Author Topic: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question  (Read 14710 times)

brandino29

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 320
YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« on: January 31, 2015, 11:05:46 PM »
This is likely to be a dumb question but I can't seem to figure it out. 

We started using YNAB again at the start of January after a year hiatus or so.  We ended up having leftover balances in a number of categories (which is great), so I took that extra money that we didn't spend this month but we had budgeted and transferred it to our savings account.  Here's the question--I want to keep February's budgeted amounts the same but I don't want the balances to accumulate from January, but it is doing it automatically and I'm not seeing a way to change it manually. 

For example, we had budgeted $40.00 for alcohol, but we only spent $14.98.  I don't want that extra $25.02 rolling into February's balance, I want it to start at $40, and whatever we have left remaining at the end of February I will transfer to savings for the month.

I feel like this should be easy to do but it has stumped me. 

whiskeyjack

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 94
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2015, 12:37:52 AM »
I've just been doing it manually.   I copy my budgeted amounts over to the next month (that's automated) and then go back and reduce the current month spending in each of those categories until there is $0 left, then enter the surplus into savings.

If there's an automatic/elegant way to do it I haven't figured it out yet either.

pipercat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 283
  • Location: Central VA
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2015, 06:53:27 AM »
You manually lower your budgeted amount to 14.98.  then you will see the remaining at the top as "available to budget".  The category balance will then be zero.  Do that with each category, and then put whatever the total amount into your savings.

smalllife

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 983
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2015, 07:04:50 AM »
You manually lower your budgeted amount to 14.98.  then you will see the remaining at the top as "available to budget".  The category balance will then be zero.  Do that with each category, and then put whatever the total amount into your savings.

The key here is to either put it in a savings *category* or into an off budget savings account.  If it's still on budget, it just needs to be out of those categories.  It wasn't clear from the post that you understood the location of the funds (checking vs. savings) had no relationship (unless you force it to) on the budget.

pipercat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 283
  • Location: Central VA
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2015, 07:28:27 AM »
You manually lower your budgeted amount to 14.98.  then you will see the remaining at the top as "available to budget".  The category balance will then be zero.  Do that with each category, and then put whatever the total amount into your savings.

The key here is to either put it in a savings *category* or into an off budget savings account.  If it's still on budget, it just needs to be out of those categories.  It wasn't clear from the post that you understood the location of the funds (checking vs. savings) had no relationship (unless you force it to) on the budget.
Yes, with the total "Available to budget" (at the top), put it into a Saving category.  That way your final amount available gets to zero.


Zette

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2015, 08:43:32 AM »
If you right-click the budget cell for alcohol in January, one of the options is "Budget to 0".  This will change the budget amount from 40 to 14.98, and send the 15.02 that you didn't use back to "Available to Budget".  You can then increase the budget in one of your savings goals to get Available back to 0.  I do this at the end of every month for categories that I don't want to accumulate.  It's a nice way to "sweep" any excess funds into something you're saving for. 

lizzzi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2104
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2015, 08:50:39 AM »
I put my leftover January money into my off-budget savings account, as others here have suggested. My question is probably stupid, but relevant to the thread, I think:  I spent my whole January budget down to zero, and without over-drawing any of the categories. So great, perfecto.  But why is my monthly income and the budget categories not rolling over into February today? It is February 1, and my February budget is still all blank. I thought YNAB rolled over automatically month to month.

lizzzi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2104
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2015, 09:29:55 AM »
Thanks, Malaprop cocktail. The lightning bolt tip was what I needed to do. And I then entered my February income as a checking account inflow transaction, which set everything up properly again. I guess I was thinking that YNAB was going to do more automatically than it actually does. Hey, it's all good.

brandino29

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 320
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2015, 11:41:12 AM »
Thanks for the follow-ups guys.  I'm still a little bit confused though when you talk about putting it into an off-budget savings account.  I have an "Excess savings" line item under the Savings category that I budgeted $300 for the month of January.  We ended up having a total of $174 extra dollars from spending less in other categories (fuel, alcohol, daycare), so in total I transferred $474 to savings.  Since I did that, it shows that our total available balance for January is $0.00 for all categories combined, but individual categories still show the leftover amounts, e.g. $121 in daycare, which is rolling into February. 

I'm posting a screenshot here to see if that helps.  Maybe I'm just overthinking.  I'm also wondering if there may be a difference for Mac vs. PC software, because I'm unable to get any options if I right click any individual cells in any portion of the row (other than Rename/Delete). 

(Side note: sticking to YNAB this month helped us seriously decrease our spending across the board.  I used to think that MMM's annual spending posts were full of it, thinking there was no way you could spend so little, but I'm seeing now how possible it is, especially if we didn't have daycare expenses. 

morning owl

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 231
  • Location: Canada
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2015, 11:57:16 AM »
Hm, if you're transferring money into Savings, then it shouldn't be showing up as an "outflow." To transfer money from one account to the other, you need to go to the source account and transfer it rather than enter it as an expense. And if you're just shifting money from one line of the budget where you didn't spend it to this savings line, then you do that in the first column, the budget column. You subtract the unspent amount, then add it to savings. This is only if you aren't actually transferring money between accounts.

If you haven't done so already, I highly recommend watching the YNAB training videos. They're great, and they explain how YNAB works -- it's unlike any other budgeting software out there.

lizzzi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2104
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2015, 02:01:57 PM »
After I messed up a couple of times in the free trial, I decided to keep it super simple. Only the checking account that I've budgeted shows up on YNAB. My savings account, Vanguard account, and amount of cash in the house is just in a pen-and-paper notebook. At the end of January, I "spent" whatever was left in each YNAB budget category (didn't really spend it), zeroed out my budget categories, and deposited the excess money from January into the bank…recording it with pen-and-paper in my speckled college comp. notebook. Kind of a hybrid method, I guess, but it keeps me from messing up YNAB, at least until I understand it better.

pipercat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 283
  • Location: Central VA
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2015, 04:27:43 PM »
Do you track your savings account with YNAB also?  If not, then it is an off-budget account, and it would definitely show as outflow. 

Does your savings actually go into a separate account or is it in the same account?  If it stays in the same account, you would also consider it outflow.

You need to "zero balance" the accounts with surplus (ex. I see Alcohol still has a budget of $40).  See my previous post or Zette's re: how to do this.

Then you will assign the remainder to the saving's category.

I can't really be of any help re: the PC vs. Mac differences, but I'm sure the video tutorials on the website will help.

whiskeyjack

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 94
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2015, 07:17:55 PM »
I'm using a mac so I can clarify Zette's instructions.     Select the amount budgeted for say, Alcohol.   As soon as the field is highlighted a little pulldown arrow will appear on the right.    That's the menu Zette gets from right-click.   One of the options is "Balance to Zero" - that will automatically adjust the budgeted amount to leave a 0 balance and sweep the rest back up into "Available to Budget".

This is a new trick for me - so thank you Zette.

N

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
  • Location: Chicago
  • You must change your life. -Rainer Maria Rilke
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2015, 01:22:00 AM »
hey! niffty feature! didnt know about that one. :)

Runge

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 219
  • Location: TX
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2015, 08:05:11 AM »
Thanks for the follow-ups guys.  I'm still a little bit confused though when you talk about putting it into an off-budget savings account.  I have an "Excess savings" line item under the Savings category that I budgeted $300 for the month of January.  We ended up having a total of $174 extra dollars from spending less in other categories (fuel, alcohol, daycare), so in total I transferred $474 to savings.  Since I did that, it shows that our total available balance for January is $0.00 for all categories combined, but individual categories still show the leftover amounts, e.g. $121 in daycare, which is rolling into February. 

I'm posting a screenshot here to see if that helps.  Maybe I'm just overthinking.  I'm also wondering if there may be a difference for Mac vs. PC software, because I'm unable to get any options if I right click any individual cells in any portion of the row (other than Rename/Delete). 

(Side note: sticking to YNAB this month helped us seriously decrease our spending across the board.  I used to think that MMM's annual spending posts were full of it, thinking there was no way you could spend so little, but I'm seeing now how possible it is, especially if we didn't have daycare expenses.

As someone else has already said, I highly suggest watching the training videos over at YNAB. Link: http://www.youneedabudget.com/support
If you go there, they have plenty of images and videos that are extremely helpful.

Without any information aside from you post, I'm gathering that you're confusing the Available to Budget and Balance figures. The -$3.25 is your Available to Budget amount for January. For every single month, you want that value to always be 0.00. No more, no less. To do that you enter in values in the "Budgeted" column until the Available to Budget value hits 0.00. Once that is set, then you spend accordingly to the individual budget (sub) categories. If you see a category go into the red, then you need to move money from a different budget category to cover the overspending. Otherwise, you run a higher risk of overdrafting your accounts if you're still paycheck to paycheck. Also, I generally ignore the total Balance (the number you set to 0.00) as to me it's more or less meaningless.

Zette

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2015, 10:03:47 AM »
You need to reduce your budget in all the Everyday Expenses group to match what you actually spent.  Then increase the Savings budget to $474, to match the amount you actually sent to your savings account.  (This is a separate account, not in the YNAB budget, correct?  I would rename that something like "UnionBank Savings" so it's clear the category just tracks when you are sending money to an off-budget account.)

Zette

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2015, 10:08:42 AM »
Agree that you just ignore the "Balance" total at the top of the column.  The real number to focus on is that "-$3.25 overbudgeted", that's the one to always get back to 0 by adjusting the budget amounts.

Personally, I would have used the extra money you didn't spend to increase the phone budget to your actual amount so it wouldn't be red anymore. 

brandino29

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 320
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2015, 10:57:45 AM »
Thanks again for all the additional comments, I haven't yet had the chance to sit down and work through these suggestions to sort it all out but should be able to do so this weekend. 

Personally, I would have used the extra money you didn't spend to increase the phone budget to your actual amount so it wouldn't be red anymore.

Just quickly to address the phone -- after having already budgeted for the month, I ended up switching mid-month from an AT&T post-paid plan at $50/month to a pre-paid Cricket plan at $35/month ($40 for the first month) so it essentially double counted phone expenses in January, going forward that shouldn't be an issue. 

staceydee

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • DemirViews.com
Re: YNAB -- monthly balance rollover question
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2015, 08:02:51 PM »
all you have to do is change the $40 to $14.98 and it will put that money back to avail to budget and on feb1st it will be available to budget then