Terrifiled to spend any money

Is it just me but YNAB leaves me terrified to spend to much money?

In someways it's a good thing as it controls my spenidng habbits.

However it makes forcasting planning almost impossible.


If I want to do a What If Calculating for example for a planned holiday I'm not sure how I could ever do this.

I've always tried to run my finnaces like a Business and I don't know any businesses that  purely run on a budget.  

Are their any applications that run along side YNAB that allow forcasting? ( I suspect I may have to use another application long term) or use a Spreadsheet. 

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  • I think a spreadsheet or Google sheet is your best bet for a forecast. It's not really part of YNAB to truly forecast. I mean, you could enter future transactions and see the shortfall in the budget, but that's about it. 

    Like 2
  • I've been able to do a lot of planning & even forecasting in YNAB itself.

    When I planned for a vacation I had saved up a good chunk of what I needed before I decided on my trip. Then when I knew more of what I was doing I set up a new category group with categories for the different things I would need (travel, food, hotel, souvenirs) and moved the money into those categories as I figured out how much I was likely to need. I moved it around some as some things were more than expected & others less.

    When I first thought about buying a house I created a new budget in YNAB and started playing around with what my expenses would be like after the move to see how much I could realistically afford to purchase on my income. I saved up interest until I had enough for a down payment on a house that was under that amount.

    When I'm thinking about adding a new expense or an existing one is changing, rearranging the money in my other categories is what helps me figure out if I can do it or not.

    If I know an expense will happen in the future & have an idea of when & how much I set up a Target balance by date goal to save for it, and if it's unknown (like a major car repair) I save up as much as I can to build that category up.

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  • Sky Blue Hail said:
    Is it just me but YNAB leaves me terrified to spend to much money?

     Is this your first time using an envelope based budgeting system? If so, that's very understandable. 

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  • speaking as a CFO...a forecast is just another iteration of a budget, updated with more recent information.

    •  Louie lol really? when I have done a Cashflow Forcast in Excel it shows 12 months typically.  The problem with YNAB is that correct me if im wrong they only want you to budget what you currently have not what you will have in 12 months.  Which is precsily where a cashflow forcast can come in. 

      • Louie
      • YNAB Newbie
      • Louie
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Sky Blue Hail Well, a 12 month forecast isn't likely to have much value until you get a number of months of YNAB under your belt and get a solid understanding of your unexpected expenses and your long term expenses that don't hit every month. Otherwise you will get stuck doing a lot of variance analysis to determine where your forecast went wrong. The way I would recommend to track / plan for a holiday is to use goals, not necessarily budget. In my mind, the way YNAB uses the word budget is misleading. Budget in YNAB speak is assigning a job to every dollar, which you can change on the fly as conditions change. It is NOT an inviolable spending target that must be hit. The key is not to relentlessly stick to your budget as much as it is to determine your real priorities for your money. My wife and I set a budget each time I get paid (2x a month), and that budget typically doesn't last more than a couple of days before something unexpected pops up. Then we huddle, determine our new priorities and adjust our budget as needed. Sometimes we decide that our priority is to not spend the money, and sometimes we decide it is a priority to make an unplanned expenditure. And if I have to pull money out of a sinking fund, a savings buffer, or savings for an upcoming vacation, then so be it. The key is to make informed spending decisions that fully align with your priorities/values, and not to just spend blindly because the money is sitting there without an assigned job.

      Like 3
  • I felt this way in the beginning.  It takes some time to realise that YNAB is made to fit around you and your needs, not the other way around.

    I also felt like I had to make progress and spending felt counterintuitive to that goal.  This is pressure I put on myself.  I see the benefits of it now but given another start I might have eased up slightly.

    If you want to plan a holiday you could make a goal.  When I make a goal, I get estimates, factor in some things I can't guess and there's my target value which I place against my target date.  Now I know how much to save each month.  If my current budget doesn't have enough flex for the monthly saving amount I either need to reconfigure my $ value (e.g. by finding cheaper options) or reset my target date (e.g. take a summer holiday at the end of the season, instead the beginning thereby giving myself a couple of extra months to save).  At the point of spending I might need to WAM but if I've done my groundwork well, it won't wreak havoc on my budget.

    I think of forecasting as 'wishing'.  I wish to have this much at this date.

    I think of budgeting as making a plan.  I plan to have this much at this date.

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