To be Budgeted

I have just moved from YNAB classic and have always used my varied earnings as a salary for a month ahead. How do I do this now and put my November earnings into the December ' To B Budgeted' ?

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  • Dakinemaui's instructions are a great way to simulate the YNAB 4 "Income for Next Month" feature. I just wanted to leave a link to our To Be Budgeted Help Doc for those who stumble upon this thread looking for a bit more information about To Be Budgeted! :)

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  • My preferred workflow when following Classic Rule 4:

    1. Create a category called "Next Month's Income" (or something equally as clever). Referred to as NMI below.

    2. Categorize paychecks to NMI as they arrive (similar to YNAB4). This gets this money out of the way usually automatically (via scheduled transactions or Payee rules).

    3. Unlike YNAB4, the release of these funds is a manual process. At the end of the month, pull up the NMI transactions in All Accounts, select them all, and bulk-recategorize them as Inflow: To Be Budgeted.

    4. Switch over to next month and budget the month's portion. Goals and scheduled transactions can work with the "Underfunded" Quick Budget button to make this a one-click job.

    In summary: just like YNAB4 (after you create the NMI category), with the exception that you manually release those funds at month-end.

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      • Anarane
      • Anarane
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui  +1 for this method. I get paid on the last working day of the month, along with freelance money that's earned ac hoc throughout the month. I budget it to NMI, and then manually pull it out and distribute on the 1st of the next month. 

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    • Anarane I'm not a fan of budgeting income to NMI when all income is going into next month. Direct categorization is usually automatic and will not mix in with any funds already in TBB for whatever reason (e.g., midway through a reallocation).

      In contrast, for someone who is still budgeting some income in the current month, I do favor budgeting to NMI over categorization because the amount typically varys.

      You might give categorization a try, I think you would like it.

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    • dakinemaui Can you explain this again? I'm not following you. Why are you not a fan of using NMI if all income in November is to be used in December? What do you mean by and how do you accomplish direct categorization? How is that different from sending your pay to NMI? Thanks!

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    • Bezona I AM a fan of using NMI in ALL cases. It's only the manner in which money is put in and taken out that I was discussing.

      Direct categorization is specifying NMI as the category in the transaction (instead of TBB).

      It's not clear what you mean by "sending" pay to NMI, since it can be done in two ways (direct categorization and budgeting).

      Again, I favor direct categorization if you're sending ALL of your pay into next month, and budget entry otherwise. The release of the funds at month end needs to match how you put the money in.

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    • dakinemaui Thanks for the clarification. I was thinking when I first started I was cautioned to send all income to TBB not a category. So, that is what I have been doing, but maybe that info was because I was not buffered. 

      By "sending" I meant using TBB.  I get money - it goes to TBB - then it goes to NMI - next month rolls over it goes back to TBB

      I hear you say - I get money - it goes directly to NMI - at beginning of new month NMI goes to TBB

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    • Bezona you got it.

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      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Why do you favour using direct categorisation over budgeting to NMI? Just interested.

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      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I tried your way for a month, and even categorized all my interest/dividends to my NMI category.  I didn't like it :).  It just all looked too weird somehow, like I had no income all month.  And then to do the search and recategorize made me worry I was gonna miss something, I dunno.

      So I've been doing the TBB, then moving to the category, and then actually releasing it in the next month (Dec. in this case) and starting to budget.  I also have a category I use in the current month to hold extra income I'm not sure if I'll need.  So they haven't accidentally mixed across months.  I really do think either way nets the same result. 🤷‍♀️

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Annieland I think it is. dakinemaui  's method just saves a step. For the record, I only have my paychecks set up to be categorized as INM. Not my interest/dividends. I just budget those when I get them (usually end of the month) as I always put them in longer term savings.

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    • monkeyhanger To be clear, it's just in the *partially* buffered case that I prefer budgeting to NMI. This allows one to more easily add to the category as the month progresses, but also take it back if someone is a little too aggressive with buffering progress.

      Splitting a transaction with a subsequent search to edit in order to pull back funds is quite the faff when compared to editing a single budget entry.

      Once fully buffered, however, the automatic deferral of categorization becomes far more valuable, IMHO.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Annieland the danger (though slight in your experienced hands) in what your doing is that funds already in TBB (e.g., by accident, inattention, or even something as simple as being interrupted in the middle of a reallocation).

      Additionally, you have to DO something with every single event. I'm too lazy for that. 😎

      Like 5
      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Thanks. I'm just trying to work out why you prefer to categorise to NMI then recategorise to TBB once fully buffered. Is it cleaner for reports or less steps? Or just personal preference?

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    • monkeyhanger fewer steps and reduced risk of error. The more automated, the better. 

      Reports are identical either way after the month has passed.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Hmm, lost part of that response... Funds already in TBB ... [cutoff] ... can be accidentally sent forward when they shouldn't. Also, late posting Nov and early posting Dec money can mix if you're not able to budget between those arrival times. Of course, that's not difficult to sort out with a calculator, but it's not even a possibility in the workflow I prefer.

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      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Thank you. I have multiple sources of income but they are all paid monthly so haven't encountered any issues. I keep my TBB at zero at all times and don't budget forward. 

      I have historically used the method of categorising the income transactions as TBB and budgeting to NMI when the income arrives and then using the move money tool to transfer them into TBB when I need to budget. I have tended to do that in the month that I need it which has the advantage of keeping Nov TBB at zero but it does affect the total budgeted in December figures. I will try using the different options and see how I like them.

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  • As a heads up, YNAB recommends bringing in money directly as To Be Budgeted and switching over and budgeting in next month's area immediately. Repeat every time you get money, or you risk mixing those funds up in the current month's categories, thereby shorting next month.

    I'm gonna pass on the piece-meal budgeting.

    Like 1
      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I do so much piecemeal there isn't even a meal left.  If you people knew how much I pick at dollars and cents every day you'd have me committed to a YNAB sanitorium.  You don't have to say it, yes too much time on my hands (or tendency to procrastinate).   When I coach friends I stick with best, simple practices.  But in my own budget? 😱 😱 😱

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

      Annieland I think there is a real difference between maintenance during the month and the "nominal" values that are used as the starting point each month. It's the latter (the starting values) that don't have to be piecemeal by working with monthly chunks.

      The better the nominal values, hopefully the less maintenance, but I don't think it can be avoided completely -- the whole, "there is no normal month" thing. On the flip side, the tighter you set your targets (in order to have less tied up in "padding"), the more maintenance is required.

      Like 2
      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I'm really just being goofy because that's my nature.  But you are 100% correct.  So like, you wouldn't recommend budgeting the average category spend and then every time you spend go into the next month and change the amount budgeted to the new average spend?  Like, 3 times a day?  That would be crazytown! 😉  

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  • The workflow I use is as follows:

    1) Categorize each paycheck to TBB.

    2) Immediately send TBB to the income for next month category, I keep that category at the top of the category list so it is a quick transfer.

    3) At the beginning of next month I auto budget all categories which leaves TBB negative, I cover the negative TBB with the income for next month category.

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  • Annieland said:
    like I had no income all month

    By design. 🙂 Hands off that money!

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  • dakinemaui said:
    Annieland said:

    like I had no income all month

    By design. 🙂 Hands off that money!

    Except for the fact that the category has income in the name, or at least mine does. And then when you release it to TBB, it's like it was always there anyway. It still makes it into TBB, just a little later. Plus, I happen to know that my paycheck every other week is income. 😉Otherwise, I'd quite my job... maybe. I kind of like it.

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  • I am also a recent convert from YNAB 4 and was considering how to handle this issue. Would post-dating all income to the first of the next month work? I haven't thought through all of the drawbacks of doing this. Any thoughts?

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      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Gold Sander Well it would mess up reconciliations for a start and it would make your reports wrong.

      Much easier to use a NMI category. The discussion was just about the semantics of how to that.

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