Do you connect all your student loans?
I'm wondering if anyone with student loans connects all of them into YNAB, or if you just do a few at a time and work on them? I've put all my student loans in, and it feels a little overwhelming to see all those negative red numbers down the side.
I didn't used to. I used to just have a category that I'd put the money I budgeted toward them in, but now I've put them all in as a way to hold myself accountable. I tend to forget about things, including my outstanding debts, if I can't see them. Out of sight, out of mind, y'know.
It's definitely overwhelming to see all that red. It makes me want to be an ostrich again, to put my head in the sand and forget about the debts that no one's calling me out on. But now I get excited at the prospect of making the red disappear. I do a little happy dance every time I make a payment that makes those red numbers a little bit smaller. You'll get there too, eventually, I hope. :D
At least in my case, I've generally kept them out of YNAB while the loans are huge, to prevent that "overwhelmed" feeling. Once they got down to a more reasonable amount where I feel like I'm getting closer to paying them off (for me, about 10k or so), I've added them to the budget.
It's definitely a balancing act, because once you get over the overwhelmed feeling, confronting reality and looking honestly at your debt may also be motivating, and you may find that seeing those red numbers consistently helps you pay them off faster.
You'll just have to figure out what works best for you.
I put them in, along with all my other non-mortgage debt. Its a lot. Like I just got under 100K - a lot. I get a kick out of the total debt number shrinking.
I'm using that debt total to track my progress over the year. I've paid a fair amount off and I wasn't tracking it, so all that progress seems a bit lost.
One caveat, and I'm not sure if I'm doing anything wrong - but I end up manually reconciling the student loan amounts on a monthly basis. The payments have a small portion of interest that doesn't impact the amount left on the student loan. Overall, I recommend the tracking.
I have every single account, debt/investment/bank/credit/HSA added. Sometimes I have to manually adjust them in the tracking accounts, but I want to know to the penny what I'm worth. Watching that net worth climb steadily these past 2 years has motivated me to keep attacking and not slack off. May of this year I hit a positive net worth for the first time in my adult life and January 2018 I should hit a positive net worth that doesn't factor in retirement investments, just pure cash accounts/bank accounts. Progress is being made!! But it was terrible the first year+ to be so deep in the red, but I did it anyways to keep myself accountable.
someone on here, who is long time Ynaber, suggested removing your student loans at first, because it keeps you discouraged. i thought about this for awhile, and i just removed mine. it has lifted a mental load, and now i am to better focus on my savings and consumer debt. i still have my loan payments coming out of my scheduled transactions, but i don't have it in the off-budget or budget categories. when i pay my consumer debt almost to zero, i will then add the loans back on.
I think the two main advantages of tracking student loans in YNAB are to have an accurate picture of your net worth or to see what's happening if paying down those loans are your priority. For me neither of those apply, so I don't track them in YNAB. When I need to know the amount I still owe I check it through the lender websites.
Sometimes I have to manually adjust them in the tracking accounts, but I want to know to the penny what I'm worth.
So how do you do this? I synced up my Student Loans but it doesn't pull in any transactions. Do you just add a transaction for the payment or do you just adjust the starting balance every time they update it?
I don't have student loans anymore, but I disconnected all my debts except my mortgage because it just annoyed me.
I am tempted to do the same or just remove and add it every month so it goes down so I can tell my net-worth. Thought not sure how I like them saying my retirement is part of my net-worth. It is and isn't as I am not old enough to take it out without getting penalized or it.
@raynuuu I have twelve student loans totaling over 50k.
I grouped them by interest rate, except for the smallest one which also happens to share the highest interest rate. So, instead of twelve tracking accounts, I have six.
I put them all at the very bottom except for the aforementioned special account, 'H'. I have it a different name.
The rest simply say: studentLoan: 6.8, studentLoan: 5.6, etc
I enter the interest individually though, within those tracking accounts. That way, with a simple search, I can see how much interest I have accrued on any given one.
I didn't used to track them, but I want my 'after' screenshot of my Net Worth report to be as impressive as possible.
I believe in you!!!
I didn't link student loan accounts to YNAB at all. Mine are consolidated, but have more than one group and it's too much. I just put a category for Student Loans and don't use YNAB to track the balance, just how much I pay.
I track my student loans myself closely in an excel spreadsheet, though. You can get the free template for the spreadsheet here: https://myalternatelife.com/debt-repayment-spreadsheet/ It took a little time for me to set mine up, but it is the only way I was able to really understand my student loans and how much impact a payment would truly have. It made my situation manageable.