Great tip from YNAB YouTube: Fixed vs Flexi category groups

First off,  I really love Hannah's videos, so fun to watch!

Second, I think the "bonus" tip at the end of this video is great. It's about creating Fixed and Flexi category groups and really helps me think about my money properly!

In my implementation, the Fixed group contains all of the monthly expenses that get paid automatically out of my bank account (rent, bills, insurance, ...), plus those that come up less often and that I save up for (taxes, car insurance, ...). The Flexible Expenses group holds everything that's discretionary: groceries, fuel / public transport, clothing, and so on: everything I actually need to think about and make decisions on, every category I would want to look at before I make a purchase.

As well as collapsing the Fixed group, I've also moved it down below Flexi, which means that the Flexi categories appear first on all drop-down lists, which is good because most of my day-to-day spending will be in those categories, too. This makes daily budgeting even easier! Only the Flexi group is expanded, the rest get funded and collapsed so I don't even look at them.

Compared with budgeting from top to bottom, the only thing I have to do differently when money comes in is to remember to quickly check the Fixed and Savings/Debt groups (I'm still paying off debt, so no Wish Lists yet) and make sure they're fully funded, then allocate TBB to Flexi... or next month, depending!

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  • Hannah is the best! Glad this tip is working for you, too.

  • I do this also. I use a little lock emoji on category groups that are budgeted to cover fixed expenses so that I know there is no money there when I need to roll with the punches. Instead of ordering my groups by priority in which these would be at the top (i.e. rent/utilities), I actually put them lower because I really don't need to mess with them during the month -- once they are funded, everything is automatic and they can be out of sight.

    My "unlocked" category groups which include routine expenses that are more flexible/discretionary, are at the top of my budget because these are the ones I am working in on a regular basis throughout the month, and the categories where I can move money around if needed.

    Putting these videos on my watch list :-)

  • Great video!

    I am already taking responsibility for my budget and applying rule 3, however it never does any harm to have it re-drilled into you, as there are times I do reactively spend and then cover things after the fact.

    The fixed vs flexi trick I was already doing, and I have goals set up on all my fixed expenses so I can simply click on the heading and select "underfunded" to ensure all those categories are funded. I think I'll apply  SpringChick 's tip of moving that category to the bottom of my budget though - as long as it's funded, it's not really important to me. However, when I set the budget up I put that group at the top as they are my top priority to be paid.

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