Where Is My Money?

Ok, I (mostly) get the budgeting system for YNAB, and I think it's neat, but I'm getting confused about where my money is. Which I know is pretty much the opposite of what YNAB is supposed to be about.

Let me explain. I know for a fact I have $1700 in my checking account. I know I've got $1500 of that budgeted to down payment on a car. The other $200 must be budgeted elsewhere, since I have $0 To Be Budgeted, but when I total my green Available amounts (outside of my car down payment), I only see $141.64. Where is the rest? How do I figure that out?

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  • Did you budget funds in a future month?  Check the header at the top of your budget page:

     

    It will tell you how much you've budgeted this month and if you have any funds budgeted in the future.

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  • Do you do manual entry? Are there any outflows that you've entered that your bank doesn't know have happened yet?

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  • Is this your first month?  Did you start last month?  Do you have any cash overspends (red) in June?

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  • Oh wow, really great help here.

    June was my first month. I budgeted -10.66 to July (+10.66 Funds for July). There are outflows that are reflected in my account balance on my bank account but since they're still Pending they haven't been imported into YNAB yet, but that would make the difference even higher wouldn't it?

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      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Maroon Rain 

      Well, no, pending transactions shouldn't make the difference higher. They should simultaneously increase your outflows and lower both your account balance and the corresponding budget category(ies) accordingly. 

      For example:  The total of all your on-budget accounts is on the left hand side of the screen. It will add all the positive account balances and subtract any negative account balances (credit cards)

       

      And the total of what you have available and budgeted to your categories will be on the right hand side of the screen:

       

      These two should match if you have budgeted to zero.  If you have budgeted into a future month, you will need to slide over into the furthest month in which you have budgeted in order to compare the two numbers.

      Can you just confirm that these two displayed numbers don't match.

      Like 1
  • Hi Maroon Rain !

    You're in good hands with HappyDance! :)

    I just wanted to leave the steps here for self auditing. At any point where you aren't sure all of your funds are accounted for, you can follow these steps to double-check!

    1. Advance to next month's budget. (The math is easier there, because all overspending is covered.)
    2. In the right sidebar, when no categories are selected, you’ll see your Total Available amount, which is the sum of the Available column.
    3. Add that to the amount you have left To be Budgeted and any amount Budgeted in Future, if applicable.

    Let’s stop here for a minute, just in case your To be Budgeted was negative. If it is, you would need to subtract it from Total Available, because that means you’ve given jobs to dollars you don’t yet have. Preferably though, you would go back to this month’s budget and budget less in a few categories until To be Budgeted is back in the green at $0.

    4. Now, add up the cash in your accounts. That includes checking, savings, and cash accounts, plus any positive balances on credit cards if applicable.
    5. Your totals in step 3 and 4 should match, to the penny.
     

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  • When I go to next month, my To Be Budgeted is negative. Once I subtract that from Total Available I do get my combined account balance. But right now by budget for July says I have $0 To Be Budgeted... If I try to move dollars back to my To Be Budgeted the negative amount for August goes down, but now July has dollars that aren't used. Trying to figure out why it wants next month to be negative to keep this month even. I'm tired. Might have to look at this more tomorrow. lol

    Thank you both for all your help!

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      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Maroon Rain 

      Two immediate explanations for next month being negative come to mind:

      1.  You budgeted in August, but don't have those funds in your account (if yes, the fix is to delete those budgeted funds in August)

      2. You have an overspend in July. One of your categories is red. (if yes, the fix is to move funds from a category with a positive balance, at least enough to cover the negative in the overspent category).

      Look at your header in August. It should tell you if the problem is an overspend from July or an overbudget in August.

      Hope this helps. If not, post again tomorrow, and we'll continue to unravel your mystery.

      Like 1
    • HappyDance I had overspent in July, it turned out, but even then reconciling the budget was requiring me to pull from one of my "Saving" categories, which shouldn't have been the case based on the numbers I had in my account and what was currently remaining in the budget both this month and in the future.

      As I mention below I got frustrated and decided to try starting over for now. But thank you so much for your help! I greatly appreciate the time and effort!

      Like 1
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Maroon Rain 

      I think I made 3 or 4 fresh starts in my first couple of weeks for reasons of frustration as well. It was easier to restart than figure what I had just done wrong. 

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  • So ultimately I wound up using the convenient "Make a Fresh Start" button. I just was not able to reconcile where my money was in YNAB with the actual money I had in my accounts. I'm sure it's made more complicated by pending transactions that aren't in YNAB and multiple credit card accounts, but it was frustrating because it made it so I didn't feel like I could trust my budget. Hopefully it will go better this time around. Will keep you posted if/when something comes up.

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