Not Understanding the basics

I'm still in the trial period and I have to say that I'm having a very hard time getting how this works.  I understand that you basically only allocate money you have to the budget categories and budget money as it comes in.  What I don't get is what to put in the Budgeted column.  For example, I get paid once more before most of my monthly bills are due, including my mortgage and utilities.  In the initial set up of the budget, I went down the line and entered the full amount due each month, which is how it was done in one of the workshops.  However, when I realized that I should only be budgeting for the money I have now, I reduced some of the categories by half if I was going to be paid once more before it's due.  So then budgeted amounts are not reflecting the true cost per month.  The next time I get paid, I need to remember add the remainder?  If that's the case, I need to remember how much each bill is because only a portion of it is showing.  

5replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • Yes, you have the right idea. If, at this time, you cannot fully budget the whole month, you can decide if you want to put all of your money in one or two (or however many you can) categories to fully budget them, or you can put half of your money into all of them. It's up to you. There are several ways you can go about remembering what you need to add later. You can write it right in the budget name, you can write it in the notes, you can create a goal for the category, you can (after the first month) use the "Budgeted Last Month" button to see what you previously did. Many people like to organize their budget in order of due dates, so that they can visually see what needs to get filled up first.

  • Thank you, Peppr2.  I like the Notes idea.  The Goals idea might work too.  I'll try both.

      • Peppr2
      • peppr2
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Khaki Network Personally, I favor using the goals, with some notes to help me remember long term plans. I set a goal for nearly every category. If you download the Chrome YNAB Toolkit, you can even add a column for goals, right next to your budget column, so you can see what you want to have in there every month. Very handy. The great thing with goals is that if you can get yourself far enough ahead that you have the money for next month saved before the first of the month, you can select all your categories and click the underfunded button, and you're all done. Setting up the goals can take a little time, because it can be confusing to know which goal for which category. I would recommend searching on YouTube and watching a few videos! But, you have time to get it all set up nicely, for now, you can just start funding what needs to be funded before your next paycheck.

  • Budgeted is only what you've added this month. The 3rd column -- Available -- is the one that needs to be large enough to support a given purchase. Your call if you split the budgeting across checks or have a set of categories for each check. I like the former as you do the exact same thing every time. (Process consistency reduces errors.)

    Putting the nominal budget entry (or per-check contribution) right in the category name makes it pretty quick to distribute your check when you get it. If you use Goals, that can be used to finish out a category if splitting. If you go the other way and fully fund a check-specific set of categories, grouping them makes it easy to apply the goal to the lot of them.

  • The best way -- both effort and clarity -- is to get to the point where you don't need to budget any of your paycheck's money in the current month's area. If that's the case, you can temporarily stash checks in a holding category, then budget all of next month all in one go. Ideally, this only takes a few clicks to fill in all your nominal budget values.

    The only problem is not everyone has enough money on hand right now to devote toward covering expenses between the first paycheck and the end of the month (allowing all checks to be budgeted in next month's area). In such cases, you can budget increasingly ahead (in next month's area), and you'll get there eventually.

Like Follow
  • 11 mths agoLast active
  • 5Replies
  • 61Views
  • 3 Following