Author Topic: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?  (Read 65462 times)

johnny847

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #150 on: February 10, 2015, 11:49:50 AM »
But YNAB is a completely different animal when it comes to budgeting and behavior modification.  I know there are lot of folks out there that say they are already good savers... well, so was I, but I still find YNAB to be a great tool for staying on track and improving on already good stats.  My nearly one income family of 4 (about $85-90K gross) lives well on half of my salary, we max out retirement accounts, and YNAB helps us stay on track and be aware better than any other look-back system I've used.  The next closest good model was one that I maintained in excel, but that was when I was single and without kids.  The mobility aspect of YNAB is definitely worth it, IMO.
I agree. The approaches is quite different from Mint, which just tracks spending. YNAB tries to get you to project your expenses.

I love YNAB (and because I'm a student, it's free!). But ironically, I don't use it the way it was intended--I budget based on this month's income, not last month's. I do this because I want my YNAB information to be tax accurate.
But the two things I love about YNAB are
  • So long as you spend based on your budget, and not based on your bank statements or credit cards, if you budget money for something, that money exists somewhere in your accounts. It doesn't matter where it is, it's there. This is especially helpful to me because I have almost 20 bank accounts (and actually keep money in 8 of them)
  • You can use the budgeting aspect to know exactly how much you have left over at the end of the month to throw at investments (or debt, if you are paying down debt). YNAB makes it very easy for you to maximize the money you throw at investments and/or debt. There is no way that without the help of YNAB I could as easily manage having almost 20 bank accounts and having to save up to pay rent and school fees three times a year (I live on campus) while maximizing my investment contributions as I do now.

why so many bank accounts?
I chase bank account signup bonuses. I've got five such accounts right now.

I also have 5 savings accounts with Ally because before YNAB, I used to have separate accounts for when I saved up for certain expenses (I live in on campus housing, so I end up paying rent three times a year).
I abandoned those when I started using YNAB, and also because I opened a rewards checking account with 3% interest if I fufill some requirements that are very easy to automate with Amex Serve.

I also have a UFB checking account so that if my Amex Serve balance isn't large enough to pay off a credit card bill, I load the serve with my UFB debit card that earns 1 AA mile per $2 spent, and then use Serve to pay off the cc. This generally only occurs when I end up funding a bank account with a CC, as I normally spend less than half of hte $1000 online CC load limit for Amex Serve.

I have Santander which has an ongoing bonus of $20/month if you meet thee DD requirements. Santander requires a checking and savings account for this.

I have a Bank of America eBanking account, which is closed to new customers. I keep this open so I can get an extra $20/yr from my Better Balance Rewards credit card (the bonus is for depositing the rewards from the BBR to a BoA account).

I have a Mango Money account yielding 6% interest on $5000 and incurring $36/yr in fees

I have a CHarles Schwab account for internatioanl travel, which was my primary checking until I opened the 3% rewards checking.

If you think that's bad, I have something like 80 accounts in YNAB. Every CC gets one. Amex Serve gets one. I have a Target REDcard, Amex campus Edition, and Chime card. Every mileage program I have an account with gets an account with YNAB, with each mile valued at 1 cent (I exclude these accoutns from my net worth, of course). Every cash back program from each credit card gets its own account.  Of course my brokerage accounts are included too - I have a taxable, Roth IRA, and traditional IRA. I have some old 529s that I opened for manufactured spending purposes with Evolve money.

I think that's about it? Haha

KD

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #151 on: February 10, 2015, 12:13:20 PM »
johnny847, you rewards 'ho!!!  :)  Love it!!!  You're going places!! 

I too have a bazillion 'tiny funds' set up in YNAB.  I just like knowing I have enough replacement/buy dollars set aside when the refrigerator goes plunk that I can go buy a new fridge w/o derailing my savings plans for tires, roof, hot water heater, oil changes, etc., etc., etc.  When all was in one big account w/o some way to track I would often think I had money to spend when really it was already allocated for something else in the future.

I think it's awesome that you are using YNAB in helping you keep your Rewards hustle on track!


johnny847

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #152 on: February 10, 2015, 12:22:57 PM »
johnny847, you rewards 'ho!!!  :)  Love it!!!  You're going places!! 
...
I think it's awesome that you are using YNAB in helping you keep your Rewards hustle on track!
Haha thanks. Most of my friends think the rewards hustle is not worth their time and just think I'm nuts

wintersun

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #153 on: February 16, 2015, 01:04:39 PM »
johnny847,

I just followed your example and am keeping track of my air miles with YNAB.  You rock!

johnny847

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #154 on: February 16, 2015, 01:16:32 PM »
johnny847,

I just followed your example and am keeping track of my air miles with YNAB.  You rock!
Haha thanks!

Oh and I usually put the expiration date of my miles in the latest entry per miles account. Helps me keep track of all of that in one place.

mustacheandbeard

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #155 on: April 03, 2015, 05:52:35 AM »
Terrific forum! After the recommendations from this forum, purchased YNAB software. Loving it. If anybody is interested use the following link to get 10% discount .
http://ynab.refr.cc/FBPFFKQ

Thanks guys for all wonderful advice

Rincewind

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #156 on: April 05, 2015, 04:53:27 AM »
Hooray! I found it difficult to find Mustachians on YNAB forums, it seems better to find YNABers  o n the MMM forums.

I started using YNAB after my annual spreadsheet was too unforgiving, and my projections of paying off my overdraft and saving £5k never came to light.

Early 2014 I had negative  £2k to my name.

Now I have £3k in my bank account and I don't even notice it. And I'm a second year student!

I don't track my UK student loans on YNAB, because it'd demotivate me, short of dropping out of my course it's fairly out of my control.
Interest rate will be very low once I finish uni, and I'll have to pay 9% of annual income over 21k towards it.


Will

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #157 on: April 06, 2015, 11:25:00 AM »
Hooray! I found it difficult to find Mustachians on YNAB forums, it seems better to find YNABers  o n the MMM forums.

I started over on the YNAB forums before finding MMM.  While the vast majority of the people there are very nice and try to be helpful, it seemed to me that there was more of an enabling/handholding environment ("Its okay that you are in debt."  "Aww, circumstances suck, but we love you!" Stuff like that.).  I saw well-intentioned but bad advice. 

YNAB and the forums there make for some great first steps, but I think MMM is where things get serious and get done.

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #158 on: April 06, 2015, 11:43:52 AM »
YNAB and the forums there make for some great first steps, but I think MMM is where things get serious and get done.

Agreed.  YNAB followers (and Ramsey followers) get out of debt.

MMM followers get out of debt, gather a huge stache, and ER.

And not just in theory--more and more of the members who have been around for several years here are hitting that point (while more and more YNAB people would be getting out of debt).  Higher goals, more aggressively pursued.
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bludreamin

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #159 on: April 06, 2015, 05:32:28 PM »
Well if it wasn't for YNAB I wouldn't have found MMM (was searching for discount codes when I came across the code sharing thread on the forums).  I like YNAB because it helps me be conscious of my spending and I love MMM because it makes me conscious of my savings. I've never had CC debt so came into YNAB from a decent point but not sure how I would have stuck with it if MMM and these forums didn't open my eyes to FIRE.

lizzzi

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #160 on: April 06, 2015, 07:33:39 PM »
I didn't have any debt, but YNAB helps me be fanatically picky about my spending…which leads to meaningful savings  dumped into  good old Vanguard. The only thing I don't like is that I bought it for $14.99 on that Steam sale--had to join Steam--and now I can't get the Steam window to stop popping up on my desktop every time I open my Mac. Maddening. It ruins the beauty of the Andromeda galaxy. If anybody knows how to 86 the Steam, please post it.

kudy

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #161 on: April 06, 2015, 10:54:19 PM »
I'm pretty sure you can copy your YNAB registration code out of steam, uninstall the steam install of the software, reinstall the regular version of the software.

wintersun

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #162 on: April 08, 2015, 04:13:35 PM »
I am realising with YNAB that it will be easier if I get rid of some of our accounts and a credit card.  it is just too complicated trying to make each account match what is really in the bank.  I am planning on going to one main account with a debit card and one credit card we use (we will keep one other account and an extra credit card for emergencies).

It is is also easier when I do not use cash since the statements give me a record of all card transactions. 

Some of the ways I lose track are:

*My DH takes out cash which I categorise as his spending. Then he buys something in another category for us and I enter it as cash spent but do not take it out of his category, so it looks as though extra cash is going out.

*I buy something for a family member when I am at the shop using the credit card and then they pay me back in cash or by direct deposit which ends up looking like more income.

Has anyone got ideas to help me tighten up?

1967mama

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #163 on: April 08, 2015, 05:26:14 PM »
I've had YNAB on ignore for a few months now ... thanks to this thread, I'm resurrecting it, albeit in a modified version, such as wintersun is suggesting. 

My plan (since my husband isn't on board with YNAB), is to start each month with a budgeted total amount and break it down into the following categories:

-groceries
-fuel
-restaurants*
-medical
-clothing
-household
-birthdays
-miscellaneous

I'm the one who does the majority of the spending in these categories, I feel like it will help me get a grip on my overspending and help me nail down what is a reasonable amount to spend in these categories each month. Subsequently, I'm hoping this will help us plan out our debt repayment and eventual FIRE.

*should be zero due to debt repayment

theadvicist

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #164 on: April 09, 2015, 02:50:08 AM »
I am realising with YNAB that it will be easier if I get rid of some of our accounts and a credit card.  it is just too complicated trying to make each account match what is really in the bank.  I am planning on going to one main account with a debit card and one credit card we use (we will keep one other account and an extra credit card for emergencies).

It is is also easier when I do not use cash since the statements give me a record of all card transactions. 

Some of the ways I lose track are:

*My DH takes out cash which I categorise as his spending. Then he buys something in another category for us and I enter it as cash spent but do not take it out of his category, so it looks as though extra cash is going out.

*I buy something for a family member when I am at the shop using the credit card and then they pay me back in cash or by direct deposit which ends up looking like more income.

Has anyone got ideas to help me tighten up?

I often seem to be owed money by people (not sure why? I think it's because I always have cash on me, and a lot of friends are leveraged to the max, and if we go somewhere they can't pay on credit they panic, I pay, and then they do a bank transfer usually weeks later). Anyway, I started a new category called 'Reimbursable'. I put anything in there that I am going to get back (so work expenses as well), and I turn the arrow to the right. It's never very much money, but it helps me keep my other categories accurate.

Re Cash and your husband, we do it like this, not sure if it will work for you, but thought it was worth mentioning. He gets a set amount each week for spending money, for small purchases as he hates the restrictive feeling of tracking it. I have that amount set as a recurring payment from his cash account. When he withdraws cash I do it as a transfer to his cash account, and then this recurring spending money transaction draws down on that.

If he makes a larger purchase by cash he just lets me know, and I enter the transaction for him. About once a month I say, "How much is in your wallet", and if it's way less than I expect I say, "you bought any big things?" and he might remember, or I adjust his weekly spending amount to match.

I have to admit though that this works because whilst he hates reporting every penny, we are generally on the same page about spending way less than we earn, and he really rarely spends much money. It might seem more naggy if that weren't the case.

wintersun

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #165 on: April 10, 2015, 09:11:27 AM »
Thanks theadvicist,

I just opened a Reimbursable category as you suggested.  What do you mean by turn the arrow?

I am going to ask him to use the credit card for anything outside his personal expenditure.  He doesn't like being managed so we will see.

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #166 on: April 10, 2015, 11:26:21 AM »
"Turn the arrow" means whenever you have a category in the red, click on the red overspent amount. This brings up a menu with two choices. One choice takes the overspent money out of your ATB amount next month. The other choice takes the money out of the category next month and won't affect how much you have available total for the month. You want to pick the latter choice. Then, an arrow (that's the "arrow" in "turn the arrow"!) appears next to the red overspent amount indicating that you selected to remove money from the category only rather than your whole budget.

theadvicist

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #167 on: April 14, 2015, 03:34:16 AM »
Thanks mlejw6 for explaining the turning of the arrow - should have done that in the original post! The only thing to watch for wintersun is that the reimbursables total isn't big enough that it wipes out any buffers and could potentially take you into the red. But if you are living on last month's income that shouldn't be a problem.

wintersun

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #168 on: April 14, 2015, 05:08:03 AM »
Thanks for the explanation of the arrow miejw6, I am trying that now.

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #169 on: April 19, 2015, 03:28:55 PM »
I started using YNAB in January 2014 after an article in The Times recommended it. The YNAB podcast led me to MMM. Ironically between YNAB and MMM I decided my Times subscription wasn't useful spending and cancelled it!

I used Microsoft Money for a long time and was perfectly happy with it until I switched to Mac 10 years ago. I tried out almost every Mac personal finance app going and settled on Moneydance. I did try YNAB in its early days but was put off by the name (I didn't really think we needed a budget, I just liked tracking our spending) and I have to say, it was kind of ugly in those days. Jump ahead 9 years and I realised I wanted something that was more motivating. We've always been good at saving (never been in debt other than mortgage) but I wanted to be even better. YNAB has shown us where we were being too spendy (insurance, The Times (!), groceries and petrol). Conversely it highlighted we weren't putting enough aside for family holidays.

I enjoy manually entering transactions (either on the computer or iPhone app) as I find it makes for more mindful spending. I enjoy tweaking the budget to get as much as I can into my saving categories. I'm hands off with our investments so only update the balances quarterly. (I have them in off-budget accounts.) And I looooove looking at my net worth graph - it's so motivating!

I really can't recommend YNAB more highly.

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #170 on: April 19, 2015, 05:32:17 PM »
Agree totally, Facelikefizz!  YNAB has helped me be more conceptual and mindful in spending decisions.  Like you, we keep our investments off budget and it is a good enough measure of net worth.

simmias

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #171 on: June 10, 2015, 06:45:55 PM »
The summer Steam sale starts tomorrow, so it should be $14.99 again.

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #172 on: June 10, 2015, 07:05:44 PM »
What I love about YNAB is the fact I can plan my spending for next month and plan how much I should save in my investment account.Plus I love the reports that shows you which month you I did well (in terms of keeping my spending low) and which month I struggled. It gives me a good idea on where I am succeeding and failing.

ConsistentEffortWins

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #173 on: June 10, 2015, 10:21:11 PM »
YNAB is a great simple program to use if you're in debt and looking to get out fast. It forces you to prioritize everything. I was able to get a student account for free (google "YNAB college" for details) and I largely account YNAB for being able to pay off 20K in student loans in an eight month span while I was finishing up my undergrad.

The graphs are basic and clearly outline your spending patterns, as well as your net worth trend (though Personal Capital is even better for collective net worth across accounts). I tried Mint but it didn't work well with one of my bank accounts so I dropped it for YNAB and never looked back.

The act of importing my account data once every week has instilled a high degree of discipline and forced me to maintain a thorough understanding of where I stand on everything in terms of the respective things I spend money on each month. Get it if you're looking to seriously do some damage on your student loans, or any debt for that matter.

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #174 on: June 11, 2015, 12:05:21 PM »
The summer Steam sale starts tomorrow, so it should be $14.99 again.

It looks like it's still fullprice? Am I not looking in the right place?

arebelspy

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #175 on: June 11, 2015, 12:23:00 PM »
The summer Steam sale starts tomorrow, so it should be $14.99 again.

It looks like it's still fullprice? Am I not looking in the right place?

Sale not started yet, I don't think.  Someone will post if it's cheap.
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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #176 on: June 11, 2015, 02:22:09 PM »
The summer Steam sale starts tomorrow, so it should be $14.99 again.

It looks like it's still fullprice? Am I not looking in the right place?

Sale not started yet, I don't think.  Someone will post if it's cheap.

The sale started today but YNAB has gone on sale usually the last day of the sale (tactic to prevent people from budgeting and realize they spent too much on video games?) The YNAB reddit forum is keeping good track of the sale and when YNAB drops so that is a good place to start.

simmias

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #177 on: June 11, 2015, 05:48:40 PM »
Oops, they tweeted a bit ago that they're not part of this summer's Steam sale.  Lots of disappointed people today.  Sorry if I got anyone's hopes up.

https://twitter.com/ynab/status/608703435303739392
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 05:50:45 PM by simmias »

arebelspy

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #178 on: June 11, 2015, 06:13:27 PM »
Oops, they tweeted a bit ago that they're not part of this summer's Steam sale.  Lots of disappointed people today.  Sorry if I got anyone's hopes up.

https://twitter.com/ynab/status/608703435303739392

Ah, that's too bad.  Thanks for the info!
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Joel

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #179 on: February 09, 2016, 09:08:12 AM »
How is everyone feeling about the new YNAB?

I don't think I'll ever be willing to pay a subscription for software that I could lose everything if I quit paying. That's before I even consider the loss of functionality with the new software.

smalllife

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #180 on: February 09, 2016, 09:16:50 AM »
How is everyone feeling about the new YNAB?

I don't think I'll ever be willing to pay a subscription for software that I could lose everything if I quit paying. That's before I even consider the loss of functionality with the new software.

I'm "eh" on YNAB as a company right now, but the Toolkit extension has built a CSV export so I won't lose data if we stop paying.  At the end of the day, our household relies on the mobile apps - I could function with just receipts, but not us as a unit.  We are a unit, therefore subscription.  The Toolkit export resolved my issue of losing data and a bunch of other stuff with the new release, so we migrated to ensure that our main form of entry was continuous.

theadvicist

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #181 on: February 09, 2016, 09:29:46 AM »
How is everyone feeling about the new YNAB?

I don't think I'll ever be willing to pay a subscription for software that I could lose everything if I quit paying. That's before I even consider the loss of functionality with the new software.

I'm not into it. I don't need a web interface. I feel like things have gone full circle. Remember when your school / library used to have to buy Encyclopeadias on discs? Then the web came along and programmes were obsolete? Well, apps are just programmes by a different name, but with smart phones and tablets they are necessary because the interface is so much easier to use.

So I prefer aps to web interfaces. And especially on my mac - no clicking accidentally on a 'link' and waiting for it to load. If I click on one account and meant another, the other account is still there in the list on the sidebar and I can click it instead. Doing it all online sounds like a headache as every page has to load, I have to keep logging in etc.

I know they are continuing to support YNAB 4 for a while. I don't know what I'll do when they stop. I think there is talk of desktop apps for 'New YNAB'. If they introduce those I will switch when they stop supporting 4 and just ignore the web-based side of things.

Although the cost of the subscription is putting me off. If they had pitched it at $2 a month, I think that would be fair and reasonable. But at $5 I'm paying more per year than if I had to rebuy the software annually, which was never the case before. 10% loyalty discount is pretty negligible IMO. 

monstermonster

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #182 on: February 18, 2016, 11:48:09 AM »
Today is one of those days where I have to remember everything is relative in YNAB and Mustachian land.

I've been living on last month's income for about a year using YNAB and since I get paid on the 5th and the 20th of each month, I've put all the money I get on the 20th towards the next month's spending.

I save 50% of my income, so I will simply take the paycheck on the 5th and put it into that month's savings categories. So technically I've always been "living" (aka spending) on last month's income, but there's 5 days each month where I wait to give to my savings categories (house fund, IRA, cash savings.)

I upped my 401K contributions to 40% of my take-home pay this January since my 401K is going away at work, which means that for this month, I've been taking home just a little more for the month than I require for spending each month. Putting my 50/50 paycheck method to bed. So I spent February trying to get back to "living and saving on last month's income", which meant only putting aside $200 for saving and pushing the rest of my 5th paycheck to March to try to get to 100% of my saving and spending on last month's income.

So February and March saving look "bad" in YNAB, even though I'm actually putting 40% of my income in my 401K, and I'm still saving a bit in cash. And in April I'll be ready to live and save on ENTIRELY last month's income, instead of having 5 days of "floating" my savings at the beginning of the month.

I guess I just wanted to complain to the subset of people who would understand how disheartening it feels not to be shoveling half my take-home pay into cash savings for next month, even though it's a great long-term goal.

On the flip side, it's the 18th of February, and I already have all my saving + spending through the end of March budgeted with dollars in hand. So that's cool.

Thanks for listening to me whine about mustachian/YNAB "problems."

catccc

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #183 on: February 18, 2016, 12:29:36 PM »
How is everyone feeling about the new YNAB?

I don't think I'll ever be willing to pay a subscription for software that I could lose everything if I quit paying. That's before I even consider the loss of functionality with the new software.

Pretty disappointed that the software I know and love will go unsupported soon.  IDK what I'm going to do.  I might just use it until it breaks.

I like the idea of it being web based instead of desktop.  But I don't like the subscription fee.  Especially when I only shelled out $24 in the first place for the software.

I am hoping they find a way to offer a lite version that is free- maybe limit the number of accounts or categories?  I could find a way to work within some reasonable bounds, I think.

I posed a similar inquiry in a separate thread. 
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/reader-recommendations/ynab-users-will-you-eventually-move-to-new-ynab-or-switch-to-an-alternative/msg958840/#msg958840
One person mentioned Money Manager X, which is free and can be used much like YNAB.  I have yet to check it out.

I tried using mint concurrently with YNAB, but so far it hasn't been a good experience.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 12:34:26 PM by catccc »