All I'm talking about is doing exactly what you're talking about, except inside YNAB instead of the mental notes and calculations. If "Saving for a rain day" is a core value of YNAB, why not make a tool that helps you do that? I know it's just easy math, it's all math, why even use YNAB at all if it's just math?
I think you're not reading my posts. The thing that's all math is dividing your goal by the number of months until you need to use the money. I don't need to remember anything, and I divide $245 (for example) by the number of months until the bill is due once
, put that in the note field, type the number in the budget field, and I'm done until I reach the goal. In no way is Rule 2 unsupported
; it's the reason category balances carry forward unless you zero them out. It's presumed that a user can do simple division by hand or on a calculator. $245/5=$49. It just took me less than 5 seconds to pull up my desktop calculator and push 4 buttons, and it would take me 10-15 seconds at most to open the note field and enter $49 into the budget field, open the note field and enter the target date and the goal amount.
No one but you can figure out how much money you need to save for your expenses. Why it's a hardship to push calculator buttons the first time you establish your goal and target date and then budget that amount in the category every month is completely beyond me. No financial software I've ever run into will do that for you. If I wanted to track something in a bar graph or have fields auto-filled I'd use Excel.
As a relative n00b to YNAB and having recently set up (and still encountering!) this type of non-monthly category, I found myself with two options:
1) Create a category for every single non-monthly expense, individually.
Pros - Don't have re-do math (e.g. full amt/12) as each category is a discrete item
Cons - lots of (sub) categories, reports mean less
2) Allocate non-monthly expenses to non-individual categories (i.e. "Books," not "Kindle downloads," "Paperback swap" and "new books").
Pros - Categories mean more (e.g. "Media subscriptions", not separate for "Wired", "Hulu", "Horse & Hound") when looking at overall spending
Cons - May not remember when certain subscriptions are due w/o looking them up; may not know what amount in a category is fixed vs. adjustable (e.g. "Music" might contain $10 worth of discretionary iTunes downloads *and* $20 Sirius XM subscription); needing to re-do calculations when paying an expense not in a tidy, 12-mo period and starting over with a tidy, 12-mo period for the next year.
I ended up with a little text file that reminds me of dates and, sometimes, tacking specific items and due dates on to the category name. Having read this thread, I see I completely missed the hovertext note to the left of the category (thanks, marzydj and litterbug!) and will fill those in instead.
litterbug: for some of us, it's not about doing the initial calculation, it's about remembering from month to month how/when we did it and if we combined, increased, decreased amounts, remembered to add in xx item. I end up doing the same calculations over and over again if I don't write them down clearly and very specifically, as my brain won't hold the information for more than a fruit fly's age. Having a space in the program, rather than outside of it, keeps things tidy and a bit more serene. I think money serenity is my ultimate YNAB goal!