Author Topic: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?  (Read 854 times)

moresprinkles

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YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« on: June 15, 2020, 03:44:41 PM »
Iím wondering who is using YNAB? Iím closing in on the end of my 34-day free trail.

I like the proactive approach and Iím stubbornly learning how to earmark my money instead of merely tracking. The pandemic has introduced a few budget hits and challenges.

Pros Vs. Cons

Pro - Direct synch from Accounts
Con - Capital One and YNAB donít get along it looks like and there is no direct transaction import so I have to manually import all the transactions :(

Pro -  $6.99 a month (same as 2 fancy starbucks drinks)
Con - $6.99 a month

Pro- YNAB forces me to pre-plan and chunk money into buckets. Intentional spending = decreased spending = increased savings
Con - YNAB forces me to pre-plan and chunk into buckets = no mindless spending while bored in the house = no dopamine hit or immediate gratification.

Pro - Intentional pivot to focus on my budget. Moving to proactive from reactive.
Con -  More time with face in laptop figuring out the software.

Pro - Long term gain in regards to stash
Con - Short term annoyance because I have to carve new thought pathways around money.
Con - I have to learn the software.

Pro - I could pay someone to do this for me.
Con  - I could pay someone to do this for me.

I believe Iíve sufficiently analyzed this to a pulp. Anyone using YNAB that can help cheer me on or oppositely, anyone using YNAB who is vibing on the con side and thinks there is a better way to proactively budget?

Thanks!


MudPuppy

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2020, 03:51:59 PM »
We use it and have for years off and on, back before it was web-based. It really helps us visualize the plans for our money.

lollylegs

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2020, 05:55:52 PM »
I use it, I've used it for several years now, its really helped me cut spending. I do transactions manually every morning. worth the money for us to keep using it.

halftimer

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2020, 07:17:58 PM »
We have been using YNAB through more than $100k in net worth increase; I find it very worthwhile. I just learned about the free YNAB clone https://financier.io and did consider switching to save a few dollars, but it doesn't have the features I like the most - recurring expenses, age of money, and category goals that can fund a whole month with one click if you have it set up right.

I had a really good spreadsheet before that, so we were always in control and had a clear set of goals. Now, I also have a easy way to see if certain expenses increase or decrease over time, make reports and make sure my next 5 months have all the essentials funded in case of layoff (very possible). I don't use automatic uploads, but I export transactions and that only takes a moment to reconcile. The total money time is super low in a month - maybe 10 minutes, more if I feel like checking out reports.

Mostly I like their business model - lots of free online education, free subscriptions for students (that's how I started, waay back), so I'm willing to give them $6 per month.

moresprinkles

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2020, 08:12:51 AM »
We use it and have for years off and on, back before it was web-based. It really helps us visualize the plans for our money.

Before it was web-based? Iím keen on hearing more about that? How were you doing that, if I may ask?

MudPuppy

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2020, 08:13:45 AM »
It was a software that you bought and downloaded then.

moresprinkles

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2020, 08:16:14 AM »
We have been using YNAB through more than $100k in net worth increase; I find it very worthwhile. I just learned about the free YNAB clone https://financier.io and did consider switching to save a few dollars, but it doesn't have the features I like the most - recurring expenses, age of money, and category goals that can fund a whole month with one click if you have it set up right.

I had a really good spreadsheet before that, so we were always in control and had a clear set of goals. Now, I also have a easy way to see if certain expenses increase or decrease over time, make reports and make sure my next 5 months have all the essentials funded in case of layoff (very possible). I don't use automatic uploads, but I export transactions and that only takes a moment to reconcile. The total money time is super low in a month - maybe 10 minutes, more if I feel like checking out reports.

Mostly I like their business model - lots of free online education, free subscriptions for students (that's how I started, waay back), so I'm willing to give them $6 per month.

I was leaning towards sitting down and learning how to use the program with the tiny worry of a second covid wave coming and the possibility of a layoff. Now that you shined some light on that, its best that I dedicate some time and set it up correctly. You made some fine points. thanks a lot!!

halftimer

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2020, 04:14:24 PM »
...

I was leaning towards sitting down and learning how to use the program with the tiny worry of a second covid wave coming and the possibility of a layoff. Now that you shined some light on that, its best that I dedicate some time and set it up correctly. You made some fine points. thanks a lot!!

You're welcome, happy to help.

You can also have multiple budgets set up in one subscription - so I have a sample one with not real numbers in it for when someone has budget questions for me, and another I made with just the bare-bones expenses so I can see how far I can get our money to stretch in the worst case scenario. I looked at it again lately after a very stressful bout of layoffs at work, and it was very reassuring to see we can stretch the 3-4 months we currently have funded into a year's worth of necessary spending if we need to.

Dr Kidstache

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2020, 06:09:45 PM »
I used YNAB for many years & only stopped recently when my laptop would no longer support the old non-web based program. I think YNAB is well worth the money for people in the early years of budgeting and accruing wealth. I don't really need that hand-holding anymore but the habit of tracking spending is so ingrained that I still like to track spending. I've been using the free Aspire Budget (https://aspirebudget.com) for the last few months. It's got way less features than YNAB obviously but does a simple zero based budget.

moresprinkles

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2020, 07:47:20 PM »
...

I was leaning towards sitting down and learning how to use the program with the tiny worry of a second covid wave coming and the possibility of a layoff. Now that you shined some light on that, its best that I dedicate some time and set it up correctly. You made some fine points. thanks a lot!!


You're welcome, happy to help.

You can also have multiple budgets set up in one subscription - so I have a sample one with not real numbers in it for when someone has budget questions for me, and another I made with just the bare-bones expenses so I can see how far I can get our money to stretch in the worst case scenario. I looked at it again lately after a very stressful bout of layoffs at work, and it was very reassuring to see we can stretch the 3-4 months we currently have funded into a year's worth of necessary spending if we need to.

Wow, youíve been super helpful. I deffo need reassurance right now. Iím having issues figuring out my categories. I was hoping it would magically assign everything to a category, but alas, all laziness aside, I have some planning to do. No easy way out.

moresprinkles

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2020, 07:51:05 PM »
I used YNAB for many years & only stopped recently when my laptop would no longer support the old non-web based program. I think YNAB is well worth the money for people in the early years of budgeting and accruing wealth. I don't really need that hand-holding anymore but the habit of tracking spending is so ingrained that I still like to track spending. I've been using the free Aspire Budget (https://aspirebudget.com) for the last few months. It's got way less features than YNAB obviously but does a simple zero based budget.

I will look into Aspire budget and keep it in my back pocket.  Thanks for sharing! I am at the building wealth (re-building) part and I think for now I have some heavy lifting to do and YNAB is my better bet.

Prairie Gal

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2020, 08:26:44 PM »
It was a software that you bought and downloaded then.

This is what I have been using for the past 6 or 7 years also. It helped me dig my way out of a missive debt after my husband passed away and it just clicked with me, and I still use it. For the first time in my life I feel like I have a handle on my finances. I enter everything manually.

ageless-human

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2020, 08:04:29 AM »
We have been using YNAB through more than $100k in net worth increase; I find it very worthwhile. I just learned about the free YNAB clone https://financier.io and did consider switching to save a few dollars, but it doesn't have the features I like the most - recurring expenses, age of money, and category goals that can fund a whole month with one click if you have it set up right.

I had a really good spreadsheet before that, so we were always in control and had a clear set of goals. Now, I also have a easy way to see if certain expenses increase or decrease over time, make reports and make sure my next 5 months have all the essentials funded in case of layoff (very possible). I don't use automatic uploads, but I export transactions and that only takes a moment to reconcile. The total money time is super low in a month - maybe 10 minutes, more if I feel like checking out reports.

Mostly I like their business model - lots of free online education, free subscriptions for students (that's how I started, waay back), so I'm willing to give them $6 per month.

Financier really seems to do what I need it to. I basically only used YNAB for tracking, and not budgeting. To me it's not a matter of making my money last, but to be able to see what I'm spending my money on and make adjustments if something is too high for comfort.

moresprinkles

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2020, 03:52:04 PM »
We have been using YNAB through more than $100k in net worth increase; I find it very worthwhile. I just learned about the free YNAB clone https://financier.io and did consider switching to save a few dollars, but it doesn't have the features I like the most - recurring expenses, age of money, and category goals that can fund a whole month with one click if you have it set up right.

I had a really good spreadsheet before that, so we were always in control and had a clear set of goals. Now, I also have a easy way to see if certain expenses increase or decrease over time, make reports and make sure my next 5 months have all the essentials funded in case of layoff (very possible). I don't use automatic uploads, but I export transactions and that only takes a moment to reconcile. The total money time is super low in a month - maybe 10 minutes, more if I feel like checking out reports.

Mostly I like their business model - lots of free online education, free subscriptions for students (that's how I started, waay back), so I'm willing to give them $6 per month.

Financier really seems to do what I need it to. I basically only used YNAB for tracking, and not budgeting. To me it's not a matter of making my money last, but to be able to see what I'm spending my money on and make adjustments if something is too high for comfort.

Thatís 2 votes for Financier. Maybe Iíll move to that after I reign things in with YNAB. Thanks for the input.

rmorris50

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2020, 08:37:47 PM »
What are opinions of actually using this once retired? My spouse and I were fortunate enough to be able to sock away bonuses and max retirements accounts to save the majority of our wealth, and spent much of the rest. But now that I am a few years away pulling the trigger on retiring early, being more disciplined at budgeting would be useful. While working it's easy to buy what you (reasonably) want, whenever you want.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2020, 10:27:46 PM »
We use a google sheet. It works for us. Add a simple form, bookmark it on the phone. Type it in ourselves.

Pro: complete control
Pro: typing it in is a deterrent for some people
Pro: we don't budget, we control spend and adjust as needed based on reflection of the last few months
Pro: "free" ($)

Con: you have to type it in
Con: you have to build and maintain it
Con: learning google sheets (I'm a software engineer and it is dumbed down/awkward to express things I could do easily in a real language)
Con: "free" (time)

Television

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2020, 11:30:32 PM »
I use YNAB, also started back when it was just a desktop application. Not super happy about it changing to SaaS but them's the breaks.

For me, it's a lifesaver. I have lots of little pots set aside for things and because I'm somewhat risk averse, I like knowing that the money is already set aside for next month's bill, etc etc.

At this stage, they'll pry it from my cold, dead hands haha.

With that being said, I haven't investigated any other options beyond trying it myself on an excel document. For the little extra expense, the added features make it well worth my dollars (plus I'm not too flash with excel).

alcon835

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Re: YNAB - To Use or Not to Use?
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2020, 08:17:53 AM »
Been using YNAB for over 7 years. Started on the old version and made the switch to the new version about 12 months after the changed.

It's been great. The methodology is my favorite bit. As you pointed out, it forces me to plan my spending. As for "off the cuff" spending, I have a "fun money" category that I use for impulse buys that I fund each month and let it grow for months if there's nothing I want.

I don't use the bank import, I just check my expenses against my bank account once a week and verify the numbers match up.

Overall, I am a big fan. They do it better than just about anyone, they have brought a lot of folks out of debt, their methodology is solid, and they are extremely customizable. I probably could pivot to my own spreadsheet or a free alternative, but having the phone app makes everything much easier for my wife and, honestly, I like the company and want to continue supporting them.