Budget in advance

I am a novice to this and I want to set up a fresh budget for March, how do that with my paychecks (inflow) and my bills and expenses (outflow). I’m not understanding how to take my entire month of March income as the to be budget bucket. 

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  • So, when you receive your pay cheque, you will enter it as a transaction and put the category of To Be Budgeted (TBB). Then, you put the amount in the budgeted column for each of your categories. Keep doing that until you have no more money in TBB. When you get your next cheque, repeat. 

    One thing that is different with YNAB is that you do not budget any money you do not yet have. You only budget the money you have to cover expenses/savings that you have before you get paid again. I would also do a search on Income for Next Month as you become more comfortable.

  • YNAB is a zero based budget. You should not budget money you have not yet received. You start with the money you have right now, today. You make a plan for that money. What does it have to do before you receive your next pay check? Allocate money to those categories. If there is still money left in your To Be Budgeted, start thinking more long term: insurance bill due in 6 months, dad’s birthday in September, house down payment, etc. But once your To Be Budgeted hits zero you must stop budgeting. 

  • Everyone here is right on! You'll make a plan with the dollars you have on day one of your budget. Then, as new inflows come in, you'll give those dollars jobs, too.

    You can also make a clearer plan for your future inflows/outflows using goals and scheduled transactions to set up a budget template. Feel free to peruse those resources and let us know what other questions they might create!

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