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Help with YNAB

(26 Posts)
lornathewizzard Mon 12-Jun-17 08:50:20

Downloaded this yesterday and started getting it all set up.

Currently we have a spreadsheet of bills, a budget for food and one for petrol and then some spending money left over. However we've been overspending and end up depleting our savings come the end of the month. I want to get out of this and so I thought this would help me keep a better track (because it's generally me that's overspending tbh).

So I have questions!

How do I put the food and petrol budgets in? Do I put it as a goal and just populate it when wages go in? And then transactions can come off it?

I'm also confusing myself because wages go in on the 21st rather than the end of the month. Do I put a quarter of the food budget in until the end of the month and put the rest in next month? Or put it all in then it will run over?

Sorry I'm confusing myself I think. Any guidance appreciated

UrethaFranklin Mon 12-Jun-17 14:57:14

It doesn't matter what day your wages go in. If for instance you got paid tomorrow, 13th June, you would input them and count them as 'income for June'. Then you allocate your money to the various categories.

I get paid 28th monthly, I input my wages at the end of May as 'income for May' even though most of my direct debits and bills don't actually come out until June.

I would then allocate to the categories, including £50 for petrol and £200 for food which would be my monthly budget amount for these categories until the next lot of salary is received at the end of June.

Does that make sense? I think you are over complicating things slightly smile

lornathewizzard Mon 12-Jun-17 15:21:47

Ha yeah I think you're right I'm over complicating! I think it's going from one system to another that's throwing me smile
So yes thank you that does make sense smile

HipsterRaccoon Mon 12-Jun-17 15:35:56

Do they still do the free webinars? Would definitely recommend them. I've had Ynab for a couple of years now and it's fab, has totally changed my understanding of budgeting.

lougle Mon 12-Jun-17 15:57:35

I think you're falling into the trap of trying to budget 'neatly' at a certain time of month. The key with YNAB is that you budget honestly. That means that you allocate money to your budget categories when you get the money (Giving every £1 a job) and you tell YNAB you've spent the money as you spend it. It doesn't matter if the £200 for petrol sits in your budget for 3 weeks waiting to be spent. That's fine.

HairsprayQueen Mon 12-Jun-17 16:03:27

I still can't get my head around it, I've tried so many times and I really would like to get a grip on it as I'm sure it would help us budget but I can't get to working with the monthly system when we get paid on the 17th.

I've followed the videos and read every time people say how it works on here but my brain just seems to have a block from understanding it.

lougle Mon 12-Jun-17 16:32:10

So you get paid on the 17th of June. Your money comes into your account and without YNAB you'll seem really rich for the second half of June. All that money!!! But the reality is that if you spend all your money in June, you won't have any money for your bills that come in July and food in July until you get paid on the 17th of July.

The YNAB way:
You get paid on 17th June and the money is categorised as 'income available for June'. You allocate that money to all your budget categories, starting with the bills left to pay this month, then fixed costs such as bills that will need to be paid before you will next get paid - rent/mortgage gas, electricity, etc., then you can allocate remaining money to groceries, fuel, parking costs, savings towards Christmas, birthday parties, birthday gifts, days out, etc., debts, savings, until all the money is allocated.

Now that all the money is allocated, when you spend money, you tell YNAB which category you spent from, so it knows which category to deduct the funds from.

lougle Mon 12-Jun-17 16:33:25

In YNAB, if money is left over in June, it will automatically roll over into July.

HairsprayQueen Mon 12-Jun-17 17:12:03

Thanks lougle But when the categories reset at the beginning of the month it puts me in the negatives for half the month which isn't true.

Maybe I'll have another go at the end of this week and just go with it for a couple of months?

HairsprayQueen Mon 12-Jun-17 17:12:20

And sorry op for jumping in!

lornathewizzard Mon 12-Jun-17 17:16:24

No worries at all Hairspray this is all helping me aswell.

They do still do the webinar things so I think that should help too. If I can find one at a convenient time around the dc!

So just to clarify, I set up all the bills under immediate obligations (I think is the header) then when the money comes in, allocate it to them, then to separate sections for food, petrol, saving for whatever etc?

UrethaFranklin Mon 12-Jun-17 18:35:40

Hairspray I'm not sure what you mean by 'when the categories reset at the beginning of the month'.

Mine dont - I allocate funds to a catergory on 28th of each month, it is still sitting there by say 10th of next month if I haven't spent any of it. It doesn't re-set and start again at zero. Can you explain what you mean?

lougle Mon 12-Jun-17 22:43:58

The categories don't reset. They should roll over from month to month. As an example:

On 17th June I put £500 in petrol, because I have no idea how much I spend each month. Then I start allocating my spending at the fuel station:

18/6: £50 - £450 remaining
24/6: £50 - £400 remaining
30/6: £40 - £360 remaining.

On the 1st July, the month rolls over. My fuel category will have a balance of £360.

The same happens for every other category.

HairsprayQueen Tue 13-Jun-17 07:36:35

Goodness knows what I was doing then! I'll have another go this week.

user1497212915 Tue 13-Jun-17 12:25:26

I've had the same issue. I've put my current balance in and then I've put the outgoings for July in preparation but it's showing as a minus as it's considering next months outgoings with this months balance...help!

ChessieFL Tue 13-Jun-17 12:43:35

I did the free trial and couldn't make head nor tail of it so gave up. Far too complicated for me, I'll stick to my pen and paper!

UrethaFranklin Tue 13-Jun-17 13:37:17

user1497212915 you don't put your outgoings in until they actually happen. So you wouldn't enter July's figures until July, we are currently still in June. Doing that will give you a minus figure as you haven't got the money to cover these yet.

You enter your current balance, then any outgoings that need to come out of that amount before you get paid again.

user1497212915 Tue 13-Jun-17 13:44:33

Ah ok.
Why does it give the option then to work months in advance?

lornathewizzard Tue 13-Jun-17 15:34:53

I think User just means bills? Maybe?

I've scheduled all my bills and payments coming in although we're not showing a negative balance because none of the bills or payments are cleared yet?

I haven't budgeted the amounts for the bills yet as the wages aren't there yet to cover it

lornathewizzard Tue 13-Jun-17 15:35:42

So when the wages come in I can allocate the money to the bills that are due to come out the rest of the month

ThePants999 Tue 13-Jun-17 23:48:07

You should watch/read the tutorials.

The key point about YNAB is that it's envelope budgeting, just digital. You have a separate envelope for every category and every month. When you receive income, you need to immediately allocate it to an envelope - that is, a category and month - based on what you're going to need to spend.

Let's imagine Alice earns £1000 a month and gets paid on the 15th. She needs to cover the £750 rent, which gets paid at the end of each month, and groceries, where they spend £200 a month. (I'm imagining for simplicity that her partner covers everything else.) As soon as Alice gets paid, she
- inputs the income as a transaction, giving her £1000 available to budget
- budgets £750 into rent for that month
- budgets £100 into groceries for that month
- budgets £100 into groceries for next month.

If she then spends £80 on groceries, it'll show her she has £20 left in the groceries envelope for the month - after all, she needs to eat in the first half of next month too, so she can't spend the whole £200 this month! At the end of the month, YNAB automatically takes all the money out of the envelopes for the month that just ended, and puts them in the corresponding envelopes for the new month. So if she doesn't spend anything else until the new month rolls around, she'll then find she has £120 available - the £20 rolls over, and the £100 already budgeted for the new month now becomes available.

She also still has £50 available to budget, which she could put wherever she wants. For example, she could put it in a holiday budget, where it'll sit and roll over every month (hopefully being added to more and more!) until there's enough in there to take a holiday. One thing that's critical to remember, though, is that if you have predictable future expenses, you really ought to budget for them on an ongoing basis. So if you pay £300 a year for car insurance, for example, you really want to be allocating £25 to the car insurance budget every month, rather than finding the full £300 out of that month's pay.

HairsprayQueen Wed 14-Jun-17 10:47:53

Ok, let me make sure I've got this right in my head.

On Friday when we get paid I need to allocate all the June stuff in my June spreadsheet which is fine for the mortgage etc which comes out straight after payday.

But for the food I really need to allocate £100 to June's spreadsheet and then click through to July's at the top and allocate £100 there too?

If that's the case that might be what I've been doing wrong.

But things like my fun money- I have no idea how much of that I'll use and no set way I need to split it, it's an as and when spend- so shall I just chuck it all in June's budget?

Thanks for all the help here, I'm desperate to crack my budgeting and get this!

lougle Wed 14-Jun-17 11:19:20

If you listen to the first rule in YNAB, it's "Give every £1 ($1, because they're American) a job". The underlying question you have to ask yourself to be able to do that is What does this money have to do until I next get paid?

If you get paid 3/4 through the month, you have two choices. If you're very disciplined and can cope with mentally chunking your money, you can let it sit in June with a high balance until it rolls over to July. For example, if your rent is paid on the 1st of each month, then on 15th June, your rent balance would be, say £800 in credit and stay that way until 1st July. The alternative would be to have nothing budgeted for June and budget £800 for July.

Giving groceries as another example, your choice is to do as ThePants suggests and split your funds into June and July budgets, then if you overspend June you'd have to reduce July and credit June. The alternative is to lump it all in June, but realising that you can't blow it all in the last two weeks of June, because you need to buy groceries in the first two weeks of July, too, before you get paid again.

But if you were concerned about your grocery spending, you could choose to split it into further categories and give yourself a weekly budget, so you'd have a category for week 1 groceries, week 2 groceries, week 3 groceries, week 4 groceries (and week 5 groceries for long months) - that's the beauty of YNAB - you could even break down wine spending and meat spending. Makeup and beer. There is nothing stopping you except the amount of time you have to enter the detail from your receipts.

lornathewizzard Wed 14-Jun-17 11:58:31

Ah Lougle that's useful for me, I was thinking I needed to break food shopping into weekly budgets because invariably I overspend here and there and then forget about it, and then like this month have to use the savings for the last week of the month. The more control the better for me I think

ThePants999 Wed 14-Jun-17 12:26:35

What makes it much easier is if you can get slightly ahead of your paycheque - if you can survive up to the end of June without any of the money you get paid in June, you can allocate all of June's salary to July budgets and not worry about how you split it between months!

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