Maybe you’ve been budgeting for a while and realized you’ve got some repetitive monthly spending amounts in your budget — rent, insurance, pizza…

Or perhaps you’re budgeting on the fly (pizza slice in hand), and are eager to give your dollars a job faster

Enter Underfunded!

Underfunded is the quickest and easiest way to assign funds to your categories. With one click, you can Give Every Dollar a Job, and possibly fund your entire month!  

You can find Underfunded with your other Quick Budget options, in the Inspector:

Underfunded considers your Goals, Scheduled Transactions, and any overspending, and applies dollars to those categories from To be Budgeted.

How it Works

Underfunded will assign dollars to your categories in the order that they are needed until either:

  1. To be Budgeted is at $0.00.
  2. The current month has been fully funded.

How does Underfunded know when my expenses are due? Answer: Goals.

By setting Goals in your categories, you’re letting Underfunded know which order to assign funds to categories. Once Goals are set, Underfunded will assign dollars to your categories based on the goal’s end date.

If a single category is selected, Underfunded will only apply to that category. If you don't see the Underfunded button, it means there isn't any underfunding! The button likes to take a rest after a hard day's budgeting work.

If multiple categories are selected, Underfunded will fully fund all of the selected categories (even if it causes To be Budgeted to turn negative).

The Order Logic

If no categories are selected, Underfunded will evaluate all of the categories in your budget. If certain categories or category groups are selected, Underfunded will only affect those selected. Here’s a closer look at how it prioritizes which categories to fund when none are selected:

  1. Categories with overspending will be funded first. Even Underfunded follows Rule 3!
  2. Pro Tip: Underfunded will also prioritize satisfying the respective goal in an overspent category. So, if you have a category with overspending and an underfunded goal, YNAB will not only cover the overspending but it will also fully fund the goal before moving on to the next category.
  3. Scheduled Transactions and Needed For Spending goals with a specific Every date will be funded next.

    For example: Your Weekly Groceries goal due Saturday, the 17th, will be funded before your Monthly Netflix subscription due the 23rd.
  4. Any “End of Month” goals will be funded next. This includes:
    1. Needed For Spending Monthly goals set for every “End of Month”.
    2. Needed For Spending By Date goals, set for a future month.
    3. Monthly Savings Builder goals.
    4. Savings Balance by Date goals.
  5. If there are still funds available in To be Budgeted after “End of Month” goals have been funded, Underfunded will return to Weekly goals and fund future weeks.
  6. If all Weekly goals have been funded for the entire month, and there are still funds available in To be Budgeted, Credit Card goals will be funded then.
  7. If all of the previous criteria has been met and there are two or more categories considered equal, Underfunded will apply in a top-to-bottom order of your categories.

If To be Budgeted reaches $0.00 at any point in this order, Underfunded will automatically stop. You can then choose to leave your categories as they are, or you can move money as you prefer (like to the Pizza category 🍕).

On the other hand, if the above sequence is completed and there are still funds left over in To be Budgeted, you can choose to fund categories that are omitted from Underfunded (more on that in a moment!), or you can choose to move into the following month and continue giving your dollars a job there.

Categories that don't get to play

There are some categories that are not invited to the Underfunded party. *cue sad trombone*

  • Categories in which a Savings Balance (without a date) goal is set. 
  • Categories in which no goal is set at all.
  • Categories with no upcoming Scheduled Transactions.

Since there are no specific dates affiliated with these categories, you will need to assign funds to these categories yourself. What, did you think Underfunded would do all the work?!

Bonus Round!

Enough about my categories being underfunded — what if I’m overfunded?

Without any categories selected, you’ll also have the option to Reduce Overfunding. When clicked, any excess funds above what are needed based on your Goals and Scheduled Transactions will be moved up to To be Budgeted. Give those dollars a new job!

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