Brand new to ynab

I’ve seen the vids on getting started.  Exciting times


hypothetical.  I get paid on April 30.  And my wife does too.  Now we know what’s in accounts to assign to categories.   But also know we’ll get paid again mid-may.  Are we assigning to only categories for first 2 weeks of may?   Otherwise it could be bleak assigning all current $ to every single category- at least in beginning of budget process.  

still wrapping head around say saving for furniture at $1000 for entire mth.  Do i actually assign that category $500 until i get paid again in middle of May?

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  • You are assigning money based on your priorities. If the money you receive on April 30 is only enough to fund you through the first 2 weeks of May, then yes, you are only assigning funds to categories for the first 2 weeks of May.

    If you are going to assign the funds in your To Be Budgeted (TBB), you only assign until that number hits zero. Then you stop budgeting. I personally only budget once a month at the end of the month and that is to cover the entire next month. But that's because I am a month ahead in the classic terminology of YNAB - my May budget was 100% funded by the 2 paychecks I received in April - this includes regular expenses like mortgage and groceries, future expenses like monthly allocation to "unfixed" Christmas and vacation categories, planned future expenses like car insurance, wealth building like my monthly "contribution" to my taxable investments, planning for big purchases like a new car in 10 years, etc (I have about 70 categories, 90% of which get the same allocation every single month).

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      • YNAB mj
      • Cornflower_Blue_Android.15
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      yes.  I can see ultimate goal is to budget ahead using money from last month.   Just seems right now taking into account current balances ( don’t have next paycheck yet in there) and allocation to all categories now seems inaccurate or maybe- scary.  Lol

      70 categories?  Goodness.  


      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 10 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      YNAB mj It's the classic "What does this money have to do before I get paid again?"  I hated being in that spot for a long time too, but you can eventually get out of it with good habits, don't worry.  I'm usually working with 80-90 categories, and I promise you, it isn't weird.  And I don't even consider myself that granular.  I have one "Gifts" category, one "Holidays" category, one "Entertainment" category.  But as you get used to YNAB and what your savings priorities are, or what kind of life happens (I now have a Legal category, a Car Payment category, and a Landlord Insurance category) you will see them grow, and sometimes contract (No more Child Care category!).  Flexibility is key!

      Like 2
  • YNAB is quite eye-opening in that it quickly identifies the people with fixed income that are living paycheck-to-paycheck.  The YNAB method requires that you only budget dollars in your possession right now.  This leads to the sometimes uncomfortable realization that you can't budget ("budget" in the traditional sense) for an entire month at this time like you thought you could pre-YNAB.

    Some new users have the luxury of moving funds earmarked for savings (perhaps a new home, car, furniture, etc) and treating it as income in order to be able to budget the entire month all at once.  For those without that capital, the only option is budgeting the month in two phases as each set of income is received.  There are various posts on the forum detailing approaches to make budgeting process around multiple income events easier.

    Like 2
  • That's exactly what I did - after not reading through everything carefully and mistakenly trying to incorporate my future income in my budget 😅.

    I used part of my 'Emergency Fund' (which I actually used in the past to fill in the gaps in my non-existing budget) to totally fill all categories for a full month. Of course I was a little optimistic and a little pessimistic in some categories, but overall (one more day to go this month) I currently have €250.00 left over. Incredible, because before I started budgeting I pretty much always spent just a little more than I earned.

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