YNAB thinks like I do, and other victories
YNAB thinks like I do
It was a victory just agreeing to pay for a budgeting tool. I've been spreadsheeting it for the last year and am always missing a transaction here or there... Error Some Place reconciliation was the norm. I love the double-entry accounting with CCs which was one step further than I was willing to pull off in my spreadsheet. And categories are so easy now, I don't worry about them anymore.
The only difference in how I've thought about budgets is that I liked to have a set monthly budget funding goal for every category and want to make this-month-only adjustments to the balances. I think the simplification in YNAB is worth how clean the UI is though.
I'm now one month ahead
I remember when I first started spreadsheeting that we were consistently spending the next paycheck's money upfront. I got tired of it and moved it to being one paycheck ahead (get paid on the 30th/31st, pay the mortgage the next day). It was frankly hard to track. With YNAB, it's all there and it's all clear, so it was very easy to just slide the money over and make it real!
Every dollar has a real job
I got rid of this hokey "Big Projects" category that stood in for savings. It was not a true budget item per se, but sopped up all the leftover dollars that were not already budgeted away. And no matter how hard I tried to reconcile that category with what YNAB told me, I was thousands of dollars off on the amount. I could have gotten into some trouble. Now that it's easy to make and move categories, I've started a Wish Farm with real wishes! And I found I can increase my contributions to investments.
Online savings account FTW
Yeah, I was making less than 0.25% interest on all the idling cash I had. I was able to see that clearly and opened 1%+ and 2%+ savings accounts to more than octuple my interest earning rate!