Budget vs Actual

Is there a way to produce a budget vs actual report for a specific time period?

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  • Orange Leopard said:
    not being able assess performance against a target/budget flies in the face of the very effective SMART goal philosophy

    What would you do if you had a report that said you spent $50 more than the target? Most would use that to consider increasing the amount budgeted by $50 -- an obvious feedback loop in a traditional budget mindset.

    However, that result will be exactly what is already available at a glance in the Activity column.

    I believe you are also missing that one DOES (or at least should be) assess performance against the budget. With every spending decision, the Available column provides feedback and guidance.

    Furthermore, the Available is the better metric for comparison. Budgeted is useless for anything but monthly expenses. I mean, it's not uncommon to spend more than an entire month's income on one expense, let alone what I budgeted that month. That's the entire point of saving!

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  • dakinemaui said:
    However, that result will be exactly what is already available at a glance in the Activity column.

    That's assuming that I remember the amount I set as my goal (without having to look in the inspector). I want to be able to identify when I've spent beyond my goal amount without having to look at the inspector which is why I've enabled the toolkit feature to show me goal amounts.

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  • As an example, without enabling the goal column from the toolkit (first column below), there is now way for me to know (without selecting the category and looking in the inspector to remind me what my goal amount was) that I spent $71.48 more than what my goal was.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view
      sgarelick said:
      That's assuming that I remember the amount I set as my goal

      Not at all. Look, here is an example:

      1. You subtract actuals from the Goal amount to get $71. If you then feel your nominal budget (Goal amount) is too low and you should increase it, it's reasonable to add the overspending to the old nominal to get $71+$90 = $161

      2. I just look at the Activity of $161. Done.

      Moreover, there's already a Quick-Budget button to plug in $161. There's also one that plugs in the average, which may be a better adjustment. (This is exactly what you would get if you do the subtraction to get the overspending every month and average those value.)

      Either way, I don't need to remember or even look at the Goal amount.

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      • sgarelick
      • sgarelick
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I agree with what you said, my only point was that I don't always remember the goal amount and would like to be able to do the calculation without having to look into the inspector to remember that my goal was $90. From the budget, I like to see, at a glace, categories that I've spent more than my goal amount and I find that difficult to do when I don't see the goal column that the toolkit provides.

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  • This is an interesting discussion because I was actually looking for a different use case than tracking over spending.  In my case, through using YNAB I have been able to get to a place where I am budgeting 3 months out. Now my concern is over budgeting in certain expense categories with goals/target amounts and having dollars that have a ‘job’ but are bloat and I could invest.  Although I am maintaining as expenses hit and ‘rolling with the punches’, I would like to see how my expense compare to my budgeted amounts and goals.  That would help me make better decisions about my pre tax allocations that aren’t in reflected in YNAB or about increasing some savings goals and meeting them sooner than I originally thought I could. This would be easier to see if I could run a budget vs actual for the last 3-6 months and then I could make sweeping adjustments to future months that I’ve already budgeted.  Currently.. I am just randomly noticing that certain goals are building up rollovers and this isn’t always clear until a few months of over budgeting based on the goal.

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