Author Topic: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?  (Read 69149 times)

GoStumpy

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #50 on: July 19, 2013, 12:33:41 PM »
Still using YNAB 10 months in, not nearly as granular as the beginning, I've actually let it slide for almost two weeks a few times, and then have to do a bank reconciliation to get everything in there... turns out you don't have to manually enter anything, but you do need to assign things to categories if YNAB doesn't recognize the payee.

If anyone wants to spend the time to set it up properly, there are keywords that it uses, if the payee name has anything "walmart" in it, it automatically assigns it to groceries... same goes for any keyword.  That proves to save a lot of time assigning categories when importing info from a bank :thumbup:

Joel

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #51 on: July 19, 2013, 07:41:12 PM »
Yep - just initial set up.

Once you're rolling, it's the same as anything else - income is marked as income.  This is just how I deal with that initial set up where you're trying to get your accounts put in.  It seems to be that 95% of people's issues regard getting their first month set up (dealing with existing balances, existing credit debt, etc.).

Over the years I've had too many times where I got in a rut and started clean rather than catch up on 3 weeks of missed transactions, and this is what I've found works best for me.

That makes sense. I thought you were doing that every month and was very confused.

Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #52 on: July 23, 2013, 12:06:14 PM »
It is not time consuming at all, at least for me and my method:

1)  input each transaction into the YNAB app when I spend money:  ~15 seconds per transaction

2)  Once a month, usually on the 1st, I:

     a)  go into my bank statement and enter in all of the automatic withdrawals (utilities & mortgage payments, and payments to CC accounts) and deposits (payroll direct deposits) into YNAB.  I then double check that there are no checks I didn't enter.  I then clear all of the transactions that have been posted.

   b)  for my Credit Cards, I go into the account and make sure all transactions have been logged and I clear all of them.  I then pay the balances in full

   c)  I reconcile my Cash balance to make sure I am not short or long.  If I am I just enter a Misc cash transaction.

   d)  enter in the budget for that month

Total time for Step 2a - 2d:  less than 30 minutes.


If in my budget, I have built up a balance of money to be sent to my taxable investments, I then go into Vanguard and do that.  I already have an automatic transaction setup each month to send 1/12 of my Roth IRA contribution.


If I'm thinking of buying something, I can quickly pull out my phone and check my budget to see if that purchase works for me or not.


It's really simple to work my system, and not time consuming at all.  My net worth is increasing and I actually feel like I am spending less as it seems like I have a game to come in "under budget" to free up more money to be sent to my future self.

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #53 on: August 05, 2013, 09:08:36 PM »
I just started using YNAB after reading everyone's glowing reviews.   

I had my own system using a google docs spreadsheet where I would budget for each paycheck (2 a month).  I kept multiple savings accounts with ING Direct (now Capital One 360) for my "rainy day funds" which was anything that wasn't a monthly expense such as clothes (which I don't buy every month), taxes, repair funds vacations, etc. 

I'm not completely convinced that YNAB is any better than the system I was using, but I do like it and the phone app for entering transactions is nice.  In my previous system, I would use the emails from Capital One 360 when I spent money to remind me to enter my transactions in my spreadsheet.

One advantage of my spreadsheet system is that would I would budget for the whole year and it was a little easier to see everything and know when bills are due and plan for paychecks that covered three weekends or estimate how much would be available at a particular time. 

I'm sure I don't know all I need to know about YNAB yet, so I'm still using the help and the videos to learn more.  The concept of living on last months income was new to me and an interesting idea.

Regardless of what you use to budget, I think the fact that you do budget is the most important thing.   My financial situation improved drastically after I started budgeting.  It reduced a lot of stress in my life and made me a happier person.  I used to think it would be a chore, but I've never once contemplated not doing it after I started over four years ago.

aj_yooper

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #54 on: August 05, 2013, 11:13:24 PM »
I just started using YNAB after reading everyone's glowing reviews.   

I had my own system using a google docs spreadsheet where I would budget for each paycheck (2 a month).  I kept multiple savings accounts with ING Direct (now Capital One 360) for my "rainy day funds" which was anything that wasn't a monthly expense such as clothes (which I don't buy every month), taxes, repair funds vacations, etc. 

I'm not completely convinced that YNAB is any better than the system I was using, but I do like it and the phone app for entering transactions is nice.  In my previous system, I would use the emails from Capital One 360 when I spent money to remind me to enter my transactions in my spreadsheet.

One advantage of my spreadsheet system is that would I would budget for the whole year and it was a little easier to see everything and know when bills are due and plan for paychecks that covered three weekends or estimate how much would be available at a particular time. 

I'm sure I don't know all I need to know about YNAB yet, so I'm still using the help and the videos to learn more.  The concept of living on last months income was new to me and an interesting idea.

Regardless of what you use to budget, I think the fact that you do budget is the most important thing.   My financial situation improved drastically after I started budgeting.  It reduced a lot of stress in my life and made me a happier person.  I used to think it would be a chore, but I've never once contemplated not doing it after I started over four years ago.

Budgetting has made us happier too!  We also find, like you, that we spend less and have larger asset accounts.

We put the due dates for various bills (cc, utility, etc.) in their line, e.g. water-27th; average $30-like that as a general reminder.  I do agree that a larger picture, like a year, is also very useful.  For that, we did a spread sheet using the same categories, but then added our projected different category spendings and savings.  It seems to be working well.  The buffer idea speeds up bill paying too.

YNAB is more fun for us than any other method we've tried.

olivia

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #55 on: August 06, 2013, 06:22:01 AM »
I just started my free trial and I'm a convert.  I was using Mint but like everyone mentioned, Mint is not effective for looking forward at all.  Plus as a recovering over spender, it's good for me to enter each transaction...makes the card swiping seem more real.

I'm just kicking myself for not joining during the sale!  I'm going to wait to buy the software until the end of my free trial to see if it goes on sale again.

davisgang90

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #56 on: August 06, 2013, 10:07:44 AM »
I just started my free trial and I'm a convert.  I was using Mint but like everyone mentioned, Mint is not effective for looking forward at all.  Plus as a recovering over spender, it's good for me to enter each transaction...makes the card swiping seem more real.

I'm just kicking myself for not joining during the sale!  I'm going to wait to buy the software until the end of my free trial to see if it goes on sale again.
If you use my affiliate link, it will save you $6 (and get me $6 too...)  [MOD EDIT: Link removed.  Please keep YNAB affiliate links to this one thread.]
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 01:05:08 PM by arebelspy »

Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #57 on: August 06, 2013, 11:56:46 AM »
I just started using YNAB after reading everyone's glowing reviews.   

I had my own system using a google docs spreadsheet where I would budget for each paycheck (2 a month).  I kept multiple savings accounts with ING Direct (now Capital One 360) for my "rainy day funds" which was anything that wasn't a monthly expense such as clothes (which I don't buy every month), taxes, repair funds vacations, etc. 

I'm not completely convinced that YNAB is any better than the system I was using, but I do like it and the phone app for entering transactions is nice.  In my previous system, I would use the emails from Capital One 360 when I spent money to remind me to enter my transactions in my spreadsheet.

One advantage of my spreadsheet system is that would I would budget for the whole year and it was a little easier to see everything and know when bills are due and plan for paychecks that covered three weekends or estimate how much would be available at a particular time. 

I'm sure I don't know all I need to know about YNAB yet, so I'm still using the help and the videos to learn more.  The concept of living on last months income was new to me and an interesting idea.

Regardless of what you use to budget, I think the fact that you do budget is the most important thing.   My financial situation improved drastically after I started budgeting.  It reduced a lot of stress in my life and made me a happier person.  I used to think it would be a chore, but I've never once contemplated not doing it after I started over four years ago.

I think YNAB is a great system.  Whether or not someone uses YNAB the product, that is up to them.  It can easily be done on your own using a spreadsheet.  I'll gladly pay the $60 though so I don't have to create something on my own.

I feel as if I am doing a good job budgeting for the entire year with YNAB.  Each month I allocated money for 1/12 of birthday and holiday spending, allocate money to my replacement car fund, allocate money for car repairs, allocate money for future home repairs, allocate money for vacations, allocate 1/6 of car insurance, etc. 

I set aside my yearly bonus and 2 of my 26 paychecks for my Roth IRA (not to mention work takes out 22% of my paycheck for my 401K).  Any extra money I can squeeze out of my budget I add into a pool for taxable investments.  Or any categories that I am underspending on, I will move surplus money into the taxable investment pool.


Zelda01

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #58 on: August 07, 2013, 05:24:33 PM »
I feel as if I am doing a good job budgeting for the entire year with YNAB.  Each month I allocated money for 1/12 of birthday and holiday spending, allocate money to my replacement car fund, allocate money for car repairs, allocate money for future home repairs, allocate money for vacations, allocate 1/6 of car insurance, etc. 
This is one of the best things I am finding about YNAB.  I had such a hard time before, because some months would be high-spending and some low-spending, and I could never really see past the volatility.  Now with YNAB, I can budget the smoothness in.

SMMcP

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #59 on: August 10, 2013, 09:27:31 AM »
I feel as if I am doing a good job budgeting for the entire year with YNAB.  Each month I allocated money for 1/12 of birthday and holiday spending, allocate money to my replacement car fund, allocate money for car repairs, allocate money for future home repairs, allocate money for vacations, allocate 1/6 of car insurance, etc. 
This is one of the best things I am finding about YNAB.  I had such a hard time before, because some months would be high-spending and some low-spending, and I could never really see past the volatility.  Now with YNAB, I can budget the smoothness in.

I agree, this is a great thing about YNAB. I use the Rainy Day Funds category for car and home repair, property taxes, medical and dental expenses. Under Savings Goals I have Christmas, car replacement and vacation. I allocate money to all these each month and am prepared when they come along. It's great.

MsGuided

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #60 on: September 21, 2013, 11:37:09 AM »
Just found out about YNAB from this forum.  I just started a system called Mvelopes this month.  I think it's going to be helpful, but wonder if YNAB is better or cheaper.  I'm using the free Mvelopes system, but realize it doesn't allow for enough accounts for me to have all the information I need to get my budget together.  Anyone familiar with Mvelopes?

Thanks!

SavingMon(k)ey

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #61 on: September 21, 2013, 02:29:53 PM »
Tried Mint for a while but it did a terrible job with joint accounts. Many people on their forum complaining about the same problem, nothing being done about it for years. Bugged me enough to try YNAB instead. I liked it a lot, but didn't want to spend the money on it. So I made a spreadsheet on OpenOffice that works just like YNAB (well, almost. Same concept but less fancy). It is helping me so much to save a little bit in every category every month and not be surprised by most expenses when they come up.

momo

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #62 on: October 24, 2013, 09:11:00 AM »
YNAB is good for budgeting unfortunately it still does not track investments and actual net worth.  We feel aggregating all data into one platform would be most beneficial instead of using multiple tools.  After all, over time don't most people have most of their wealth in their investments?  If so doesn't it make sense to incorporate/merge that data with a budgeting tool?  Just our ten cents.  Does anyone else share these concerns?

smalllife

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #63 on: October 24, 2013, 09:16:46 AM »
YNAB is good for budgeting unfortunately it still does not track investments and actual net worth.  We feel aggregating all data into one platform would be most beneficial instead of using multiple tools.  After all, over time don't most people have most of their wealth in their investments?  If so doesn't it make sense to incorporate/merge that data with a budgeting tool?  Just our ten cents.  Does anyone else share these concerns?

I used to, and I do have my investments in YNAB (off-budget, I update at the end of the month) but at the end of the day they are two completely different beasts.  This makes my net worth reporting correct without overwhelming my budget with investment tracking data and bloat.  Do you want YNAB to track investments (be connected like a brokerage) or just be able to include them for a big picture?  The former isn't worth doing for them and the latter can already be done.

SavingMon(k)ey

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #64 on: October 25, 2013, 12:37:21 PM »
YNAB is good for budgeting unfortunately it still does not track investments and actual net worth.  We feel aggregating all data into one platform would be most beneficial instead of using multiple tools.  After all, over time don't most people have most of their wealth in their investments?  If so doesn't it make sense to incorporate/merge that data with a budgeting tool?  Just our ten cents.  Does anyone else share these concerns?

This (and the cost of YNAB) is what made me build my own YNAB-based spreadsheet. I combined networth, loan, investment accounts, and budget into one tool. Currently testing and building it out. This year's has a few kinks. Next year's should work smoothly.

Will

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #65 on: October 25, 2013, 09:33:42 PM »
YNAB is good for budgeting unfortunately it still does not track investments and actual net worth.  We feel aggregating all data into one platform would be most beneficial instead of using multiple tools.  After all, over time don't most people have most of their wealth in their investments?  If so doesn't it make sense to incorporate/merge that data with a budgeting tool?  Just our ten cents.  Does anyone else share these concerns?

This (and the cost of YNAB) is what made me build my own YNAB-based spreadsheet. I combined networth, loan, investment accounts, and budget into one tool. Currently testing and building it out. This year's has a few kinks. Next year's should work smoothly.

A screwdriver is good for tightening and loosening screws but unfortunately it still does not hammer nails or tighten and loosen nuts.  Some feel that a tool which hammers and tightens and loosens BOTH screws and nuts would be most beneficial instead of using multiple tools.  After all, if you want to nail something, don't you also have nuts and want to screw?  If so, doesn't it make sense to use one tool? 

Seriously, YNAB is amazing at what it does, and the price is more than fair.  To try to create something that does even half of what YNAB does so elegantly, considering the time one would invest... well, no kinks this year, or last year, and I imagine next year will work smoothly as well.  To each their own though.

SavingMon(k)ey

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #66 on: October 25, 2013, 10:45:59 PM »
YNAB is good for budgeting unfortunately it still does not track investments and actual net worth.  We feel aggregating all data into one platform would be most beneficial instead of using multiple tools.  After all, over time don't most people have most of their wealth in their investments?  If so doesn't it make sense to incorporate/merge that data with a budgeting tool?  Just our ten cents.  Does anyone else share these concerns?

This (and the cost of YNAB) is what made me build my own YNAB-based spreadsheet. I combined networth, loan, investment accounts, and budget into one tool. Currently testing and building it out. This year's has a few kinks. Next year's should work smoothly.

A screwdriver is good for tightening and loosening screws but unfortunately it still does not hammer nails or tighten and loosen nuts.  Some feel that a tool which hammers and tightens and loosens BOTH screws and nuts would be most beneficial instead of using multiple tools.  After all, if you want to nail something, don't you also have nuts and want to screw?  If so, doesn't it make sense to use one tool? 

Seriously, YNAB is amazing at what it does, and the price is more than fair.  To try to create something that does even half of what YNAB does so elegantly, considering the time one would invest... well, no kinks this year, or last year, and I imagine next year will work smoothly as well.  To each their own though.

Lol! You made me laugh with your analogy. Well, to be honest there were a couple of things that I didn't like in the YNAB budget and Mint couldn't handle a joint account properly (really a disappointment). I needed to learn to set up spreadsheets anyway, so that's what I used to do it. I learned a lot, so it served a dual purpose. The time was well-spent. Now I'm quite comfortable building them. Admittedly, the meat of my spreadsheet is the budget/expense/income tracking, because that's where I need to focus my financial energy right now, but it has some "branches" to do some light tracking of the other accounts. That's what I meant. I don't intend to build it into a total machine that does EVERYTHING. When I need a heavy duty investment tracker, I'll probably pay for one or find a good free one online.

annaraven

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #67 on: December 12, 2013, 02:50:37 AM »
We use Personal Capital for our overall picture. It's kinda like mint, but with better investment tracking. So we can see our net worth pretty easily. For the nitty-gritty, day to day tracking of actual expenditures, I'm looking for good alternatives to Mint (which did double tracking and other weirdness and ended up throwing off all my accounting). So, maybe there'll be a New Years sale for YNAB... In the meantime, I'm trying the free trial.

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #68 on: December 29, 2013, 03:03:05 PM »
How long did it take you to "jive" with YNAB?  I've been doing it since October and it just feels like a chore and no useful information, well, only forehead-slapping information when I realize how much I spent on x, y or z in the last month.  I haven't been able to make the mental leap from the way I used to track (YMOYL-style, after the fact with the three monthly questions) to the more active, future-looking attitude required to maximize YNAB.  Ideas?

Will

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #69 on: December 29, 2013, 03:28:38 PM »
How long did it take you to "jive" with YNAB?  I've been doing it since October and it just feels like a chore and no useful information, well, only forehead-slapping information when I realize how much I spent on x, y or z in the last month.  I haven't been able to make the mental leap from the way I used to track (YMOYL-style, after the fact with the three monthly questions) to the more active, future-looking attitude required to maximize YNAB.  Ideas?

Are you using it to budget or are you just using it as a checkbook register?  Are you spending based on category balances or spending based on your account balance and then moving money to a category to cover it?

fidgiegirl

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #70 on: December 29, 2013, 03:31:30 PM »
How long did it take you to "jive" with YNAB?  I've been doing it since October and it just feels like a chore and no useful information, well, only forehead-slapping information when I realize how much I spent on x, y or z in the last month.  I haven't been able to make the mental leap from the way I used to track (YMOYL-style, after the fact with the three monthly questions) to the more active, future-looking attitude required to maximize YNAB.  Ideas?

Are you using it to budget or are you just using it as a checkbook register?  Are you spending based on category balances or spending based on your account balance and then moving money to a category to cover it?

Wanting to use it more to budget, but functionally it's serving as a checkbook register.  We have plenty of cash on hand, so we just spend.  I don't mean to make us sound extravagant, we're relatively frugal, but I'd like to focus on the spending more planfully so that we can defeat some debt (a HELOC) and also open up the possibility of one or both of us working part-time.  And "just spending" ain't gettin' us there.  Perhaps YNAB wasn't the best tool to choose for us, or maybe I'm just not used to it yet.

aj_yooper

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #71 on: December 29, 2013, 05:51:45 PM »
How long did it take you to "jive" with YNAB?  I've been doing it since October and it just feels like a chore and no useful information, well, only forehead-slapping information when I realize how much I spent on x, y or z in the last month.  I haven't been able to make the mental leap from the way I used to track (YMOYL-style, after the fact with the three monthly questions) to the more active, future-looking attitude required to maximize YNAB.  Ideas?

Are you using it to budget or are you just using it as a checkbook register?  Are you spending based on category balances or spending based on your account balance and then moving money to a category to cover it?

Wanting to use it more to budget, but functionally it's serving as a checkbook register.  We have plenty of cash on hand, so we just spend.  I don't mean to make us sound extravagant, we're relatively frugal, but I'd like to focus on the spending more planfully so that we can defeat some debt (a HELOC) and also open up the possibility of one or both of us working part-time.  And "just spending" ain't gettin' us there.  Perhaps YNAB wasn't the best tool to choose for us, or maybe I'm just not used to it yet.

I have been using YNAB to budget for monthly and yearly categories, add to savings, and payoff a HELOC by setting up categories for each item and adjusting expenditures so we met our monthly targets.  It is true that YNAB can just track expenses, if that is what you want.  For me, it gives me focus and some more energy to meet our targets. 


mred209

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #72 on: January 02, 2014, 01:42:12 AM »
How long did it take you to "jive" with YNAB?  I've been doing it since October and it just feels like a chore and no useful information, well, only forehead-slapping information when I realize how much I spent on x, y or z in the last month.  I haven't been able to make the mental leap from the way I used to track (YMOYL-style, after the fact with the three monthly questions) to the more active, future-looking attitude required to maximize YNAB.  Ideas?

Are you using it to budget or are you just using it as a checkbook register?  Are you spending based on category balances or spending based on your account balance and then moving money to a category to cover it?

Wanting to use it more to budget, but functionally it's serving as a checkbook register.  We have plenty of cash on hand, so we just spend.  I don't mean to make us sound extravagant, we're relatively frugal, but I'd like to focus on the spending more planfully so that we can defeat some debt (a HELOC) and also open up the possibility of one or both of us working part-time.  And "just spending" ain't gettin' us there.  Perhaps YNAB wasn't the best tool to choose for us, or maybe I'm just not used to it yet.

I think YNAB would be perfect for you but, with respect, you're using it wrong! ;)

You say you "just spend" - that's the problem right there. You're not supposed to do that. You should start over like this:

Take the money you have on hand right now, and assign it to categories - the things you need to spend before you get paid next. Put enough in each category you create to cover all the stuff you HAVE to spend on (bills, food etc) and all the nice stuff you spend on yourselves (going out, takeaway, beer, whatever) and if you are flush enough to have some left over don't use it to increase your spending budgets, but put it into savings categories for things that might sneak up on you such as 'Unexpected Home Repairs' or 'Holiday Somewhere Sometime' or 'Christmas Next Year' or whatever.

Now, whenever you are tempted to spend, don't just spend without thinking about it because, hey, you're reasonably flush with cash right now. i.e., stop "just spending". Check the YNAB budget first. Do you have money to spend in this category? Great, spend it. If you don't, tough luck. Either move some money from another category into the one you want to spend, or don't spend.

The point is that if you live within the budget you set, it works, and you start to build up healthy sums of cash in your various 'future spending' buckets, aka your saving buckets. All your pennies have a job to do and you don't "just spend" them on whatever you like.

This way you get out of looking at what you have been spending, and start assigning how to save your money as it comes in. Hope this helps!

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #73 on: January 02, 2014, 03:32:44 AM »
I have used YNAB pretty much continuously for more than 5 years. I adore it. I was always a "save for yearly expenses a little every month" person, but it's got me through several tough times (career break, starting self-employment) and made great times even better (the well-paying but stressful job that lead to the career break)

If you are in debt, or wonder where the money goes, or have trouble prioritising needs over wants, or are building your wealth plan: ynab could help you. It's not just software, it's a whole way of thinking about your money. As such, it's likely to be the most help to those who have trouble shedding their spendy mindset.

I've just recently done a re-boot of my financial organisation. I've cut a load of categories out (not spending there anymore) combined a load of others (not spending enough at all to warrant splitting them up) and now have a solid plan for what I can spend and what I will be saving. And herein lies the possible divergence between MMM and YNAB. Budgeting gives you guidelines on what you have agreed you will spend. But MMM seems to place all spending under suspicion so that every purchase must be justified. It's possible, if you don't watch it, to spend 'because we've budgeted for it' not because it's actually needed. You can counter this by reviewing your budget often and making sure it adheres to your goals over time.

As for investments. Well, who needs to look at those everyday anyway? Sure it's nice to click a button and see your net worth  at a stroke. But even MMM himself doesn't recommend looking at your investments more than once or twice a year lest you get caught up in the up and downs of the market. If you want put a manual figure in, then do so. You can do the same for your mortgage if you have one. Not using ynab because you can't see your total net worth in one place is a bit baby with the bath water to me.

CG

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #74 on: January 02, 2014, 05:13:53 AM »
Are you using it to budget or are you just using it as a checkbook register?  Are you spending based on category balances or spending based on your account balance and then moving money to a category to cover it?

I've just acquired YNAB - had just begun a 34-day trial and then was given a free activation code for being one of the attendees at a New Year's Day webinar!

With very little in my current account but lots charged to a 55-day credit account (which I always pay off in full on the due date) it's going to take me quite a while to shift to having meaningful category balances. But I need to because I liquidated most of the self-managed super fund that was paying my retirement pension in order to buy the flat I had been renting for years when the owner wanted to sell. So now I want to make a go of living on the age pension without drawing down more than minimum required by law from the residual super funds.

As more of my expenses are now quarterly and the pension is paid fortnightly, using YNAB will over time make it possible to build up the money in advance for these. But right at the moment my available balance in YNAB terms (keeping the high interest savings accounts off-budget) is so miniscule that it's all allocated to food and little else. I can see it's going to take several months before the budgeting is working usefully.

nikki

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #75 on: January 03, 2014, 04:04:46 AM »
I'm playing with the trial version of YNAB now, and I'm still not entirely convinced this program will do anything for me. I actually *don't* use a budget. I track all of my expenses in Excel so I know where my money is going, and each month my goal is to spend as little as comfortably possible. I save about 75% of my income, which means large purchases that pop up maybe once or twice a year aren't difficult to cover at any time.

Can anyone make a case for how this program can best be utilized by someone in my situation? I thought maybe it might be nice to set up specific savings goals for trips, but right now I don't have any plans to take trips and thus have no idea how much it might cost when I finally do decide to go...where?

Sigh... budgeting is difficult. What I need to decide is if it's something I want to mess with or not.

lizfish

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #76 on: January 03, 2014, 04:18:36 AM »
Nikki, if you're saving 75% and aren't worried about big expenses, then I doubt you need YNAB. Sounds like you're doing a sterling job already. Although ynab is a good way to track expenses I'm not sure if use it if that's all I needed. Perhaps it will be useful for you if you retire and need to balance your expenses against a % drawdown and/ or infrequent work earnings.

smalllife

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #77 on: January 03, 2014, 04:30:30 AM »
Can anyone make a case for how this program can best be utilized by someone in my situation? I thought maybe it might be nice to set up specific savings goals for trips, but right now I don't have any plans to take trips and thus have no idea how much it might cost when I finally do decide to go...where?

You might not need it to get to your end goal, but I do find that it helps me reach my stretch goals where I don't think I otherwise would.  For a frugal person who doesn't earn six figures, it helps me feel better sending that extra money to investments because everything else is accounted for where before YNAB I always wondered if I was double counting the jobs for the money in my checking account.

CG

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #78 on: January 03, 2014, 04:41:42 AM »
Perhaps it will be useful for you if you retire and need to balance your expenses against a % drawdown and/ or infrequent work earnings.

That's exactly my situation now, having made a huge drawdown from my self-managed super fund to purchase the place I've been renting for many years when the owner suddenly decided to sell. So I've just discovered YNAB and think it may be the answer to seeing how much of my expenses I can cover from my (part-) age pension.

I'd never looked into it before as I assumed (totally wrongly, as it turns out) that it was too American-focused to be adaptable for use in Australia. And, besides, I hate ugly acronyms!
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 03:44:24 PM by CG »

Will

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #79 on: January 03, 2014, 07:35:53 AM »
Perhaps it will be useful for you if you retire and need to balance your expenses against a % drawdown and/ or infrequent work earnings.

That's exactly my situation now, having made a huge drawdown from my self-managed super fund to purchase the place I've been renting for many years when the owner suddenly decided to sell. So I've just discovered YNAB and think it may be the answer to seeing how much of my expenses I can cover from my (part-) age pension.

I'd never looked into it before as I assumed (totally wrongly, as it turns out) that it was too American-focused to be adaptable for use in Australia. And, besides, I hate ugly acronyms!

Turns out one of the main guys lives in Australia.

nikki

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #80 on: January 03, 2014, 10:14:34 PM »
I participated in the "Getting Started with YNAB" webinar last night to learn more about the software and continue thinking if I'm going to bother adding another finance tool to my life. I think the end decision is that this software really *is* awesome, but not for me. I'd recommend it to friends or family looking to start budgeting for sure, though.

Here's where I found the webinar: http://www.youneedabudget.com/support/training-and-education

They give a free copy of the program to one randomly selected participant each class, but I didn't win :-p

ichangedmyname

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #81 on: January 03, 2014, 10:17:29 PM »
I participated in the "Getting Started with YNAB" webinar last night to learn more about the software and continue thinking if I'm going to bother adding another finance tool to my life. I think the end decision is that this software really *is* awesome, but not for me. I'd recommend it to friends or family looking to start budgeting for sure, though.

Here's where I found the webinar: http://www.youneedabudget.com/support/training-and-education

They give a free copy of the program to one randomly selected participant each class, but I didn't win :-p

I was there too! :D I learned how to use it. I got it a couple of days ago and was using it wrong so I'm glad I joined the webinar.

Joel

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #82 on: January 04, 2014, 04:25:41 PM »
I participated in the "Getting Started with YNAB" webinar last night to learn more about the software and continue thinking if I'm going to bother adding another finance tool to my life. I think the end decision is that this software really *is* awesome, but not for me. I'd recommend it to friends or family looking to start budgeting for sure, though.

Here's where I found the webinar: http://www.youneedabudget.com/support/training-and-education

They give a free copy of the program to one randomly selected participant each class, but I didn't win :-p

I'm curious, nikki, why do you think that its not for you?

nikki

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #83 on: January 04, 2014, 09:07:15 PM »
I participated in the "Getting Started with YNAB" webinar last night to learn more about the software and continue thinking if I'm going to bother adding another finance tool to my life. I think the end decision is that this software really *is* awesome, but not for me. I'd recommend it to friends or family looking to start budgeting for sure, though.

Here's where I found the webinar: http://www.youneedabudget.com/support/training-and-education

They give a free copy of the program to one randomly selected participant each class, but I didn't win :-p

I'm curious, nikki, why do you think that its not for you?

I just don't think I need a budget. I'm already very aware of how much money I have coming in, how much needs to go out, and have enough to cover surprises easily. I don't have any short or long term savings goals aside from early retirement, so all of my savings get shoveled toward that--no need to parse out different digital envelopes. For example, when I bought $1000+ tickets for my trip to America this month, I just paid for it outright without any trouble (well, I put it on my AmEx for points, but paid it off immediately).

Budgets can be great tools for people who have a lot going on--car insurance, car payments, home maintenance, vacation savings, gift savings, etc. But I live alone in an apartment provided by my employer, have no car, have no dependents or partner, and give no gifts. It's easy for me to keep track of things! ;-D

Adding an unnecessary budget in my life would just add unnecessary clutter. I'm just fine with tracking my expenses in an Excel spreadsheet and my 75% savings rate.

happy

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #84 on: January 16, 2014, 03:26:02 PM »
Well I bit the bullet, and started up YNAB properly now. I wasn't tracking a good part of last year with no problems, but towards the end of the year got some large unexpected expenses, and this year will be dealing with a number of financial changes, so I need to track for a period to see where I am.

I don't have a smart phone so will be doing it all manually, but thats fine.

Its a bit easier this second time round, but as a previous poster said, the start up numbers make things a bit confusing. Still, I think I just need to stick with it a few months and get a better idea of how it all works.

b4u2

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #85 on: January 17, 2014, 06:40:12 PM »
I am just getting setup and going through the online training.

ichangedmyname

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #86 on: January 17, 2014, 08:17:36 PM »
I'm still learning. I can't seem to get it to "reconcile". It's driving me kinda crazy.

aj_yooper

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #87 on: January 18, 2014, 05:28:30 AM »
YNAB saves versions of your budget and you can save your budget independently too.  If your reconciliation is a problem, you can go back to an earlier version of your budget, if it wasn't too long ago, and try again.  I recommend using a short time span of reconciliation.  Also, before you reconcile, save a version.

b4u2

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #88 on: January 18, 2014, 10:20:08 AM »
I'm doing the live classes to learn the program and to hopefully when I free copy. No luck so far but learning so it's a plus lol

Dman214

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #89 on: February 13, 2014, 08:53:52 AM »
Best part about YNAB for me was I was able to get the wife on board.  She loves it, just enters her expenses on her phone and checks category balances. 

The hardest part to learn in YNAB is reconcilations, and I handle that so she doesn't have to deal with it.  I think YNAB is a great tool if you have a spouse that you're trying to work to get more involved with the finances.

We've been using it a year and it's been fantastic, saved more, paid off a car and are working now on student loans.  Provides a lot of clarity that I never really got or cared about when I was previously using MINT.

momo

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #90 on: February 25, 2014, 03:29:00 PM »
I'm curious, nikki, why do you think that its not for you?

I just don't think I need a budget. I'm already very aware of how much money I have coming in, how much needs to go out, and have enough to cover surprises easily. I don't have any short or long term savings goals aside from early retirement, so all of my savings get shoveled toward that--no need to parse out different digital envelopes. For example, when I bought $1000+ tickets for my trip to America this month, I just paid for it outright without any trouble (well, I put it on my AmEx for points, but paid it off immediately).

Budgets can be great tools for people who have a lot going on--car insurance, car payments, home maintenance, vacation savings, gift savings, etc. But I live alone in an apartment provided by my employer, have no car, have no dependents or partner, and give no gifts. It's easy for me to keep track of things! ;-D

Adding an unnecessary budget in my life would just add unnecessary clutter. I'm just fine with tracking my expenses in an Excel spreadsheet and my 75% savings rate.

We are in a similar situation except it is just three of us.  My gf, her dog and me.  I no longer have a house, so all the property taxes and home maintenance issues are gone.  Thank goodness.  So, every extra dollar I have I save.  The only thing preventing me from hitting 75% savings rate is the rent and commuting costs, nearly $3000/mo.  Once job locations change from SF to Silicon Valley, the costs will plummet significantly.  For the gf she has a house but I managed to get her renters, which help offset her expenses. 

Also agree sometimes if your financial life is fairly streamlined with little to no debts, we feel it isn't necessary to use ynab; mint can also work.  We both use mint and we are by no means bashing ynab, it is a good tool if you need more tracking in complex situations.  However we just do not feel we need it when we have a very good handle on our expenses and savings.  If anything, implementing MORE of the mustachian lifestyle ideas like biking regularly, eating at home more, finding entertainment tied to fitness, would save us easily at least 30% more instantly which would put us to 60%+ savings.  Good luck to all with your savings no matter how you achieve it.  Cheers!
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 04:03:28 PM by StashtasticMomo »

ichangedmyname

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #91 on: February 25, 2014, 03:59:15 PM »
I gave mine to someone in this forum. I find myself not needing it afterall.

Carlsky

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #92 on: February 26, 2014, 08:25:08 AM »
I found MMM through his podcast with Jesse from YNAB.  Using the YNAB software and method has really helped our finances.  In addition, reviewing your finances every day or 2 days helped to keep us informed and in charge of our finances.  We are now saving for projected expenses and building up funds in our account.

I think it is a great product and wish I could convince more people to use it.

Milspecstache

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #93 on: February 26, 2014, 10:59:26 AM »
I'm using it but it is a struggle.  I am set in my ways and like Excel and I have specific saving goals that are undermined by the YNAB plan.

That said, however, YNAB is helping me do a better job of tracking expenditures which will be very nice.

b4u2

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #94 on: February 26, 2014, 11:39:52 AM »
I am still using it and really like it. I still do the live classes to help me make sure I am doing things right. I need to watch the credit card one again though.

Thanks to Ichangedmyname I got a code for it :)

Will

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #95 on: February 26, 2014, 10:00:38 PM »
I have specific saving goals that are undermined by the YNAB plan.

Huh?

Joel

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #96 on: February 26, 2014, 10:46:24 PM »
Will - I would bet that user is trying to double count dollars for multiple savings goals, and YNAB is forcing them to face reality. Or the user is taking advantage of credit card float, and not liking YNAB bringing that to their attention.

Milspecstache

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #97 on: February 27, 2014, 11:29:13 AM »
I only have 13 months to pay off my $50k house loan (7%interest!) (it was a 5yr land loan that to refi would result in me having to now pay flood insurance and other closing costs).  To do that I'm paying an extra $4k per month right now which is half of my take-home.  So there is no flexibility to try and go to living off last-month's income.

The way I do this is set up a budget each month.  What doesn't get spent from each category gets moved to the 'extra on the house' category where it is used to pay down the mortgage.  This is more of a zero-balance method and not like YNAB where everything gets carried over.

I'm still using YNAB just not able to take all the steps currently.  Eventually I would love to get there but right now I'm kind of constrained...

There have been some good points:
Like realizing that it would be better to budget for property taxes each month rather than getting hammered twice a year when they come due.

aj_yooper

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #98 on: February 27, 2014, 01:02:28 PM »
I only have 13 months to pay off my $50k house loan (7%interest!) (it was a 5yr land loan that to refi would result in me having to now pay flood insurance and other closing costs).  To do that I'm paying an extra $4k per month right now which is half of my take-home.  So there is no flexibility to try and go to living off last-month's income.

The way I do this is set up a budget each month.  What doesn't get spent from each category gets moved to the 'extra on the house' category where it is used to pay down the mortgage.  This is more of a zero-balance method and not like YNAB where everything gets carried over.

I'm still using YNAB just not able to take all the steps currently.  Eventually I would love to get there but right now I'm kind of constrained...

There have been some good points:
Like realizing that it would be better to budget for property taxes each month rather than getting hammered twice a year when they come due.

^ Your approach seems to be working very well on paying off the mortgage!  Very nice.

Will

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Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
« Reply #99 on: February 27, 2014, 06:29:40 PM »
I only have 13 months to pay off my $50k house loan (7%interest!) (it was a 5yr land loan that to refi would result in me having to now pay flood insurance and other closing costs).  To do that I'm paying an extra $4k per month right now which is half of my take-home.  So there is no flexibility to try and go to living off last-month's income.

The way I do this is set up a budget each month.  What doesn't get spent from each category gets moved to the 'extra on the house' category where it is used to pay down the mortgage.  This is more of a zero-balance method and not like YNAB where everything gets carried over.

I'm still using YNAB just not able to take all the steps currently.  Eventually I would love to get there but right now I'm kind of constrained...

There have been some good points:
Like realizing that it would be better to budget for property taxes each month rather than getting hammered twice a year when they come due.

I would hardly call being unable to budget based on last month's income "YNAB undermining your goals."