Future Budgets

Ok, so I am very new to this. I have just learned how to import my accounts via file transfer, and now I am learning (and relearning) about how the budget works. I have deleted it 3 times lol. I read that I can create future recurring payments. So for instance I have a calendar app in my phone that I can see when my bills come out on what day which I like so that I don't forget stuff, but if I enter that in YNAB is that spending money I don't have in there yet? Also, I need this budget to get myself out of using overdraft all the time-which I am technically starting with a negative balance.  I am confused about this because I thought I should add what my income is every month and what my bills are every month to get a picture of what my ingoing and outgoing is. What should I do here?

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  • I am also wondering if I work with the immediate expenses when I get paid, and then the true expenses are for the monthly recurring ones?

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  • Transactions with future dates are considered "scheduled."  They won't impact your balances, and when the date arrives, you'll receive a notification from YNAB that asks you to confirm the transaction.

    If you have an upcoming scheduled transaction in a category (e.g. "Phone Bill") but haven't budgeted enough money to cover that expense, YNAB will highlight the category with a yellow/orange warning.

    "True Expenses" are YNAB's way of describing expenses that might not occur on a regular (monthly) basis, but which you should still set aside money for. Examples might include car repairs and registration renewal, tax bills, or upcoming travel plans. Some of those expenses are absolutely mandatory -- just like paying your mortgage or rent -- and you should aim to have enough money set aside for them when they're due.  You might estimate the total annual cost of those things, and then commit to budgeting 1/12th of that cost each month.  The "Goals" feature in YNAB can help you stay on top of that.

    For more info, read the docs or take a class :)

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  • Hi Spring Green Drum !

    YNAB is a bit different from other budgeting programs you may have used in the past. Instead of plugging in the income you will have throughout the month, you use the account balance to tell YNAB what you currently have and you budget using only those funds.


    If your bank account is negative, you'll see that negative balance on the account in the sidebar, and you’ll have a red number at the top of the budget. There’s no money to budget. Not to worry, there’s a lot you can do. :)

    First, get organized and lay out all your expenses by making sure there’s a category for each of them. Then, track your spending. Since you don't have any funds, you won't be able to budget for that spending, but it will be okay! When you’re paid again and your account balance is positive, budget to cover any overspending. You’re basically doing some clean up on the budget, which will be empowering. If you can’t correct it all, don’t worry. Any overspending that’s not corrected this month will be subtracted from next month’s To be Budgeted number. 

    Continue to track your spending, repeating the steps above. Your goal is to have less and less red over time, until the overdraft is gone. Sometimes it takes a bit of time and work to break the cycle. Question your spending as you track and you’ll find places to cut. It’s important to only spend on your most critical expenses until the overdraft is gone, but seeing less red will let you know you’re making progress!

    Here’s a short video walking through how to manage this.

    If you have 20 minutes to dig in deeper, I would recommend signing up for our Break the Paycheck to Paycheck Cycle workshop. You can learn all about how to increase the time between when you earn money and when you spend it and get to see the budget live in action! :)

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  • Ok thank you that was very helpful! 

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