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Does anyone use YNAB (You Need A Budget) and fancy a support/chat thread?

(524 Posts)
lougle Thu 22-Aug-13 08:16:12

I've just got the trial version and I'm hooked, if not slightly overwhelmed. I'm currently in 'why is it asking me to budget so much money' mode.

I'm hoping that I'll really take off with it because it sounds quite life-transforming.

Itsaburrdiee Thu 22-Aug-13 11:41:42

What is it (because I do need to budget)

lougle Thu 22-Aug-13 15:01:17

Need A Budget (YNAB) is a budgeting software. They give a 34 day trial, then the software either costs $60 from YNAB directly, or £30 via Steam.

You have a desktop software which you enter your transactions from your bank accounts into and compile a budget. You only assign money to budget categories as it comes into your account, so that you are never overspending.

There are also apps for iphone/pad and android. These allow you to enter transactions as you make them, say at the shops.

The idea is that you follow 4 rules:

1. Give every dollar (pound) a job. This means that when money comes into your account, you assign it to the categories in your budget.

Say you have £100 come into your account. You might assign £80 for food and £20 for your electricity bill.

2. Save for a rainy day. This means that you should be looking ahead for big bills or non-monthly bills and setting money aside to cover them when they come.

Say you pay £300 for car insurance annually. You might decide to allocate £25 per month towards the insurance, so that when the bill comes you have the £300 saved and don't have to suddenly find £300 out of one set wages.

3. Roll with the punches. This means that if you overspend on groceries, for example, you adjust another category to compensate, rather than just accepting that you've overspent.

4. Live on last month's income. This is a bit aspirational at first, but the idea is that over time you build up enough reserves in your account to have a whole month's income in hand, so that you use the income from September to pay October's bills, rather than using the income from September to pay of the month before.

This means that if there is a delay in getting paid, or an unexpected big bill, you have a buffer so don't have to worry about getting into debt.

It's a bit confusing for me to start with, because we have 6 different sources of income - one monthly, two 4-weekly, 3 weekly. So there is a bit of juggling to do.

mykingdomforasleep Fri 23-Aug-13 09:08:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lougle Fri 23-Aug-13 14:44:16

There is a mac version smile

Fraxinus Fri 23-Aug-13 14:47:16

Is there something free like this? I think it will take me more than 30 days!

lougle Fri 23-Aug-13 16:11:15

I'm not sure. If there is, I haven't found it.

I'm on day 4 and already I can see the benefits.

I had budgeted to 0 (rule 1) and we only had around £10 spare in our grocery budget. Then, today, tax credits arrived and I was able to see immediately where money needed to be budgeted to for upcoming bills, allocated some money to groceries for this week.

Now, I have to decide whether I put the rest to next week's bills, or allocate it to 'savings' (for almost the first time ever). DH gets paid next week, so I can do either.

I love it.

It takes a while to get your head around it and at first (now) it feels like I'm playing with money, because it's just like having paper envelopes that you're stuffing money into. If you need more money for one 'envelope', the money has to come out of another one.

OberonTheHopeful Fri 23-Aug-13 16:41:21

I have recently started using YNAB and found it pretty easy to get to grips with. I like the idea of giving every pound (or dollar) a 'job' to do, even it's just savings.

I would very much recommend taking the introductory online course, it's free and there's plenty of opportunities to ask questions. Also at the end of the session they have a draw where one of the attendees wins a free copy of the software. I think on the course I was on there were about twenty attendees, so pretty good odds!

There was another thread on this recently, but it seems to have disappeared.

lougle Wed 28-Aug-13 20:07:21

Well I'm over a week in now and it's amazing.

I bought it yesterday because Steam have it on 75% off until tomorrow. So instead of £29.99, I paid £7.49. I congratulated myself wink

It's fantastic and I think this is one I'll be sticking with.

tribpot Wed 28-Aug-13 20:29:18

Oberon asked me to start a thread on YNAB a little while ago - glad to see we have some new folk on board as well now.

It definitely works on Mac, I have been using it on mine for nearly two years. If you watch any of the training videos you can see the trainers all use Macs too.

Oberon and I were also on a thread a couple of years ago which looked at alternatives as well as YNAB - none of them are free, though. I honestly do think YNAB is worth the outlay, it has revolutionised my finances. Even better if you can pick it up for 7.49, though!

lougle Wed 28-Aug-13 20:47:59

Fab - it's amazing. I'm only a week in and already life is so different.

TheMinionsHaveThePhonebox Wed 28-Aug-13 20:56:12

I've been using YNAB for a couple of years now. I think it's that long anyway, and I love it! I sing it's praises to anyone I can.

We still don't have our buffer built up, but we managed to put aside enough money to deal with a bunch of stuff breaking down and a drop in income over the summer, so back to square one this month as it happens.

tribpot Wed 28-Aug-13 21:04:29

Yep, the buffer is a bit of a weird concept if you get paid monthly, esp at the end of the month, as is often the case here but rare in the US. I still think it's a good thing to work towards but it's a big target.

I've also managed to budget for big items such as having the drive sealed, and non-monthly payments like TV licence, car insurance and whatnot. Instead of lurching off course in months where irregular payments fell due.

I'm still fiddling with categories - have realised I need to save specifically for ds' birthday, for example, outside my regular birthday category. And probably for summer hols distinct from other hols as we do a lot more things (we don't book a single week or two holiday but do lots of short trips booked at relatively short notice).

lougle Wed 28-Aug-13 21:14:56

I agree. I see the worth of a buffer, but the buffer needs to come after making sure that big bills don't wipe you out. Otherwise it's kidding yourself to call it a buffer.

Badvoc Wed 28-Aug-13 21:24:00

Is there an iPad app?

tribpot Wed 28-Aug-13 21:41:23

No, Badvoc - apps for iPhone, Android and Kindle Fire. The iPhone app is compatible with iPad.

Badvoc Wed 28-Aug-13 21:54:13

Thanks tribpot

TheMinionsHaveThePhonebox Wed 28-Aug-13 23:11:21

Please do note that, as far as I know, you do need the actual software as well, the apps merely compliment the software so that you can track your spending while out and about and look at your category balances before spending etc.

tribpot Thu 29-Aug-13 08:34:37

Yes, that's correct Minions.

Badvoc Thu 29-Aug-13 12:37:00

I the software very expensive?

tribpot Thu 29-Aug-13 13:24:41

It's around 30 quid but you can do a 34-day free trial - I think it might still be on discount on Steam if you were to buy it today.

tribpot Thu 29-Aug-13 14:21:28

Yes, I can see that it's still available at Steam for 7.49 if you buy today.

Some info on how to use the Steam-hosted version here.

Badvoc Thu 29-Aug-13 15:23:35

Ok, so I need to use it on a pc is that right?
And download steam?

tribpot Thu 29-Aug-13 16:03:14

The main software runs on a PC or Mac. It looks like, to buy the Steam version, you have to download Steam and run it through Steam one time to get the product key. Then you can just download the regular one off the YNAB website, enter the product key and bish bosh.

Badvoc Thu 29-Aug-13 16:10:24

Right. Hang on. (Dense)
I have bought it from steam.
I need to download steam into the pc and then...what?

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