Unpacking Ready to Assign
If Ready to Assign seems too high or too low, you know you have some investigating to do. This article will walk you through the steps to take to understand how much money is in your budget. For a detailed breakdown of the numbers that make up Ready to Assign, check out our Budget Header article.
While these are steps to be taken in the web app, please note that these numbers are still at play in the mobile app as well. Armed with that knowledge, you can move money in your budget with confidence!
Cash in Budget = Cash in Accounts
The total dollars in your budget should always be equal to the total dollars in your budget’s cash-based accounts (accounts like Checking, Savings, your actual wallet, as well as any credit cards with a positive balance). Maybe you've been moving money around in your budget, and you just need a little boost of confidence that every dollar in your bank accounts is reflected in your budget.
You can confirm thats true with a Budget Audit.
How to Perform a Budget Audit
Reconcile all of your Budget accounts. Be sure not to skip this step! The amount in Ready to Assign will only be accurate if your account balances in YNAB reflect your real-world account balances. Also, keep in mind that the money in Tracking accounts is not included in your budget.
Confirm any Closed accounts have a balance of $0.00. If a transaction attached to a closed account was edited or deleted, it's possible for the account to have a positive or negative balance, which impacts Ready to Assign. If this happens, be sure to reconcile this account, too, to get the balance back to $0.00 before proceeding to Step 3.
Advance to next month's budget, or the furthest in the future you can go. The math is easier this way, because any overspending is covered.
In the right sidebar, when no categories are selected, note the Available in [Month] amount. This is the sum of all the Available columns in your budget. (Scroll to the bottom of the screen and if you see an available amount in Hidden Categories, you'll need to add that to your Available in [Month] amount.)
Add the Available in [Month] amount to what you have left in Ready to Assign. This figure is the total cash in your budget. (Feel free to write it down, or take a screenshot!) Hidden categories are not included in this number, so make sure to check and make sure to add any Available in your hidden categories as well.
Let’s pause, just in case Ready to Assign is negative. If it is, you will need to subtract it from Available in [Month], because that means you’ve given jobs to money you don’t yet have. As you move forward with your budget, we recommend returning to this month’s budget and budgeting less money in one or more categories, until Ready to Assign is back to a gray $0.00.
Now, add up the cash in your Budget accounts. This includes checking, savings, and cash accounts, plus any positive credit card balances. If you have any checking or savings accounts that are overdrawn, be sure to subtract that amount from your total number. (An overdrawn cash account’s negative balance affects Ready to Assign, but an outstanding balance on a credit card doesn’t, so you want to leave those out of the calculation.)
Your totals in step 5 and 6 should match exactly, like this:
When Everything Matches
Awesome! You can trust that the dollars in your budget match the dollars in your accounts, and you can confidently move money if you’d like any dollars to be in a different category.
When Things Don't Match Up
If the numbers don't match up, our Support team will be happy to help! Just click the Contact Us link at the bottom of this page, and write a quick note to let us know where things aren't adding up. It's also helpful to enable Support Access ahead of time; that'll grant us temporary access to your budget so that we can get to the bottom of what's happening as quickly as possible!