Roll with the punches. Forest Green Commander Good observation. And I guess that temporary category is not the same you shared with me previously called "Deferred Income", to be use when your money fluctuate compare to an average? I've been trying to figure out the month ahead and just filling goals under the next month when possible, but the organization of it doesn't sit right with me, i cant seem to get a good view on where I am, I also have a decent amount of cash in my EF and my money says its aged 80 days or something but i assume that's just because of my savings account. dakinemaui Thanks for this incredible post; I clearly owe you a few rounds! That way, by the 1st of the month, we have 100% of the income we will spend for the month and do not need to time our expenses based on … . When your first check arrives, you clearly don't need to do anything with it right away, so just stash it in a holding category. so there’s no real way to forecast further then that. I wanted to clarify one element here. After using YNAB since August, I recently did a budget re-set and transferred funds from our emergency fund into our checking account so that we could get a month ahead - or really, just a paycheck ahead. @dakinemaui how do you use a "holding category"? And does budgeting a month ahead mean all your categories are budgeted a month ahead, including these sinking funds? Bonus: Tiller Money is cheaper than YNAB by about $2 a month. Once I have achieved a full month of pay I will re-label it 'buffer' and use it as a holding category. Same thing with the rest of your checks. Follow the same prioritization sequence you used in the current month, budgeting until To be Budgeted is $0.00. Switch over to the new month's area and the money for the entire month is in TBB, waiting to be distributed (budgeted). but until then you make your budgeting life easier every month, assuming you're not paid once monthly, like me. TechieM2 I've given up on the black hole that is feature requests, and I know I sound like a broken record "=("Toolkit." The money is still there - you haven't spent it just because you transferred it - but it feels nice to know that we can do all of our savings/retirement transfers, our monthly giving, pay our mortgage, etc all on the first of the month if we want to. Using a budgeting app that has its own “Rules” that don’t even make that much sense at first glance can seem weird. That way you'd have to actually click the account itself to see the actual balance in it. I would drain all emergency-ish funds before touching the INM. I just may not be doing it quite like any of you. The easiest way around this is to get one month ahead on your budget (meaning you have one month salary available at all times). 7) YNAB has a killer support team and offers free, online daily budgeting classes. My question would be then what would be the impact to leave the money in that holding category until the month flips for real? Hope you don't mind if I add a related, I think, question. If you want the money reserved for a future month, drop it all into a category in the month it is received and release it from the category in the month you want to budget it to your categories. You send all of that money to your specific categories but then notice you’ve budgeted everything you planned for and still have $200 left over. Getting a month ahead was transformational for my wife and I, and the forward thinking this creates has been the greatest benefit of YNAB for us. For whatever reason, it never occurred to me to RECATEGORIZE the income transactions. KrypticPhish Opinions vary on this one. YNAB has built-in tools — Scheduled Transactions and Goals — that will help you plan for this month, and all the months to come. Age your money. I used to prioritize savings and never seemed to get a month ahead on budgeting. Once I have achieved a full month of pay I will re-label it 'buffer' and use it as a holding category. I guess the reason you wait for the next month before releasing the fund into TBB is link to what you shared before in this thread, that leaving TBB nonzero is not a good idea. (I do not have my savings account linked but can if it is necessary). Stay one month ahead by spending the money you earn this money, next month. offers a version of this feature. (Is that a word?) dakinemaui THANK YOU so much for taking the time to explain this approach. You will know you are making progress if by the end of the month you have added enough to make that budget entry positive. Give every dollar a job. This is a one-time thing. To put it a different way, pulling from the INM category potentially messes with ALL your goals. This follows YNAB’s Rule # 4: Age Your Money. They figured out how to make budgeting fun. So yes, I'd skip budgeting toward those emergency categories until all income can be pushed. Wendy Valencia; Steel_Blue_Cup.3; 1 yr ago; 11 replies; 275; dakinemaui 1 yr ago; Tips & Tricks; I am a YNAB Newbie so please forgive me for a dumb question. I have continued adding to that category with the aim of building it up to one month's expenses (now over $5K). They just swipe the CC without any thought as to the ramification of that spending decision. (Some people will instead release funds by deleting the budget entry in the previous month, but that approach loses the progress indication which I feel is beneficial.). Historically I would just drop this month's paychecks into savings as they come in and on the last day of the month, I drop the savings into checking and do my budget, I actually prefer to keep this separation because there is FAR too much risk of someone getting confused and spending more than they should (as the family's budget creator one can assume I am not talking about myself being the confused one in this scenario....lol), So HOW IN THE WORLD do I account for the movement of money from one account to another and back in for the next month? dakinemaui Great advice! Plan ahead by saving for predictable expenses like vacation and for unpredictable expenses like car repairs or medical bills. . The first workflow you outline applies to if you do not need any of the current month income *within* this same month. once you are budgeting on last month's income, you shouldn't be leaving any "extra money" in the next month category. Just click “HOUSING” and type your preferred title. unfortunately, i don’t know of a way since YNAB only lets you see one month ahead. YNAB – You Need A Budget If you want to skip the reading palaver and jump straight to one extra month of YNAB free, just click GIVE ME YNAB. And if you prefer, you can instead pay $84 for the entire year. I'd rather it do something useful until then -- like make my budgeting process far easier and significantly clearer. That's it, you've given every dollar a job! If you release at the end of the month, you might have a day or two of needing to watch for SFTF. My favourite budgeting tool for the modern age. LOL, Wendy Valencia You might be interested in the third-party app Allowance for YNAB. In the example of September/October, what is different between if I wait to October 1st to release the fund from the holding category to TBB compare to on September 30th, flip YNAB to October and release the funds to TBB? Decide what you want to do with each dollar that comes into your bank accountbefore you spend it. Or let’s say I prefer to change the budget group currently titled “HOUSING” to “YO MOMMA’S HOUSE.” Easy peasy. Can someone clarify for me how this "one month ahead" works? I have been struggling ever since YNAB switched over to the new platform to figure out the best practice way to designate income from this month for next month. I'm trying to get away from moving money from my EF category to cover overspending since the it messes with my goal. This makes sense and excited to try it moving forward from here! So how did YNAB become one of the best budgeting software, rivalling even Mint? Get 4 FREE Months of YNAB! Keep repeating the process. Direct Import. When income is short in some month, just move enough from the IR category so TBB is the normal amount. You can also release it on Oct. 3rd if you like. At least $1000 for now. My money is aged to 37 days which I'm very happy with. Aging your money 30 days takes awhile. "Income For Next Month". Same thing with water. Eric Poulin First of all, you're correct that the temporary holding category (often called Income for Next Month or INM) is different than a Deferred Income category. My husband and I are a full month ahead in our incomes and have been for a while. YNAB is free for students. Sitting down at the end of the month and budgeting money that you already have for the next month is just a completely different mindset. If you are happy with your own spreadsheet or use another budgeting tool, I highly recommend watching the online YNAB classes anyway. Nothing special, release on day 1 if you like. dakinemaui Move Light Sound Life , thanks for both of your answers. Overspending should be covered immediately from the lowest priority category with funds. Spending goal is supposed to "top up" your category, but irritatingly, it makes you wait until the month actually changes in the real world. At least $1000, then work on getting a month ahead. 2. We get paid 1st/15th, so being able to completely fund the month when receiving the first paycheck feels great. Moving money between accounts in your budget doesn't affect your budget. Do you think we should take it out of X, Y, or Z?". YNAB is a software platform that can be used across desktop computers, the iPhone and Android operating systems, iPads, Apple Watches, and the Amazon Echo system.The system is easy to learn and use, but for users who want to learn more in-depth about the system, a book has been published.. Every penny of that money is slated to be budgeted in 0-4 weeks. Just don't blindly release it when TBB is nonzero as would be the case when you have early-arriving income. but the Toolkit (duh!) I'm not completely sure what you mean. When you are informed about an increase, for example, you can update the relevant Goals so next month has the new numbers without any additional action when filled in at the end of this month. I don't even care about the future negative TBB consuming any funds released while shifting between categories during the current month because the months are intentionally walled off. 2. Vibrant got it, I've never recategorized income as anything but TBB, but I think that makes sense to mark it directly to that category. "Toolkit.") If you get in a mood to read more, I tried to summarize everything I'd learned about the Buffer here. You can always reallocate back to an EF if necessary, but until then, that money is making things easier and providing clarity by budgeting on a cycle aligned with your expense recurrence cycle. dakinemaui I second this answer. That new behavior is worth every penny I'm paying for the subscription. Yeah, I know... easier said than done. At the end of the month, you can release it from the holding category by recategorizing as TBB (Search for the holding category, select all, Edit | Categorize As... | Inflow:To Be Budgeted. As mentioned, you can always reallocate the money to your EF if an emergency comes and you still haven't built that up (fingers crossed you don't have an emergency!) ynaber2613 i fully agree. We get paid 1st/15th, so being able to completely fund the month when receiving the first paycheck feels great. Let’s take a look at a few months of a happy new YNABer as they work to get a month ahead. ", Superbone In my experience, such people don't consult anything categories or accounts. Should I take a break from saving for my emergency fund until I can get myself one month ahead in my budget, or should I stick it out and keep doing what I'm doing? We are officially retiring and moving to another state near the end of 2021. Depends on your income arrival time. Nope. INM is probably the highest priority category in my budget outside of, like, rent and electricity. Category balances should inform one as to what they can spend for that category. Other categories like Electric, I am trying to grow a surplus within the category to handle the above average months, so I would not sweep those. I don't care about the negative TBB in next month's area or the fact those dollars don't exist because I don't use next month for spending guidance. When all was said and done in January, there was just $25 left in the budget. Thanks for always diving deep in the details to help fellow YNABers! Since that's obviously a priority, we'll have to spend less elsewhere. take cash from my EF to fully fund all the budget for next month. I am a YNAB Newbie so please forgive me for a dumb question. This can be automated via scheduled transaction or Payee renaming rule. Even if it didn't quite cover the deficit, I'm not going to blow through the entire month's worth of money in the first few days. Either use the Move Money tool by clicking on TBB or use the inline calculator to add to the existing negative budget entry. Forest Green Commander Also, you don't budget past next month's area. So long as both accounts are on budget, that wouldn't change the category. OTOH, be mindful that the original budget entries may not yet be a good reflection of everyone's priorities. I've never had to do it any other way, but I imagine if I got paid weekly or bi-weekly, I'd really want to get a month ahead so I can just budget the whole month at once. Again, no big deal assuming sufficient funds in the holding category to cover the deficit in TBB. Instead of just spending that $200, you can actually go forward to February and budget that $200 for next month. I mean, it's not a surprise the summer bills are higher. Knowing myself, I will probably forget to do this within month so I'd like to understand the impacts. Personally, I'd prioritize being able to push all income into next month, but then again I have bi-weekly income where being ahead is much more useful. (Hiding balances in YNAB wouldn't help, because they're probably not even looking at YNAB! AOM of 30 is merely a statistic about the average of your last 10 cash-based transactions. None of these are showstoppers, but irritating nonetheless compared to the classic workflow: Classically-minded users typically use a holding category to circumvent all these issues and increase efficiency. No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars. For example, if I have 100 leftover in grocery do I just budget less in Feb according to my goal and leave the extra money in Februarys TBB next month category? Taking that money screws up that plan and makes for potentially a lot of work. FINAL … In fact, I'd reallocate the EF to facilitate it. If you categorize your Jan 15 and 30 paychecks as [Next Month], then on February 1 (or whenever you go to do your Feb budget) you would change the categorization to To Be Budgeted. (Immediately so you don't lose options.) YNAB revolves around 4 easy-to-understand rules: 1. We will have about 6 - 8 weeks without income, Put it temporarily in a holding category until the end of the month. (The INM "job" was merely a plan of "Sit tight until I have all the dollars."). Get that emergency fund built first. I personally get paid once monthly at the end of the month, so I haven't bothered getting a month ahead because I can already budget the whole month when my paycheck arrives. What a wonderful solution to reconcile old Rule 4. I'll apply the workflow and learn from it! (The sole exception are Spending Goals, but that's a rant for another day!) From that point I will just start another 'emergency' category of $1K. I’d say that Personal Capital is the best of the YNAB alternatives. What would happen if you leave it in the Holding Category, and transfer it to TBB on Day 1? I’m using Option 1 based on past reading on this forum in the topic, I also found your post on the topic really useful thanks Move Light Sound Life. Still such a shame that the old rules, that made perfect sense, got so messed up with the web version. It lets you highlight categories of interest and make them more visible at a glance (lock screen / widget.) And while this may not be the case for others, in the process of getting a month ahead I actually found and reclaimed money in the budget that I didn't need. Forest Green Commander You got the first part. Reallocate from your EF category to fund the categories in the CURRENT month you would normally fund when you are paid. At the end of the month, I would sweep the leftovers in Groceries to whatever high-priority category I'd like to accelerate. It only has to cover the budget entries made in the *current* month's area. The goal is to live on last month’s income, and this will also help you stop living paycheck to paycheck, and start hitting bigger and BIGGER goals! dakinemaui Okay that makes sense, I think I was making this harder on myself. YouTube Video » ynab january 2021 paycheck 2 budget with me how i calculate my one month ahead category YNAB dropped the budgeting 1 month ahead features, it’s one of the reasons I switched to Mint. When you sign up with Personal Capital, you … If you overspend in one category, move money from another category to cover the expense. I get paid 2x/month, it just seems odd with each paycheck i need to go find a month that's isn't fully funded and it could be income that needs to be spread across 2 months? If you do want to have it in savings for the month to get a little more interest, you would enter a transfer from the savings account to the checking account. Brandon says: November 12, 2017 at 11:15 pm. "Budgeting a month ahead" simply means that none of your income is budgeted in the current month. Forest Green Commander this is just my take - once you are budgeting on last month's income, you shouldn't be leaving any "extra money" in the next month category. At the end of the month, empty the month's worth of money from the holding category and allocate it NEXT months area (the one that's about to become current). The original poster may or may not have the breathing room to move part of their existing emergency fund ahead to next month but that's what I did. They also offer a referral program that reduces the amount you pay for YNAB, and I’ll explain more about this further down in my YNAB review. At the end of the month, I then batch-edit the category on all those income transactions, changing it to Inflow: To Be Budgeted. You can release it on Sept. 20th and distribute it if you don't expect any more income. So between these 2 choices you express in the last paragraph: I am actually budgeting ahead by using option 2 and it does *seems* to work. It's weird, ever notice when you have a spending goal further out than a month, it adjusts in real-time, but if it's a Monthly spending goal, it doesn't? You have control over how you classify them too. Have I misunderstood what the one month buffer is about? I do happen to overspend somewhere it makes the most sense to move from categories with leftovers to cover the overspending or have it come out of the INM category, right? this also begs the question if I do happen to overspend somewhere it makes the most sense to move from categories with leftovers to cover the overspending or have it come out of the INM category, right? HollowGirl congratulations on having that money saved. Yeah, when your income exceeds your categories, you just need to budget more to existing categories (accelerate timelines or increase scope) or add more categories (add lower priority things you couldn't previously afford). So yeah, feel free to blur the line on timing to suit your needs as long as you understand what's going on and make spending decisions on month that is actually Available. nolesrule and adriana01 Thank you so much for your help. Many use goals to make this a one-click affair. Keep in mind there are a lot of other features they offer as well, these are just the ones I use the most! For more help getting a month ahead, drop into one of our free, online classes about cutting spending or saving money on groceries. I’ve been talking about the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle the past few days, but what I didn’t tell you yet is that one of the best parts of the bundle is that … Just wanted to make sure I am doing it correctly. Cross that bridge at that point. And then I do a transaction that just removed the total from that category on the first of the month and budget the next month? We will have about 6 - 8 weeks without income so that is why I wanted to budget two months ahead and STAY that way all of 2021. My husband and I are a full month ahead in our incomes and have been for a while. My standard advice is save up a $1000 EF. I would work on getting a month ahead on the budget first. Someone should do an in depth advanced video course! That will remove one more item from your monthly budget. Then at the beginning of the month, you can budget it all out. Life before YNAB: the Dark Days of Budgeting . so i bet that’s why they don’t let you budget too far in advance. Superbone If I could get "this person" to look at YNAB at all it would be a MIRACLE...But THAT is a whole different story. I know this is true well before the end of the month. The point is this money stays out of your way so you can focus on managing the current month as new information dictates adjustments. When I decided to get serious about budgeting, I had a sneaking suspicion that limiting my spending would do me some good, but I had no friggin’ clue where to start. Any income you get in January, put it into a category called Income for next month (or whatever works for you). Years ago I used paper budgeting, before I graduated to spreadsheets. I put away about $200/month for the emergency fund and I'm about 60% of the way to my goal, but struggling to get a month ahead in the rest of my budget. Apple fanboy macrumors Westmere. Take some of your EF and fully fund the month of January. Isn't it funny how the explanations can sound so complicated but yet it seems so easy when your fingers are actually making the changes in YNAB? Because the nYNAB doesn't wall months off, the calculations happen as you release money - there's no difference except visibility. Similar with any additional checks. The main thing we missed was the month ahead feature. Personal Capital. Getting a month ahead means that you are able to fully fund July with income received in June. Where it is a bit unclear to me is why you release it at the end of the month, but before the month flips over? Paycheck on the 1st: This income gets used in the current month's budget. , Follow YNAB to get support and lots of great ideas on budgeting. We had a similar experience when we started ynab. My question regards sinking funds, for those "emergencies" that should be planned for like a pet getting sick or needing to replace a broken cell phone. After using YNAB since August, I recently did a budget re-set and transferred funds from our emergency fund into our checking account so that we could get a month ahead - or really, just a paycheck ahead. leave the extra money in Februarys TBB next month category. I'll respond under the threat above about the workload. Rule 1 is to make a plan for ALL your money. The amount of savings required to be able to push all income into next month varies from person to person, but it's almost always less than people think. (Technically, there's an indicator that money has leaked into the future.). BEing a month ahead means being able to pay next month's expenses with this month's money because you are spending last month's pay this month. Option 2 is how the latest version is designed. YNAB will not only help you work toward being a month ahead of your expenses, but it will also help you with your savings goals. It's just a lot of screen flipping and numbers to edit when amounts invariably need to change. I'd say that true even when only partially on last month's income. If you're paid multiple times per month, I'd prioritize getting ahead. My goal is to have a whole month's worth of income in that holding category so on the last day of the month I can budget a whole month ahead. I feel the same as Vibrant , next month's income is VERY high priority. At some point, you will again have money in TBB that can go toward the holding category (and next month), and the process repeats: Move money you don't need that month into the holding category. I'm currently trying to get a month ahead in my budget while also saving for an emergency fund. Whether this becomes a reality for you depends on your income, your spending habits, and your degree of success with budgeting. Feb 21, 2012 41,111 31,309 Behind the Lens, UK. The way we handle income for our YNAB monthly budget is the following: Paycheck on the 15th: This income ends up getting budgeted for the following month. If this has already been covered in a previous post, just let me know. dakinemaui ok the sweep options seems easy enough, based on your comment below though you are still saying I should leave remaining amounts in things like electric or sweep leftovers here so as to cover for heavier months that may be over what I normally budget? One of the keys to the YNAB philosophy is that you must get a month ahead on your income in order to have last month’s income at your disposal for this month’s expenses. All of it should be allocated to your categories so that once your budget is ready for the month, both TBB and Next Month are zero. Superbone ^^^ THIS, a thousand times until it sinks in. In the end, everyone should be looking at category balances, and the money should be budgeted in accordance with joint priorities. Anyway, your current month is already fully funded from last month. After that, Month Ahead vs EF, Month Ahead always wins out. I think having an emergency fund is more important. That’s not a lot, but we budget-obsessed people know that it all adds up. dakinemaui That is actually making a ton of sense (except of the existence of the TBB behavior that has been discuss ad nauseum here... :)) But I understand the idea. In that case, I would release the old and capture the new simultaneously with the inline calculator. Scroll over to the next month and budget ahead. dakinemaui I feel I read this conversation 100 time and I still have a bit of a challenge understanding the best way to address this. A nice option for reluctant users who just want to know, "how much can I spend on X right now? (This results in a negative budget entry.) The questions are should I ignore these funds until I am budgeted a month ahead? 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S one of ynab one month ahead reasons I switched to Mint am somehow just something. When amounts invariably need to teach this “ confused person ” to at! Multiple times per month, assuming you 're not paid once monthly, like, rent and.! Ahead features, it ’ s methodology is focusing on the last day '' advice the rules!