When payday comes...

So hmmmmm, my first month is coming to a close.  Payday hits in a few days so I assume I will need to fill out the BUDGETED categories again.  So do I get a clean slate?  Can I just start with a new balance?  Do I start completely over?  Not sure what will happen or what I am to do.  The videos are not very helpful.  The one I watched said I needed to, when entering budgeted amount numbers, to always add the same number in the SET A GOAL area.  Not sure I even need to do this for the AVAILABLE column to work. YNAB REALLY needs someone to give some good one on one support here.  I am getting quite confused.

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  • Hi Jeff !

    There isn't a way to change the monthly structure, but the YNAB Method will work with any pay schedule. If you have a few minutes (five, to be exact!), watch this Whiteboard Wednesday episode for more info.

    With YNAB, it’s not only about the calendar, it’s about the method (trust us on this one). What you do when you’re paid is more important than the date itself. Just use these three steps:

    1. Record your income.

    2. Give those dollars a job. Ask yourself, “What does this money need to do before I’m paid again?”. Do you have an Immediate Obligation that needs to be taken care of before your next payday? Budget money there. If you have extra, budget towards your True Expenses. A little trick here, use inline calculations to add more to the budget column!

    3. Spend. Don’t forget to check your category balances first! :)

    Wash, rinse, and repeat! Positive balances will roll over to next month, so even if you get paid towards the end of the month you can budget for the things you need and the rest will carry forward. Once you get into that rhythm, you’ll see that it comes right back down to those three steps, and that one very important question: “What does this money need to do before I’m paid again?”. 

    To jump in with both feet, I recommend taking a workshop or two! A great place to start is with the “Learn the Four Rules” one. :)

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      • MacGsMom
      • Editor. Artist. Book fiend.
      • bookgirl1010
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Jannelle you say "positive balances will roll over to the next month." what about negative balances? if I was in the negative (gold/yellow) at the end of December for, let's say, groceries (-$70), and I budget $100 this month, shouldn't I have $30 to spend this month now? that's not what i'm seeing (reached out to YNAB via chat and never got a response). 

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      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      MacGsMom 

      Orange/Yellow overspending means you overspent a category using a credit account. If left unadressed, YNAB adds the overspend as credit card debt.  You'll notice that the amount available to pay the credit card is now less than the total balance on the credit card account.  If you don't fix the overspend in the month by moving funds to the overspent category, you will have to deal with the extra debt by budgeting directly to the credit card payment category in future months to get back to paid in full status.

      Red overspending means you overspent a category using a cash account (chequing, wallet, for example). If left unadressed, YNAB subtracts this negative from TBB next month, reducing the amount you have available to budget from your next inflow of income. 

      You don't get to overspend from clothing this month and have it automatically subtract from clothing next month.  This is an essential element in a zero-based allocation budget method.

      Like 2
    • MacGsMom HappyDance is exactly right! 

      We have an article about when the month rolls over, so check it out and let me know if you have any other questions! :)

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  • The use of goals is 100% optional. 

    When you receive your paycheck, categorize it as Income: To Be Budgeted. Then you have to budget the funds. Now, say your January budget already has $100 budgeted towards groceries of which you have used $45. And you want to add another $50. In the Budget Column (left) you can type $150 (the original $100 plus the new money). Or you can hover over the budget cell and you will see the calculator operators (+, -, x, /) and you can hit the plus and then type 50. Either way, your left and right columns will change (right will now say $105), but the middle column will be unchanged.

    If you don't need any of the money you are receiving in this paycheck to fund January costs, you can flip over to February and allocate there. But do keep in mind, that any money that is available in a category at the end of January will roll over into the available amount in February. So say you do budget $100 to groceries in February, but in January you only spend $75 of the original $100, on February 1 you will have $125 available.

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  • Enter your salary and categorise it as To Be Budgeted. You will see the number appear big in green at the top of the screen. Now start plugging in amounts to your budgeting categories. It can be this month, next month, as it works for you.

    as you budget the money, the value at the top reduces. Keep going till it’s zero.

    Experienced users call it an envelope system, and this description reduces the initial confusion somewhat. YNAB is like an electronic box of labelled envelopes. 

    You get paid. In your hand is £100. You put £30 in the Food Shopping envelope. You put £50 in the rent envelope. You have £20 left in your hand and you notice you wrote on the Christmas envelope ‘save 20 per month’ so you stick it all in there. The note to yourself is a goal. I find them so useful I have one on nearly every category.

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  • Hi, Jeff

    Welcome to the forum.  Some taped YNAB sessions on Youtube to get you going:

    YNAB For Beginners - Quick Start Guide (2018) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPVEB759gkU

    YNAB Credit Card Guide (All You Need to Know) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ix0Jibc0Lw

    YNAB Workshop - Set Up Your Budget - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQeS5kTE6wU

    YNAB Workshop - Budgeting When You're Broke - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tACY3ge6VdA

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  • That Budgeting When You're Broke workshop was exactly what I needed.  I just started YNAB in Dec. and was really unclear about the budgeting. I was used to the old ways, well, I have these bills and this money let's budget. This workshop cleared everything up and it all makes so much more sense now.  Thank you for posting the link. This should be given to everyone who is new to YNAB.  

    Like 3
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Green Mask 

      I agree 100%.  It's an excellent workshop/class. The budgeting when you're broke video is so thorough in explaining some of the basics, it is really helpful to any newbie (whether they're broke or not).

      Like 1
      • lindsay_g
      • Beige_Banjo.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance I watched it three times on stop-start.  So useful. I also liked your idea on another thread of scheduling zero-value transactions as reminders.

      The credit card one is good too. I haven’t had any trouble with them, I suppose maybe because I watched this before doing any cc spending.

      Like 1
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