More than a decade using YNAB

What using YNAB has done for my family.

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  • Are we supposed to be seeing a graph here, Mrs. Awesome? I assume it's... awesome.

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      • Krys
      • I like bacon and sarcasm
      • Krys
      • 4 wk ago
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      Superbone I'm on pins and needles here!

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    • Krys I apologize for the suspense. I hope my post wasn’t a disappointment. I had this grand post all typed up and then it disappeared into the internet black hole..lol . Ah well I just wanted to show my appreciation for YNAB over the years.

      Like 3
      • Krys
      • I like bacon and sarcasm
      • Krys
      • 4 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Mrs Awesome Budget I had that happen just last week. Thanks for re-posting! Congratulations on such amazing progress!

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  • I messed up my first post somehow... which probably means everything I say now should be taken with a grain of salt..lol .. anyway maybe I should try to start again...

    I realized this morning that I have been using YNAB for more than a decade . My first budget was on the fancy excel spreadsheet that Jessie first developed so many years ago. Since then I have used every version of YNAB that has come out and even tried a few others, but I have always come back to YNAB. It is simply the best budgeting program and methodology that I have ever used.

    My husband and I had never discussed budgeting until he got deployed to Iraq I was suddenly in charge of our finances. Thank God I found YNAB.  For the first time in our marriage we had a plan and a method to follow. When my husband returned home15 months later and saw how healthy our bank account was, he declared I should continue handling our finances and so the years went by and here we are.

    Our children are all grown up and we are enjoying the grandchildren now. This past year has been super stressful in so many ways, however, we have had financial peace and that has been amazing. We are about to enter a new chapter in our lives, my husbands retirement, and thanks to YNAB, I know we will adjust and roll with the punches! We are two full months ahead in out budget, we have fully funded emergency and rainy day funds, and all of our bills are on auto pilot. 
     

    I thought it was about time for me to thank Jessie and the whole YNAB team for this great tool and to offer a few words of advice to anyone new to the program:

    Make your financial health a priority now so that you can have financial freedom and peace for the years to come. It doesn’t matter what your level of income is. YNAB can help you achieve your goals.

    Take the time to really learn to use the program and its methodology. Use all of the classes and information YNAB provides.

    The magic is in the buffer, or as it is now called, age of money. Being able to budget a full month of expenses ahead is the secret sauce. I would go as far to say it is the most important ingredient to success except maybe for the emergency fund. 
     

    If you fall off the budgeting wagon, just dust yourself off and begin again. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will you become a budgeting expert without some bumps in the road. Just keep at it and one day it will just click and become a habit. 
     

    Thank you YNAB for being the tool that helped get my families finances in shape and kept them there over the years.  This is a screen shot of my age of money today. 
     

    Like 13
    • Annieland
    • I was told there would be no math.
    • Annieland
    • 4 wk ago
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    What a wonderful post, and one that parallels my own journey.  I started in the Fall of 2009 when I was expecting my 3rd child.  I was worried we didn't have the finances to "afford" a 3rd, but I said if the only thing holding us back is money, then we're going to get our money in order because we only have now.

    I started with YNAB Pro, I think right after Jesse retired the spreadsheet.  YNAB broke was not the word, when I realized we truly only had $50 a month to eat out, but man did I make that $50 last!  So many ups and downs I should have my own journal, and for so many years we really just treaded water until finally, he's getting paid what he's worth!  

    I always regarded our win as "Well, the lights are on and we're not in debt, so something must be right."  It took a really long time to build that solid buffer while expenses just kept going up no matter how hard I worked to keep them down, but we're finally there .   I can't even imagine what trouble we would have gotten into going the way we were going.  

    So here's to stay-at-home moms who handle the money in the decade of YNAB club! 🥂🥂🥂

    Congrats on your grandchildren and your husband's retirement.  Thank you both for his service!!

    Like 6
    • Annieland it sure sounds like you have had a similar journey over the years with YNAB.  I have tried to imagine not having a budget and the thought is scary. We have 2021 to get through and then my hubby will retire. It is scary and exciting at the same time...lol..  I will continue working another 6 years and we hope to have our mortgage paid off by then or very soon after.

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  • Fantastic story!

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  • Well done!  I am also a longstanding Ynab user ( since August 2014) but still have Ynab4 at the moment. I was involved in all the discussions of the nYNAB on the old forum and then did join this community forum but haven't been reading it for quite a while. I am now considering a switch again and would like to know whether other longstanding members would now recommend it. My old laptop is dying so I need to replace it. It seems a good time to give the  nYnab another chance.

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      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 2 wk ago
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      Katejo I started YNAB Pro in 2009, switched to nYNAB  in early 2016, and I vote for yes, give it a chance.  Divorce yourself from the red arrow and focus on keeping categories green.  Search this forum for lots of simple workarounds to implement features you might miss.  Install the Toolkit extension.  Try out some of the Goals and see if they improve your decision making.

      I can totally understand users who are very resistant to switching, and I have no judgment there (unless they are simply being obnoxiously unreasonable).  But really, it'll be okay if you just keep your expectations realistic and reach out when you need clarification or tips.

      Like 2
    • Katejo , I’ve been using YNAB since 2012. It’s changed the trajectory of our lives. We were able to confidentially grow our family and launch our business (still going, still successful, still using YNAB fir the business budget too). I drug my feet to switch to the newer YNAB from YNAB4, because I loved 4 so much. When I finally did, I didn’t look back. There are some cons to the newer, but the benefits IMHO quickly outweighed the drawbacks. Like jumping on board with 4, I haven’t looked back with the newer. The transition is bumpy — I had to part with all my history and start fresh, but that was ok. I can still open my history in a separate budget that I archived should I want to look back at history. I rarely do, though. I’d recommend making the switch. 

      Like 2
      • Katejo
      • katejo
      • 2 wk ago
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      Annieland  Thanks for the advice. I have never used the red arrow at all and I am always in credit. Since Covid lockdowns started, I haven't even used my credit card. I reserve it for big things like holidays. If I migrate from Ynab4, will it include all my category headings?  I could do a fresh start for 2021 but don't want to change my  headings/spend time entering them all over again.

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      • Katejo
      • katejo
      • 2 wk ago
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      Sky Blue Tugboat  Thanks . When you say 'part with your history', was that because you had transactions which nYnab handles differently such as CC transactions?  Could you keep the same category groups/headings. Could you still access the old Ynab4 after the migration? 

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk ago
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      Katejo Go for it. I have budgeting history going back to 2010 in nYNAB so that should answer that question for you. It all migrates. You'll have to do some touch up after the migration. Check your hidden categories. After all is said and done, it should match exactly what you're currently seeing in YNAB 4.

      There are workarounds for most everything missing from nYNAB. Just ask and we can get you there. You'll be able to see all this before your free 34 day trial is up.

      Like 2
      • Katejo
      • katejo
      • 2 wk ago
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      Superbone  Hi Superbone   I have made the jump on the laptop (haven't yet downloaded the new mobile app). Pretty pleased with what I have seen so far because the account balances are correct and  it has transferred all my past years of Ynab classic stats so I can see them. There was 1 strange feature.  It had created a  'Lost and Found' section, had added a category called Mastercard and had put a chunk of my salary received in late December into that category. In January it indicated that I had budgeted more than was available.  I have transferred the money back to the 'to be budgeted' section and my budget for January now looks correct. Perhaps it is to do with the old 'income for the next month'?

      I didn't have any red arrows or credit card debts so they haven't caused any trouble. I changed my CC account to a checking account before doing the transfer.

      I might do a Fresh start on Jan 1st 2021 but haven't quite decided. I never did a Fresh start on Ynab4 so it goes back to August 2014.

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Katejo Glad it worked out so well for you! It sounds like they may have improved the import process since I last did it. I had to do quite a bit of cleanup to get it to match my YNAB 4 budget at the time. I personally like having the history but I've been tracking my full net worth since 2012 and my budget goes all the way back to 2010. I haven't had any speed issues of any kind with the large data set.

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      • Katejo
      • katejo
      • 2 wk ago
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      Superbone  I remember your name from the previous forum when I first started using Ynab4 in 2014. When nYnab was first introduced, I thought I would switch quite quickly and I remember creating a category for the subscription!  However, as I read feedback from others and the many discussions about  no longer sending pay to the next month or budgeting in the future, I decided to hold off a bit longer 😀 I did take part in the new forum but not as much as in the old one which I missed. I have just downloaded the app to my iPod so will probably test it tomorrow. 

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk ago
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      Katejo Yes, it took me a couple years before I finally made the switch. Pretty happy with it now and I can do everything I did in YNAB 4 in nYNAB with a few easy workarounds. I wish I didn't have to do the old built in Rule 4 manually but c'est la vie. It's actually quite easy.

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      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 2 wk ago
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      Superbone Wait a second, how do you have all your old YNAB4 transaction data in this one?  I never had that option. Did they change the migration process at some point? I don’t remember. 

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Annieland Not just YNAB 4 but going back to YNAB 3 transactions as well (since I migrated my 3 data to 4 at the time of that upgrade). Keeping your previous data has always been a migration option.

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      • Katejo
      • katejo
      • 2 wk ago
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      Annieland How long ago did you migrate? I remember reading about the migration being quite basic when nYnab was new. I migrated yesterday and everything has been transferred, including all my past stats from 2014 to now. I was quite surprised. Losing those stats was one of the things which had put me off the migration.

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      • Katejo
      • katejo
      • 2 wk ago
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      Superbone Which workaround have you been using please? Just interested. I remember reading several possible ways of doing it. In practice I am paid on the 27th anyway so don't have to wait long for the new month to start.

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      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone Katejo Huh.  Ok mind blown.  I started with YNAB Pro (to 3, to 4) and migrated in Feb 2016.  I had to leave my old transactions behind.  I doubt I would have missed some option to bring them over. I just kept the App handy and then almost never needed to look back. Now that I just finally updated my MacOS, I had to say goodbye but of course made sure everything was exported to files if needed. Plus, I have some Windows machines around where I have it all.

      I didn’t worry a ton because I also maintain a personal finance program that has every transaction I’ve made since I first got a checking account. But I wonder why I never had the options to keep old transactions... 

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk ago
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      Katejo Well, you're already doing the credit cards as checking accounts so that's a big one. 

      Next is old Rule 4:

      Live on Last Month’s Income 

      1. Create a savings category called Income for Next Month
      2. Schedule all future paychecks and categorized them as Income for Next Month
      3. When you're ready to budget next month, release those funds back to To be Budgeted. (Easy way to do that is to go to All Accounts view and filter by Income for Next Month and bulk re-categorize as TBB.)
      4. Budget the entire next month

      This one isn't a big deal for you since you get paid once a month on the 27th. If I were you, I'd probably just budget next month as soon as I got paid. One difference is that there are no more hard month boundaries so funds you use in this month can be taken from next month and we call that Stealing From The Future or SFTF for short. Which brings me to the YNAB Toolkit which I recommend for a few of its features. This is made by an open source group not affiliated with YNAB. One of its features is a SFTF warning which I suggest you turn on.

      My last tip is for cash flow:

      Cash Flow

      Make it easy by having repeating scheduled transactions for all your bills and income. Then, all you have to do is look at your running balance in your checking account. I can always see a month ahead what my lowest balance will be. I keep a buffer of a couple thousand dollars to be safe.

      If you get paid fortnightly like me (every two weeks), set up two recurring paychecks, 2 weeks apart repeating every 4 weeks.

      I left that last part in even though it doesn't apply to your paychecks in case you have any other transactions that happen more than once a month.

      I hope this helps.

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Annieland I too started with YNAB Pro although I don't think I really got off the ground until YNAB 3. Yeah, not sure how you missed the migrations over the years. Did you migrate your 3 data to 4 at the time?

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      • Katejo
      • katejo
      • 2 wk ago
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      Superbone I do have scheduled transactions but I am not sure whether the transfer to nYnab has stopped them being repeated transactions. They are all displaying correctly for January but I don't know if they will repeat in February. I am also trying to see if I can skip 1 month of a repeated one without cancelling the whole schedule. My council tax doesn't have to be paid in February or March but resumes in April.

      I suspect I won't need the category 'Income for next month' because I am paid so late in the month. I remember the 'Stealing from the future' discussions. I had to smile yesterday when I saw a comment from Nolesrule and, after the name, there was a note about fighting this for 5 years. I remember reading the arguments. I don't think it will cause me a problem because I rarely overspend on a category. If I do, I wham from another straight away.

      Thanks for the reminders 

      Like 1
      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 2 wk ago
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      Katejo 

      In the web app, click on the date of the scheduled transaction and the recurrence  is in a drop down menu under the calendar. In the phone app, the recurrence is listed right under the payee name (if there's no recurrence, it says "non-repeating").

      Like 1
    • Superbone 

      Those are some great tips.  Where can I find this toolkit you mentioned? 

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Mrs Awesome Budget 

      https://www.toolkitforynab.com/

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      • Katejo
      • katejo
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Vibrant Thanks. Yes I have had a reply from the Ynab help team now to say that scheduled transactions from Ynab 4 don't recur/repeat  unless I change the setting. It also seems that I can't as easily delete the payment for a specific month without cancelling the transaction completely. I have one payment which isn't required in February/March but resumes in April but I have been told to set up a repeated payment but post date it to April. In ynab4 I could just not 'approve' it for 1 month.

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      • Katejo
      • katejo
      • 2 wk ago
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      Superbone  Thanks Superbone. I didn't have this link either. Do I just open the website and apply it to my account? I will have a look at it properly later.

      Like 1
      • Katejo
      • katejo
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Vibrant Actually I have just done this check and it does already say monthly under the calendar to my surprise. I checked 2 or 3 of my repeat transactions and they are all the same.

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      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Katejo I think the simplest solution for the skip month issue is to wait until the January transaction posts and then change the date on the next scheduled recurrence to April. (Which, on rereading, is what I think Support was also suggesting.)

      Alternatively, you can hit "Enter Now" on January, which will trigger February in the scheduler, change February to April, and then change the now-active "January" transaction back to its correct future date. Your scheduler will now show January with a recurrence of "Never" and April with a recurrence of "Monthly."

      (When a scheduled transaction becomes "live" it stops being part of the recurrence pattern so you can change its date, amount, or even delete it without messing up future recurrences.) 

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      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Katejo typing before coffee...I keep thinking of things to add but I'm going to stop editing y first post. 😆 You can absolutely just leave the January transaction set to monthly, and then when February and March each move from Scheduled to Active in turn, not approve them, which again will delete the newly active transaction from the register but not mess up the future recurrences. (I never used YNAB4, but is this how it worked in that version?) 

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  • Vibrant  Yes that is exactly how it worked on Ynab4 but one of the Ynab team told me that it wasn't a option on nYnab. However the same person also told me that transactions transferred from Ynab4 wouldn't repeat unless I changed the setting but they do. Yesterday my first scheduled transaction for 2021 happened and I can now see that it is scheduled for February in grey. 🙂

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