Auto-Assign on Mobile
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.
Using Auto-Assign is the quickest and easiest way to assign funds to your categories. With one tap, you can Give Every Dollar a Job, and possibly fund your entire month! The "Auto-Assign by..." button will appear in top banner of the Assign Mode (if you have money to assign), which you can access by tapping the Assign Money button in the budget tab of the mobile app. Auto-Assign options will reflect over the whole budget, not including Hidden Categories. You can also use Auto-Assign on a specific category (more on that below!).
How it Works
After tapping on the Assign Money button, you'll see the Assign Mode, which has some useful information in it. At the top, you'll see how much money you have Available to Assign to Expenses, and just under that you'll see a number that tells you how much More Needed This Month to fulfill your targets, scheduled transactions, and any overspending that may be in this month's budget. You'll also see the "Auto-Assign by..." button, if you have money to assign.
There are five options that will add money to your categories when used:
- Underfunded: This option will assign enough to fund your Targets in their order of priority, in addition to covering upcoming transactions and overspending. If you want to dig into the logic behind this option, take a deep dive into the Underfunded Help Doc!
- Assigned Last Month: Some assigned amounts don’t change month-to-month. Rent/mortgage, for example. Use this option to assign the same amount as the previous month.
- Spent Last Month: If the previous month’s spending was a pretty good template for the current month, fire up this option.
- Average Assigned: An up-to-12-month rolling average of the assigned value for this category, starting from the first month you assigned money to this category. The current month is excluded. (If you're in your fourth budget month, and you started assigning money to the selected category in your second budget month, it will calculate your average over months two and three.)
- Average Spent: The not-so-hidden gem of Auto-Assign. Spending averages are super-honest. We’ll show you an average of up to the last 12 months—use it as the basis for your budget, and you’ll likely be right on target.
One option will remove money from the category:
- Reduce Overfunding: If there are any categories in your budget that have more money assigned towards them than they need according to the targets and scheduled transactions in that category, this option will remove the extra money from those categories and send them back to Ready to Assign. This option will only appear if the category is overfunded according to the Underfunded logic.
You'll also notice the Auto-Assign buttons when assigning dollars on the web app. These buttons follow the same logic regardless of which app you're budgeting from.
Want a Bit More Manual Control?
After tapping one of the Auto-Assign buttons, YNAB will show you a preview of where your money will go in the Assign Mode Preview. Tap directly on categories to make changes as you'd like! You can move money around between categories, assign more to certain categories or less to others, but be sure not to assign more than you have (YNAB will warn you with a red Ready to Assign if you do).
If you tap on a specific category within Assign Mode, you'll see the option to use the Auto-Assign buttons on that category only above the number pad. Underfunded is the default option, but you can tap the More button to access additional Auto-Assign options. Tap assign to apply the option and bring you back into the Assign Mode Preview.
Once you are happy with where each of your dollars is going, tap Save Assignments at the bottom and YNAB will assign those dollars!
No matter which Auto-Assign option you use, remember it's important to only assign money that you already have to categories. If assigning money ever turns Ready to Assign red, make adjustments until it returns to a happy, gray $0.00.
Category Specific Auto-Assign Buttons
If you select an individual category, you'll see the same Auto-Assign options, which will apply to that category only. You'll see a preview of how each option will impact your Budget. Tap the button to apply the Auto-Assign option to that category.
💥 With a single category selected, the Underfunded button will fully fund the category, even if it turns Ready to Assign red, so be sure that you have enough to assign to cover that category in full.
Now, go forth and assign those funds!