Jump to content

You Need A Budget

  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Lees75

Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:41 AM


I noticed a lot of people mentioned in the other thread that they use this budgeting program- I just had a few questions....

Currently I track all my expenses through iXpenseit, which I love. But although it is awesome for tracking, it doesn't reall help me budget forward. I am hoping to combine my tracking with my actual forward planning- currently I transfer all my savings onto my mortgage and just have multiple tallies going in a Word document of how much is for Xmas, holidays, dishwasher saving, etc.

I Use my credit card for everything and then pay it off in full each month. How will this work on YNAB?
For example, currently I have cash, but I know it has already been spent on the credit card, if that makes sense.  

And when you start a new budget, how do you time it? It stresses me out even thinking about changing my system, even though I know it will benefit me long term.

#2 two_ones

Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:50 PM

Hi Lees75,

I have just spent this weekend setting up YNAB thanks to the recommendations in the other thread.

I don't have much advice at this stage, but I am similar to you in that I pay for most things on CC and make a payment once per fortnight, usually paying it all off in full (although recently, not all has been paid off hence my need to start a new budget!)

Similar to you I also had an excel spreadsheet going to keep track of the money I have set aside in ING for various things to save for e.g. holiday, baby #2 etc), which from what I can see I can now keep track on in YNAB.

So, to try and answer your CC question, here's how I think I will manage it. Others may be able to clarify, as I am very new to this!

The CC debt is a line item in my budget and when I set it up with the current balance it shows up in negative. I have allocated the remaining income for January to the various other categories and whatever left over goes towards bringing down that debt. For example, I have allocated $700 for January. Obviously the debt will increase as I make more purchases between now and the end of the month, but the actual payment I make to the CC should (hopefully) be $700 + the amounts of those other purchases.

From reading the YNAB forums, most people say you should ignore the day-to-day balance of your cash account (because it can be misleading when you buy majority of things on CC) and just go by looking at your budget, then it should all balance at the end of the month.

Hope that helps somewhat - will be able to update end of Jan and let you know how I went!

#3 two_ones

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:05 PM

Oh and I recommend starting at the start of a calendar month.

Being the middle of the month when I did it, I couldn't figure out why it was showing me as overspending initially, then I realised I was budgeting for things like phone and foxtel which I'd already paid earlier in the month.

#4 laridae

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:36 PM

I use it, but not in the way the makers of it say you should do it original.gif

They say start from a clean slate.  I imported all my transactions as far back as my bank allowed, so I could get a good idea of my history spending.

But how I set mine up:
First - set up all the budget accounts. So Savings account(s), credit card, cash.
Second, set up any non budget accounts - so mortages & loans.
Put starting balances as the current balance in these - you can always go back and change it if you import your history later.

Set up scheduled transactions.
So if you get paid regularly, set it as scheduled on the account they come out of.  Same with any regualr bills, eg power, rates, mortgage repayment (these as transfers to the non budget account), credit card repayments (guess it, you can up date it later).  These are your fixed costs that will happen on a regular basis and are therefore 'fixed'.   You can confirm these when you import your bank accounts later.

Enter (for at least the first month), all the scheduled transactions (use the tick box to select them and select 'enter in register now').

Now got to your budget screen.
Have a think about your major categories, eg I have Housing, Car, Dogs, Personal, Shared Costs.

Under Housing I have things like Electricity, Water, Rates, Maintenance & Repairs, Insurance, Repayments.
Car - Insurance, Petrol, Repayments, Extra Repayments, Licence, Registration, Maintenance & Repairs.
Dogs - Vet, Registration, Kennel Licence, Boarding
Personal (per person) - Miscellaneous, and other expenses that apply to only the one person.
Shared Costs - Micellaneous, Daycare, Groceries

Don't include a savings category at this point, wait until the budget is sorted first.

Most of these things you'll be able to enter a value in the budget directly - just by looking at past bills (and divide them to get a monthly value, eg a yearly bill, divide by 12, a quarterly bill, divide by 3).

Once you've got in all the fixed costs in your budget, 'take a look at the top where is says 'Income for Month', and budgeted for month, and you'll see how much you have left over for things like groceries.  Guess approximate values for the things you won't know exactly, but you'll want to make sure the budgeted for month is less than income for month.

If your Available to Budget is less than the Budgeted in Month value, then don't do a savings category yet, but if it is higher, then add one, for all the unallocated money each month.  If its lower, you are essentially living form paycheck to paycheck, so dont have savings yet.

Fróm there - I import my transactions from my acounts each week (or so), it auto matches with the scheduled transactions (check them though as it gets it wrong sometimes).  And give everything a category (or mark it as a transfer)
I enter the scheduled transactions into the register at least a month ahead (show the current balance column - its hidden by default), and check that the balences are above zero at all times (except credit card & loans, which is always negative), and change the entry for the credit card repayment value to the value I expect it to be on the date they send the statements (I pay mine in full every month).

I don't worry about cash too much - normally just mark withdrawals as 'miscellaneous'.  But if you work more in cash, you'll probably want to enter those transactions manually.

Oh, I keep my savings in my mortgage too, though I use it for yearly bills - I have a 'on budget' account of extra repayments - and I move all the extra repayments into this from my off budget mortgage account.  You could do the same with each thing you are saving for, just call it a seperate account (even though its not), and do 'transfers' into it.

Edited by laridae, 20 January 2013 - 08:43 PM.

#5 Lees75

Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:38 PM

Thanks everyone:)

I have spent most of the afternoon and evening setting it all up- totally love it!

#6 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:40 AM

I think I'll have to look up this program. I just use excell spreadsheets for now

#7 *cough*

Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:44 AM

I'm trying but I don't get it. It keeps telling me I am over budget!

#8 catmeow82

Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:47 PM

How do people deal with gift cards? We buy Coles and Woolworths gift cards through the Entertainment Book at 5% off. I was thinking of adding an account called Gift Cards, but was wondering if anybody else is in a similar situation?

#9 two_ones

Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:24 PM

QUOTE (catmeow82 @ 22/01/2013, 02:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How do people deal with gift cards? We buy Coles and Woolworths gift cards through the Entertainment Book at 5% off. I was thinking of adding an account called Gift Cards, but was wondering if anybody else is in a similar situation?

Perhaps you could enter the purchase of the gift card as a transaction (e.g outflow of $95 to buy a $100 gift card) and then add in the $100 as income? That would add in the extra $5 to your budget pool.

#10 Lees75

Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:48 AM

Just reporting back.. I have been doing it for 2 weeks and I love it!  It has given me the confidence to know that I wil be able to save for a trip to the USA next year:)

#11 fionah

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:41 AM

I have been using YNAB free trial for a week now. So simple to use, much easier then excel spreadsheets which I have tried before, but they never really helped me. Having the app available on both mine and hubby's iPhones are great. We both know exactly what is where at anytime and we can see which bill is coming next.
You don't need to start at the beginning of the month, as you can enter things in for March, but leave them out for February. I highly recommend their tutorials and daily email lesson. The tutorial was great for explaining how Credit cards work in YNAB and just basic setting up.
Give the free trial a go if you aren't sure. The app is free too.
Good luck everyone. I feel so much more positive about out financial future original.gif


#12 AnotherFeral

Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:33 AM

I'm using the free trial at the moment and it's good so far.
Previously I tried a phone app that was good but didn't have a desktop counterpart and it just got too awkward. I like being able to do the organising on the desktop but still have everything available on my phone.

#13 Green Gummy Bear

Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:46 AM

Either I'm not using the program properly, or I'm the only one who hates it.

#14 AnotherFeral

Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:03 PM

What do you hate about it?

#15 PurpleNess

Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:20 PM

Been using it for 2 months now & love it - although it's made us realise just how tight things are...but that was the whole point.
I love the rules - only spend what you have etc, however this month isn't going so well lol

#16 Green Gummy Bear

Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:09 PM

QUOTE (aratiaw @ 21/02/2013, 01:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What do you hate about it?

I just found it hard to forward plan

#17 laridae

Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:24 PM

QUOTE (justthegirls @ 21/02/2013, 02:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just found it hard to forward plan

What I do for forward planning is just enter all the known transactions as scheduled transactions.  Then add them a few months in advance so you know what the future will look like.

If you haven't already, make sure you show the 'running balance' column.  I think its hidden by default.

#18 Green Gummy Bear

Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:38 PM

QUOTE (laridae @ 21/02/2013, 02:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What I do for forward planning is just enter all the known transactions as scheduled transactions.  Then add them a few months in advance so you know what the future will look like.

If you haven't already, make sure you show the 'running balance' column.  I think its hidden by default.

My free trial has expired, and I just don't think I got enough out of it to justify purchasing it.

Glad to hear everyone else has a positive experience though.

#19 Runner5

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:31 AM

OMG...I read this thread yesterday and scuttled home to download the free trial...despite only having been using it for less than 24 hours I LOVE it and spent all evening listening to tutorials biggrin.gif  Assuming I can keep my ADHD brain focused on remembering to USE the program I think it's going to do brilliant things for us original.gif

#20 AnotherFeral

Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:40 PM

Yeah, it's the best thing out of the various software and spreadsheets I've tried.
I was browsing the forums and read a bit about previous versions, or rather, newly added features in version 4. It seems like they made some big improvements. Having the phone app just makes it so much more useable.

#21 nicethel

Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:06 PM

My trial has now expired, pity as I really liked it.  I just cant justify spending the money.  It showed me that we really dont have $60 to spend on it!!LOL

#22 AnotherFeral

Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:39 PM

QUOTE (nicethel @ 03/03/2013, 02:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My trial has now expired, pity as I really liked it.  I just cant justify spending the money.  It showed me that we really dont have $60 to spend on it!!LOL

As the maker himself says, you can still use the YNAB principles to budget, even if you're not using the actual YNAB software. If you have the time, you could build a spreadsheet that works in a similar fashion.
I'm finding there are some features missing, but I think I'll probably purchase a licence anyway, as the benefits are outweighing the negatives for me. I'm not inclined to spend heaps of time building a DIY version, but if I were, I'd still be missing the mobile app.

#23 laridae

Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:05 PM

If anyone wants a licence code for v3 of YNAB (v4 is the current version) - PM me your email address.

YNAB are letting everyone who bought v3 and has since bought v4 gift their v3 licence to someone else.

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


9 things I need to thank my parents for

You really don't realise everything your parents did for you until you find yourself doing them for your own children ... vomit catching and all.

The adventurous baby who's already putting safety first

When you're a baby, even getting off a bed and onto the floor can be a tricky procedure.

The story behind the love video that went viral

It is a quiet video, less than a half-minute long. It features no flourishes to speak of. It has no kittens doing kitten things. None of the things that often make a video go viral.

Anthony and Elle Watmough's joyous news as baby cleared of fatal condition

Rugby league star Anthony Watmough and his wife Elle have shared their joy at learning their unborn baby, who was thought to have Trisomy 18, was cleared of the fatal condition.

Win a family farmstay with Shaun the Sheep

To celebrate the Home Entertainment release of Shaun the Sheep Movie, Essential Kids and Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are offering one winner and their family a holiday to a farm.

How I learnt to be a better friend

I may have lost that particular friend years ago, but I have gained so much from that experience.

What goes in the nappy bag?

It's far more than just a bag for nappies - it's the travel companion for your baby that should contain all the things you might need when away from home base.

The nature naming trend

The biggest joy of our daughter's name is that people really light up when they hear it (pun intended).

Win a Justine Clarke Pyjama Jam! prize pack

The Pyjama Jam! tour will see Justine Clarke returning to more intimate venues around Australia, creating the perfect comfy and cozy atmosphere for a PJ party.

Parents of baby born without part of his skull stand up to critics

When Brittany and Brandon Buell's son Jaxon was born missing much of his brain and skull, doctors said he only had days to live.

Baby plans are 'none of your business'

Emily Bingham had been asked about her baby making plans one too many times. 

Diet shakes to lose weight? Think again

Thinking of investing in meal replacement shakes to slim down ahead of summer?

Study offers support for cancer treatment during pregnancy

It is among the most delicate and difficult dilemmas in medicine: Should a pregnant woman who has received a cancer diagnosis begin treatment before her child is born?

Awards 2015: Vote now for a chance to win $2000

Vote for your favourite pregnancy, baby and toddler products for your chance to win your share of $2500 in cash prizes.

64 baby names based in nature

Looking for a baby name with a nod to nature, or one with an organic meaning? Check out our list to get inspired.

What coffee does to your body

That cup of Joe is just the boost your body needs.

Mum leaves triplets at hospital because she can't afford them

An illiterate and poverty stricken mother has abandoned her newborn triplets at hospital because she cannot afford to care for them.

I gave my daughter up for adoption - then tried to be her mum

The first time my oldest daughter called me 'Mum', she was 17.

Rainbow Babies lighting up the internet

A recent Facebook photo post is prompting widespread discussion of an emotional topic for many parents: rainbow babies.

The new wave of virgins giving birth

Dozens of young women have had virgin births after undergoing IVF in Britain, it has been reported.

'It sort of became an addiction': parents buying, reselling Bonds Wondersuits

Your baby might be crawling around in hundreds of dollars worth of clothing.

Adjusting your child to daylight savings time

A one-hour difference to the day is pretty big deal when you're little.

Born too soon: life on the margins of existence

The frontiers of life are advancing ever further into uncharted territory.


What's hot on EB

Stella McCartney honours mum with lacy bra

Fashion designer Stella McCartney has honoured her late mum, Linda McCartney, by designing a special bra for post-mastectomy patients.

Don't panic: A granddad midwife's guide for dads-to-be

Mark Harris has helped deliver 500 babies. And he's now telling fathers what to expect.

How to be a calm parent when you're feeling anything but

Being a calm parent takes a lot of work, sometimes more than is obvious to those around us.

The joy and isolation of being a stay-at-home dad

It's cool, kind of like a second childhood. I love him to bits and think, on average, I'm an okay dad. But I also want to talk about the other stuff.

How baby Teddy's short life is helping save thousands of lives

He may have only lived for 100 minutes, but that didn't stop baby Teddy from saving the lives of others.

A heartbreaking trail of missed chances in death of baby forgotten in car

A haunting reminder to stay mindful about babies in cars, especially as we approach summer.

What to do if your baby has tongue-tie

Tongue-tie can cause feeding problems. However once it is diagnosed, the condition can be easily treated.

How to move house without losing your mind

Some people move frequently, while others like to stay put. But everyone finds it stressful.

'She had nowhere to go': how new mum's life began to unravel

The birth of her first child should have been happiest of times for Campsie mother Phuong Cao, but friends say it marked the beginning of when her life began to unravel. 

Women giving birth to a son keep some of his Y chromosomes

It was an experiment doomed to failure - they were looking for male cells in female bodies. And their search was stunningly successful.

Photos: How babies fit in the womb

A gorgeous photo series shows babies in the first hours after their birth - as they were positioned in the womb.

Baby tries to persuade stubborn bulldog to walk, fails

We don't know what he's saying, but this baby has a very clear message for his bulldog pal: let's walk - NOW.

The best toddler gift ever? Nine gender-neutral play kitchen picks

Without a doubt, one of the best gifts for a toddler turning two or three is a play kitchen.

9 easy steps to improve your baby photography

With a few simple tips you can take your images from random happy snaps to lovely clean images that create beautiful lasting memories.



What are your favourite baby products?

The Essential Baby Awards are on now, and we need your help! Have your say on your top picks and you'll go in the draw to win a share of $2500.

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.