Targets on Mobile

When you set target amounts for your categories, you stay in the game and you keep budgeting. Whether your ambition is to finally pay your electric bill on time or pay for your next car in cash, hitting the target amount to reach your goals always feels good. 😎

Target Types

There are five types of targets: three for spending categories and two for your Credit Card Payment categories, and Progress Bars will help you keep track of your target progress.

Spending Categories

Needed For Spending

  • Weekly: Budget and Spend up to this amount each week. You can also choose which day you would like your week to roll over. For example, set a target to assign $100 for groceries each week by Friday. You’ll be prompted to assign money until you’ve satisfied your weekly goal total for the month—this will be based on how many Fridays are in a given month. 

    Category Examples: Groceries, Date night, babysitting, housekeeping, work lunches, or any other category where you spend money on a weekly basis.
  • Monthly: Assign and spend up to this amount each month. For example, set a target to budget $300 for Utilities each month and spend up to $300 in a month. 

    Category Examples: Utilities, Dining Out, Gas/Fuel, Transportation, Childcare, and most monthly variable expenses.

When using Weekly or Monthly targets, if you don't spend all your assigned funds in the current month, the remaining amount will contribute to the next month's target(s) once the month rolls over. This ensures that money doesn't build up over the target amount.

  • By Date: Assign and spend up to this amount by a given date. For example, set a target to budget $1000 for birthday gifts by December, and spend from those funds each time you purchase a gift leading up to that date. YNAB will prompt you to assign a certain amount each month to stay on track to meet your goal. You can even choose to repeat this goal, up to every two years. 

    Category Examples: Holidays and birthdays, vacations, home improvement projects, subscriptions, insurance payments, a new baby; any expense that you'll be partially paying for before the target period ends.

Savings Balance

Set an amount to have available in a category, with or without a target date! If you choose to set a date, YNAB will prompt you to assign money so that you will have that amount available in that category by the given date. If you choose not to set a date, there isn't a way to be off track, so there won't be an alert if you're short of your goal. You will, in both scenarios (date or no date), see your progress when you select the category. For example, set a target to have $20,000 budgeted for a house down payment and YNAB will help you track your progress.

Category Examples: house down payment, new car, new furniture, emergency fund, auto maintenance, home repairs, medical expenses, computer replacement, many large one-time purchases.

Monthly Savings Builder

Assign the target amount to the category each month to build your savings. For example, set a goal to budget $400 each month towards a new car, so that down the road (pun intended), you have funds ready for it when you need them.

Category Examples: auto maintenance, home repairs, medical expenses, building up a savings category (known expenses with a variable timeframe and amount needed). 

With the Savings Balance (with date selected) target, the target month will be included in the monthly calculation; YNAB will expect you to budget towards that goal in the set month. If you'd like to have those dollars set aside by a given month, you may prefer to set the target month as the month prior to when the funds are needed. With the Needed for Spending: By Date target type, make sure the target date for this type of target is in the month you’ll spend the money, so the spending doesn’t get applied to the next instance of that target.

Monthly Debt Payment

Assign and pay up to this amount toward a loan or debt, if the budget category is paired with a Loan account. If the category is paired with a loan account, this target type will be chosen for you, and you'll only have to enter the monthly payment amount and due date. 

Credit Card Payment Categories

  • Pay Off Balance by Date: Calculates a monthly amount to assign to the category in order to pay off your credit card debt by a certain date. The amount will adjust if you are making slower or faster progress than your original plan! Once the balance is paid down, it'll show your target is complete!
  • Pay Specific Amount Each Month: Helps you assign a certain amount toward your debt each month—without a target payoff date in mind. This type of target will continue to prompt you to assign money to the category even if you've paid off the debt. Once that balance is paid down, you can delete the target.

Create a Target

You can create a Target for any of your categories while in Edit Mode, underneath the name of the category, or by tapping the Details Icon when a category is selected in your budget. 

Edit Mode

Tap into the field underneath the category name, then use the number pad to tap in a target amount.
Use the buttons at the top of the number pad to choose the target type. The Spending target types are showing (Weekly, Monthly, By Date), or you can tap "Other" to choose a Savings Balance or Monthly Savings Builder target.
Save by tapping on the check mark in the lower right hand corner.

In the Category Details

Select a category in your budget and tap the Details icon.
Tap Create a Target and select the type of target.
Fill in the details and tap Save Target!

Change or Delete a Target

To make changes to a target you created—or to delete it—enter Edit Mode and tap the target field (below the category name), then tap the X next to the target type. 

You can also edit or delete targets within the Category Details of a specific category. Tap the category name, then tap details [the three dots (...)]. Scroll down (if needed) to tap the blue Edit Target button, and then you can make your adjustments!

Targets and Refunds

If your target is not showing met even though there is more in the Available column than the target needs, it may be due to a refund. Refunds (inflow transactions categorized directly to the spending category) aren't counted towards a target, because the assumption is they were counted when the funds were originally assigned to the category (before being spent, then refunded). Once the target period rolls over, any refund money still in the category will then count towards the next target period. 

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