old Target Balance/Target Balance by Date goal. It’s for when you want to save up a certain amount in a category, optionally by a certain date. If you spend from the category along the way, YNAB will ask you to budget more so that you’ll still hit the goal.

This is the goal type you’d use for a down payment, for example.

Monthly Savings Builder

This is the old Monthly Contribution goal. It asks for the same amount every month, no matter what. Simple.

The new goal features are available on the web and mobile (be sure to update your app to the latest version). We’re definitely not finished refining and improving goals, so if you’ve been longing for a particular feature and it didn’t make the cut this time, that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about it.

Please give the new goals a try and let us know what you think! (Oh, and if you're not seeing them in your budget yet, they should be available by the end of today.)

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  • Nice one! Thank you!

    Like 1
  • Matthew said:
    (Oh, and if you're not seeing them in your budget yet, they should be available by the end of today.)

    You could have started with that! 🙂Waiting patiently...

    (Not!) 

    Like
      • Optimist
      • Optimist
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone It just loaded for me... try again? ;-)

      Like
    • Superbone Try again—should be good to go now on the website, but you'll need to update the mobile app.

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Matthew Whoomp! There it is!

      Like 1
    • Superbone Whoomp indeed.

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Matthew I dig it how it now handles varying length month goals by going weekly instead.

      Like 1
    • Superbone Great! I've been using it for my Groceries category. I know the current implementation isn't going to be as helpful for people who aren't a month ahead, but that's coming next.

      Like 3
  • Nice..  So as of yet, still no repeating for the "Target Savings Balance" type?  Hopefully that's in the works still?

    Like
    • Bruce That's correct, but if you don't spend from the category along the way, it's equivalent. I've been testing out the repeating goals in categories where I've previously been using Target Balance by Date goals, and it's working great.

      If you've got a situation where switching the goal type won't work, let me know!

      Like
  • Oooh.  Something new to play with.  I've already seen the benefit of setting a goal for my average weekly grocery spend, with a recurrence of Saturday, because when it gets to a month with 5 Saturdays, it prompts to budget more that month than for a month with 4 Saturdays.

    Like 1
  • Needed for spending monthly by the 1st (and maybe also end of month) seems to replicate what I have been doing so far with a cumbersome manual method for several of my categories. 👍

    I used to set available to 0, then add my goal number manually and subtract any already occurred spending (if I didn't get to budget in time). Now a simple click on 'underfunded' or 'goal target' seems to perform just what I need.

    But it only seems to work this way in the current month.

    If I go ahead to next month then it just adds the spending goal total to the budget column while disregarding the available category amount. Did I just encounter a bug? I have tended to make next month's budget on the last day of the current month.

    Like 1
      • Peter
      • Professional Designer, Web Developer
      • lasty
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Moohouse spending goals behave that way, I think,  because the next month can't be sure you won't encounter a last minute expense in that category and the goal target of next month depends on that

      Like 1
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Next month can't be sure you will spend it either, but clearly assumes you have until the month changes.

      Like
    • Peter
    • Professional Designer, Web Developer
    • lasty
    • 3 mths ago
    • 2
    • Reported - view

    I've changed many of my goals over to more flexible spending goals the moment this was available to me. Since I was invited to the beta that's been a few weeks ago, and weekly spending goals work wonders for things like groceries. My big grocery expense is usually near the weekend for example, so it works out pretty well.

    Like 2
  • I do love extra-long shag carpets, Matthew , thank you.

    Like 2
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Purple Panther My parents had luxurious, long RED shag carpet in their den where I used to watch TV as a kid.

      Like 1
  • What about "Target Savings Balance" that repeats?

    Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney I'm changing mine to Needed for Spending goals. If it repeats, isn't it by definition a spending goal?

      Like 1
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Superbone differences being that if spend early then it needs to be replenished. Eg prop tax vs summer vaca

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney I set my property taxes up last night. I have two payments per year. Dec 1 and Apr 1. I set up an April 1 Needed for Spending goal of 2X, X being the amount due on each date.

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone That only works if you're already on track. The more general solution is a goal for X due in Dec that repeats every 6 months. This will handle the startup phase for anyone starting with less than 6 months to save.

      You won't spend from it early, so it's equivalent to the old "Save By Date" goal. That's a good thing, because they were redundant before in such cases.

      Like
  • This means Monthly Goals converted to Needed for Spending Monthly will not roll over? The amount not spent will contribute to next month's goal?

    Like
      • W R
      • hawthornesfalcon
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Jaime Jaurigue I believe Needed for Spending Monthly will indeed roll over (that is, the amount not spent WILL count toward the following month's budgeting goal once the new calendar month begins). This page: https://docs.youneedabudget.com/article/128-goals states "When using Weekly or Monthly goals, if you don't spend all your budgeted funds in the current month, the remaining amount will contribute to the next month's goal(s) when the month rolls over."

      As far as I can tell, Needed for Spending Monthly works exactly like the previous Monthly Spending goal by default. 

      Like 1
    • W R so therefore, if my goal is $100 and I have $20 left for June. I will only need to budget $80 for July right?

      Like
      • W R
      • hawthornesfalcon
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Jaime Jaurigue that's right I believe. One tricky thing though is that it's impossible to test/verify these kinds of monthly rollover behavior until July 1 actually arrives on the calendar, so like you I had a lot of questions as I was getting started. But monthly goals of this kind have always had exactly this kind of rollover behavior, yes, so you should be good!

      Like 1
      • Peter
      • Professional Designer, Web Developer
      • lasty
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Jaime Jaurigue that's right. A monthly spending goal will only require the difference it needs for you to "top it up" so to say. if it was fully funded with amount Y in June and then you spent X, in July it'll ask you to budget amount X to get it back to balance Y

      Like 1
      • Optimist
      • Optimist
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Peter So, how would this work with weekly spending goals? As I understand it to be, when budgeting a new month automatically, it will calculate the number of weeks (or actually the number of times the day of the week you specified, in my case Saturday), subtract any budget left over from previous month and budget that.

      What happens when the second Saturday arrives? Will this type of category release excess funds from previous Saturday (if any) to To Be Budgeted?

      Like 1
      • Tobias
      • Toviathan
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Optimist The goal still works on a monthly basis, it just uses the weekly info in determining the amount that you need for the month. So if I say I need $100 for groceries every week, it will tell me the monthly goal that I need to budget is $400 in months with 4 Saturdays, and $500 in months with 5 Saturdays. This goal type would also take into consideration balances leftover from a prior month, so if you had money left over at the end of June, it would simply ask for less in July to fund the month.

      Like
      • Optimist
      • Optimist
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Tobias Thanks for your response. No mid-month fine-tuning. Got it!

      Like
      • Tobias
      • Toviathan
      • 3 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Optimist In the original post above, it looks like they are working on that based on what Matthew said. Just not available at the moment.

      Like 2
    • Tobias Optimist no goal moves money back to TBB though, or make money move anywhere at all I think. Even to use a goal you have to click fund goals. And if you’d previously funded things ahead of time, left over money in a category would just stay there when the month rolls over. 

      So while other adjustments are to come, I’d be surprised if it would just what you (@optimist) mentioned. 

      Like 1
      • Tobias
      • Toviathan
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Pony 100% true, and that wouldn't be a feature I ever expect to see. I was referring more to the allusion made to goals having different timings on the color nags throughout the month for those who can't fund an entire month's worth at one time.

      Like 1
  • I appreciate the additional Goal options! The current "weekly" implementation is great for things like groceries as others have mentioned. However, I think I'm now also wishing for a weekly version of the "monthly savings builder" goal type. :-) My use-case for this is: I have a recurring biweekly expense (e.g., biweekly session with a personal trainer), every-other Thursday. Let's say each session costs $300. It *almost* works to make a Weekly goal of $150...except that as I understand it, if there's a floating $150 still sitting in the category at the end of the month, that will offset $150 from the amount the Goal asks me to budget when the month rolls over. :-/

    For this case, what I'd want is something like Weekly Savings Builder. I just always want to set aside $150 each week, no matter how much is already budgeted in the category. My workaround before the new goal types has been just to have a Monthly Needed For Spending goal of $900. This means I have enough budgeted for those annoying months with 5 Thursdays [and thus sometimes bringing 3x$300 of this expense], but it also means that most months my budget template is over-budgeting for this.

    Thanks again for the new Goal types. I do not envy YNAB the balance you must always be trying to find between approachability/simplicity on one hand vs. all the knobs and dials and combinations of options that power users inevitably want on the other hand. Good luck! :-)

    Like 2
    • This situation actually sort of speaks to one of my issues... The BF gets paid every other week, so we get an influx that I budget out every other week. I just made notes in all my category names so I know how much to put into each of them. I've never bothered with goals because they don't fit into the rolling nature of his pay checks which never fall evenly in the month from one month to the next.

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view
      W R said:
      I have a [$300] recurring biweekly expense

      Have you considered a monthly contribution for $600 and a dedicated category for the 3rd payment that comes around every 6ish months (a True Expense)? Reallocate for the 3rd payment in a month.

      I would do it directly in the normal category with a Monthly contribution goal of $650, assuming contributions start in the month following the 3x month.

      Like
  • I'd also love some more details on how the "repeat" function will work for annual-type goals (e.g. Christmas). Since some of YNAB's functionality requires an actual month to roll over in real life, it's hard for me to play "what-if" and try things out in a sandbox budget, etc. But I have questions like:

    • If I start a goal in July to save $500 by December, and then I set that to repeat every 1 year, will the next instance start in January (running January -> December), or will it start in July and run July -> December as my original goal did? [FWIW I would probably prefer the former -- always start the new goal in the month after the old was finished. But the latter way gives the user another axis of control I suppose, which might be important to some people?] I can roll with it either way, but I'd just like to understand how it works so I can prepare properly without waiting for actual December to roll around. :-)

    Thanks again!

    Like 2
    • W R The next instance will start in January, and the monthly amount will recalculate (it will be lower the second time around because you have more time to save the $500).

      Like 2
      • BigFanofRacing
      • Software Engineer
      • Powder_Blue_Motherboard.7
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      W R I posted an example based on my experience in the main feed. Hope that helps. I love this feature, it is convenient!

      Like
  • Hi Matthew

    I started using YNAB last month (May 2020). I am still figuring out what goal type to use. For now, I'm using the following for my budget:

    Monthly Bills (Rent/Phone Bills) - Needed for Spending (Monthly)

    Monthly Irregular Expenses (Groceries, Eating out) - Needed for Spending (Monthly)

    Insurance (Quarterly) - Needed for Spending (By Date, Every 3 Months)

    Special Occasions (Birthday, Holidays) - Needed for Spending (By Date, Every Year)

    True Expenses (Donating, Maintenance, Non-Monthly Spending) - Monthly Budgeting Goal

    Medical Emergency - Target Savings Balance

    Other Big Purchase Goals (Gaming Console) - Target Savings Balance

    New Car/Buy House - Monthly Budgeting Goal

    THERE! Let me know what else I can improve! And if anyone can help me out, I want to be able to move my True Expenses in future months if I need it elsewhere. It's currently on Monthly Budgeting Goal. How else can I contribute monthly but move it any time in the future too? After month, do you just disregard the Available column since the month is already done?

    Like 1
    • Jaime Jaurigue These all sound good to me. For some monthly bills, I prefer to use Monthly Savings Builder rather than Needed for Spending, but if you don't wait until the month rolls over before budgeting next month, those two goals will work the same way.

      The details: I think Monthly Savings Builder works better for utilities that vary seasonally. Just because my electric bill is low at the end of summer doesn't indicate that I need to budget less in October. I prefer to budget slightly more than my average bill every month.

      Keep in mind that if you set a Target Savings Balance and don't specify a date, YNAB will never remind you to budget anything to that category. The only indication that you've set a goal on the category is the pie icon next to the Available amount.

      Finally, YNAB doesn't have any goal type (yet) that allows you to move money out of a category without upsetting the goal. If you need to move money out of a category that has a goal on it, that's totally okay—Rule 3 is there for a reason. You can ignore the yellow warning.

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Matthew  😉

      Like
    • Matthew thank you amazing insights. That's what I'm actually worried about. I'm so focused on those warnings.

      Like
  • So if I want to spend £150 each month on groceries, but sometimes I have £5 or whatever left at the end of the month, and I want to just top up the balance so it's £150 again, do I use the Plan Spending By Date goal?

    Like
    • Mx Emmin Use the Needed for Spending: Monthly goal for that!

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Matthew Is a Needed for Spending--Monthly identical to Needed for Spending--By Date with a recurrence of 1 month (assuming the date is set to this month)?

      It obviously won't work for another 2 weeks, so self-exploration is out.

      Like
    • dakinemaui Yes, it's the same!

      Like 1
  • Love the weekly spending goal!

    I'm still stuck on my 10-ride cards which I buy every few months. I'd like to have enough money to buy one but I'd prefer to spread it out over a few months. Something like a $150 goal with a replenish at a rate of $50 a month.

    Like
  • I'm struggling to understand the difference of the "Every" option for a Monthly Spending Goal (highlighted in yellow)? If I choose "Needed For Spending" every month. What is the difference of "End of Month" vs say the 15th of the month?

    Like
    • Salmon Piccolo Right now, there's no difference. But if there were, say, a feature that budgeted automatically to your categories using goals to help prioritize that budgeting, that date could be very useful. 😁

      Like 3
    • Matthew Thanks for the reply and that makes sense! Just wasn't sure if I was missing something. Looking forward to all these new features! 

      Like
      • Peter
      • Professional Designer, Web Developer
      • lasty
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Matthew Foreshadowing 🤫

      Like
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Matthew So it sounds like those who are 1 month head would want to select 1st for that field as opposed to "end of month"?

      Like
    • RIP_MSMoney Yes, but if you're truly a month ahead, I don't think it matters. In other words, if you have enough money in To be Budgeted to fulfill all of your goals in the current month, prioritizing your categories based on goal date is unnecessary.

      Like 2
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Matthew True. I was just trying to be more accurate based off of your foreshadowing you stated earlier :) For sake of this conv, I am 1 month ahead. 

      Like
  • A perfect real-time example I could provide is the HOA fees from my budget. I have $ 325 every 6 months and because I started YNAB recently, I had to budget all the amount of $ 325. However, I had two different HOA Categories and goals previously for Jan payment and Jun payment. With this new feature, I budgeted $ 325 this month and had a goal that repeats every 6 months and have only one category. The same category shows $ 325 as "Underfunded" shows $ 54.17 in July. I love this new addition ! 

    Like 1
  • So is there a way to accomplish this:

    -Add to category $X a month up to $Y and then stop. If any is spent then starting next month start adding up to $X each month back up to $Y. Effectively there is a cap on the rate to get back caught up.

    Like 1
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney Actually this might be spending by date with repeat.

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney I think it is target balance by date. It seems like it goes into maintenance mode after reaching the goal in the target month.

      Like
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui yeah but i want that repeating. :(

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney It does repeat, sort of. After reaching the target, it would ask you to make up any shortage every month. If you want a longer makeup time, you need to provide more information.

      In other words, I think it is repeating as much as is possible.

      Like
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui right, that make up duration is what I would want to control. Instead of "I need you to repay this back now", I would like another shorter add up to the final amount (like initially). 

      So basically I am looking for a Savings goal with rate control as to not hit a budget too hard.

      Like
    • RIP_MSMoney This is a popular request, and we haven't implemented it yet! I think of it as a Monthly Savings Builder goal with a ceiling.

      Like 3
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Matthew yes exactly. The closest I got to this would be to start with the category fully funded. They set the goal as Spending by date/repeat (lets say a couple months). You can use the funds up to that point and know you are good and no more will be added. When that date occurs, it starts the replenishing again. It is not perfect but feels close. Thoughts?

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney I would just set a monthly contribution at the desired level and when the target is reached delete the goal. If you spend some of it, set a new goal whose contribution is in line with the then current priorities. Sometimes, I feel too much automation can make things clumsy.

      Like 2
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view
      RIP_MSMoney said:
      that make up duration is what I would want to control.

      You can control it. Just reset the goal, giving it your desired make up duration.

      Like
      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui 

      dakinemaui said:
      Sometimes, I feel too much automation can make things clumsy.

       <standing ovation gif>

      Like 2
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui yeah i could do that. I was trying to remove those manual mental steps in the hopes of having the budget run automatically.  A more set and forget solution. I will try the spending goal first and see how that goals. All of my goals were monthly contrib until last night. I have been trying to branch out to other features to see if there is a way to save more.

      Like
    • Vibrant dakinemaui I agree on that too. Haven't even changed anything to the new goals, as up till now I've often changed goals again and again. And that usually turns out to be about priorities, not about mecanics.

      Like 1
  • Lets say I have to pay for parking for the train downtown (Remember when we used to do that?). The parking is $2 a day so $10 a week. If I changed that to a Weekly Spending Goal, would I want the rollover day be Monday or Friday? I want $10 in there by that Monday to be used for that week. But I would plan to spend $10 by that Friday. So which day should I use?

    Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney my guess would be Monday, because it's the Goal (budgeting assistance) that repeats. Time will tell...

      Like
    • RIP_MSMoney This is giving me math class flashbacks!

      The answer is Monday. That way you can be sure that the week's parking fees are set aside in your budget at the beginning of the week.

      Like 2
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Matthew The good thing Matthew is that you're passing the test. You get a gold star!

      Like
    • Matthew And students think there is no real-world application to what they're learning!

      Like 3
  • Same as the last major change in goal types - I am completely confused and frustrated. I'm not so sure it is dementia LOL

    For example: "Monthly Savings Builder"  is also for spending on variable bills, such as the electric bill. That's because you need the leftover available amount to roll over and accumulate for months with higher bills. Accumulating doesn't happen at the monthly rollover of categories with "Needed for Spending" goals.

    I had to make my own document to explain each new goal type, how it works, and what YNAB does behind the scenes. It reminds me of Nick True's flow chart for the last time goals were revised. We shouldn't have to be working so hard to figure out the goals.

    Once I saw nolesrule say that he doesn't use goals. Instead he moves available money into TBB at the end of each month and budgets amounts according to their custom budget template (if I understood him right).  I think I'm going to stick with that. It is so much simpler. In fact, I think it is the classic YNAB approach that worked so well. Too bad, because I love the idea of YNAB automating my rollover.

    However, consider this: If you have to do the rollover manually  (Jesse's favorite word) every month, it forces you to review your budget once a month. That's great for Rule #3!

    Like 2
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Granny Bogle what i did to start was all monthly contributions. What made me really like that was that I could click the underfunded button at the beginning of the month and bam, all categories were populated. This reduced so much extra effort in doing money at the beginning of the month. I instantly knew how much we were saving at the end and what my monthly need was. I have only recently started trying the other goals.

      Like 1
  • Granny Bogle said:
    I love the idea of YNAB automating my rollover.

    If you proactively budget before the month ends -- as probably everyone is striving to do -- it doesn't automate the rollover. It will want you to budget the entirety of the goal. Barring any additional spending, you're going to be OVER your target balance with no eye-catching indicator that you need to circle back and decrease it... manually. 😉

    If things are going to be manual, there's no benefit over the original monthly contribution goal.

    Like 1
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui what my new plan is

      1) before month ends, handle all bills and get those ready. They are future dates that will enter on the 2nd.

      2) on the 1st, i release the funds from one month ahead and populate everything (since the month has officially started)

      3) on 2nd, my bills register with ynab.

      This is different from what i have been doing as i was able to do the first and second at the same time since i was never tied to the 1st of the month

      It would be nice if you could "end" a month early so goals could reflect next month before it begins.

      Like
  • RIP_MSMoney said:
    It would be nice if you could "end" a month early so goals could reflect next month before it begins.

    Or if goals respected the Available amount shown. Every category rolls over immediate when you scroll forward. The fact this goal has a different assumption -- that nothing will roll over -- was a bad choice, IMHO.

    Like
      • Granny Bogle
      • Still Workin'
      • Grannybogle
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui

      That's it! It's unclear how to set a category goal if you have to search support documents to find out what happens at rollover time. I'm thinking this thread is going to become a lot more active around June 30. 

      This whole thing is making me wonder if the "rollover" has become a dinosaur (like me :) People used to get out their checkbooks and pay their bills once a month. Now there are automated transactions--daily, weekly, bi-weekly, 5th week, monthly, semi-annual, annual, and even bi-annual. Savings, spending, transfers. Some are fixed. Some are variable. Some are unexpected. What's a grandma to do?

      Get rid of the rollover? Hmmmmm...

      😏

      Like
  • I really like the new goals, but would it be possible to add biweekly? I have payments that I pay each pay; which is biweekly. 

    Like
    • Green Saxophone There’s no way to set a biweekly goal, but you're not only YNABer looking for that, and our Design Team is looking into it.

      In the meantime, I would recommend setting a Monthly Savings Builder goal in that category for the monthly total of that expense. Since your expense is charged biweekly, you could divide your annual total of the expenses by 12, and use that as your monthly goal amount. 

      The Monthly Savings Builder goal will prompt you to budget that amount every month, no matter what, so you’ll always have enough budgeted for your expense, even in those months that have five weeks instead of four.  You can also spend from this goal without it showing as underfunded! (Of course, if your first three-payment month is coming up soon, you may need to seed the category with extra money or cover overspending.)

      Like
      • Granny Bogle
      • Still Workin'
      • Grannybogle
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Matthew 

      But isn't this a spending goal?

      Like
    • Granny Bogle Yes, but that's fine! YNAB won't complain if you spend from a Monthly Savings Builder goal, so the effect is essentially the same: the goal keeps asking for the same amount each month regardless of whether you've spent from it or not.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view
      Matthew said:
      Since your expense is charged biweekly, you could divide your annual total of the expenses by 12, and use that as your monthly goal amount. 

      The simplicity is attractive, but that's likely to leave you short in the month that has 3 expenses. (It only works correctly if you start budgeting the annual/12 amount immediately following a 3-expense month AND it's 6 months until the next 3-expense month. I'd estimate 9 out of 10 people will be short on average.)

      Until a biweekly goal is implemented, I'd recommend a monthly spend goal for 1/13 the annual (2 payments) and a dedicated category for the 3rd expense with its own Save by Date goal. Funds are reallocated to the normal category when needed.

      Like
  • These new goals have already had a positive impact on my budget. At least a few of my categories were ahead of schedule due to manual calculations being a little off. It frees up some funds to be used elsewhere. So, kudos to YNAB for this addition to the software. Keep these kinds of improvements coming. Thanks.

    Like 2
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Superbone yeah, i am very interested to see what next month looks like. I am bummed i cant see the full affect until the month rollover :(

      Like 1
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      it would be cool if there was a (at a min) "if nothing changed, here is what next months requirement would be". As it is now, i am needing to guess with a calc what i was abls to shave off for next month.

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney Better would be not having to wait and the more obvious, "if you spend the amount remaining in this month's category, you will be exactly that much short next month." Hardly a surprise.

      It's still amazing that YNAB apparently didn't realize the choice they made only serves to hurt those who wish to be proactive. Those who wish to wait to budget after the month changes would see identical behavior with either choice.

      Matthew , is there any ongoing discussion by developers or have they all turned a blind eye to the repeated confusion?

      Like 2
    • dakinemaui I don't have much to add beyond what Alan said here, including where he says that we're building on this feature to make it more useful for people who budget into next month. I can confirm that this is true.

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Matthew I'd submit that it's less useful for people who budget into next month, as evidenced by the various replies here. At present they are forced to use a calculator or wait to budget, neither is very desirable.

      I now see that this scenario that Alan described is driving things:

      At the beginning of September, you’re budgeting for October. Must of your categories in September are full … so your October goals basically ask for nothing.

      We therefore have a goal that is broken until the end of this month so that we don't have a goal that is broken 2+ months out. I wonder what proportion of users are in that position of budgeting that far out? I suspect most of those who might be choose NOT to budget out their income replacement fund for various reasons.

      Thank you for articulating/reminding us of the vision. I don't agree with it, but it is helpful to understand.

      Like 2
    • dakinemaui I budget into the next month and still find this feature useful, so I wouldn't say it isn't (for everyone, at least). My process is to budget the full amount (using all goals so it is mostly just a single click) just to get an idea of what the next month looks like. But honestly I don't see it ever being much more than that - just to budget the additional money and get an idea and estimate what my next month looks like (to get to $0 TBB).

      Once the month rolls over I just reset the entire month, and re-fund using my goals I have setup. Then anything left in the TBB gets put where I want it to be as now the month went from an estimate to being actually budgeted. Because I use goals it takes less than a minute to do. I definitely get the frustration with the goal type. Just sharing my process.  

      What I think would be useful is having an indicator when you are using this goal type to show that a category is actually overfunded (or maybe just show to the right with the rest of the totals when you select categories). If it worked the same way "Underfunded" does and allowed a 1-click adjustment it would allow me to just be able to easily spot and re-allocate the overfunded categories. I can't think of any other way to handle this outside of having YNAB automatically keep re-distributing my funds as I spend - which I definitely would not want.

      Like 1
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Salmon Piccolo I can appreciate your perspective and your workaround to re-budget. FWIW, it's not that I don't think it's useful. It's quite useful for anyone who wants to wait (or circle-back) once the month has arrived. My point is that implementing it the other way (acting immediately) wouldn't impact any of those users -- it would be just as useful for them.

      In addition to those users, however, all the people who budgeted early wouldn't necessarily have to circle back. If they spent anything between when they budgeted and the end of the month, they would, of course, get an indication, and they would simply apply Rule 3 as normal. In other words, it would be better aligned with the methodology and established workflow.

      Certainly an overfunded warning would initially allow more targeted adjustment under the current implementation. Unfortunately, that warning would be at odds with Rule 3 if you had to legitimately add funds to avoid overspending, and the user would then have to ignore the warning for the rest of the month. Having to ignore warnings is typically indicative of a poor design.

      I do agree with you though. An overfunded warning band-aid on a flawed design is better than the flawed design alone.

      Like 2
  • dakinemaui said:
    Unfortunately, that warning would be at odds with Rule 3 if you had to legitimately add funds to avoid overspending, and the user would then have to ignore the warning for the rest of the month. Having to ignore warnings is typically indicative of a poor design.

     dakinemaui Great point! I already get annoyed with months where I have a category that is technically underfunded, but actually where I want it to be for whatever reason and there is enough to cover the months transactions. I'm excited to see the future updates to the goals.

    Like 3
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