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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Reader Recommendations => Topic started by: cdub on March 26, 2013, 10:56:33 PM

Title: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: cdub on March 26, 2013, 10:56:33 PM
I'm absolutely in love with this budgeting software. Is it possible to be in love with a piece of software?

My net worth has increased at least by a ton over the past few years since using it.

The basic idea is that you live off of LAST MONTH's income. Truly life changing.

http://www.youneedabudget.com/ (http://www.youneedabudget.com/)

Anyone else here use it?
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: BZB on March 27, 2013, 05:42:28 PM
I just started using it in January. I didn't go through the tutorials first, so I set up the budget wrong, and for some reason my numbers just don't make sense. But, it is great for tracking our spending and thinking about paying for next month's expenses with this month's income. I just need to spend some time on the YNAB forums to figure out how to fix what I did wrong, or start over.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Will on March 27, 2013, 05:45:40 PM
I use it.  It has really helped put my finances in an easy to understand form.  I've eliminated all my debt and have no money worries anymore.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: cdub on March 28, 2013, 10:09:49 AM
I just started using it in January. I didn't go through the tutorials first, so I set up the budget wrong, and for some reason my numbers just don't make sense. But, it is great for tracking our spending and thinking about paying for next month's expenses with this month's income. I just need to spend some time on the YNAB forums to figure out how to fix what I did wrong, or start over.

The forums over there are certainly a great resource.

It's also very easy to start over with YNAB. (there's even a "start over" feature)

The whole mindset of YNAB is looking forward rather than backward - so really you can start over at any time.

I constantly find myself trying new categories and budget layouts... here is my current one:

http://mortgage-payoff-club.com/2013/03/26/how-i-use-ynab-budget-categories/ (http://mortgage-payoff-club.com/2013/03/26/how-i-use-ynab-budget-categories/)
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Justin234 on March 28, 2013, 10:46:07 AM
Can anyone give me a sense of what YNAB has over something like Mint? Mint tracks spending and allows you to make budgets, goals etc. What does YNAB offer beyond that? (I'm genuinely curious as Mint has been helpful for us, so I'm always interested in finding things that are more helpful)
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: tuyop on March 28, 2013, 11:00:52 AM
Can anyone give me a sense of what YNAB has over something like Mint? Mint tracks spending and allows you to make budgets, goals etc. What does YNAB offer beyond that? (I'm genuinely curious as Mint has been helpful for us, so I'm always interested in finding things that are more helpful)

Use both, Mint is free so why not?

I use mint to automatically capture my spending and track regular categories such as fuel, groceries, rent over long periods. Mint is wonderful at understanding that whenver I go to Canadian Tire Fuelstop, I've bought gas. Great. And for showing that in the past three months I spent 800 on gas because I'm a bad person.

Mint is NOT good at keeping track of the fact that my insurance, tires, and registration have to all be changed and repaid in lump-sums at odd intervals. It's also terrible at understanding the fact that I'm saving up 2% of my income for a vacation or new TV or whatever. I just have net spending.

I use YNAB to intensively manage my financial plan. For instance, every two years I have to replace my tires for about $500. That means that tires cost me 20.83 a month. Using YNAB, I just make a tire category, budget 20.83 every month into it, and in two years when my tires are worn out, I have $500 and can just continue on as usual.

With Mint, I would instead see, after 8 months, that there's 166.64 in my chequing for NO REASON, and freak out and dump it in savings or debt or emergency fund. Then, in two months I would realize that I had no tire savings and start immediately having to start over, now saving 31.25 a month and writing it down somewhere like a calendar. Repeat, with stress each time until my tires are bald and unsafe and I have like 85 in the bank for new ones. Rice and bean month again!

The key with YNAB is the shift from budgeting money from accounts to budgeting from categories. So, I no longer really care where my money is, because the categories are the "envelopes" that all of my money goes into and expenses come out of. Before, I even tried having like six separate bank accounts as virtual envelopes and it never worked at all. Now, if I spent a little more on groceries to buy some extra tomatoes or something, I can just take money out of Christmas savings that I repay the next month when I don't have to buy tomatoes, it's easy and intuitive.

YNAB is also perfect for separating money between couples. My partner and I combined finances using just mint and trying to tag transactions depending on who did what, and it sucked. She was constantly stressed about every little spending and I felt guilty for trying to being the money boss or whatever.

With YNAB, our money is together but she gets a category and I get a category. If I spend all my money, she can take me out to a movie or vice versa. We're using the same credit card for it all, but it's immediately obvious who is spending what and how much they have left to spend.


In summary:

Mint: useful for automatic capture and trend viewing.
YNAB: useful for categorizing expenses, especially savings goals and regular expenses.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: JahWontPaytheBills on March 31, 2013, 02:57:14 PM
I absolutely adore YNAB. I found it in late January. It was a life changer for me. Learning to budget, and about how finances work led me to MMM!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: rax on April 02, 2013, 07:42:21 AM
I actually discovered this site just yesterday through a link in one of YNAB's blog entries.


Stroke of luck of the year.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: ozzage on April 12, 2013, 10:21:38 AM
I think they work great together (MMM mentality and YNAB software/methodology)

YNAB is not just software, it's more of a method. Essentially it's just envelope budgeting but it's wrapped up in rules and terminology making things easier for (primarily) people who have had trouble controlling their spending and are in debt and trying to get out. If you are already a proto-Mustachian then a lot of the fluff is unnecessary but the core methodology works brilliantly no matter your situation.

I've never had debt, never had an overdraft, always had savings and are heading for early FI but I still feel much more in control of my money on a day-to-day basis since I started using YNAB.

The YNAB forums are a bit crazy because they're full of people who are mostly INCREDIBLY nice but would be eaten alive in the MMM forum for their wasteful ways, massive debts, and general adherence to un-Mustachian lifestyles :) It's often quite depressing reading their stories but many are genuinely helped by YNAB so it can also be quite heart-warming.

I really recommend the software, and spending TIME learning the system. A few days of playing isn't enough to understand the shift in mindset required. I've been using it for a few months now and I'm still learning the best ways to do things but I absolutely notice the difference and feel that my expenditure is much better planned and catered for, well ahead of time.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: SMMcP on April 13, 2013, 08:13:12 PM
Just downloaded YNAB today because of this post.  So far I really like it.  I have used Quicken for about 7 years to track all my spending, account balances, net worth, etc.  However, the budgeting aspect of Quicken is not that useful.  I think I'll use both.  I like the way YNAB lets you plan for expenses that don't occur every month.  For instance I pay property tax twice a year, HOA fees every quarter, I can plan ahead for Christmas, vacations.  I think this will help.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: GoStumpy on April 13, 2013, 10:36:59 PM
I have been using YNAB since October, and it has helped me to save THOUSANDS that I would have otherwise spent on things that are not in line with my values...

That's the absolute number one thing I love about using YNAB... A clear picture of where my money is going, and literally FORCING me to budget money to things I don't want if I spend it... there's no spending money on crap I don't want and ignoring it... to make YNAB work, I have to budget money to cover that...

So it gives a clear picture of both where I want my money to go, and where it actually goes.  The process helps me align where my money actually goes to places I want it to go :)

I paid full price, and don't regret it for a single second.  The absolute best money I've ever spent in my life, financially.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: misstache on April 15, 2013, 06:09:00 PM
Yes! I really like using YNAB!

I agree that YNAB and MMM work well together. I am already feeling SO much more confident and good about my financial decisions now that I've found this blog and forum, and also from tracking my spending (and just starting to budget with buffer-building for living off of last month's income) with YNAB. Definitely awesome.

It took me until I took the free classes that YNAB offers to start using the budgeting feature, instead of just tracking spending. I am so far finding that the flexible budget really helps me, instead of hindering me and making me feel bad. It helps me keep my priorities in mind. As does the MMM blog and this forum.

Yay!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Joel on April 21, 2013, 05:33:36 PM
I've been using YNAB for about 5 1/2 years now. I started while in college and living off my credit card in anticipation of my next paycheck, and have now progress to have graduated with no debt, landed a job at a big 4 accounting firm, 35k in my retirement and 50k in the bank/investments a year after getting my graduate degree. I could not have done that without YNAB.

I heard about MMM through YNAB and have been lurking around the forums some recently. There's some things that I am not fully on board with related to MMM, however, I do have the same goal of retiring as soon as possible.

Anyways, I have the same username over at YNAB and have been pretty active over the years. I may begin posting more here, or at least looking around some.

YNAB helps those in debt, and those who are also in a good financial position. I could never stop using YNAB ever again.

For $6 off, purchase through this link: http://ynab.refr.cc/B2QFPLZ
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: tuyop on April 22, 2013, 03:46:13 AM
I've been using YNAB for about 5 1/2 years now. I started while in college and living off my credit card in anticipation of my next paycheck, and have now progress to have graduated with no debt, landed a job at a big 4 accounting firm, 35k in my retirement and 50k in the bank/investments a year after getting my graduate degree. I could not have done that without YNAB.

I heard about MMM through YNAB and have been lurking around the forums some recently. There's some things that I am not fully on board with related to MMM, however, I do have the same goal of retiring as soon as possible.

Anyways, I have the same username over at YNAB and have been pretty active over the years. I may begin posting more here, or at least looking around some.

YNAB helps those in debt, and those who are also in a good financial position. I could never stop using YNAB ever again.

Oh oh! Do tell what you're not on board with!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: momo on April 22, 2013, 09:51:01 AM
I find truly successful budgeting/financial planning ultimately depends on your pre-existing financial mindset/values, how you already budget (or lackthereof), your unique financial situation (debts/lifestyle), and a true willingness to be humble and accept help/learn from others.

I used YNAB for the a couple months but found it lacking due to the exclusion of investment data. I prefer a comprehensive net worth snapshot and YNAB just is not designed to capture this data. I definitely agree with the four rules and encourage friends to test it out along with Mint. Some friends who are struggling with debt and learning how to budget/save find YNAB works better for them b/c it forced them to develop self-discipline and become consciously aware of their spending, These are the baby step of changing mindset - essential for advanced stuff MMM. They like YNAB so hurray any improvements is good! I am happy for them.

It is also interestingly many other friends who are fairly proactive and manage their debt (mortgage only) well, find Mint does a slightly better job for them because it provides a more holistic snapshot of their financial health. By consolidating all of their accounts (including investments) to view at a glance, Mint helps provide insights going beyond budgeting and towards long term goals such as retirement planning. They feel that Mint does a better job of allowing users to see the "big picture" offering a clear view of the leaf on a tree and the entire forest. After all, if your big goal is retirement doesn't it make sense to keep your sight on the big goals?

Just my ten cents, your mileage may vary but happy savings to you all! :)
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: momo on April 22, 2013, 09:56:43 AM
Can anyone give me a sense of what YNAB has over something like Mint? Mint tracks spending and allows you to make budgets, goals etc. What does YNAB offer beyond that? (I'm genuinely curious as Mint has been helpful for us, so I'm always interested in finding things that are more helpful)

Actually depends on how you are already doing with your finances and budgeting. If you already are on top of your finances then Mint offers IMO a better tool. If you find you are learning how to change your spenders mindset, need to improve your savings, feel you need help, in debt, then try YNAB.

It is very interesting to note MMM has advocated and recommended Mint before. His positive review is located here:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/12/watching-your-stash-with-mint/

Enjoy and happy savings to you! Cheers!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Joel on April 22, 2013, 10:56:42 AM
Can anyone give me a sense of what YNAB has over something like Mint? Mint tracks spending and allows you to make budgets, goals etc. What does YNAB offer beyond that? (I'm genuinely curious as Mint has been helpful for us, so I'm always interested in finding things that are more helpful)

Actually depends on how you are already doing with your finances and budgeting. If you already are on top of your finances then Mint offers IMO a better tool. If you find you are learning how to change your spenders mindset, need to improve your savings, feel you need help, in debt, then try YNAB.

It is very interesting to note MMM has advocated and recommended Mint before. His positive review is located here:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/12/watching-your-stash-with-mint/

Enjoy and happy savings to you! Cheers!

I would disagree with this.

YNAB is very much for someone who doesn't need to pay off debt and adjust their spending.

I have used YNAB for several years as a way to plan for rainy day expenses and save money. It allows you to not double-count the jobs of your dollars like many people do in their head. Mint is too backward-looking and tells you what you spent, whereas YNAB is very forward looking and helps you plan the future.

MMM recommends Mint - it's free and would work for most.

The owner of YNAB actually recommends Betterment instead of Vanguard for investing, mainly because most investors are too lazy to know what they are doing.

Just because the owner of something recommends a program, does not always mean its the best fit for everyone.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Will on April 22, 2013, 11:08:44 AM
By consolidating all of their accounts (including investments) to view at a glance, Mint helps provide insights going beyond budgeting and towards long term goals such as retirement planning. They feel that Mint does a better job of allowing users to see the "big picture" offering a clear view of the leaf on a tree and the entire forest. After all, if your big goal is retirement doesn't it make sense to keep your sight on the big goals?

Just my ten cents, your mileage may vary but happy savings to you all! :)

If by "all" you mean whichever accounts Mint will actually link up to or even update or update correctly.  The Mint "big picture" for me often had gaping holes and incorrect information.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: tuyop on April 22, 2013, 12:50:01 PM
You could also just use them together. Mint for tracking, YNAB for planning. That's what I do and I love it.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: momo on April 22, 2013, 05:51:39 PM
Can anyone give me a sense of what YNAB has over something like Mint? Mint tracks spending and allows you to make budgets, goals etc. What does YNAB offer beyond that? (I'm genuinely curious as Mint has been helpful for us, so I'm always interested in finding things that are more helpful)

Actually depends on how you are already doing with your finances and budgeting. If you already are on top of your finances then Mint offers IMO a better tool. If you find you are learning how to change your spenders mindset, need to improve your savings, feel you need help, in debt, then try YNAB.

It is very interesting to note MMM has advocated and recommended Mint before. His positive review is located here:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/12/watching-your-stash-with-mint/

Enjoy and happy savings to you! Cheers!

I would disagree with this.

YNAB is very much for someone who doesn't need to pay off debt and adjust their spending.

I have used YNAB for several years as a way to plan for rainy day expenses and save money. It allows you to not double-count the jobs of your dollars like many people do in their head. Mint is too backward-looking and tells you what you spent, whereas YNAB is very forward looking and helps you plan the future.

MMM recommends Mint - it's free and would work for most.

The owner of YNAB actually recommends Betterment instead of Vanguard for investing, mainly because most investors are too lazy to know what they are doing.

Just because the owner of something recommends a program, does not always mean its the best fit for everyone.

All great points Joel and Will thanks for sharing.

The people I personally know who use Mint are already engaged with their daily finances. These are not lazy people. They routinely dedicate time to learn more about finances and the markets. Many already practice the MMM values and most importantly, they proactively plan for retirement. Wouldn't you agree those people are similar to many of us here on MMM? Aren't we all here because we are open to learning new ways to become more proactive with our finances?

Jesse’s YNAB has a great paradigm shift one that is not focused on by Mint and that is by its very design. For Mint I cannot speak officially for Aaron, however as one of the original members of Mint's beta testing team I am fully aware how the tool has successfully helped many people change their budgeting habits. Now of course the same holds true for YNAB and only time will prove what tool consumers prefer. But that is the key with most peoples finances, regardless of what financial software tools they use, most people just need to start doing something so they can improve.

I am also aware that Jesse recommends Betterment. I researched the services long before it was reviewed at YNAB and found it may provide value for some investors. However it may not be suitable for investors who hands on already actively manage their retirement accounts. As I mentioned earlier the investors I know already dedicate time to research, learning, annually re-balance and consolidating their accounts. They are not investing beginners and are very much goals oriented, mindful of management fees and how it holistically affects performances. I feel Betterment may better suit investing novices with little to no previous financial experience and who have no interest in actively gaining such knowledge. It is not for the person who wishes to manage their own money/retirement accounts and learn how to do so. Also it is unfortunate but Betterment does not sync with YNAB. And speaking as someone who does proactively manage their own money, I want that investment data combined into the YNAB program which will not happen. Until that day, I am content using Mint to gain a quick snapshot of my entire financial picture and separately research, plan and execute orders in the respective retirements accounts. I feel budgeting tools that do not combine investment data even if delayed, fail to create an complete picture.

One more distinction, just because Mint users may not be able to track every dollar daily, does not mean their dollars are not working for them. Many investors automate their paycheck and savings into external retirement accounts that are set up to purchase mutual funds like VTSAX or MDLOX periodically. Sure all of this takes work, careful planning and being actually engaged with your finances. But isn’t that what we are all trying to do, gain a deeper understanding of our finances so we can make better choices that positively impact our retirement? I for one want to make the higher level decisions involving my investments, instead of leaving it in the hands of a money manager. After all, I am sure we can all agree, no one cares more about your money than you do. So then, why not learn the basics on how money works and how investing will help you reach your retirement sooner than later? Isn't that precisely what MMM advocates?

Joel you are correct just because MMM recommends something does not mean everyone should consider doing it. However isn't it true, the converse holds true for Jesses’ endorsement of Betterment? Perhaps as tuyop suggests users can use both Mint and YNAB services together and find which is suits their needs. And in the end isn’t that all that matters? Don’t most people just need to find a budgeting tool that begins to help them?

All budgeting tools have shortcomings. Yes Mint sometimes has glitches. Yes you may need to request through the company forum and feedback to add a new company. So what? This is a free tool (like many online retirement calculators) and for the vast majority of people who do use large financial institutions for their banking, credit card, mortgage, loans, and retirement accounts, Mint already has those in the system and combines those accounts. Mint is not perfect. But the fact remains nothing out there free or paid, is without need for improvements. As for Mint being “backward looking”, I concur it does provide a snapshot of your progress like a report card instead of serving as an active heart rate monitor. The thing is not everyone needs to see each financial heartbeat, when their larger financial health is a coma-like status due to a mix of emotions including fear, apathy, illiteracy and denial. It is not surprising that some find YNAB simply too much work and that can and does turn potential users away. I say it is far better for most people to make some improvements (small victories) by stepping in the right direction (actually doing something), acknowledging a need to get financial help and slowly making improvements, than doing nothing at all.

Ultimately, as with any tool it all depends how you choose to use it and the limitations it inherently was created with. If you are proactive I feel a person would already be aware if they are on-track and need to make adjustments. No one is saying to set a budget and then forget it.

Your mileage may vary but happy savings. Good luck.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: GoStumpy on April 22, 2013, 05:52:29 PM


I have used YNAB for several years as a way to plan for rainy day expenses and save money. It allows you to not double-count the jobs of your dollars like many people do in their head. Mint is too backward-looking and tells you what you spent, whereas YNAB is very forward looking and helps you plan the future.


This.

YNAB, used properly, can plan for future expenses without the possibility of using the same money twice.  It doesn't care where the money is, checking, saving, etc...

All the other options I see are, like you said, backward looking.  I honestly don't care what I spent, it's history and I can't change it.  I can only change moving forward, which is the direction I prefer to look!

I have a Journal going in the Journals area of YNAB, I've already managed to get out of $1500 overdraft, save a $1000 cash emergency fund, and put over $1000/month to debt repayment....

All this after living paycheck to paycheck for yeears
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Joel on April 22, 2013, 06:42:12 PM
Can anyone give me a sense of what YNAB has over something like Mint? Mint tracks spending and allows you to make budgets, goals etc. What does YNAB offer beyond that? (I'm genuinely curious as Mint has been helpful for us, so I'm always interested in finding things that are more helpful)

Actually depends on how you are already doing with your finances and budgeting. If you already are on top of your finances then Mint offers IMO a better tool. If you find you are learning how to change your spenders mindset, need to improve your savings, feel you need help, in debt, then try YNAB.

It is very interesting to note MMM has advocated and recommended Mint before. His positive review is located here:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/12/watching-your-stash-with-mint/

Enjoy and happy savings to you! Cheers!

I would disagree with this.

YNAB is very much for someone who doesn't need to pay off debt and adjust their spending.

I have used YNAB for several years as a way to plan for rainy day expenses and save money. It allows you to not double-count the jobs of your dollars like many people do in their head. Mint is too backward-looking and tells you what you spent, whereas YNAB is very forward looking and helps you plan the future.

MMM recommends Mint - it's free and would work for most.

The owner of YNAB actually recommends Betterment instead of Vanguard for investing, mainly because most investors are too lazy to know what they are doing.

Just because the owner of something recommends a program, does not always mean its the best fit for everyone.

All great points Joel and Will thanks for sharing.

The people I personally know who use Mint are already engaged with their daily finances. These are not lazy people. They routinely dedicate time to learn more about finances and the markets. Many already practice the MMM values and most importantly, they proactively plan for retirement. Wouldn't you agree those people are similar to many of us here on MMM? Aren't we all here because we are open to learning new ways to become more proactive with our finances?

Jesse’s YNAB has a great paradigm shift one that is not focused on by Mint and that is by its very design. For Mint I cannot speak officially for Aaron, however as one of the original members of Mint's beta testing team I am fully aware how the tool has successfully helped many people change their budgeting habits. Now of course the same holds true for YNAB and only time will prove what tool consumers prefer. But that is the key with most peoples finances, regardless of what financial software tools they use, most people just need to start doing something so they can improve.

I am also aware that Jesse recommends Betterment. I researched the services long before it was reviewed at YNAB and found it may provide value for some investors. However it may not be suitable for investors who hands on already actively manage their retirement accounts. As I mentioned earlier the investors I know already dedicate time to research, learning, annually re-balance and consolidating their accounts. They are not investing beginners and are very much goals oriented, mindful of management fees and how it holistically affects performances. I feel Betterment may better suit investing novices with little to no previous financial experience and who have no interest in actively gaining such knowledge. It is not for the person who wishes to manage their own money/retirement accounts and learn how to do so. Also it is unfortunate but Betterment does not sync with YNAB. And speaking as someone who does proactively manage their own money, I want that investment data combined into the YNAB program which will not happen. Until that day, I am content using Mint to gain a quick snapshot of my entire financial picture and separately research, plan and execute orders in the respective retirements accounts. I feel budgeting tools that do not combine investment data even if delayed, fail to create an complete picture.

One more distinction, just because Mint users may not be able to track every dollar daily, does not mean their dollars are not working for them. Many investors automate their paycheck and savings into external retirement accounts that are set up to purchase mutual funds like VTSAX or MDLOX periodically. Sure all of this takes work, careful planning and being actually engaged with your finances. But isn’t that what we are all trying to do, gain a deeper understanding of our finances so we can make better choices that positively impact our retirement? I for one want to make the higher level decisions involving my investments, instead of leaving it in the hands of a money manager. After all, I am sure we can all agree, no one cares more about your money than you do. So then, why not learn the basics on how money works and how investing will help you reach your retirement sooner than later? Isn't that precisely what MMM advocates?

Joel you are correct just because MMM recommends something does not mean everyone should consider doing it. However isn't it true, the converse holds true for Jesses’ endorsement of Betterment? Perhaps as tuyop suggests users can use both Mint and YNAB services together and find which is suits their needs. And in the end isn’t that all that matters? Don’t most people just need to find a budgeting tool that begins to help them?

All budgeting tools have shortcomings. Yes Mint sometimes has glitches. Yes you may need to request through the company forum and feedback to add a new company. So what? This is a free tool (like many online retirement calculators) and for the vast majority of people who do use large financial institutions for their banking, credit card, mortgage, loans, and retirement accounts, Mint already has those in the system and combines those accounts. Mint is not perfect. But the fact remains nothing out there free or paid, is without need for improvements. As for Mint being “backward looking”, I concur it does provide a snapshot of your progress like a report card instead of serving as an active heart rate monitor. The thing is not everyone needs to see each financial heartbeat, when their larger financial health is a coma-like status due to a mix of emotions including fear, apathy, illiteracy and denial. It is not surprising that some find YNAB simply too much work and that can and does turn potential users away. I say it is far better for most people to make some improvements (small victories) by stepping in the right direction (actually doing something), acknowledging a need to get financial help and slowly making improvements, than doing nothing at all.

Ultimately, as with any tool it all depends how you choose to use it and the limitations it inherently was created with. If you are proactive I feel a person would already be aware if they are on-track and need to make adjustments. No one is saying to set a budget and then forget it.

Your mileage may vary but happy savings. Good luck.

I mostly made the comment about Jesse endorsing Betterment vs. Vanguard, as a way of saying, even though I am fully on board with YNAB and its founders, I would not recommend Betterment over Vanguard.

As far as keeping your investments within YNAB. the balances do not update, but I find that it is easy enough to update the balances once a month and have a growth category that unrealized gains go to. There is not an easy way to track cost basis or your unrealized gains to date, which I could see wanting something further. But for the purposes of tracking my budget, I don't need the information that is so readily available on the investment's website. I just need a current balance, or for longer-term goals that have fluctuating amounts - I just need the end of the month balance.

Nothing's automated though. And most people don't like that.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: SMMcP on May 05, 2013, 04:54:40 PM
Just downloaded YNAB today because of this post.  So far I really like it.  I have used Quicken for about 7 years to track all my spending, account balances, net worth, etc.  However, the budgeting aspect of Quicken is not that useful.  I think I'll use both.  I like the way YNAB lets you plan for expenses that don't occur every month.  For instance I pay property tax twice a year, HOA fees every quarter, I can plan ahead for Christmas, vacations.  I think this will help.

I am really enjoying using the YNAB software.  For the past 5 years I have paid for a service plan for all the appliances in my house at about $35/month.  I have needed to use this twice.  I just realized I can afford to self insure in this area and with YNAB I will just make an appliance repair/replacement category under "rainy day funds" and put the $35/month in that.  I think I will come out ahead this way.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: jamccain on May 05, 2013, 11:05:34 PM
Just started it ten days ago...LOVE IT!  Of course, the sample size is small, but so far really good. 

Problems it solved for me:
1. Wife will use it because it's simple and flexible for her...all she has to do is pull up the app on her phone and make sure we have money available to spend in the appropriate spending category (the marketing is geared toward women too)
2. Accounts for ATM withdrawals without losing accountability of the money
3. Is an electronic way of doing a cash envelope system (crashed and burned doing this with real envelopes and money because my wife was scared to carry cash around) and leaves no dollar without a "job" or purpose

Other things I like are you can just pick it up in the middle of the month and if you're using a credit card it integrates right into the budget.

BTW, I had no issue paying $60.  If someone adds value to your life you should willing to pay an appropriate amount for that value...otherwise entrepreneurs would lose the primary incentive to improve our lives.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: ScubaAZ on May 09, 2013, 02:06:57 PM

If by "all" you mean whichever accounts Mint will actually link up to or even update or update correctly.  The Mint "big picture" for me often had gaping holes and incorrect information.

My big picture stuff in mint was all over the place largely because it often double counts things that clear my checking account.  It seems to record them once when the pending post hits, and then again when it clears.  But not for everything.  So I'll see I went over my budget on groceries by almost double, have a mini heart attack, and then realize its because every grocery trip is in there twice.  Mark them as duplicates, and its accurate.

A pain, but it works for now.  I may try YNAB.  One of the things I hate about Mint is that it won't recognize that I get paid on the 15th and last day of the month.  That means that my "income" to spending ratio is negative for most of the month, because I'm using income from the prior month, quite like YNAB does.  Its just annoying to see that red line, like I'm not being a responsible adult with my money and its judging me accordingly.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: tuyop on May 09, 2013, 04:13:39 PM

If by "all" you mean whichever accounts Mint will actually link up to or even update or update correctly.  The Mint "big picture" for me often had gaping holes and incorrect information.

My big picture stuff in mint was all over the place largely because it often double counts things that clear my checking account.  It seems to record them once when the pending post hits, and then again when it clears.  But not for everything.  So I'll see I went over my budget on groceries by almost double, have a mini heart attack, and then realize its because every grocery trip is in there twice.  Mark them as duplicates, and its accurate.

A pain, but it works for now.  I may try YNAB.  One of the things I hate about Mint is that it won't recognize that I get paid on the 15th and last day of the month.  That means that my "income" to spending ratio is negative for most of the month, because I'm using income from the prior month, quite like YNAB does.  Its just annoying to see that red line, like I'm not being a responsible adult with my money and its judging me accordingly.

You could just change those transactions in Mint with a rule, no?
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: ScubaAZ on May 10, 2013, 05:27:52 PM

You could just change those transactions in Mint with a rule, no?

Which transactions?  The duplicates, I'm not sure.  There is no rhyme or reason to which ones end up as duplicates and which do not.  I used to use Microsoft Money (when it would update accounts automatically), and it would recognize the similar dates and amounts and exclude it automatically.  Mint doesn't seem to have that option.  But I'm not familiar with the rules feature (I like to go through them by hand, just to make sure everything is right).  Maybe there is a way to make it may more attention.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: tuyop on May 10, 2013, 06:59:49 PM

You could just change those transactions in Mint with a rule, no?

Which transactions?  The duplicates, I'm not sure.  There is no rhyme or reason to which ones end up as duplicates and which do not.  I used to use Microsoft Money (when it would update accounts automatically), and it would recognize the similar dates and amounts and exclude it automatically.  Mint doesn't seem to have that option.  But I'm not familiar with the rules feature (I like to go through them by hand, just to make sure everything is right).  Maybe there is a way to make it may more attention.

Oh no, mine has that problem too with one of my cards. I just review it every few days and delete duplicates.

I meant the income thing, since you don't like the net income graph.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Zaga on May 10, 2013, 08:48:40 PM
I love YNAB.  Started using it in January, I used to keep one checkbook register in an old copy of Quicken and a budget in Excel, so double entry for everything.  I just love the way YNAB calculates everything, and have even started sinking ahead for things.  With my old Excel sheet that just didn't work the way I liked. 
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: GoStumpy on May 10, 2013, 09:34:53 PM
I mostly am in love with the YNAB (and any smart person) philosophy.

Plan for the money you have.

Put those dollars to work, and tell them what to do.  Be intentional with your finances.  Plan.  Think.

It's so far beyond what most people do with their money... not most MMM'ers, most of society.  MMM'ers have a good thing going for them with a goal of a savings rate.  With a great savings rate, the rest need not be as granular.

But for us trying to get a grasp of our finances, getting granular is absolutely important.



www.youneedynab.com is a 10% off YNAB link :)
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Zelda01 on June 21, 2013, 10:31:50 PM
I am very intrigued by YNAB.  I am trying it out during the free 34-day trial period.  I must be on Day 5 by now.

I wanted to allocate more $$ to upcoming dental expenses, by decreasing spending in other categories, and this seems like a good tool to do that.  Before this, I was comparing my YTD spending in Quicken from this year to the same period last year, and that only worked so well.  YNAB seems to do more of what I want, and moving the $$ around in categories is very easy.

I also have some quarterly & yearly expenses, and it seems that YNAB handles them really well, by allocating to them each month leading up to the month that they are due.

It seems like there is a lot to learn about this software.  But it's a little bit addictive, so the learning comes fast ;)
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: aj_yooper on June 23, 2013, 07:21:37 AM
My wife and I have been using YNAB for 2 months and we find it very easy to track our spending and to plan for future larger expenses. It really gets at the double counting of the money that I would do.  The phone apps make recording more of a game.   I update our asset accounts each month so my net worth statement is within a reasonable range.  We have been scheduling budget meetings when new income is available so we can plan out our budget categories; I think it has made our mutual efforts stronger.  The YNAB tutorials are excellent and can save you time in launching your budget, but if you mess up, fixes are pretty easy and help is available on their forum.  The report features are helpful and each budget category can give you an average of past months spending totals.  If you want to buy YNAB, buy it through a friend who has it or someone on the forum; you will save $6 and the friend gets $6.

I am not willing to give all my passwords to Mint, even though they believe it is secure, so I have not used that method.   
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: rving-carol on June 23, 2013, 09:07:10 AM
I started YNAB a month ago. I was a Quicken and Excel spreadsheet fanatic and it took quite a leap of faith to start YNAB in the middle of a month and use current balances from my checking and 4 credit card accounts. Yesterday I reconciled all 5 accounts and was thrilled when all balanced to the penny.

I have been a saver (money hoarder) all my life so I don't use YNAB to get out of debt. My problem is I don't give my dollars any jobs to do. YNAB puts the amount of unemployed dollars in a very large font at the top of the budget screen. It keeps nagging me to do something with it.  Thanks to tips from both the MMM and YNAB forums, I spend at least four days a week putting small amounts to work.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: madgeylou on June 23, 2013, 10:05:39 AM
If you want to buy YNAB, buy it through a friend who has it or someone on the forum; you will save $6 and the friend gets $6.

yes! if anyone wants to purchase YNAB, here's my affiliate link:

http://ynab.refr.cc/LRPZP4L

as aj_yooper says, you save $6 and i get $6!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: davisgang90 on June 24, 2013, 04:07:57 AM
I finally took the plunge two days ago.  I'm still figuring it out, but can see the benefits.  I started with an excel spreadsheet about 6 months ago after not being satisfied with Mint.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: tuyop on July 10, 2013, 02:25:36 PM
I finally took the plunge two days ago.  I'm still figuring it out, but can see the benefits.  I started with an excel spreadsheet about 6 months ago after not being satisfied with Mint.

Well it doesn't cost you anything to use mint, and it's a very efficient tool for collecting all of your data at once, in one place so I don't know why you'd stop using it, if you are.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: EK on July 12, 2013, 07:06:34 AM
I'm in the second month now of using YNAB, and I must say it's really great.  I found mint to be buggy for tracking, and I was spending so much time going in and cleaning up the categories and transactions that were imported twice, that its actually been quicker to just put everything in manually with YNAB.  With the phone app it takes like 2 seconds.  And for people like me who really need a budget to stay on track, budgeting with YNAB is so much better than the mint budgeting tool that its not even in the same ballpark.  My favorite is how easy YNAB makes it to see the running balances in various rainy day and savings categories so that I'm not forgetting and spending the money, or having to keep all these crazy lists and notes and charts and spreadsheets just to figure out which money exactly I've set aside and which money still needs a job.

FYI- I saw that YNAB is running a sale through July 22, so if you're wanting it now is a good time!!  It's on sale for 39.99! Combine that with a referral link for 6.00 off and it's only 33.99!!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: aarmfield on July 12, 2013, 05:10:24 PM
I have just began using YNAB.  I believe it will be something that turns my life around.  It is great for planning for those things that don't come every month, paying into those things that are only around for a short time (short term debt), and seeing how things are progressing.  I still have a lot to learn, but I cannot recommend it more.

One tip, as someone here already posted an affiliate link, the Steam Summer Sale is having a special on YNAB where you get it for $40, but before the sale is over the price should be around $20.  Wait until the end of the sale and if the price goes down, great. If not, well, you still get it at $40.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/227320/   (non-affiliate)
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: DocLago on July 14, 2013, 06:13:23 AM
It's down to 14.99 through steam, which was enough to make me bite however, the checkout process doesn't seem to be working for me.  I keep getting errors.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: dragoncar on July 16, 2013, 08:30:57 PM
Question for YNAB:  I'm considering recommending it to my parents (I don't personally need a budget), but I have trouble imaging they will rigorously track and categorize expenses (I tried to get them to do it with a Mint-like program but they don't really do it).  Does YNAB somehow automate this, or does it require a lot of work?  Like how much time do you spend inputting information per month?
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Joel on July 16, 2013, 10:33:32 PM
Question for YNAB:  I'm considering recommending it to my parents (I don't personally need a budget), but I have trouble imaging they will rigorously track and categorize expenses (I tried to get them to do it with a Mint-like program but they don't really do it).  Does YNAB somehow automate this, or does it require a lot of work?  Like how much time do you spend inputting information per month?

It requires someone to want to take control of their finances. If your parents can't keep up with mint, they almost certainly won't be able to keep up with ynab. No automatic imports.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: happy on July 16, 2013, 11:52:19 PM
I have another budget program which I love (Simply Budgets) but it doesn't work on a Mac and I can't access it regularly, which kind of defeats the point. I downloaded the free trial for YNAB but have to say I haven't been able to get the thing happening even after a few goes. The website is so busy with stuff on the 4 rules...yes I got them the first time I read them. Is there some information that says step 1 do this, then step 2 do that?
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Joel on July 17, 2013, 12:00:29 AM
I have another budget program which I love (Simply Budgets) but it doesn't work on a Mac and I can't access it regularly, which kind of defeats the point. I downloaded the free trial for YNAB but have to say I haven't been able to get the thing happening even after a few goes. The website is so busy with stuff on the 4 rules...yes I got them the first time I read them. Is there some information that says step 1 do this, then step 2 do that?

Setup your accounts. Make sure cleared balance matches your accounts. Setup your categories. Make a budget. Ensure Available to Budget = 0. Make spending decisions based on category balances. Record transactions. Adjust Budget if you overspend a category, or priorities change.

That's really all that needs to be done. If you have specific questions, I would recommend their forums.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: cochranjd on July 18, 2013, 01:12:46 PM

I have another budget program which I love (Simply Budgets) but it doesn't work on a Mac and I can't access it regularly, which kind of defeats the point. I downloaded the free trial for YNAB but have to say I haven't been able to get the thing happening even after a few goes. The website is so busy with stuff on the 4 rules...yes I got them the first time I read them. Is there some information that says step 1 do this, then step 2 do that?

Here is how I set up my month.  I typically do this right before the month I plan to start,

1) Create a category in my budget called "Savings/Balance"
2) Go to each account and figure out how much income I had
3) Subtract the income from the total amount and set that as an income transaction with a category of Savings/Balance
4) Add income as a transation with the category of next month's budget
5) At the end of #3 & #4 you should have a total balance equal to your account balance in real life and you'll only be budgeting based on your income (instead of all the money you have in your account total)
6) Go set up categories and budget accordingly

For me, the most difficult thing starting out was how to track money that I had in my account that wasn't to be budgeted for the month and this gave me the best handle on it, IMO.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Joel on July 18, 2013, 06:58:58 PM
What you are doing sounds very confusing. You should make sure your Available to Budget is 0 at all times. When you receive Income, it will become Available to Budget. For the funds that were in your account initially,  you should budget those dollars to categories that you do not want to spend from and/or categories that need to be spent from.


I have another budget program which I love (Simply Budgets) but it doesn't work on a Mac and I can't access it regularly, which kind of defeats the point. I downloaded the free trial for YNAB but have to say I haven't been able to get the thing happening even after a few goes. The website is so busy with stuff on the 4 rules...yes I got them the first time I read them. Is there some information that says step 1 do this, then step 2 do that?

Here is how I set up my month.  I typically do this right before the month I plan to start,

1) Create a category in my budget called "Savings/Balance"
2) Go to each account and figure out how much income I had
3) Subtract the income from the total amount and set that as an income transaction with a category of Savings/Balance
4) Add income as a transation with the category of next month's budget
5) At the end of #3 & #4 you should have a total balance equal to your account balance in real life and you'll only be budgeting based on your income (instead of all the money you have in your account total)
6) Go set up categories and budget accordingly

For me, the most difficult thing starting out was how to track money that I had in my account that wasn't to be budgeted for the month and this gave me the best handle on it, IMO.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: cochranjd on July 18, 2013, 08:38:47 PM
It accomplishes the same thing and you have to do the same math either way.

If you don't split it out (i.e. you budget it to the savings category, for instance), then you need to figure out what amount of your account balance did not come from income in the previous month (assuming you want to immediately start living on what you made the previous month - otherwise you'll be budgeting with more money than you should).

I feel like it mirrors what you're actually doing by separating this out - I didn't "really" make income + previous balance this month, so I like to avoid budgeting income + previous.

It's really not as confusing in practice as it is in writing and it puts your available to budget to 0.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Joel on July 18, 2013, 09:24:45 PM
Where are these extra funds held? How I'm suggesting and ihows its recommended you just record your income as for next month and budget it. There's not budgeting to and from a category and trying to balance anything. Sounds like a lot of work and that you might be missing something simple.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: cochranjd on July 19, 2013, 07:57:21 AM
My guess is there is probably some miscommunication on my part.

Here's what I'm saying versus (what I think) you're saying.

Mr. M is getting ready for his August budget, when he plans to start using YNAB.

On July 31st he has:

Bank Account Balance: $2,500
Income in July: 2 checks for $500 each (included in the $2,500 above)

What I think you are saying is that you would simply mark all $2,500 as income available for August and budget it down to $0.  Obviously you can do this, but there are a few things I don't like about it. 
1) If you don't do the math to determine how much of the balance was income, you'll find yourself living on more or less than you made in July.
2) If you do the math and make sure you budget the excess (i.e. non July income) into a savings category, your "budgeted" amount will be off because it is considering your existing account balance.

What I do is what I consider to be the real life scenario - Mr. M had $1,000 income in July, so he'll mark $1,000 income available for August.  He had $1,500 in the account that didn't come from July, so I'd put that directly into the category where it belongs.  In this scenario, my "budgeted" amount will show $1,000 which will be my typical budget meaning I'm not living on a budget that is unrealistic because of the extra funds that were in the account.  It is almost the exact same thing as #2 above, but it shows the correct numbers in the "budgeted" heading for the month.

In the end, it's all in the weeds and whatever works for each person is what they should do.  I've been using YNAB for 4 or 5 years now and this is what I find works the best for me and how I wish to view the data and I certainly don't feel that it breaks any of their core tenants (even if it did, that's not a huge deal to me if it gets the job done).

I'm just happy to see so many other folks using it - no matter if we take different approaches or not.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Joel on July 19, 2013, 08:25:51 AM
Are you doing this every month with your "extra" funds though? It sounds like you should be able to do that once and then your available to budget would be zero. Then you record any income received as for next month. In August it will be sitting there waiting for you to budget. You don't need to budget your income received in its own category this month and pull it out next month, just mark it as for next month instead.

The extra 1500 in funds would be budgeted once into a long term savings like category and stay there. And the 1000 in income would be income for August and be available to budget August first.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: cochranjd on July 19, 2013, 10:06:39 AM
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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: GoStumpy 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:
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Joel 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Iron Mike Sharpe 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: rogersbilly 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: aj_yooper 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: olivia 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: davisgang90 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 (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/reader-recommendations/43-discount-off-ynab/).]
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Iron Mike Sharpe 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.

Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Zelda01 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: SMMcP 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: MsGuided 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!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: SavingMon(k)ey 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: momo 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?
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: smalllife 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: SavingMon(k)ey 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Will 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: SavingMon(k)ey 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: annaraven 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: fidgiegirl 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?
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Will 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?
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: fidgiegirl 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: aj_yooper 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. 

Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: mred209 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!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: lizfish 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: CG 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: nikki 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: lizfish 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: smalllife 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: CG 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!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Will 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: nikki 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
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: ichangedmyname 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Joel 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?
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: nikki 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: happy 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: b4u2 on January 17, 2014, 06:40:12 PM
I am just getting setup and going through the online training.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: ichangedmyname 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: aj_yooper 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: b4u2 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
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Dman214 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: momo 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!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: ichangedmyname on February 25, 2014, 03:59:15 PM
I gave mine to someone in this forum. I find myself not needing it afterall.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Carlsky 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Milspecstache 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: b4u2 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 :)
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Will on February 26, 2014, 10:00:38 PM
I have specific saving goals that are undermined by the YNAB plan.

Huh?
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Joel 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Milspecstache 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: aj_yooper 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Will 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."
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Joelle on March 05, 2014, 01:49:59 PM
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.

I couldn't agree more. Using YNAB was the starting point of my "Personal Finances awareness".
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: mred209 on March 22, 2014, 04:12:34 PM
I found YNAB after trying several other Mac financial tracking apps such as Jumsoft's Money, and Moneywiz by Silverwiz, but looking at how we'd spent money after the fact wasn't helping with anything and eventually I found YNAB via Google searches for budgeting apps. Thought it looked a little bit like money for old rope as the idea seemed so obvious put the way they put it, but having been using it for a year now our control over our money has definitely paid off. Love it.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Will on March 22, 2014, 06:55:31 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.

So, it has been 5 months: how is that working out for you?

And reading back through this thread, I wonder why people were saying that YNAB doesn't do loans, net worth, or investment tracking?  I don't have any loans of any kind, but when I go to "Add Account" it gives me all kinds of loan options to add.  I click on "Reports" and there is the Net Worth tab.  And since I have my retirement and other investment accounts as "Off-Budget Accounts" that I update as needed, it reports everything accurately.  Maybe I am using it wrong?  ;)
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: pachnik on March 22, 2014, 07:24:47 PM

So, it has been 5 months: how is that working out for you?
And reading back through this thread, I wonder why people were saying that YNAB doesn't do loans, net worth, or investment tracking?  I don't have any loans of any kind, but when I go to "Add Account" it gives me all kinds of loan options to add.  I click on "Reports" and there is the Net Worth tab.  And since I have my retirement and other investment accounts as "Off-Budget Accounts" that I update as needed, it reports everything accurately.  Maybe I am using it wrong?  ;)
[/quote]

+1  I do the same as you.  No loans either.  I just update my investment accounts myself and keep them in the "Off Budget Accounts" section.  It works for me. 
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: GoPackGo on April 08, 2014, 07:24:22 AM
YNAB has worked great for me. I am nerd so I like to see the data tracked over time and inputing it on my own. Mint scares me for some reason with all my accounts logged in. I think it works great with Triple M philosophy because you can choose to take an extreme cut off the top of the "Available to budget" (ie 40-80%) and immediately put that in a debt payoff, savings or Financial freedom category. It makes me feel like I am out of money when really I'm saving it/spending it on paper before I even make any transactions.

For the comment above you can set loan, investment, or house value accounts off-budget and make periodic adjustments to those accounts to reflect a change in net-worth.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Unchained on April 10, 2014, 02:23:44 PM
I was going to share my own opinion about YNAB when I read GoPackGos response and its exactly the same as mine.

I tried MINT first and it scared me because here i was entering all of my online banking information into a site thats not even my bank! I know my way around the internet and it still bothers me. Then I found YNAB. It kinda bugged me at first because I had to enter all of my transactions manually but now that I have it set up I love it. Like GoPackGo, I love looking at the data over time and seeing my NW increase or in some cases.... decrease.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: CG on April 13, 2014, 02:40:14 AM
I think there may be another thread for this, bu if anyone wants to try YNAB after reading these enthusiastic posts, it would  be well worth giving it the free 34-day trial, and make maximum use of the very helpful support forum during that time. If you then decide to buy you can get $6 off with a referral code from any user posting here. Mine is [MOD NOTE: CODE REMOVED.]
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: arebelspy on April 14, 2014, 02:48:19 PM
I think there may be another thread for this

MODERATOR NOTE: You know there's another thread for this, as you've already posted your code there. Multiple times. Further violation of the forum rules regarding spamming and referral codes will result in a ban from the forums.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: AMustachianMurse on May 08, 2014, 06:26:49 PM
I love YNAB.  I'm doing my first extreme budget experiment and I am trying to live off of 30% of my income, because of direct deposit, shitty bank of america, and credit cards auto deducting it's super hard to figure out where money is going for me...this thing is a life saver.

I even have a shortcut to the mobile app as one of my lockscreen apps so that I can swipe up to it and put in a transaction as i'm in the store making the purchase in less than 30 seconds.  I have every cent i've spent allocated now thanks to this app. 

As a side note, my category (unaccounted for expenses a.k.a. waste) is shattering my 30% goal and it kills me inside every time i open the app and see in big red -($xxx.xx) Sigh...oh well, still working on cutting down the expenses. 
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: mred209 on June 13, 2014, 02:09:49 AM
I love YNAB.  I'm doing my first extreme budget experiment and I am trying to live off of 30% of my income, because of direct deposit, shitty bank of america, and credit cards auto deducting it's super hard to figure out where money is going for me...this thing is a life saver.

I even have a shortcut to the mobile app as one of my lockscreen apps so that I can swipe up to it and put in a transaction as i'm in the store making the purchase in less than 30 seconds.  I have every cent i've spent allocated now thanks to this app. 

As a side note, my category (unaccounted for expenses a.k.a. waste) is shattering my 30% goal and it kills me inside every time i open the app and see in big red -($xxx.xx) Sigh...oh well, still working on cutting down the expenses.

Out of interest is that on iOS? I use Launch Center Pro for getting to my most used apps fast but you have to unlock the phone first, and YNAB refuses to add URL schemes to the app so that it can be launched from LCP. I've asked them so many times, it's such a simple thing to add. :(

So right now YNAB has to live on my home page, along with Safari and Settings, and nothing else... I do love it though. Changed our finances. And they do such awesome things like giving it away free to students etc. Love YNAB!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: AMustachianMurse on June 17, 2014, 06:30:25 PM
I love YNAB.  I'm doing my first extreme budget experiment and I am trying to live off of 30% of my income, because of direct deposit, shitty bank of america, and credit cards auto deducting it's super hard to figure out where money is going for me...this thing is a life saver.

I even have a shortcut to the mobile app as one of my lockscreen apps so that I can swipe up to it and put in a transaction as i'm in the store making the purchase in less than 30 seconds.  I have every cent i've spent allocated now thanks to this app. 

As a side note, my category (unaccounted for expenses a.k.a. waste) is shattering my 30% goal and it kills me inside every time i open the app and see in big red -($xxx.xx) Sigh...oh well, still working on cutting down the expenses.

Out of interest is that on iOS? I use Launch Center Pro for getting to my most used apps fast but you have to unlock the phone first, and YNAB refuses to add URL schemes to the app so that it can be launched from LCP. I've asked them so many times, it's such a simple thing to add. :(

So right now YNAB has to live on my home page, along with Safari and Settings, and nothing else... I do love it though. Changed our finances. And they do such awesome things like giving it away free to students etc. Love YNAB!

It was a rooted Galaxy S3 running Cyanogenmod.  Unfortunately the S5 doens't have the ability to launch apps from the lock screen :(.  I've heard people using something called the Xposed framework to do the same thing but I don't have any personal experience with that.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: BubbaMc on July 01, 2014, 06:22:20 AM
Up until I started using YNAB in January this year (impulse buy on a Steam sale), my net worth was about -$10,000 and would not increase at all, year after year. If I had money in the bank, I'd spend it.

6 months in, my net worth is $27,000 and my finances have never been in better shape. The software has actually made me passionate about personal finance and I shudder to think we're I'd end up if I didn't start using it.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: aj_yooper on July 01, 2014, 07:10:52 AM
That's a major turnaround, BubbaMc!  Sounds like you were to turn off the firehose spending Way Good!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: happy on July 11, 2014, 06:31:00 AM
I completed 6 months tracking with YNAB end June. I really like it, just as I used to like my previous softwares. YNAB certainly takes it up a notch though with its reports/graphs etc.  Its reigned in my cc float (dang, cc float is cool) Having all my financial info in one place has other advantages - I can extrapolate future expenses, check things like "what was the gas bill last time?", and see the ugliness of my grocery bill:(.
Looking at all my many transactions, I thought I'd try to see if I could cut the number down, and strike out some categories - not by lumping, but by spending less.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Mexitali on September 17, 2014, 10:15:30 AM
Love YNAB! We've had it for 6 months now; after only 4 months we were living on last month's pay instead of paycheck to paycheck AND we started using it for our business (a hair salon) to track spending and budget/plan for the future. Fantastic software.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: RunHappy on September 19, 2014, 06:00:35 PM
I just started using it (still on the 34 day free trial).  What I like about it, is the ability to project my budget.  I'm still going through the tutorials.  What I love most is Rule #1 "Give a job to every dollar".  I haven't been doing this but now I am.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Will on September 19, 2014, 09:42:47 PM
I just started using it (still on the 34 day free trial).  What I like about it, is the ability to project my budget.  I'm still going through the tutorials.  What I love most is Rule #1 "Give a job to every dollar".  I haven't been doing this but now I am.

Yeah, that really isn't how you are supposed to use it.  You should only be budgeting money you have.  I know some people will use an "alternate" budget with numbers they project with, which is fine if you are wanting to test some things out, but I truly hope that you are only spending based on category balances as they are today, in reality.  With Rule #1, you can't give jobs to employees you don't have (yet).
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Zaga on September 21, 2014, 07:30:39 AM
I forecast my budget by moving forward one month.  So my November budget estimate is in the December slot right now.  Once I start getting money in for November I will start moving the budget over to November.  As I do that the December budget gradually will empty.  Once I have all I need budgeted for November I will rinse and repeat for the next month.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: fb132 on October 03, 2014, 05:56:18 AM
I love YNAB, it has been only one month and I already see amazing things. It is fun when I got paid yesterday and selected "Income for November" as a category. Nothing feels better knowing the paycheck you just received will only be used next month. You tend to sleep better at night, because you are not reminded to pay your bills on a certain date, I usually pay them all off at the beginning of the month since I already have last month's income for this month. This also helps me plan next month's bill ahead of time and I can work around it to make sure I am able to save 40% or more in advance. It is nice knowing that if Murphy does show up unexpectedly, you can actually figure out a plan to beat it....one month in advance.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Caella on October 09, 2014, 08:41:13 AM
I absolutely love this software.
Bought at the steam xmas sale last year, started using january 1st. It's GREAT. The awareness is SO powerful.

Except for a car loan that is long gone, i've never been in debt, always had some emergency fund in place, and even for me the perspective change on the YNAB philosophy was life changing. Since i always had this comfortable situation that I knew I had money in the bank, it was easy to double assign jobs to the dollars. To make that mental accountability that I will buy this, but next month I will get a bonus, so it's ok. The CC float was my best friend! On my Excel spreadsheet that I used to track my expenses, I even put the CC debt (paid always in full automatically) to the next month, because I would not worry about it until then.
The result was: I was not getting behind, but was not getting much ahead either.

Now my net worth graph is a nice upward stair, even when I ignore the money that I'm saving for a huge and expensive trip next year.
Since I bought and started using YNAB there isn't even one month where my net worth went down =D
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: 1967mama on October 27, 2014, 05:46:43 PM
Just finished my trial and downloaded the program, but still haven't got it up and running :-(
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Will on October 27, 2014, 06:30:49 PM
Just finished my trial and downloaded the program, but still haven't got it up and running :-(

And why is that?
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: 1967mama on October 27, 2014, 06:57:21 PM
Husband works long hours in a cubicle and travels out of town a few days a week. He has looked after all the finances up until now...its hard to take over the reins of his system which has really just been a spending record.

I'm a SAHM with a rather large passel of children and homeschool the littlest ones still.  I have been to all of the webinars twice now and am still struggling to understand some of the details of the program. Math was never my strong point.

Complainypants excuses, I know. I will get to it soon <wink>
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: theadvicist on October 28, 2014, 08:54:36 AM
Another YNAB fan here, in fact, it brought me to MMM!

I love it, as some others have said, for forcing me to really prioritise. As in, if I want to spend money on y, I'll have to take it from x. Whereas all the previous years I'd been using Microsoft money, I would have said, I NEED y, so I'll just have to get it.

I've been a good saver for years, but my savings rate has gone way way up using YNAB, because I can no longer 'lie' to myself about how I've got cash because there's cash in the bank. Yes, I have cash on hand, but it's set aside for something in particular. If I want to use it for something else I will have to free it up, and that hurts (usually enough to stop me).
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: aj_yooper on October 28, 2014, 10:57:14 AM
YNAB has been keeping us from spending the same money several times.  Bummer.   We  now keep separate categories for future expenses and keep sending money there.  That definitely helped the cash flow issues.   Once we had the buffer going, things got way easier then too. 
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: lizfish on October 30, 2014, 02:52:07 AM
1067mama If you email YNAB with any specific or non specific issues I'm sure they will do their best to help. Although I understand you're also getting to grips with the finances themselves which is two jobs not one!

And please try not to let your perceived lack of maths skills hold you back. Anyone can learn. Just be patient with yourself. :-) both understanding of your household finances and budgeting skills are very important and useful so will not regret the investment. Plus your fresh outlook on the money might be exactly what your family needs to get on the path with MMM.

Good luck!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: 1967mama on October 31, 2014, 01:38:21 AM
@lizfish,

Thanks so much for the encouragement!  I am having surgery soon that will lay me up for 8 weeks, so I am planning to use the time to get a handle on YNAB and get it working for our family. My husband totally supports the idea of YNAB, but it will have to be my research and learning and then I will get him on board and up to speed.  I think its a good idea for me to email YNAB (or maybe post on the forum) to help me through these early stages. The webinars were so positive and encouraging and the staff seems to genuinely want to help. Thanks again!

Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: lizfish on November 01, 2014, 07:27:48 AM
Good luck with the surgery 1967mama. And you're very welcome.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: 1967mama on December 01, 2014, 08:21:09 PM
lizfish -- I got going on YNAB with the help of a friend on the phone! YAY! Its quite shocking what an exploding volcano of wastefulness our household is! Ugh!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Kwill on December 06, 2014, 07:51:52 PM
It sounds like a lot of people here are using both Mint and YNAB. I've not used either, but I appreciated reading all these notes on it. My credit union added a spending tracker recently, but it doesn't work well for me. Some expenses are categorized automatically in ways that don't fit, but every time I change them, the computer changes them back. There's a label for "bowling alley" but none for "rent" or "auto insurance."

What I'd most want to be able to do is to categorize how much of my spending is work related (and how much of that is reimbursable), how much is job search related (an how much of that could be reimbursed), and which expenses relate to taxes. Does YNAB or Mint help you see those kinds of groups of expenses?
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Zaga on December 06, 2014, 08:06:53 PM
YNAB is super flexible in how you make your categories.  If you need a category for something, add it!  There are groups of categories and categories under that.  And everything you see can be renamed to suit your preferences.

I don't like Mint as well, because it auto categorizes things, and I don't really like the categories it chooses.  Going back and changing this is more trouble IMO than entering everything into YNAB and choosing the category at that time.  Plus I like that with YNAB everything is saved on my computer and looking back at trends is easier, I never managed to get Mint to save any of my historical net worth data.  It depends on your personality.

I would advise you to try mint first though, because it's free :-)
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Kwill on December 06, 2014, 08:59:38 PM
Thank you, Zaga. Maybe I'll give Mint a try. I tried Microsoft Money for awhile but I had a hard time keeping it updated. It sounds like Mint does more automatically, which might help.

I don't have any debt, and I feel like I'm being pretty frugal, especially since reading MMM. But work trips and dues for professional organizations and job search expenses make it look like my spending is really high some months with other months being very little over the most basic recurring expenses. My contract ends in June, and before it does, I want to get a better handle on how much I actually live on apart from rent, which will likely change.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Will on December 06, 2014, 10:31:46 PM
You might as well try YNAB.  It has a free trial period (over 30 days long) which should be plenty of time to try it out before you buy it.  "Before I buy it?!?!?"  Yes, it costs money, but just like anything else, you get what you pay for (as you will see with Mint).  And there are a lot of referral codes floating around to save you some money too.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: easypeasy on December 12, 2014, 04:56:02 PM
I concur that YNAB is great and incredibly helpful.  I've been using it for 1.5 years and over time my tracking and categories have gotten simpler and more closely aligned with my financial goals. I used to track everything at a pretty fine level of detail but now we just have a big "shared" category for monthly spending and manage within that.  Not sure this advice would work for newcomers or people getting used to the software, but the simpler approach is allowing me to get the planning benefits of YNAB without the annoyance of finely categorizing each line item of spending. 
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Peony on December 12, 2014, 07:06:29 PM
Ah, beautiful, brilliant, wonderful YNAB. I have never had more savings. I have never had more financial awareness. I know it sounds stupid to be rhapsodic about PF software, but there it is. The forum is a delight. I am realizing my financial goals faster than I ever thought possible. I simply do not look at money the same way. MMM & YNAB are a killer combo.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: catccc on December 31, 2014, 02:00:36 PM
On sale at steam for $14.99 for the next 18 hours!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Kwill on December 31, 2014, 04:07:07 PM
On sale at steam for $14.99 for the next 18 hours!
Thank you! I just downloaded it finally. I'd been wavering, but at $15, it seems worth trying.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: superkookyburra on December 31, 2014, 06:26:30 PM
I was on the fence about getting it YNAB, as Mint is free and requires less work, but I was hoping for something a little more (although I'm still not sure I could articulate what more I'm looking for). I decided last week to try the free trial and hope for a good New Year's sale if I liked it.  However, I saw their was the opportunity to win a free copy at every live class they offer, so I signed up for some of those... and won a copy at my 3rd class.  The classes were helpful to different degrees (I'm not trying to get out of debt which is big with the YNAB community), and I multi-tasked as I listened.

I'd definitely recommend watching some videos even if you don't attend the live classes.  I tend to just "play" with software, but this is something that has a system you need to understand to work with properly.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Roadhog on January 01, 2015, 09:53:27 AM
I learned about YNAB through MMM and love using it.  It's been super helpful with forward looking budgeting.  Have used Quicken for years and years, but only find it useful for analyzing what has happened in the past.   Right now I use both.   I do double entering, but I find it very helpful to get total control of spending and saving.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: catccc on January 02, 2015, 07:35:10 AM
Still on sale at steam for 25% off if any one on the trial wants to pick it up.  I've said this before, but it took me longer than the trial to really love it, so if you are on the fence, now is a decent time.  25% off is better than a referral link discount.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: senecando on January 02, 2015, 08:14:57 AM
I was on the fence about getting it YNAB, as Mint is free and requires less work,

I've found Mint either requires more work or more confusion. Perhaps they've gotten better with things since I used it, but I was always figuring out duplicates or re-categorizing things, both of which were clunky on the web interface. I'd rather put them in myself (I import, I admit) and have them right the first time. I trust the accuracy of YNAB much more.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: frugalfighterpilot on January 31, 2015, 02:06:53 PM
I tried Mint for a while, but found that it would sometimes duplicate transactions. Plus I would rather plug in each transaction--I find that I'm more deliberate with what I spend (or don't spend...). That's what I like about YNAB,

If you're interested in YNAB, here is the standard $6 off link: http://ynab.refr.cc/3LWRN6P
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: lizzzi on January 31, 2015, 05:12:59 PM
I planned to do paper-and-pencil for 2015, but when Steam had YNAB for $14.99, I went ahead and got it. I had been on the free trial, so had started to get the hang of it. So it is January 31 and my budget worked out just fine, although I was doing a lot of robbing Peter to pay Paul…wasn't very accurate in terms of how much I spend in what categories. Somewhat to my surprise, I can easily live within that budget, and shouldn't have any trouble saving…if I can quit shopping for stuff on Amazon Prime. Ha-ha. I did do a lot of paper-and-pencil work to make sure I wasn't making any spending mistakes. And I put only my checking account on YNAB--I mean the fixed monthly income that comes in. I started a paper-and-pencil Net Worth record in a green- speckled college composition notebook. That lists my checking account base (an extra month's income, as YNAB recommends), my emergency fund down at the local bank, the amount of cash in the house, and of course, my Vanguard totals for VTSAX and VTBLX. I rack up a net worth once a week…a little too often, but it helps me keep my nose to the grindstone picking up pennies, rolling my spare change, not doing a bunch of clown spending, eating up All the food in my house, taking five-minute showers, keeping the thermostat at 65/62, etc. etc. So I am satisfied with my blended method.

What is really annoying is that a Steam window pops up on my MacBook desktop every single time I crank up my computer. I can't figure out how to eliminate it. Grrrrrrr.  Just have to click Cancel button and move on to open Safari or whatever.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: catccc on February 03, 2015, 08:37:27 AM
I tried Mint for a while, but found that it would sometimes duplicate transactions. Plus I would rather plug in each transaction--I find that I'm more deliberate with what I spend (or don't spend...). That's what I like about YNAB,

If you're interested in YNAB, here is the standard $6 off link: http://ynab.refr.cc/3LWRN6P

this.  I still use yodlee occasionally (to check investment account balances, etc.)  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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: KD on February 08, 2015, 08:27:36 PM
I've used YNAB a long time and Jesse was always a stand up guy and helped me when I got stuck 'way back in the day' when he was a one man show!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: johnny847 on February 08, 2015, 08:35:47 PM
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
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: smalllife on February 09, 2015, 05:16:54 AM
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.

The Income/Expense report is tax accurate regardless of which month you budget the money - it's actually one of my pet peeves because I don't use YNAB for tax purposes and don't see how it would help, but I would love a budgeted vs. spent for some categories.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: johnny847 on February 09, 2015, 04:02:35 PM
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.

The Income/Expense report is tax accurate regardless of which month you budget the money - it's actually one of my pet peeves because I don't use YNAB for tax purposes and don't see how it would help, but I would love a budgeted vs. spent for some categories.
Haha wow. I had just assumed that if I entered income as budgeted for next month, it would show up as next month's income in the income/expense report. I just tried it and you're right, it shows up as income for the current month.
I need something to keep track of my income for tax purposes. Almost half my income comes from a source that has no taxes withheld, so I need to set my tax withholding to be far higher than normal. YNAB can track inform for me, among many other things, so I use YNAB for this purpose.

As for budgeted vs spent - isn't that already in the budget section? You budget X, and it tells you that you spent Y, and you have Z=X-Y left over? Maybe I'm not understanding your question.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: smalllife on February 10, 2015, 05:07:18 AM
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.

The Income/Expense report is tax accurate regardless of which month you budget the money - it's actually one of my pet peeves because I don't use YNAB for tax purposes and don't see how it would help, but I would love a budgeted vs. spent for some categories.
Haha wow. I had just assumed that if I entered income as budgeted for next month, it would show up as next month's income in the income/expense report. I just tried it and you're right, it shows up as income for the current month.
I need something to keep track of my income for tax purposes. Almost half my income comes from a source that has no taxes withheld, so I need to set my tax withholding to be far higher than normal. YNAB can track inform for me, among many other things, so I use YNAB for this purpose.

As for budgeted vs spent - isn't that already in the budget section? You budget X, and it tells you that you spent Y, and you have Z=X-Y left over? Maybe I'm not understanding your question.

I assumed the same thing when I moved to 4.  I do use the budget section in general for that information, but I haven't mastered the export function to find averages, track personal paybacks or do detailed month over month analysis. So I just don't do analysis anymore.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: catccc on February 10, 2015, 10:04:08 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?
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: johnny847 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
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: KD 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!

Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: johnny847 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
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: wintersun 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!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: johnny847 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: mustacheandbeard 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
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Rincewind 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.

Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Will 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: arebelspy 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: bludreamin 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: lizzzi 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: kudy 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: wintersun 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?
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: 1967mama 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
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: theadvicist 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: wintersun 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: mlejw6 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: theadvicist 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: wintersun on April 14, 2015, 05:08:03 AM
Thanks for the explanation of the arrow miejw6, I am trying that now.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: facelikefizz 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: aj_yooper 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: simmias on June 10, 2015, 06:45:55 PM
The summer Steam sale starts tomorrow, so it should be $14.99 again.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: fb132 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: ConsistentEffortWins 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Optimiser 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?
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: arebelspy 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: monstermonster 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: simmias 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
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: arebelspy 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!
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: Joel 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: smalllife 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.
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: theadvicist 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. 
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: monstermonster 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."
Title: Re: YNAB - Any other YNABers in the house?
Post by: catccc 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 (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.