Author Topic: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE  (Read 7826 times)

oinkette

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First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« on: July 09, 2015, 10:04:03 AM »
So I started my free trial of You Need a Budget this past week.

Back story: Earlier this year I sold my house and moved in with a friend.  Living costs went down from monthly 843(not including flood, HOA, lawncare, repairs, etc) to $400.  I also no longer have to pay for internet or utilities. I'm also 3 miles from work as opposed to 12. So all in all very mustachian. Yay me!

But I still kept ~$2000 in my bank account as my buffer to cover all my costs, since that's what I lived off of pre-move. I've never done budgeting before and it has worked well for me, but I decided to try YNAB to see what all the fuss was about. Actually sitting down and projecting my monthly and annual costs was eye opening.  I actually spend less on groceries than I previously thought.  Auto insurance broken down month was a bite though. So there I was "giving all my dollars a job" and I was left with about $900 left over with no job to do, even after factoring in all the rainy day stuff. So thanks to YNAB my savings rate just went up!


midweststache

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2015, 10:14:19 AM »
YNAB completely changed the way I engaged with finances. I recommend it to everyone. It's amazing what seeing everything laid out does, and I love that it's malleable for when life throws your curveballs. I assume you'll spring for the software then? Best $60 I ever spent...

oinkette

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2015, 12:49:02 PM »
Yeah, I'm just riding out the rest of the trial. If anyone wants to offer a referral for the $6 off I'm open to it! ;)

Nougatron

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2015, 01:51:11 PM »
We switched to YNAB late last year (was previously using Quicken.) I love the mobile app, there's no excuse to enter purchases when I'm away from home. I bought the program during Black Friday, it was 50% off.

expectopatronum

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2015, 01:57:01 PM »
Yeah, I'm just riding out the rest of the trial. If anyone wants to offer a referral for the $6 off I'm open to it! ;)

Ooo, pick me! Pick me!

http://ynab.refr.cc/D5VTFDC

YNAB basically made me realize that the giant pile of savings I had was actually being saved for something other than "emergency". I was floored by my "monthly" Christmas expense, calculated by last season's savings divided by 12.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2015, 02:58:18 PM »
Mr. FP is very opposed to paying for YNAB. Is it awesome enough that he might change his tune if I did a free trial and showed it to him?

expectopatronum

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2015, 03:12:33 PM »
Mr. FP is very opposed to paying for YNAB. Is it awesome enough that he might change his tune if I did a free trial and showed it to him?

I think it depends on the state of your finances and your current approach. Some are really good with excel, some are just good at....not spending money. It personally helped me project out to the medium-term expenses, like replacing my laptop, Christmas, annual travel to see family and to also rein in the dining out and clothing categories. It took me about 7-10 days to feel like I was comfortable with the approach (took me awhile to figure out what budget categories I wanted). So what might be a good question to ask yourself is: why do I want it? To help us reduce our spending, to help save to long term goals, to help the two of us stay on the same page with our joint finances, to track net worth...?

YNAB has the advantage over Excel in that it has a decent app. So, both my husband and I can update our household YNAB because we shared the file in Dropbox. We would never be able to use something like Excel. I'm still on the student license, but I have every intention of buying it for good eventually. I also like that we see all the transactions the household makes even though we still don't have "access" to each other's accounts (we run our finances jointly, it's just not to that fully merged point on paper).

midweststache

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2015, 03:23:41 PM »
Mr. FP is very opposed to paying for YNAB. Is it awesome enough that he might change his tune if I did a free trial and showed it to him?

I love that I can use the rules (pay next month's bills with this month's income) to know when I have enough money to make extra loan payments (without guesswork). The charts are also very nice, if you're not Excel-inclined. A 30-day free trial can't hurt, can it?

ender

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2015, 05:03:33 PM »
Probably my favorite part of YNAB is how easily it lets you track spending.

oinkette

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Thegoblinchief

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2015, 06:31:01 AM »
I poo-poo'd YNAB when I first joined the forums, and was honestly kind of a dick about it, preferring my needlessly complicated pen/paper/Excel setup. But using it? Damn am I a convert!

laughing_paddler

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2015, 07:16:46 PM »
Okay folks, Can i jump in here and ask a ynab question too?

I'm thinking of bailing on PersonalCapital, which I've been using since October to track transactions and look at investment accounts. It's been good- the analysis software is cool, but since I'm fairly comfortable with allocation and expense ratio tracking I'm doing elsewhere, the main power has been the expenditure tracking with categories, etc. and that can be a little weak/inflexible.

But, one of the main reasons I want to bail is that I'm feeling a little paranoid/exposed re: the online account info (perhaps irrationally, but the hacking stuff seems to be happening a lot), so my question is- does YNAB exist on my computer (like a whizbang spreadsheet I own), or is it uploading/syncing through their site (like mint/personalcapital)?

The way I figure it, I'm exposed more if hackers target Mint or PersonalCapital and I'm in their database, while they would need to single me out and hack my computer to get the YNAB files on my computer which is super unlikely.  (Am I being crazy?)


Anatidae V

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2015, 03:29:45 AM »
Okay folks, Can i jump in here and ask a ynab question too?

I'm thinking of bailing on PersonalCapital, which I've been using since October to track transactions and look at investment accounts. It's been good- the analysis software is cool, but since I'm fairly comfortable with allocation and expense ratio tracking I'm doing elsewhere, the main power has been the expenditure tracking with categories, etc. and that can be a little weak/inflexible.

But, one of the main reasons I want to bail is that I'm feeling a little paranoid/exposed re: the online account info (perhaps irrationally, but the hacking stuff seems to be happening a lot), so my question is- does YNAB exist on my computer (like a whizbang spreadsheet I own), or is it uploading/syncing through their site (like mint/personalcapital)?

The way I figure it, I'm exposed more if hackers target Mint or PersonalCapital and I'm in their database, while they would need to single me out and hack my computer to get the YNAB files on my computer which is super unlikely.  (Am I being crazy?)

I'm not sure about the crazy aspect, but YNAB exists on your computer, and can have a sync file (to sync with other instances of itself on your other computers), which it prefers to save in Dropbox.

asiljoy

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2015, 06:19:07 AM »
Okay folks, Can i jump in here and ask a ynab question too?

I'm thinking of bailing on PersonalCapital, which I've been using since October to track transactions and look at investment accounts. It's been good- the analysis software is cool, but since I'm fairly comfortable with allocation and expense ratio tracking I'm doing elsewhere, the main power has been the expenditure tracking with categories, etc. and that can be a little weak/inflexible.

But, one of the main reasons I want to bail is that I'm feeling a little paranoid/exposed re: the online account info (perhaps irrationally, but the hacking stuff seems to be happening a lot), so my question is- does YNAB exist on my computer (like a whizbang spreadsheet I own), or is it uploading/syncing through their site (like mint/personalcapital)?

The way I figure it, I'm exposed more if hackers target Mint or PersonalCapital and I'm in their database, while they would need to single me out and hack my computer to get the YNAB files on my computer which is super unlikely.  (Am I being crazy?)

I'm not sure about the crazy aspect, but YNAB exists on your computer, and can have a sync file (to sync with other instances of itself on your other computers), which it prefers to save in Dropbox.

Prefers is the key word.

YNAB is local software to your machine(s), the same way Excel is local to your machine. You can save YNAB files in Dropbox so that you can have YNAB use the same file across devices, same as saving an Excel document in the cloud somewhere allows you to access that document from different devices.

If you're worried about your personal information being hacked? Doubtful with YNAB for the reason you state. The best they would do is get the credit card information you used to pay for the software from YNAB, but that could happen literally anywhere you use a credit card. It's possible your Dropbox could get hacked, but since YNAB doesn't save any account numbers/any information you don't give it the most they'd get is an idea of your financial state and that's if they bothered to read the file.

I feel comfortable with Mint, but dropped Personal Capital because it kept having weird errors with my accounts(credit union/smaller institutions just didn't play well with them) It made me paranoid/got annoyed with constantly fixing my information in there.

therealestate

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2015, 01:49:51 PM »
I'll be honest.. being a designer, the intro video was what hooked me into trying it.. it looked good, and made sense.

Once I started using it, it completely opened my eyes! By giving every dollar a job, I no longer could say to myself "I've got money to waste, or spurge, on whatever I wanted in that moment". When you give every dollar a job, your balance reads ZERO.. which meant I didn't have money to spend on useless shit.

I think that's where mint failed me (I'm sure other people love it, it just didn't help my personality type).. yes they have budgeting tools, but it just wasn't the same.

meg_shannon

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2015, 07:50:26 AM »
I just bought YNAB. My husband and I have been using the free trial for the past month and it's amazing! We're both pretty good with spreadsheets, but YNAB is just easier. We decided it was worth the extra expense. Plus he can use the app on his phone for travel. My only complaint is that you cannot enter multiple currencies. We're currently living in Germany for a year (from the States), and it gets annoying to change all our daily expenses over to the dollar.

fb132

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2015, 07:59:23 AM »
I love YNAB, I know it is not mustachian to pay 60$ for just doing your budget, but psychologically, YNAB has helped boost my savings and have peace of mind with the rule #4 (living on last month's income). I was able to save about 30-35% of my income in the past when I created my own Excel budget program, but for some reason, with YNAB, it made it easier for me to reduce my spendings and also anticipate any unexpected expenses which is crucial when you are like MMM, meaning having no Emergency fund. With a higher savings rate + having a buffer, that is a duo for success in my case.

IntoTheCrevasse

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2015, 07:29:44 AM »
I'm a visual person and YNAB made a HUGE difference in helping me truly understand where all of my money is. I have an extremely variable income, and it makes it so easy to see where I stand month-to-month. Though I have the income to standardize my expenses across all months, I tend to use the leaner months as a challenge to live on that smaller amount. Extra frugality!

YNAB has absolutely paid for itself for me. It helped me get out of debt and now it helps me save more than ever. I'm always aware where all of my money is going and it gives me important boundaries in the areas of my spending where I tend to be more loose (namely eating out at restaurants)

ender

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Re: First week of YNAB means more money for FIRE
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2015, 03:30:52 PM »
I think that's where mint failed me (I'm sure other people love it, it just didn't help my personality type).. yes they have budgeting tools, but it just wasn't the same.

I tell people - Mint us a primarily reactive tool; ynab is proactive.

If you want to see where your money went use mint. If you want to tell it where to go use YNAB.