In the Budget column, assign dollars to each category until your Available to Budget amount is $0. This is YNAB's First Rule of Cash Flow.
In the sample below, we started out with $1000 Available to Budget and budgeted $200 into Groceries and $100 into Restaurants. That total is shown in the line Budgeted in May. In this case, $300 has been budgeted so far. This total has been subtracted from Available to Budget so you now have $700 which needs to be assigned to categories.
When you are first trying to save money for your Buffer, you’ll want to let some money roll into next month.
When you don’t budget all of the money that is Available to Budget, that same amount appears in next month’s header under Not budgeted in (previous month). This will become a part of the Available to Budget number for the next month.
As you move forward, your goal should be to carry over money each month and save up enough money to budget for one month without touching your paychecks. When this happens, you will have saved up what we call the Buffer and arrived at Rule Four!
No worries! Any money not budgeted in the current month rolls forward into the next month so you can budget it there. No money can escape your control!