Author Topic: MMM and YNAB  (Read 1604 times)

MountainLakeMama

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MMM and YNAB
« on: March 29, 2021, 04:00:29 PM »
Hi everyone! I'm just getting started (late start- I'm 43) with MMM/FIRE ideas. However, I've been a YNAB user for... too many years to count (back when it was still a desktop program you had to install).

Anyway, I was searching and searching for an easy to use spreadsheet to track my progress and re-discovered YNAB reports! Does anyone use YNAB alone to track their progress to FI? Any tips or words of wisdom? It would be great if I could just have everything in YNAB since I love it and use it so much anyway.

Life in Balance

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Re: MMM and YNAB
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2021, 04:24:21 PM »
I can't say it's the only thing I used to track my progress to FI, but I do use YNAB to keep track of my net worth, including my FIRE funds.  I have my retirement accounts from work (403b, in my case) and my Roth as Off Budget accounts so I can track balances.  I update each account on the first of the month by just adding or subtracting the difference from the previous month's balance.  So, I don't track contributions vs. dividends vs. gains/losses.  But it allows me to see quickly how much money is in which account and what my overall total is.  For my house, I used two Off Budget accounts:  one for the value of the house (updated every 3 or so years as my housing market is pretty stable) and one for the mortgage balance.  I would update on the first of the month with the amount that went to principal from my on-budget PITI payment.  When I paid off the mortgage, I just closed that account and left the account that showed the value.  When I use the Net Worth reports, I can include or exclude the house value as desired by selecting the accounts to consider for Net Worth.

I should add:  I still use YNAB4.

I also tracked these things in a spreadsheet so I could play with changing contributions, forecasting, etc.

MountainLakeMama

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Re: MMM and YNAB
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2021, 04:53:27 PM »
Thanks. The problem I'm running into is that all the spreadsheets I've found are too complicated for me right now. :( YNAB makes sense to me! But, I don't want to miss out on anything.

sparkytheop

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Re: MMM and YNAB
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2021, 07:15:26 PM »
I can't say it's the only thing I used to track my progress to FI, but I do use YNAB to keep track of my net worth, including my FIRE funds.  I have my retirement accounts from work (403b, in my case) and my Roth as Off Budget accounts so I can track balances.  I update each account on the first of the month by just adding or subtracting the difference from the previous month's balance.  So, I don't track contributions vs. dividends vs. gains/losses.  But it allows me to see quickly how much money is in which account and what my overall total is.  For my house, I used two Off Budget accounts:  one for the value of the house (updated every 3 or so years as my housing market is pretty stable) and one for the mortgage balance.  I would update on the first of the month with the amount that went to principal from my on-budget PITI payment.  When I paid off the mortgage, I just closed that account and left the account that showed the value.  When I use the Net Worth reports, I can include or exclude the house value as desired by selecting the accounts to consider for Net Worth.

I should add:  I still use YNAB4.

I also tracked these things in a spreadsheet so I could play with changing contributions, forecasting, etc.

So, yeah, exactly all of this, down to YNAB4 and a separate spreadsheet to play with. 

I just changed how I do cash back rewards and dividends (within YNAB) though.  I was having them go directly into my "build a new house" category, but found that the quick income/spending reports would remove that amount from my spending.  So I've gone back through every transaction and created a new category "extra toward house savings" and then move that available balance to the house fund balance. 

alcon835

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Re: MMM and YNAB
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2021, 03:49:15 PM »
Late to this one, but I think I can help you!

First off, I use YNAB + Personal Capital to track net worth. Personal Capital has better direct integration into my various accounts and is separate from my overall budget. Even so, twice a year I update YNAB to better track my overall net worth and it's been pretty great!

How do I do it? Well first I use off-budget accounts for all my investments. I don't track any of my assets in YNAB (i.e. my house or home loan) but it's pretty easy to add those in and track them.

Second, any deposits into my investment accounts are added through scheduled transactions. For instance, I have a bi-weekly deposit into my 401k that matches the amount I deposit into it from my checking account. For my Roth IRA I have a monthly scheduled transfer taking $500 from checking and moving it to my off-budget Roth IRA account. It's bonkers easy to setup and keeps me accountable to these deposits I'm doing each month.

What about gains and losses from my investments? For that I check my YNAB totals against my actual account values and do a reconciliation. I generally do this in July and December, but a lot of folks do it monthly.

For assets (like a car or house) you can simply put in another off-budget account and use that to track the current value. Again, reconciliation is an easy way to adjust the value periodically with the market.

All-in-all, I think YNAB actually can handle Net Worth fairly well. I use it as a secondary piece behind Personal Capital, but my bi-yearly updates between YNAB and PC allow me to keep them pretty well in sync.

Let me know if you have any questions with the above! I am also a nYNAB user who's been around since the YNAB4 days. I love it and I'm excited to see other MMM'ers on the YNAB train :D

MudPuppy

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Re: MMM and YNAB
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2021, 05:46:15 PM »
Were YNAB folks, too. Its so easy. I reconcile transactions for the on budget accounts daily, and then update account balances for the off-budget accounts like our investments and retirement accounts at the end of each month. For tracking our homes value we just update with the zestimate on the anniversary of our home purchase.

clarkfan1979

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Re: MMM and YNAB
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2021, 07:11:41 AM »
I tried YNAB 3 years ago and I didn't like it. We have 5 checking accounts total at five different institutions. We have 3 rentals and have a separate checking account at a local credit union for each rental. YNAB does not link with the credit unions. Maybe it's possible that it's different now. 

beee

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Re: MMM and YNAB
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2021, 07:21:27 PM »
You can build your own spreadsheet to track your journey to FIRE. Start small and add things to it as you go. There's no one size fits all solution.
With time I added more goals to my own spreadsheet, more things I track, more details, etc. It just evolves naturally.

Accrual

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Re: MMM and YNAB
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2021, 07:46:45 PM »
Were YNAB folks, too. Its so easy. I reconcile transactions for the on budget accounts daily, and then update account balances for the off-budget accounts like our investments and retirement accounts at the end of each month. For tracking our homes value we just update with the zestimate on the anniversary of our home purchase.

I do the exact same thing, with exception of the house. I am grandfathered into the $47 / year rate. Have YNAB4, but love the convenience of the web-based application.

If anyone would like a referral link please message me ;)