no way to budget weekly?

So there's just no way to set up a weekly contribution plan in YNAB? 

Ex., I have a bill next month for $200, and I want to budget $50 a week each paycheck. 

But, I just have to remember to look at the individual item, and then I have to remember that I was breaking the TOTAL monthly amount I budgeted into WEEKLY equal payments? 

If there is any feature that is going to make me quit this, it's this one, aside from the having credit card returns screw up the budget as well...

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  • It's not an elegant solution, but it works for me.  In the category name I put the amount and how often I want to pay it.  Ex.  Water Bill (50$/wk)  

    Like 3
    • Silver Robot oh right I saw someone did that in a video, I don't like it but I guess it could work.  Thanks!

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  • You can look at paying certain groups of categories in full with each pay. So you could have 4 groups, 1 for each week (as majority of months will have 4 pay weeks).  For example

    week 1, could cover Electricity, 
    week 2, insurances and internet

    week 3 car loan

    week 4 savings/debt pay down

    We are paid fortnightly, other than daily expenses like groceries, I use one pay to fill some categories for the month, then the next pay to fill the remaining. I use the goals function to help me with those.

    Like 1
    • Astrid that's worth looking at, my bills are quite varied in magnitude, though. For example health insurance is $1100 a month, so it's hard to lump that all into one week.  Unless there is some kind of moronic device like putting the $$ in the name, I would still have to go through every single orange category to see what still needs funding... But for some items at least, that could work. 

      Like 1
  • Hi Alice Blue Mare !

    Both of the suggestions above are great ideas! Once you have a Goal in place for your monthly amount needed, you should budget towards that category as you have funds. If that's $50 a week, you can add a reminder in the name of the category or in the notes section, but you can also add extra or budget in advance if you have more funds available. :)

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  • The other answer is to get buffered. Get a month ahead (a true month ahead, not just with fat true expense categories that you will. We'd later) and you can budget the whole $200 at once. 

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      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      *that you will raid later

      (I have adventures with Speech-to-text with my Michigan accent) 

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  • Yeah I always hate it when someone talks about "get buffered" that's YEARS away for some of us...

    Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Alice Blue Mare How long it takes depends on your priorities.

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      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 2 yrs ago
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        Alice Blue Mare  when I started using YNAB, I was a graduate student working two part time jobs to supplement my stipend and making around $25,000 a year in a place where my rent was $1500/month. I was able to get buffered at my  first three-paycheck month. That happened to be 54 days.

      If you are putting dribs and drabs at the buffer, yes, it will take a long time. But if it's a major priority, you will get there quickly. They used to have statistics about it, and I believe the average was 8 months. If you are paid weekly or biweekly, the most it should take is a year due to extra paychecks. Drop your spending by 10% per month and you'll be buffered in 10 months.

      If you want it, get after it. If you don't want it, don't worry about it. But then don't be surprised if people who wanted it point out that a bunch of other problems are solved when you have a buffer. 

      Like 4
      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Alice Blue Mare Another, more comforting piece is as you begin to get buffered, you will feel breathing room open up in your finances. Your checking account will get fatter and your goals will stop feeling like they are “years away." I recommend not throwing your hands in the air and saying it's hopeless because the hope comes from starting to do it. You can do it. We all did, and many of us did it with very limited means. 

      Like 4
    • nolesrule yeah as well as how much money I am able to earn and how much debt I am in. 

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
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      Alice Blue Mare The reason I said "depends on your priorities" is that some people have chosen to put buffering ahead of paying off debt. Some people chose to skip some of their "wants" spending to accomplish it. Those choices define their priorities.

      There isn't really a right or wrong answer except in some of the most obvious cases.

      Like 1
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 2
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      Alice Blue Mare 

      I am one who chose to buffer while broke, in debt, and financially stupid (for lack of a better word). I just got so tired of trying to time my spending and bill payments and debt paydown and true expenses savings with my shifting paycheques (and getting it wrong way too many times). I had one of those "I've had it!" moments when I was faced with the choice of not paying a utility bill or not buying groceries. This was before I found YNAB and I called it getting a month ahead of my bills.  My method was to pay the least I could on all my essentials and spend nothing at all on all my discretionary categories until I was a month ahead of my income. I was motivated, so it really didn't take me that long.  I had a take-home income of around $2,200/month at the time.  You'd have to rip my buffer out of my cold dead hands.  It altered my perspective. It gave me breathing room timewise. I found it so much easier to assign my funds to an entire month of spending on a plan and then executing that plan.

      Edited to add:  when I say financially stupid, I meant me. I was being financially stupid at the time. I wouldn't want anyone to misinterpret my words and read into them that I am judging others. 🙂

      Like 2
  • I KNOW about "get buffered". I grasp that most if not all people o n YNAB are here to do that. 

    Because it actually *is* years away, that's why it's not helpful to just say "get buffered" whenever someone has a question like mine. You literally have no idea what my financial situation is. Ten months is laughable. 

    Like 1
  • I always found my best successes came from listening to people who had been where I'd been instead of assuming my situation was so unique that no one else's  experiences apply. Good luck to you on your financial journey.

    Like 2
      • Vi S.
      • what's your vision?
      • moonlitblue93
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor I have to say you're not providing a solution which works for OP. You are just telling OP to "work harder." Every innovation in history has been to solve problems where previously working "harder" isn't going to cut it. OP's problem fits perfectly. There needs to be some re-arrangement of his numbers to help him get buffered. YNAB is as such an innovation, for example. Before YNAB, I was told simply to use paper and pencil or Excel spreadsheet budgeting, and that if I really wanted to keep track of my finances, I just had to drudge through it. But no, there's a place here for YNAB and it's solve a problem for me. You are not providing the OP a solution.

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      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Vi S. The OP's problem is "How do I solve the problem of needing to remember to budget $X weekly." The canonical YNAB solution to that problem is, "Get a month ahead."  In fact, that's not only the answer, it's the explanation for why there are no tools to assist with budgeting weekly--if you're budgeting $200 outflows one week at a time, they want you to see that you need to get out of that position. In the meantime, there are a few workarounds, but if your pay cycles are wreaking havoc on your ability to see your financial picture, getting buffered is the most freeing solution.

      Yeah, it's really hard. But it's not just "work harder." It is specifically, reduce your outflows however you can and use that reduction to give yourself breathing room. This is something anyone can do. Many of us did it when we were broke, in debt, and feeling scared about our ability to make ends meet. The security it gives is so worth it that we feel compelled to tell everyone to try it. 

      Like 3
  • Here's a thought on how to budget weekly, sort of.

     

    Create a weekly recurring transaction for $50, and set the budget category to the bill you're trying to pay.

    When you get your actual paychecks, make sure to reduce them by the number of weeks passed since you were paid last, x$50.  You'll have multiple transactions per paycheck, and you'll have to make sure you wind up with the correct total.  Or else you'll think you have more money than you really do.

     

    Doing this, your $50 will pop right over into that budget category each week, no sweat.  When you pay the full $200, it will be sitting there waiting for you.  If you need to move it to TBB, just put a negative dollar figure in the category to  send it there.  But then keep in mind that until you replace the negative manually, you won't have enough for your bill.

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