Assigning Future Income

When you set up your first budget you'll use only the dollars you have on hand right now. You may be wondering how to plan for your next paycheck (and the next one after that). You may be asking yourself, "Can I budget with my future income?" In a word—no.

The real power of YNAB—to make good decisions with your money and use it to live the life you want—comes from only using what you currently have. Of course, it's important to plan for what's next. You won't assign future income, but you can still look forward and set yourself up for success. 

Schedule Future Income Transactions

YNAB has built-in tools — Scheduled Transactions and Targets — that will help you plan for this month, and all the months to come. 

It doesn't matter when you receive your next paycheck, you'll know exactly where those dollars are needed as soon as they're in your account. These helpful steps will walk you through setting up your budget template. 

Aging Your Money

After you've used YNAB for a while, you may find that  Ready to Assign has more than you need in the current month. Good news! You can assign those dollars in future months.

And if it turns out you need some of those dollars you assigned in the future in the current month instead? No problem! Go to the future month’s budget and move money from spending categories back to Ready to Assign. When you return to the current month’s budget, you’ll see those dollars available in Ready to Assign, ready for you to give them a job in this month. 

Future Budgeting & Ready to Assign

If this month’s  Ready to Assign is $0.00 and you forget to un-assign money in the future before assigning more money in the current month’s budget, the future month’s Ready to Assign will turn negative. To get things back on track, head to the future month's budget and move money from your spending categories back to Ready to Assign until it reaches $0.00.

With Targets and Scheduled Transactions set up and your money aging, you'll be surprised how much you don't worry about your future income anymore!

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