When you set goals, you stay in the game, you keep budgeting. It's that simple. It doesn't matter if your ambition is to finally pay your electric bill on time, or pay for your next car in cash. It's your budget, and reaching goals always feels good.
There are five types of goals: three for spending categories and two for your Credit Card Payment categories.
- A Monthly Funding goal sets a target amount to budget to a category each month. There is no target category balance or date, so it goes indefinitely (well, unless you decide to delete the goal) and is not impacted by new spending.
- A Target Category Balance goal has you set aside money until you have a certain amount available – without a specific timeline to get there. Since there isn't a way to be off track, there is no alert if you're short of your goal, but you'll see a progress bar when you select the category.
- A Target Category Balance by Date goal does the same thing, but also sets a target month as well.* YNAB will give you a Goal Target each month and tell you how much more you need to budget to stay on track. Your category balance will be yellow if you haven't budgeted enough, or if you need to budget more after spending from that category.
*The target month is included in the monthly Goal Target calculation, so we recommend setting the target month for the month before you would like to have the category fully funded. For example, if you want the category fully funded by June, set your target month as May. Once your target month has passed, the goal alert will disappear from that category.
Credit Card Payment categories
- Pay Off Balance by Date goals calculate a monthly amount to budget 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!
- Pay Specific Amount Each Month goals help you budget a certain amount toward your debt each month, without having a target payoff date in mind.
Once you’ve set your goal, you’ll notice that the goal will have an icon letting you know your progress for completing that goal, and whether or not you’re on track.
The progress icon will appear in yellow if you’re off-track this month so far to meet your goal, and it will appear as a green check once you’ve reached your goal overall!
Try using goals to create a budget template. Budget faster – while keeping your priorities in mind!
Creating a Goal
- Select the category for your goal.
- In the right sidebar, click Create a Goal.
- Select the type of goal.
- Fill in the details of your goal.
- You’re done! Click OK.