Author Topic: We've fallen off the YNAB-horse. Has anyone else?  (Read 26205 times)

Travis

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Re: We've fallen off the YNAB-horse. Has anyone else?
« Reply #50 on: December 27, 2014, 04:34:41 AM »
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I "got" the zero-sum thing immediately, but it took a bit longer to stop looking at my bank balances, and concentrate on the balance in YNAB, especially after I got a credit card again (had been using a debit card for a while).

That took me a while too.  I still have to look at my balances, but only every couple months to ensure there is enough money in them (I have two checking accounts).  There were a couple times I wasn't paying enough attention and almost overdrafted one of them.  According to YNAB I still had plenty of money in that category, but it was disproportionately in the other account.

It wasn't "according to YNAB."  You HAD enough money in the category.  Just because you had it in 2 different places had nothing to do with YNAB.  If I told YNAB I had $20, it doesn't care if I have 2 tens with one in each pants pocket or a twenty in one; I still have $20.  If I wanted to spend $15, then yeah, I might need to take it from 2 pockets, but that isn't the fault of the software.

I wasn't blaming the software (I love it), I was just saying I had an oversight because I wasn't paying attention to the big picture.

DeltaBond

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Re: We've fallen off the YNAB-horse. Has anyone else?
« Reply #51 on: December 27, 2014, 05:25:02 AM »
One little addition that might save you a bit of time and brainpower, when shopping, pay for 'real food' separately so it has its own receipt.   I do that just to make things easier on myself when trying to get a feel for what I spend on the separate categories.

fidgiegirl

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Re: We've fallen off the YNAB-horse. Has anyone else?
« Reply #52 on: December 27, 2014, 01:19:40 PM »
So my question, if you haven't already mentioned it, is that if you gave up on YNAB, what do you do instead, if anything?

aj_yooper

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Re: We've fallen off the YNAB-horse. Has anyone else?
« Reply #53 on: December 27, 2014, 02:41:08 PM »
We have used YNAB for almost 2 years and I find it useful for budgeting and tracking expenses.  It becomes way easier to implement if you automate payments and generally work to have fewer transactions.  We track our investments monthly off budget and so have a pretty good read of net worth every day.  There is a learning curve, but it has helped our household.

Paper and Mint also work fine.  Whatever system gets you to a focused and happy spending plan. 

scrubbyfish

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Re: We've fallen off the YNAB-horse. Has anyone else?
« Reply #54 on: December 27, 2014, 10:06:58 PM »
I've always been excellent with living within my means, came here with no debt, and am a zealot for YMOYL.
And...I love YNAB!

When I first bought it, I didn't take to it.
Two years later, I gave it another shot, fell in love, and have been wildly happy with it.

My keys:
1. I was willing to try it again, in a new headspace.
2. I was willing to come up with a couple of workarounds* to make it fit my own situation.
3. I started out by entering my money stuff daily. This dropped my already-good spending dramatically.
4. After about 8 months, and all the spending hacks I could think of, I felt my motivation for manual entry waning, so I allowed myself to move to downloading from statements.

I continue to be wildly happy with it.

* I considered approaches for: arriving to YNAB with no debt and a solid buffer in place; entering business info as well; entering reimbursables; categorizing and tracking funding accounts that don't run in cash; moving to an annual budget. I've found YNAB to be as versatile as I could be creative.

jeromedawg

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Re: We've fallen off the YNAB-horse. Has anyone else?
« Reply #55 on: January 01, 2015, 04:08:02 PM »
Thanks all for the input. So I decided to "Make a fresh start" today and we'll see how things go. One question I'm confused about though, is now that everything is at $0.00, should I go ahead and import any prior transactions or deposits especially? Or is the first thing to do to setup the budget and then allow future deposits to trickle in and what not?

This is the part that confuses me most - seems this whole idea of "budgeting for the now" creates blurred lines when you don't know whether or not to factor in any income up to this point in time.

Elliot

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Re: We've fallen off the YNAB-horse. Has anyone else?
« Reply #56 on: January 01, 2015, 04:22:40 PM »
Budget only the dollars that are in your spending accounts.

Will

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Re: We've fallen off the YNAB-horse. Has anyone else?
« Reply #57 on: January 01, 2015, 04:25:06 PM »
Thanks all for the input. So I decided to "Make a fresh start" today and we'll see how things go. One question I'm confused about though, is now that everything is at $0.00, should I go ahead and import any prior transactions or deposits especially? Or is the first thing to do to setup the budget and then allow future deposits to trickle in and what not?

This is the part that confuses me most - seems this whole idea of "budgeting for the now" creates blurred lines when you don't know whether or not to factor in any income up to this point in time.

YNAB is a budgeting tool.  All of your spending should be based on your category balances (not your account balances); your prior transactions are irrelevant.  How much do you have in your checking account?  Whatever cash you have available to you (whether it is in checking or savings is also irrelevant), you take your categories and decide how much should be in each one.  Budget down to 0, then as more money comes in, decide where it should go.  Only budget money that you have RIGHT NOW; you budget what you have, not what you think you will have.

wintersun

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Re: We've fallen off the YNAB-horse. Has anyone else?
« Reply #58 on: January 11, 2015, 12:28:22 PM »
I am in love with YNAB at the moment.  I bought it a year ago and have spent the last year figuring out my categories and how much we spend in some of them (after spending the first month filling in everything and not watching the films and being confused).  In December I opened a new budget and am happily using it. 

It is helping me figure out what we spend on things (our grocery budget is almost spent for this month), how I can trim our expenses, how small expenditures can add up and how living like we have been is unmanageable and will drain our savings if we continue.  In 2014 while gathering data I used a book and it got too messy and confusing.  I like the ease of changing an entry on the computer.

I love being able to take the extra income from this month and give it a job in a future month.  And I can see that due to our uneven income and overspending we will be treading water for several months before we are fully buffered.

I am not sure how I will feel 5 years in, but for now YNAB and I are tight!

lizzzi

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Re: We've fallen off the YNAB-horse. Has anyone else?
« Reply #59 on: January 12, 2015, 06:30:03 AM »
I had decided against buying YNAB--was going to do paper and pencil for 2015--, but then when Steam had the $14.99 sale, I thought it was worth a shot to try again. I am just using it to track spending and keep under the budget I devised. So far so good…but I'm not using it as fully as I suppose most people do. I track my full net worth in a college composition notebook, once a week. Categories in my notebook are "Cash in house" (runs around $100), and then "Checking acct. padding" (that is the one month's income I keep "ahead" in the ckg. acct. and have on the YNAB budget), then my emergency savings at the local bank, then the Vanguard amount, and then the house value. Some may think it is stupid to track the net worth weekly--but it helps keep me nit-picky about the small stuff--like my pocket change --and it will  add up eventually.

frugaliknowit

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Re: We've fallen off the YNAB-horse. Has anyone else?
« Reply #60 on: January 12, 2015, 08:21:49 AM »
I wanted to better control the "firewall" of my savings (found I was doing too much dipping), thus wanted to get more of a handle on my regular expenses, so I've been using the trial version (up until now).

FYI, I cannot and will not become comfortable giving my passwords to a third party (i.e. Mint).

I've found I can simply make enhancements to my existing excel application to do the same thing.  There's really no way around the data entry if you're going to get a handle on day to day expenses, especially if you use cash at all.  If you wait for your bank statements, the money's already been spent and you're already over budget.

scrubbyfish

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Re: We've fallen off the YNAB-horse. Has anyone else?
« Reply #61 on: January 12, 2015, 08:36:52 AM »
There's really no way around the data entry if you're going to get a handle on day to day expenses, especially if you use cash at all. If you wait for your bank statements, the money's already been spent and you're already over budget.

With YNAB, there's an in-between: From your statements online, you can click 'Download to Quicken' and the data will drop into YNAB as often as you like. I do mine every few days (which is overkill because I often spend only once a week). This leaves me typing in only my cash spending, which is only $1 once a week, and laundry $ every two weeks. YNAB strongly prefers we type each in, and I did that for the first 8 months but when I felt I was going to start waning, I switched to this and my spending patterns have stayed at the low I had established through manual entry.

I'm a red panda

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Re: We've fallen off the YNAB-horse. Has anyone else?
« Reply #62 on: January 12, 2015, 08:56:28 AM »
I'll admit, my husband and I are not budget people. The only budget we have is "don't spend a lot of money".  We don't confer with each other about purchases, unless they are really large.
At the end of every month my husband checks the balance of all our bank accounts after the bills are auto-paid and determines if we have surplus which we then invest.

It works fine for us.  I don't have any interest in micromanaging.