Using a Budget to Forecast Another Lifestyle

Hey Ya'll, 

 

So I was looking at mortgage calculators today and based on our income it suggested we could buy a home that would cost us nearly double in monthly cash-flow than I personally feel comfortable with, while still keeping us in a lower risk DTI ratio. That got me thinking. 

I have two separate budgets to manage my girlfriend and my income. But there's no reason why I couldn't create a third budget that's joint, that I use to forecast what life would look like if we say, stopped eating out and bought a condo... 

Has anyone used YNAB in this method and if so, did you learn anything before I step off on this journey. 

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  • Sure.  I call mine a Sandbox.  When I want to play, I do a Fresh Start, rename the Fresh Start "Sandbox: Scenario," and rename the archived one back to my real budget's name.  That way, I don't have to do as much work setting up categories (and some goals) again.

    Just make sure you've opened up the one you intend to when it's time to get back to your real budget.

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  • Brilliant. Going to give that a shot. 

     

    Do you know if there's any way to combine budgets. Is the easiest way to just build the accounts and then export and import the transactions? 

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    • Navy Blue Saxophone Well, I don't import transactions at all, so I don't know anything about that. 

      However, with the sandboxes, I don't normally mess with transactions at all.  I just put numbers in budget boxes and look at the (negative) TBB to see what (absolute value) monthly income I'm shooting for.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Saxophone No need for accounts, you're just looking at the total demand on your income. If you prefer to work your way down to $0, make a category called Anticipated Income and budget a negative number. This amount shows up in TBB where you can distribute it to various categories to flesh out your plan.

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    • Also, I don't think you can automatically combine the budgets by copying categories, or goals, or anything  like that (though that would be handy!).  Best bet is probably to to have two windows open so you can easily see something to reference as you play with scenarios/add categories/add goals.

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    • Upon further thought, I only used goals in the sandboxes when I first started because I thought I was supposed to (and they were there, I guess).  It saves a step if you just type in the budget boxes while you're playing.

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  • Great stuff. Thanks much.

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