brown685 wrote:I guess I take issue when people say the money came from the buffer. The only time I see the money coming from the buffer, is when you change a pay check from available next month to available this month. Then you have robbed the buffer. Otherwise you are just making use of rule 3, while keeping your buffer intact.
I'm with James here. Instead of focusing on Rule 4, I'd suggest sweeping unbudgeted money into a mini e-fund (most people use $1000) and/or to build up rainy day funds in the appropriate categories so this kind of thing doesn't throw your budget off kilter enough to need to raid the emergency fund. Many have set aside a significant amount of money simply by doing that as well as zeroing out non-savings categories and sweeping those amounts into rainy day or emergency funds.
Although the "buffer for next month" line in the budget is intended to make it easier to let the buffer grow, I think that's really useful if you really have extra money at the end of the month. Until I had a running start at my rainy day funds I would budget to zero, with anything that wasn't to be spent that month budgeted to rainy days. At the end of the month I'd zero out non-savings categories and add that to the rainy day funds until I was satisfied that they were well on their way toward their targets. Eventually I moved my savings on-budget, and between that, some medical reimbursements, and selling old stuff, I leaped ahead on rainy day funds and came up with a buffer only 3 months or so after starting YNAB. If it hadn't been for those inflows, I would probably still be working on a buffer.
BTW, I used a category called "buffer," and only made that category balance into my buffer once I had the whole thing saved, rather than letting the money fall into the "buffer for next month" line. That's a matter of preference
, but setting it up as a separate category made it easier for me not to spend it and to whack moles instead.
"It’s still all about the method. Fancy Cloud Sync algorithm aside...the software is there to help you become more aware (Rule One), anticipatory (Rule Two), flexible (Rule Three), and secure."--Jesse's blog, A Method to Your Madness