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.

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  • 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. 

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      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 11 mths ago
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      • Reported - view

      WordTenor I was just going to tag you to post your great explanation of the minimal importance of calendar months in YNAB :).

      Like 1
      • WordTenor
      • Can we agree that goals are dumb and immature? Sure.
      • WordTenor
      • 11 mths ago
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      Annieland 😁

      OP, this is the post referred to: https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/83htptm?r=p8htptk

      Like 1
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view
      WordTenor said:
      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.

      Did you mean the category is funded with money received in the *previous month*? This would necessarily happen after budgeting for the 25th of this month to 31st of next month with the *current* check. 

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      • WordTenor
      • Can we agree that goals are dumb and immature? Sure.
      • WordTenor
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Two different standing points in time, perhaps?  If you’re holding a new check on the 25th of month N, the best thing is for the 25th to the 31st to be funded with money from the check received in month N-1, the previous check. 

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor Oh, you meant use startup capital to fund Jan. 25-Jan. 31, allowing the Jan. 25 check to go toward Feb. in its entirety. Yes, that's the better option. (My mistake, I took your statement of "25th-31st" to mean ~37 days, rather than 7 days.)

      OP, if that's not an option, the Jan. 25th check can hopefully cover from Jan. 25 - Feb. 28. That lets the Feb. 25 check cover all of March.

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  • 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! 

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