Start Budget on 25th of Each Month?
I am new to YNAB and would like to know how to have my budget start on the 25th of each month (when I get paid). Budgeting by the new month does not work for me and I was upset when I saw my budget started over yesterday! How can I set it up for custom dates? Thank you.
Look very carefully--your budget did not start over yesterday.
The "budgeted" and "activity" columns are actually not the important part of YNAB. The "available" column is the one which matters. All the other two columns do is show how much you put in, and how much you've taken out for each category in the current month.
So if you are paid on the 25th, you budget on the 25th for everything your paycheck needs to do between that paycheck and the next one. The month flips, meh, whatever. Your available amounts are still the same. You go on spending, using your budget as your guide. Then, when you are paid on the 25th, you budget again.
In that scenario, the "budgeted" column will be empty most of the month. And that's fine. All it reflects is that you did not have any new money to budget after the first of the month.
The advanced move here is to fund the 25th-31st using money from the previous check, so that your month and your budgeting process are aligned. But it's important first to understand that the "budgeted" column doesn't tell you what your "budget" (aka your spending limit) is. "Available" is the column which matters for decision-making.
Hey Jenna - welcome to YNAB! I love what WordTenor has to say on this, and they're exactly right. The most important question is "what does this money need to do for me before I'm paid again?" I also really love this video where Hannah walks through budgeting on any pay schedule. I hope this helps!