Author Topic: Is YNAB worth the time and effort?  (Read 2363 times)

elaine amj

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Is YNAB worth the time and effort?
« on: September 30, 2015, 08:21:23 PM »
I've read bits and pieces about YNAB for quite some time here on MMM and elsewhere. I am still trying to wrap my head about whether it will be useful to our lives, worth the cost, and most importantly, worth the effort.

DH and I have always been savers and keep a large cash buffer always. So we have never worried about having enough money to pay the bills. We're pretty frugal too and have never had any debt other than the mortgage. I admit we are rather bad about tracking spending. We have given it a few half-hearted attempts but that's it. We put a large chunk into savings all the time and whatever's left, we just spend and when it accumulates into a larger number, we move it to savings. I would say we save roughly 40% of our household income. The only thing we currently track (annually) is our net worth.

We are working towards FIRE (paying off mortgage next year wooohoo!!) and am wondering if more conscious tracking and budgeting will be helpful for us. YNAB sounds amazing for those in debt...just not sure about it if you are overall feeling good about your finances.
I'm worried about the tedium of regular entries. I like running numbers, but only a few times a year. The thought of daily entries is making me cringe a bit.

I would love to hear more from Mustachians, particularly those not dealing with debt and have a decent financial cushion.

mickeyj

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Re: Is YNAB worth the time and effort?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2015, 09:01:03 PM »
I feel that it's all about collecting data and analysing them. YNAB is one of them. I've tried them but decided to use another app and spreadsheet to do the same thing.

It works for me because I get to analyse if I'm spending too much on a particular expense category, especially dining in restaurants and helps me be more conscious about not overspend in those categories.

It's also about keeping track how my money is spent. For example, if I swiped my card for a $100 grocery bill, using the app allows me to remember that spend and allocate money to pay for it at the end of the month.

But if you aren't going to make the effort to do daily entries, it may not work for you.

Easye418

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Re: Is YNAB worth the time and effort?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2015, 09:06:12 PM »

But if you aren't going to make the effort to do daily entries, it may not work for you.

This is key. I probably have a shit load of misc spending but I get 80-90% of my calculated cash flow each month. I'm happy with that. Hence, I don't use YNAB.

N

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Re: Is YNAB worth the time and effort?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2015, 11:35:08 PM »
I dont do daily entries.
I mostly import the data from my online accounts on a weekly or monthly basis. (depending on type and use of account)
I never use the app, I only like to do it on my desktop. I love the reports.

It may help you- categorizing your expenses may allow you to notice different things about them-see trends, devise more ways of saving.

I think it might be worth the free trial to test it out. no harm in trying-maybe a couple hours spent setting it up enough to see whats what.

elaine amj

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Re: Is YNAB worth the time and effort?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2015, 07:29:21 AM »
I also do some credit card churning as well as occasional work spending (several conferences a year) for which I get reimbursed 1-2 months later. Is it easy to handle things like that in YNAB? We sometimes will have expenses ranging from $1000-5000 that we know we'll get back eventually. We do a lot of lump sum spending. With our current method, we always have a large cash buffer so it never really matters and we don't track these things.