Budgeted doesn’t mean spent. You had $4846 in funds for January but you budgeted $500+ more than you had funds available. You need to reduce your budgeted categories until your To Be Budgeted is at $0. The budget is a plan for your money. You can’t make a plan funds you don’t have.
Gray Rain If you search for articles on stealing from the future (SFTF) you will get a lot of explanations but in a nutshell if you have budgeted money in a future month (say $100 in Feb) and you have $50 left in Jan and then you budget $100 in Jan your TBB for Jan will still be 0 but Feb will show a TBB of $-50. You would not know it if you only looked at TBB for Jan as it would still show $0 when you actually stole $50 from the future. Several of us have complained about this to YNAB and they have attempted to fix it but do not seem to be able to.
ynaber2613 I see...thanks for this information! I think what I'm going to do is to have my TBB be the exact same amount as when I'll get paid on the 15th, and budget for the whole month at once. That TBB will just turn to $0 when my check deposits. Thank you!!
Gray Rain That is not the recommended way to use YNAB. If you do that, you can’t trust your category balances for making spending decision which is what you are supposed to do. The YNAB way is to only budget money you actually have when you have it.
Superbone Thanks. But why is that so bad? I know how much I'm going to get paid, and when my monthly expenses and bills will hit. It's harder for me to remember to add categories like "Internet - 15th of the month" than it is to just plan a monthly budget. It seems to me that "stealing from the future" is only bad when you don't have a stable income...
Gray Rain Because you can’t trust your categories for making spending decisions until the money is in your account. It’s one of the tenets of using YNAB to only budget funds that you have. A reason many people get into trouble is that they spend money they don’t have yet.
What many of us do is get a month ahead and then you can budget an entire month all at once. All of my income for January is used to budget all of February. But I don’t do that until I have received my last paycheck of January. It took me a long time to get to that point where I was a month ahead.
Gray Rain Also, you can still plan a monthly budget but you just fill in the categories as you receive income. Every time you receive income, decide what you need to fund until you get paid again. For your Internet example, if it is due on the 15th then your first paycheck of the month has to fund that category and your future paycheck will fund other categories. You can use the future scheduler to enter your bills for the month as a reminder of when they are due and for how much. I hope this helps.
When you have a moment, take a look at How to Create a Budget Template or the Set Up Your Budget Workshop. Both of these resources will teach you how to use scheduled transactions and goals to outline priorities in your budget, without using funds you don't have yet.
The issue with budgeting funds you don't have is that it sets you up to overspend. Let's say you have $100 in your account and will get another $100 next week, so you budget a full $200 towards your Groceries category. If you go out and buy $200 worth of groceries, because your budget is telling you that there's $200 Available in that category, you'll overdraw your account. We want your budget to be truthful and accurate, which means only budgeting funds you already have. :)