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You Need a Budget (YNAB) thread (app is on sale)

(19 Posts)
tribpot Sat 13-Jul-13 15:58:14

I've been meaning to start a thread about the budgeting app You Need a Budget (YNAB) as I know a number of us use it. I regularly recommend it on MN but just to stress I have absolutely no affiliation with the company, it's just what works for me to keep my budget (mostly) on the straight and narrow.

YNAB currently have a 33% off sale, so it's selling for £27.99 in the Mac App Store, just slightly less if bought directly from their website, depending on the exchange rate you get.

The site is worth a look even if you don't want to buy the software - the method could be done just with spreadsheets if you wanted to (in fact it started life as a spreadsheet app) and all the training material is freely available, including the live classes.

The key thing for me has been learning not just to juggle monthly expenses but also plan for the less regular or less frequent ones. These tend to be the ones that wreck a basic budget, however carefully the monthly expenses are accounted for. The ability to move money between the various pots as required means you can make decisions mid-month, i.e. [x] becomes available on sale, you want to grab it, so you have to decide what of [y] you'll do without to make the budget balance.

Anyway, I'm hoping at least to tempt Oberon out of hiding to find out how he's getting on with YNAB after our budgeting software thread last year.

OberonTheHopeful Wed 17-Jul-13 20:22:57

I've just got the application and I'm signed up for the introductory class this weekend, so would be really interested in what other people's experiences are.

I had a bit of a play with the trial version and it seems pretty straightforward. And it looks like I'm out of hiding on the quit smoking thread grin.

FYI, the 33% sale apparently ends on the 22nd.

You can get it on Steam for £20 at the moment too. Just bought it smile

OberonTheHopeful Sat 20-Jul-13 20:01:21

ConfusedPixie, I'd got it from the App Store earlier this week, so maybe that's my first budgeting fail grin.

I attended one of the introductory webinars this evening and found it very helpful. The instructor stayed online for a while at the end to take questions. It really made it clear that it's best just to get stuck in and start. I'm doing just that! I'm finding it pretty easy to use smile.

The only reason I knew was because as soon as I said the name DP looked it up on Steam as he was on there buying games already! Budget fail

I'm finding it okay to use. I do wish that there was a way to have all of my separate budgets on one page (joint & joint savings, personal and future business) but apart from that it's a nice little application. I'm using it on my desktop smile

OberonTheHopeful Sun 21-Jul-13 10:11:38

Once I'm used to the desktop version I might give the iPhone app a go. I like the idea of being able to enter a transaction there and then IYSWIM. I see what you mean about a combined view for budgets, I was thinking the same thing smile.

During the course the instructor used an example of a discontinuous payment that doesn't have a schedule (in this case money for car repairs). In his example budget he put aside so much per month. With something like this I'm guessing that once a goal has been reached (say £500 saved for car repairs) you would make the amount per month zero, leaving the balance of £500 to carry forward each month until it is needed (even if the actual money is moved to a savings account).

lougle Wed 28-Aug-13 20:45:29

Thanks for pointing this thread out, tribpot. If anyone is wanting to buy it but felt that £30 was a little steep, there is a sale on Steam for £7.49 grin

SunshineBossaNova Wed 28-Aug-13 21:02:42

Thanks for the link lougle, DH has Steam and is going to buy it now.

Our budgeting is poor, and I think from what people have said on here it will be hugely helpful.

lougle Wed 28-Aug-13 21:12:12

How exciting! Do come back and tell us how you got on - also, they have a forum.

Tell your DH that he doesn't have to use Steam every time he opens it. If he opens it once, he can get the activation code, download the trial from www.ynab.com and enter the activation code there. Then you'll be able to use YNAB directly without Steam smile

lougle Fri 30-Aug-13 09:18:25

Well how exciting! My husband's pay for September came in overnight, as did two Tax Credit payments. I have done my first beginning of the month budgeting, at last.

I have my categories split into weeks and in descending date order. Then I have my other categories for variable expenses.

I have been able to budget:

1. All the bills for the first week,
2. The children's school supplies
3. Groceries
4. Fuel
5. Christmas savings
6. 1/12th of the future home insurance
7. A little towards the car insurances that are currently paid monthly.
8. Husband's MOT which will need to be paid today.

So that's encouraging. We next get some income on 6th September, so we're budgeted to £0.

It's wonderful to know that I don't even have to think about bills between now and then. Is it sad that I wish I was paid daily so that I could assign the money each day?

tribpot Fri 30-Aug-13 10:21:13

I used to get very excited about being able to record the previous day's bank transactions - tragic, innit smile Now I am a bit too lax, and tend only to record cash transactions as I go, catching up with the rest less frequently than I think I should. I suspect as a result of this I haven't chucked any money over into my savings account recently, although I have some good amounts built up for large expenses like having a door put through into the garage to make it easier for my DH to get from his indoor wheelchair to his outdoor one. This was time sensitive as I wanted to get the money set aside and the work scheduled before winter.

Putting by the monthly amount for year expenses is great - such a relief not to have to scrabble around in the month before (or even worse, during) the annual bills falling due.

lougle Fri 30-Aug-13 10:23:51

The only thing I wish was different is the timezone - the forum goes to sleep in the day and wakes up at night. We need to MN it wink

tribpot Fri 30-Aug-13 10:28:30

Ha - have you taken any of the classes? I make a point of noting how pleased I am when they run a class that isn't at 3 a.m. our time, although in fairness this does tend to mean one of the trainers is trying to be perky and excited about YNAB at 6 o'clock in the morning their time.

lougle Fri 30-Aug-13 13:52:13

I did see a few at sort of reasonable times, but totally un-family-friendly, like 3pm on Sunday afternoon grin

Mumof3teens Sun 15-Sep-13 12:28:36

Anyone know when YNAB is likely to be on sale again please? Am nearing the end of the free trial and really like it.

lougle Sun 15-Sep-13 21:14:39

It tends to go on a flash sale through Steam - even YNAB themselves don't know when.

However, if you go to the Steam store and add YNAB to your watchlist, Steam will email you when it's next on sale.

Mumof3teens Mon 16-Sep-13 07:47:21

Thanks lougle will do - I just missed it on steam last time.

merovingian Sun 22-Dec-13 11:21:19

Well they SAY it's not often on sale, but since we bought it in Feb this year (2013) I've spotted it on sale at least three times, a couple of times in Spring and Summer, then again for Cyber Monday. Pretty huge discounts too, about half price!

If you miss a sale and don't want to wait for months in case there's another one you could always use one of the referral links floating around the web to get $6 off, such as this one: ynabdiscountcoupon.com

merovingian Thu 02-Jan-14 08:35:18

Hey everyone, quick heads up if you've not got YNAB and been waiting for a sale, it's 75% off in the Steam January 2014 sale right now! Only £7.49, fantastic price!

Direct link to the Steam sale: store.steampowered.com/app/227320/?snr=1_5_9__205

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