Unpacking To Be Budgeted

If To Be Budgeted 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 to the right of To be Budgeted, 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 accounts. 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.

Here's how you can confirm that's true:

How to Perform a Budget Audit


Reconcile all of your Budget accounts. Be sure not to skip this step! The amount in To be Budgeted will only be accurate if your account balances in YNAB reflect your real-world account balances. Also, keep in mind that Tracking accounts are 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 To be Budgeted. If this happens, be sure to reconcile this account, too, to get the balance back to $0.00 before proceeding to Step 3.

A closed account is revealed to have a $100 balance


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 Total Available amount. This is the sum of the Available column in your budget.


Add the Total Available amount to what you have left To be Budgeted and Budgeted in Future. This figure is the total cash in your budget. (Feel free to write it down, or take a screenshot!)

Let’s pause, just in case To be Budgeted is negative. If it is, you need to subtract it from Total Available, 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 To be Budgeted is back to a green $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 To be Budgeted, but an outstanding balance on a credit card doesn’t.)


Your totals in step 5 and 6 should match exactly, like this:

A checking account with a $411 balance and a savings account with a $1000 balance matches the $1411 Total Available amount

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!

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