Poll

Do you have a strict budget?

Yes, I have a spreadsheet or other way of budgeting all the money in my life.
82 (42.9%)
No, I just spend amounts that I'm comfortable with and do just fine.
109 (57.1%)

Total Members Voted: 186

Author Topic: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)  (Read 15608 times)

Grid

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Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« on: December 31, 2014, 02:29:53 PM »
So I impulse bought the YNAB software today at the 75% off Steam sale, hoping it will be useful in the future as a way to loosen the purse strings a little.  I've never really had a budget in the past, and just try to spend as little as possible while still having my needs met.  It has worked well for me, but it's possible my financial life will become more complicated in the upcoming year with a new job, so I figured I would give it a go. 

Do you closely adhere to a budget, or no?

It would be nice to hear more about those who don't operate on tight budgets, as I assume they're in the minority around here.  (Or maybe when you're more financially secure, you actually track your money less?)
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 03:09:21 PM by Grid »

thedayisbrave

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2014, 02:38:43 PM »
I've been tracking everything since 2010 when I took over my own finances.

I've tried using Mint and Personal Capital but I'm so nitpicky about that stuff that it just frustrates the hell out of me.  So I design my spreadsheets the way I want them and just input numbers... it makes me happy :)

iamlindoro

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2014, 02:41:04 PM »
I have traits of both.  I do track all expenditures in Quicken.  Everything I spend in a given day gets logged and reconciled with the bank.  Some would find that extremely regimented.

On the other hand, I don't don't keep strict category budgets because I find that they tend to fluctuate somewhat.  I look at my overall category spending once a month and if something looks substantially off, I consider why spending in a certain area went up and how I might do better in the coming month.  I do try to keep my non-bill (and thus variable) costs under a certain number total every month.

The biggest factor is forcing myself to stay roughly on budget is the transfer of my investments out of my checking account as soon as I am paid.  Those are non-negotiable.  If I seem to be spending a lot less in a given month, I'll transfer an extra amount into investments to challenge myself.

Philociraptor

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2014, 02:42:45 PM »
I use Mint to track what I've spent, but I don't use budgets. Poll responses are not aligned with topic title.

I voted yes because I track, but I could also vote no because I spend what I want, not what a budget tells me to.

SunshineGirl

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2014, 02:44:24 PM »
I go in phases where I track religiously in YNAB (which I love, btw), and then I get burned out and stop, or I go on a trip and get behind and then stop. In the end, I'm always pretty careful. I am all set to start tracking in YNAB again tomorrow.

Grid

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2014, 02:44:39 PM »
I use Mint to track what I've spent, but I don't use budgets. Poll responses are not aligned with topic title.

I voted yes because I track, but I could also vote no because I spend what I want, not what a budget tells me to.

I'll adjust the title.  Thanks for pointing that out.

Philociraptor

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2014, 02:46:44 PM »
I use Mint to track what I've spent, but I don't use budgets. Poll responses are not aligned with topic title.

I voted yes because I track, but I could also vote no because I spend what I want, not what a budget tells me to.

I'll adjust the title.  Thanks for pointing that out.

I changed my response to No, the answer to the question "Do you have a strict budget?". If you can change the poll to a simple yes/no, that would fix it.

r3dt4rget

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2014, 02:47:53 PM »
I agree, the poll options are not going to shine any light on this subject. YNAB is a budget app, not a tracker. Mint is a tracker, not a budget app.

That being said, I have been using YNAB for awhile. It really helped me to understand zero-sum budgeting, which I found works really well for me. Since building a "buffer" as YNAB suggests, I now allocate next months spending the way I want, prioritizing savings and debt paydown. Creating a plan like this helps me achieve goals efficiently such as debt payoff, savings, or trying to spend less on a certain category.

I feel that once my debts are gone and my spending is minimal, I won't need YNAB anymore. If you follow the approach of saving a certain amount and using the left over for bills you don't really need to plan every detail. But if you have some strict financial goals like me, YNAB is a great way to plan out your spending.

Philociraptor

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2014, 02:50:13 PM »
I agree, the poll options are not going to shine any light on this subject. YNAB is a budget app, not a tracker. Mint is a tracker, not a budget app.

This. "Do you have a strict budget/way of tracking all income and expenses?" are two different questions, a lot of people will answer yes to both and a lot of people will answer yes to one and no to the other.

Grid

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2014, 02:52:25 PM »
I agree, the poll options are not going to shine any light on this subject. YNAB is a budget app, not a tracker. Mint is a tracker, not a budget app.

This. "Do you have a strict budget/way of tracking all income and expenses?" are two different questions, a lot of people will answer yes to both and a lot of people will answer yes to one and no to the other.

Alright, fixed.  Question is only about budgeting now.  Apologies for the confusion.

marty998

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2014, 02:55:01 PM »
I don't track history, but I forecast future expenses,, just to give me a rough idea of how the next rolling 12 months would look like.

Most of my costs are in categories that you can't eliminate completely (like a water bill or insurance). To be honest there isn't a lot categories in total so a lot of lines in a "traditional" budget would be blank.

Occasionally I'll drop $50-$100 on a pair of shoes or misc household products when necessary, but I don't really get hung up on it and worry too much. It comes out of my "general" ~$750 line which is more of "bleh can't be arsed tracking" category.

When you're saving ~50-60k a year, an extra $50 is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things (sacrilege I know, sorry).

Eric

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2014, 02:57:46 PM »
No budget, but track every penny spent.  I just use a spreadsheet.

skunkfunk

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2014, 02:58:56 PM »
We use Mint as a budget tool, really. Each month we decide how much goes in which category, and can adjust as needed. Not sure what everybody means that it isn't a budget tool.

We thought we were frugal until we started tracking it with Mint. Now we have about $1000 more cash flow each month than before and same quality of life. Definitely recommend tracking/budgeting.

aj_yooper

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2014, 03:07:23 PM »
We have been using YNAB for the past 2 years and liking it.  It is working well, but is not really a 'strict' budget as the line item amounts can be modified as needed, which I appreciate.  I'm feeling in better control of finances now.

epipenguin

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2014, 03:19:53 PM »
I do use the budgeting side of mint. But I find that what I do is focus on a strict budget in certain categories only. At some point, that budget just becomes the amount I am comfortable spending, so I start forgetting about it, and rotate my attention to a different category. Until it is time to revisit a category and ratchet spending down again.

Datastache

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2014, 03:46:58 PM »
For the last year or so, I've been tracking my net worth in Excel, and I've just added expense tracking into the mix, but I don't really have any sort of budget. I prefer to simply spend as little as I can.

Rezdent

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2014, 03:59:52 PM »
I answered no because I don't allocate future funds to a category (budget).

However I do track everything I spend and stay conscious of where I am in relation to normal expenditures.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2014, 04:04:37 PM »
No budget, and just started using Mint to compile and better track expenses this summer.  I've automatically invested over 80% of my income for the past couple years, but never closely tracked the remaining money I spent.  That has changed since joining this forum :)

JuSp02

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2014, 04:30:03 PM »
I don't exactly budget, but there is a certain range that I try to stay within for all discretionary expenses each month. But I don't have set categories or a set amount for things and just evaluate each purchase individually.

Grid

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2014, 04:40:57 PM »
Lol I was looking at a thread about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test and the distribution of the different types here at the forum.  There was a woman that was an ENFJ that was talking how she wants to yell "Shades of gray!" at all the INTJs around here.  I think the text responses to the poll illustrate there's plenty of different ways to budget (or not), and it's not really just a yes-or-no question like a poll might suggest.  So yeah, plenty of shades of gray, and we all budget and track our money how we'd like.  I'll probably end up using YNAB to get a better feel for how much I spend on groceries and incidentals and also be more understanding of how much I'm investing.  Trying to abide by specific numbers seems a little stressful IMHO.

Found it:

ENFJ female married to an ENFJ male. I'm on the border with E/I. I crossed over to the extrovert side when I started staying home with the kids and spending less time with adults. NFJ are all strong preferences, with my J being off the charts. My husband is an extrovert with a capital E with a mild preference for the NFJ.

I think the F explains why I have such a love/hate relationship with this forum. Sometimes I just want to yell "Shades of grey!" at all of you INTJs.

ETA:  Thanks for all the responses.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 04:53:23 PM by Grid »

senecando

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2014, 04:51:01 PM »
I budget but don't look at it before purchases, which works well. I use and love YNAB.

My system is:

1. Spend money when it's worth it to me. Try to not spend money when it's not.
2. Every few days (5-10), reconcile things and get a better picture of how much I've spent and will spend. Remind myself of irregular and planned purchases. This informs #1.
3. Adjust budgets and ignore for 5-10 days.

When comparing the value of a thing to the value of the marginal dollars it eats up, I need a goodish idea of the marginal value of a dollar--that's what YNAB provides. I like to look at purchase in the context of recent and future purchases.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 04:58:48 PM by senecando »

Villanelle

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2014, 04:53:49 PM »
No budget, I evaluate every purchase and every outgoing dollar on its own merits. 

Threshkin

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2014, 05:20:56 PM »
I stopped budgeting long before I grew a stache because it kept coming up negative.  I taught myself to evaluate every expense and to postpone/eliminate most unneeded expenditures.

That said, I do use Mint and set up some budgets in there about a year ago.  I entered what I though I was spending.  Turns out that in the long term my actual expenses were less than 20% of what I budgeted.

SailAway

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2014, 07:11:21 PM »
I bought it today too. I'm a "B" but I feel like we need to tighten it up a bit and YNAB is so highly recommended on here and elsewhere.

Eggman111

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2014, 07:22:24 PM »
I like the thread title. It's clever.

I've been using YNAB for just over a year. Before that, I used Mint, and before that, I used Quicken. I didn't like that Quicken didn't have a good mobile app (especially at the time, though I doubt it's improved). I didn't like that Mint would categorize things incorrectly and I would have to fix it (buying groceries from a local market called Little Green Apple would rename it as Apple and categorize it as electronics). I found I was spending more time fixing than I would just entering myself.

That's when I decided to try YNAB, which incidentally lead me to MMM and this forum.

I've found being able to track my expenses as well as see a snapshot of my finances at any time is useful. I'm still working on lowering some expenses, but I've seen an improvement over the past year.

jradc

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2014, 07:29:21 PM »
I track spending, but haven't been able to keep up with YNAB budgetting.

My main method is to have automatic transfers from my checking account to my investment account right after each paycheck. That sets an implicit overall budget. If I see my checking balance start going down, then I can look back at my spending in Mint, and refocus on the frugality muscles. I resonate more with two things:

1) Secure the big wins (cheap housing and transportation)
2) Exercise the frugality muscles regularly

iamlindoro

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2014, 07:34:10 PM »
I've been using YNAB for just over a year. Before that, I used Mint, and before that, I used Quicken. I didn't like that Quicken didn't have a good mobile app (especially at the time, though I doubt it's improved).

For what it's worth, it is much improved in 2015.  You can enter transactions on the mobile app for any of your accounts, and they will sync back to the desktop application.  You can also look at your historical transactions for all those accounts and see a lot of Mint-like graphing of spending, categories, etc.  The mobile app does not sync investments, however.  Just bank accounts and credit cards.

Eggman111

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2014, 07:36:10 PM »
I've been using YNAB for just over a year. Before that, I used Mint, and before that, I used Quicken. I didn't like that Quicken didn't have a good mobile app (especially at the time, though I doubt it's improved).

For what it's worth, it is much improved in 2015.  You can enter transactions on the mobile app for any of your accounts, and they will sync back to the desktop application.  You can also look at your historical transactions for all those accounts and see a lot of Mint-like graphing of spending, categories, etc.  The mobile app does not sync investments, however.  Just bank accounts and credit cards.
Wow, Intuit finally entered the age of the smartphone! That's good to know.

MooseOutFront

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2014, 07:40:21 PM »
I export credit card to excel and manually categorize each expense. Surprised so many in this poll don't use a budget. It's a crucial part of my financial world for many different reasons.

Milizard

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2014, 07:44:13 PM »
I bought ynab on sale over a year ago and just started using it a couple days ago.  My default is not wanting to spend money, followed by spending it if there is a super good deal on something, and it's like < $10.  I'm hoping that I can stick with it, but I'm really bad at keeping up with data entry.  My goal is to figure out how much I'm spending, and to consolidate some of the myriad of accounts that DH and I have.  There's a lot of employees just sitting around not doing much between 4 checking accounts and I don't even know about savings accounts and CD's. (I haven't completed all the setup for my accounts yet.)

Zikoris

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2014, 09:12:26 PM »
I put no, though we do use Mint. I just keep an eye on things and we try to keep our spending under $1500/month. Our base expenses are around $1100 of that amount (rent, insurance, internet, phones, bus tickets, food), so it's pretty easy.

We were talking about YNAB earlier today since it's apparently on sale right now, and neither of us saw much point to the level of detail it requires (like if you go over your grocery budget by $5, you need to allocate that $5 from something else). I guess we just don't plan what we're going to spend in a month, so there would be a LOT of adjusting throughout the month. Our income also fluctuates a lot, so that would be another hassle. I could see the value for people who live paycheck to paycheck though.

JetBlast

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #31 on: January 01, 2015, 01:06:49 AM »
I track expenses but don't have a budget. Voted no as an answer to the question in the thread title.

FiguringItOut

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #32 on: January 01, 2015, 10:41:48 AM »
I have attempted budgeting/tracking or family finances on and off since 2003 via excel.  Tried Quicken one year.  Tried Mint another time.  But mainly worked in excel.  Quicket, Mint, excel - they just never worked for me.  I ended up mostly tracking, not budgeting. I've used different excel spreadsheets over the years; some of my own design, some I got off the internet.  None of them did exactly what I wanted, but I just couldn't figure out what was missing.

Enter YNAB!  I discovered YNAB about 18 months ago.  Got free trial.  Used it for about two weeks and then purchased it for $15.  YNAB just happened to be EXACTLY what I've been searching all these years.  I know many people complain that it is not intuitive and they need a lot of getting used and workarounds to make it work for them.  I just sort of fell into it on the first try.  For me it was so easy to use.  I made complete and total sense.  It is very hands on (I enter everything manually by choice).  Basically, I think YNAB is and will be my financial disciplinarian. 

I can't say enough good things about it.


scrubbyfish

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #33 on: January 01, 2015, 01:00:15 PM »
I use YNAB religiously, but also in a modified way (no debt, buffer already present, annual vs monthly plan), but I don't think of myself as "budgeting". I record, I observe, I subsequently spend less without really trying. I don't say, "I can spend $18 on coffee and $175 on groceries this month," and then do that. The latter is what I think of as "budgeting".

FreshAir

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #34 on: January 01, 2015, 06:42:19 PM »
I don't say, "I can spend $18 on coffee and $175 on groceries this month," and then do that.

The beauty of YNAB is it forces you to confront the truth. If you spend $35 on coffee, you have only $158 left for groceries.

Of course this is a simplistic example. We could easily take from savings to cover overspends but we choose not to do that if at all possible. Instead we shift money from other categories that (apparently) weren't as important to us. YNAB shows you your priorities.

* Edited to add that I'm using Scrubbyfishes numbers as an example, but my comment is not directed to him/her.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2015, 06:48:50 PM by joanneg »

daverobev

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #35 on: January 01, 2015, 09:08:05 PM »
We also bought it on sale yesterday. I'm hoping using it will illuminate where our money really goes, because I don't actually know. So we're going to use it and categorise so we can actually see who spends what on what. How much on groceries, how much on fuel, etc, etc, per month.

Looking forward to having a couple of months in.

JLee

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #36 on: January 01, 2015, 09:11:12 PM »
I use YNAB religiously, but also in a modified way (no debt, buffer already present, annual vs monthly plan), but I don't think of myself as "budgeting". I record, I observe, I subsequently spend less without really trying. I don't say, "I can spend $18 on coffee and $175 on groceries this month," and then do that. The latter is what I think of as "budgeting".

I've never really had a "budget" before and managed just fine (had a down payment for my house, etc). However, I'm trying to save/invest a more substantial amount now, so I also picked up YNAB on sale to see if it'll help curb spending.

I know where my money goes, but I am hoping actually looking at the numbers (and having to record every purchase) will reduce the purchases that I do make.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #37 on: January 01, 2015, 09:19:13 PM »
...I am hoping actually looking at the numbers (and having to record every purchase) will reduce the purchases that I do make.

If you're anything like many of us, it will! :)

C-note

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #38 on: January 01, 2015, 09:42:46 PM »
I'll add my thumbs up for YNAB.

Before YNAB, we had a pretty elaborate spreadsheet to track our spending along with very comfortable salaries.  All our bills were paid on time.  No fancy cars.  Simple lifestyle.  Retirement accounts were in place, contributions were being made, and life was good.  We were saving but it just seemed liked we could be doing better.  The spreadsheets were worked and re-worked trying to get them to help us get a better understanding of our expenditures.

We've been using it for almost 4 years.  We don't carry any debt besides our mortgage which we are quickly paying down.  We went from saving about 15%-20% of our net pay to almost 40% so pre-tax contributions are not included in this percentage. 

And I will say - we owe it all to YNAB.  It made us very much aware of holes in our pockets, frivolous or unnecessary purchases made, and areas in our finances where we could tighten up.  It made a lot of things <click> for us.

We didn't get it on sale but it's the best $60 we ever spent.  It has definitely paid for itself many times over.

maricela

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #39 on: January 01, 2015, 09:43:46 PM »
Yes. I have adhered to a to the dollar budget for 7 years. Not to say things don't get moved around, but it's always balanced each month.  It has actually been very freeing because we always know that we're ok.

MrsPete

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #40 on: January 01, 2015, 09:46:38 PM »
Disclaimer:  I don't need a budget NOW because my husband and I have honed our spending skills to the point that it's not necessary.  When we were younger, it took time for us to set our personal limits and to LEARN HOW to spend wisely. 

Will

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #41 on: January 01, 2015, 11:36:12 PM »
Using YNAB is kinda like using GPS and a navigation system.  Yeah, sure, you could do it the old fashioned way, you already know where you are going and how you are going to get there, blah blah blah.  But roadblocks and detours and accidents happen, and you have to change course sometimes.  With YNAB you can still get to where you are trying to go (or at least be able to figure what is preventing you from getting there and how to address it). 

For the people I have seen saying things like "I don't want a restrictive budget telling me what I can and can't spend" I say this:  just like a nav system, you are not locked in.  Just because I budget $10 a month for restaurants doesn't mean I will go to a restaurant on the last day of the month to spend whatever is left of the $10.  It isn't like a governmental bureaucratic budget where if you don't use it you lose it (or will get less next time around!).

Blue girl

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #42 on: January 02, 2015, 01:04:40 AM »
I vote no even though I do have an "budget" it is simply a guideline for me. My husband and I don't spend frivolously and if I notice a trend of increased spending, I examine why to decide if the budgeted amount should be increased or if we need to rein in the spending. For example, in 2014 our grocery budget increased by 25% to reflect an increase in organic food buying. Near the end of this year, I've gone over even this amount by a bit more, so the grocery budget will be increased again.

Even though I dont stick to the budget I do try to keep it fairly accurate because it allows us, at a quick glance, see where the $$ are going, and if need by, where we can trim down.


poorboyrichman

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #43 on: January 02, 2015, 02:21:10 AM »
YNAB is great, it really helped me understand where my unnecessary spending was going and curb impulse buying.... usually because there's a big fat OVERSPENT within your budget categories so you can't lie to yourself about where your money went.

I don't see why someone with a bit of time and knowledge couldn't replicate it within a spreadsheet though, but YNAB is slick and I love the quick reporting filters to track net worth, spending trends etc. I have started my own finance spreadsheets which project my future net worth and investments which is something that YNAB lacks and am thinking of migrating over to excel completely as it is more open to customization than YNAB.

Still, I love being able to pull up my budget on a smartphone to see how I'm doing towards the end of the month. MMM does do a great article about when you think like a mustachian, a budget is pointless as you would never overspend anyway, this is something I don't yet trust myself fully with, but I think it will come soon enough, however I found budgetting very helpful at maximizing my debt repayments. Now there's no emergency, I guess I could lighten up a little considering I have my retirement plan on autopilot now :) (feels good!)
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 02:22:45 AM by poorboyrichman »

Le0

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #44 on: January 02, 2015, 01:32:30 PM »
YNAB rule number 2 roll with the punches. We have a budget... It's not strict. It works.

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Johnez

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #45 on: January 02, 2015, 04:43:55 PM »
No budget, but track every penny spent.  I just use a spreadsheet.

Same here, except I use pen and paper. Perhaps I'll graduate to Excel when my net worth crosses over to 5 figure territory.


EDSMedS

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #46 on: January 02, 2015, 05:08:41 PM »
DW and I have been YNABing since we combined finances.  It was a great way to bring it all to the table and talk it out. 

NOW, we use it for two completely separate reasons:
- I am more of a "if you have it, spend it" impulse buyer.  In college, if I knew there was money in my account, I would buy whatever was shiny and "necessary" in front of me.  I never went into debt, though, b/c no money = no purchase.  I gain YNAB benefit from planning and answering the question, "What do I need?"  I am RESTRICTED by YNAB (though, after 5 years, that's not AS true).
- DW is more of a penny pincher who would never spend money beyond food and shelter, even then using coupons, dumpster-diving, and/or living in a gross group home.  She gains benefit from YNAB by being forced to say, "This purchase (continuing education for example) is philosophically important to me, and I have budgeted for it slowly, so I am allowed to buy it."  DW is LIBERATED by YNAB (after 5 years, still an exercise, lol).

I work with numbers professionally, so I get a kick out of entering purchases and reviewing trends.  I still develop Excel spreadsheets for long-term planning, b/c YNAB is not as handy in that regard and I enjoy the sport of spreadsheet!

Elderwood17

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #47 on: January 02, 2015, 07:04:12 PM »
I used to track everything until we started having kids.  By the time we had four most of the money went I to the "kids, misc." account!   Now I save the percent I want to (40% of gross) and just make sure we live on the rest.

MilitaryMan

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #48 on: January 02, 2015, 08:34:40 PM »
I started reading MMM several months ago.  Prior to that we weren't too strict with anything.  We luckily make enough money that we can afford to be a little "loose" but I was inspired by MMM to tighten the belt.  So for about 6 months we just tracked our spending.  Not a budget, per say, but at the end of each credit card cycle we would tally up all our purchases into some general categories.

Then 2 months ago we decided to try a true budget.  By looking at how much we spent on eating on out and groceries, etc for the past 6 months we set some general parameters.  And we're now using GoodBudget.  Because it's free and pretty simple.  Our finances, with two incomes, rental income, lots of different retirement funds, taxes, etc etc is just too complicated for YNAB. 

We looked at our past spending and identified some categories we could use a bit more control.  Those are eating out, groceries, and the dreaded "misc".  (Unfortunately the rest of our spending categories are pretty fixed: housing, utilities, gas, cell phone bill, etc - unless we're willing to make some drastic changes, which we aren't.)   

So at the beginning of each cc billing cycle we refill the envelopes with our budgeted amount of money.  And for every purchase or trip to the grocery store, we log it into our smart phone linked apps.  It definitely makes me take pause, and look a bit more closely at grocery store prices (should I get this at costco or giant?) , but let me tell you - the holidays was a horrible time to start!  yikes.  We haven't actually made it under yet.  Still fighting the good fight and going to keep trying, though!

(learning some perhaps extremely obvious things - like, when the grocery budget gets low but the eating out budget is still okay - we could just transfer that money over and use it to buy a lot more groceries - duh, right?)

lexie2000

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Re: Do Y Really NAB? (Poll)
« Reply #49 on: January 02, 2015, 10:22:52 PM »
We've never budgeted; not in our working days and not now in retirement.