Carrying budget forward from month to month?

Hi folks, I'm new to YNAB so bear with me.

Last month I setup my whole budget across many categories... so far so good.  But now its a new month and all my categories are set to 0$ budgeted. 

It can't be that I am supposed to retype the budget each month?  How is this supposed to work?  

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  • Yup this is exact how it is supposed to work. Because priorities and needs change over time. You can use Quick Budget and Goal features to help speed it up, but you should be making mindful decisions on what jobs to give your money. Also, remember when you budget for the month, only budget the money you actually have, not the money you anticipate receiving over the course of the month. 

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  • But the vast majority of my budget stays exactly the same.  My cell phone, health insurance, housing costs, internet, etc, etc, etc, are all the same.   I understand that over time I will need and want to adjust some of the categories, but surely there's a way to carry over the previous months budget?

      • nj_ynab
      • Forest_Green_Foal.4
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      nj_ynab   AHA!  I see that I can use the "Budgeted Last Month" button under Quick Budget to refill my budget.  Thank you!  I assume there's no way to do this automatically correct?

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    • nj_ynab You can quick budget all your categories at once, which is a neat trick. Most of my categories have monthly funding goals so I start by quick budgeting my "underfunded" categories, then go through and manually adjust where necessary. Sometimes I do wish I could just quick budget an entire category group at once - some category groups are completely fixed and will always need the same amount, but my "discretionary" category groups get tweaked on a monthly basis depending on income/plans/etc. As it stands, you can either quick budget a single category or ALL of your categories at once.

      But even with making manual adjustments to 5-10 categories at a time I think my budgeting process only takes about 10-15 minutes at the start of the month. That also includes the time I take to glance at the next month's budget as well, which I do in an attempt to predict any unusual expenses at least a month out and estimate income (helps me know how hard I need to work at my side hustle).

      Engage auto pilot!

  •  To follow on what Jenmas said,  unless you were paid on the first of the month, it’s unlikely you need to budget on the first of the month.  if you don’t have any money in TBB, then you don’t have any money to budget right now, quick budget or otherwise. 

     I say this not to be presumptuous, you may have come into using the software already a full month ahead. I am just drawing on my experience with other users, many of whom ask this question not realizing how they were supposed to budget in their first month.  Budgeting a month at a time before you are ready to is a good way to get tripped up and not get the value out of the budget.  

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  • Hi nj_ynab ! Welcome to You Need A Budget!

    Yes, your Budgeted values will be $0. It's a new month, and it's time for a new budget! This is because we're big fans of active, hands-on budgeting—versus something automatic. It keeps you more aware and engaged with your budget!

    You can go category-by-category, or you can use the Quick Budget options on the right-hand sidebar.

    It sounds like you've already found that, but if you need additional help—our article on How to Create a Budget Template will take you through the steps to get a budget you can use from month to month.

    Let us know if we can help with anything else!

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