How long until you've got this running smoothly?

I'm a relatively new at YNAB- how long until you get this running smoothly? I'm starting my 3rd month and still not feeling  confident even with the videos and all the help provided.  I need to keep adjusting everything and keep second guessing myself. 

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  • Your budget will definitely still be in flux in the third month—lots of moving money between categories as you zero in on your actual spending patterns. If you have any questions about particular YNAB functions (credit cards? should I link accounts or do manual entry or both? how do I use tracking accounts? etc), feel free to ask!

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    • Peter
    • Professional Designer, Web Developer
    • lasty
    • 11 mths ago
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    I was about 4 or 5 months in before I started to get the feeling I got this. In the beginning there are lots of small things you might have forgotten or misjudged. In your next budget meeting just sit back, look at the past three months and see if there are any things you may need to change more permanently, for example if you're always overspending on groceries maybe you were not telling yourself the truth when you have budgeted in the past months.

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  • It's been too long for me to remember. But it will happen. Especially if you stay active on the forums and make sure you're doing everything correctly. Eventually, it will get boring. :)

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  • 45 minutes to understand, 1 week to get my budget in a place where I was happy. The method just clicked for me instantly. I had no consumer debt, just mortgage and student loans that were well within my budget. I was also well aware of pretty much exactly where all my money was going even before I started YNAB. Inertia made me wait about a month before I closed all my extra savings accounts (ie I had about 6 savings accounts at one bank, one for car replacement, one for X, one for Y). I still have multiple savings accounts, but that's about maximizing interest.

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 11 mths ago
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      jenmas Ok, now you're just showing off! 😄

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 11 mths ago
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      • Reported - view

      Superbone - yes, but I mention it because if everyone is saying that it takes them 3-6 months to get it, and someone else gets it right away, I don't want them to get anxious that maybe they're missing something because they weren't angsting over it. A lot of it just depends on where you are in your financial journey. I was in a period of my life where my expenses were limited and extremely easy to deal with so diving into the system was NBD.

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 11 mths ago
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      jenmas said:
      A lot of it just depends on where you are in your financial journey.

      Exactly. When I came to YNAB, I had never learned how to budget well. I had tried traditional budgets and had used Quicken for many years but it had never worked out very well. I had never thought of "true expenses" before and how to make that work in a budget so I was constantly getting hit with surprises and could never build any savings. So you and I came to YNAB in pretty much opposite directions. But it did click pretty quickly and finally I had a budgeting system that made sense. But I admit, it took awhile for me to become comfortable with it and the nuances. 

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