Stressed about starting

Hey all,

I started YNAB fairly recently and am having issues setting everything up without getting stressed out. I don't know if it is my mindset that is hindering me but I get through the category setup and start allocating my money to be budgeted, and start stressing out about all of the different things that I should be considering (eg. student loan payments and proper budgeting for that, using a credit card for nearly all expenses and properly budgeting using YNAB, etc.). 

I've gone through a couple webinars and feel like I have an okay understanding of everything but when I try to get started, I progress for an hour or two and then get really anxious and stressed out.

I've done some basic searching but are there any walkthrough's of getting started? Any advice is truly appreciated.

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  • Hi Tomato Clarinet !

    We want YNAB to help get rid of that stress, not add to it! :)

    While dealing with finances can mean having a lot of moving parts, having a plan in place makes things more manageable. Yes, student loans are a part of the financial picture, but you can create a category for them and thus a plan to tackle them when the time is right.

    When you have a moment, take a look at How to Create a Budget Template. This will help you get everything set up. A budget is always a work in progress, so don't stress too much - if something happens or you leave out a category, you can always adjust for it later. Keep the YNAB rules in mind - especially Rule Three: Roll With the Punches. :)

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    • Faness Thank you! I happened to stumble upon it after I posted this and am working through the steps as it shows. Even this page has gotten me a little more comfortable and I modeled my budget after it, with some slight changes to fit my personal needs. I think the biggest thing will be to learn to roll with the punches, which I suspect will happen naturally the more I use this app. 

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  • You are not alone! You're letting the perfect be the enemy of the good - and YNAB even has a rule to deal with that. Just roll with the punches! My budget changed SO much in the first month... And it's still changing.

    I know this fear very intimately, so I don't offer this advice nonchalantly. If nothing else, ask yourself - can making the wrong budgeting decision really be worse than not budgeting at all?

    And if all else fails, comb through your account statements for the last three months to figure out averages. 

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    • Kombucha Kid Thank you! You are absolutely right in rolling with the punches. It can be a bit stress-inducing but I am sure like most things, it will get easier with practice and time. 

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      • lindsay_g
      • Beige_Banjo.3
      • 1 yr ago
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      • Reported - view

      Tomato Clarinet I’m still only a few months in. It took 6-8 weeks to feel the categories were right. Now as a result of the 34 Day Challenge I just had a bit of an overhaul again.

      You simply can’t get it all right first time, so don’t stress when you don’t.

      Every few days, as life happens, you’ll find yourself saying things like “oooh, haircuts!”, or “reading glasses?”, or “engine oil!!!!” And then you’ll scurry off to change your goal amounts, or add categories. 

      I’m enjoying it actually. I experience it as the feeling of winning back control.

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  • Tomato Clarinet said:
    but I am sure like most things, it will get easier with practice and time. 

    Yes.  It gets much easier.  Plus, your situation gets better with time and awareness.  There was  lot of shifting and adjusting in my first few months. It took me a whole year to get my categories "just right".  Most of my starting categories had zero in them for the first few months, at least 17 of the initial 27 categories. It's actually taken me four years to get to the point of being able to allocate monthly money in the last couple.  Hooray, January, 2019!  So, what did I do to celebrate? I added a new category that I can't fund just yet.  😄

    Along the way I learned about my priorities and making decisions.  I might have initially thought something was important to me, but I soon learned otherwise when it came to pulling back money when in a pinch.

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