Did I set this up correctly?

This is going to be long :)  I have everything starting January 1st.

I set up all my bank accounts- my daily chequing, my "annual expense savings account", my emergency savings account, and an investment account plus three credit card accounts.  The investment and emergency savings are at a different bank that my daily chequing and expense savings accounts.

I have set up all my budgeted amounts for Q1, including budgeted amounts for the emergency savings and investment accounts.  I have made recurring inflow transactions for my biweekly payroll.  I have $500 biweekly going directly from my payroll into my emergency savings & investment accounts and the rest will go into my daily chequing account.  Is this going to work?  I am not sure that is going to reconcile correctly when I actually get into it.  I also pay all my expenses with a credit card to earn travel points and this gets paid in full every month.

I have set the accounts to reconcile manually and not link the bank to YNAB because I am concerned that with so much movement into different accounts and banks things will go sideways.

That said, I want this to WORK and be successful.  I tried this last year and gave up after 2 weeks because it just didn't click.

Oh, one other thing- do I have to enter my budget amounts manually every month or is there a way to have them recur?

Thanks in advance! Hopefully my questions make sense!

25replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • You need to start slowly and learn the method first. The Four Rules are the key to being successful. This is my paraphrase of the first 3 rules.
    1. Only give money you have a job, and only give it one job (No overbudgeting and overspending)
    2. Save monthly for your non-monthly expenses
    3. When you spend money that a category doesn't have, fix the overspending. The money has to come from somewhere. This goes back to #1.
     

    Some questions....

    1. How exactly did you budget for Q1? Where did the money come from?

    2. For budget accounts, the account the money is in doesn't matter. You save by budgeting money to a category and not spending it.

    3. Is the investment account a tracking account?
     

    Reply Like 1
  • Uh oh.....I think this may be why it didn't work for me the first time.

    What do you mean where did the money come from?  Not sure I understand that.  Don't you have recurring monthly expenses and payroll that hits your account at least twice a month?  I'm lost.

    Reply Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Mamba I know that I will get paid on January 7 and that that paycheck will cover expenses for February, but until that money hits my bank, I will not budget it. So if you have not received all of the income that will cover Q1, you should not budget for Q1. Sure in my account register, I have a monthly recurring transaction set up for mortgage, but the only funds in my budget page in the mortgage category are for the Jan 1 payment. Only budget with the money you have, not the money you anticipate receiving. 

      Reply Like 1
  • Oh- I think I did this entire thing wrong......and this is why it didn't work for me last time.  UGH.

    Reply Like
      • Tan Storm
      • Tan_Storm.5
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Mamba Yes this is why 

      Reply Like
      • Tan Storm
      • Tan_Storm.5
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Mamba sorry hit the wrong button! Yes this is why it can take some time to get used to, you only budget what you CURRENTLY have. So you can set up your budget in terms of what recurring expenses, savings, accounts etc. you have but only add money into each pot when you actually have it to allocate. 

      Reply Like
  • I am so confused :)

    This really isn't a budget then, is it?  I am not budgeting in advance or sticking to a budget- I'm just paying my bills in a software program.

    Reply Like
      • pepperpat
      • pepperpat
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Mamba In one of the recorded workshops, the instructor referred to YNAB as an allocation system. Basically, when you receive money, you then allocate it to various uses. 

      Reply Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Mamba It's not a traditional budget. It's an envelope or allocation type budget. In this type of budget you can only allocate money you actually have, because you can't spend money you don't have yet. People tend to fail at budgeting because the project their future income and spend it before they get it... which then leads financial problems.

      Reply Like 1
  • I essentially have to delete everything I have put in here 😪

    Reply Like
      • pepperpat
      • pepperpat
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Mamba Review "Learn the Four Rules" and "Set Up Your Budget" again if necessary. I had to in order to get the hang of it. Not everyone picks it up immediately! YNAB's YouTube channel has recorded workshops covering the basics, in case you don't want to wait for a live class.  Good luck!

      Reply Like 1
  • Thanks everyone.  I see how it works now.  I don't know if this method is for me.  I deleted everything and will stat January 1st-clean.  I am sure I'll be back then with questions!  Thanks again for all your help!

    Reply Like
    • Mamba I know you are frustrated, but try and give it a chance. It is really life changing. I tried to do a "budget" for our family the same way before YNAB, looking at my income and putting the whole thing into categories and then didn't know where to go from there and never stuck to it. We have been using YNAB for three months now and it really is a game changer. I wait until the salary/income actually hits the bank account and then use that money and put it into categories and build up true expenses over time. You can plan ahead and think about where you will put the money next and where you will need it for the rest of the month and beyond, but until that money is in your account, don't include it in YNAB. Use the YNAB resources and tutorials. It takes a few days to get the hang of it, but once you do, you'll wonder why you didn't do it this way before. Good luck! 

      Reply Like 1
      • Mamba
      • mamba
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Cindy ️YNAB  Thanks Cindy- I'll give it a good try, starting tomorrow with a clean slate.   Clearly I didn't understand the system when I started plucking everything in.  I did look at some of the YouTube sessions and that helped.  I am going to simplify as well and not add my savings and investment account at this time.  I can always add them later.  Thanks again everyone for your help.  Much appreciated!

      Reply Like
    • Mamba  I'm in the same boat! I've been budgeting for years, but started YNAB last week after hearing some rave reviews (and needing to refocus after some careless spending). Having spent a lot of time and effort with traditional budgets, it's taking me awhile to unlearn my old systems and get on board with YNAB approach. I had to scrap my first budget, and I'm still not sure how some of the calculations work. I've watched every video, read every article, attended the workshops, and I'm still struggling to get it . . . but this forum is very helpful, and I'm thinking I'll give it a few months to see if it helps me organize myself, financially speaking.

      For some reason, this video was especially helpful to me. It was the last thing I watched, because since I was never a user of the "old" YNAB, it didn't seem necessary. But somehow it helped make a few things click for me. Maybe it will help you, too:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBQ2LWPX9_w&index=4&list=PLq0_N-XTl2yA1ri8utJ125P90yl5nxPbl

      Good luck in your launch! :)

      Reply Like
  • Hot Pink Yeti  Thanks so much for posting.  It is still new for me.  I don't have a lot of transactions yet so I haven't got the hand of it.  I also made the error or moving money in the app on my phone and I have no idea where it went.  I paid for something on my credit card and wanted to take the funds from another category.  I can see the $100.00 sitting in my credit card but there isn't an opposing entry.   I cannot see where it came from.  How do you go back and edit things?  Is there a report I can pull to look at my entries?   

    I watched the video- thanks for posting it.  It was a little beyond where I am right now but I wil keep it on my watch list once I use this more.  Thanks again!

    Reply Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Mamba If you paid for something on your credit card, you don't need to take funds from another category. You just record the purchase in your credit card account with the category that covers the purchase you made. YNAB will remove money from that category and make it available to pay that credit card.

      Example: I have $200 in my grocery category. I buy $50 of groceries on my AMEX card. I enter the purchase in my AMEX account and categorize it as "groceries". Next thing I know, my grocery category has $150 available and my AMEX credit card payment category has $50 more in the available column, just waiting for me to send a payment off to AMEX.

      If instead you went to the credit card payment category in the budget screen and added $100 to it, you'll want to use the "move money" tool to put the money back in the category it came from by clicking the number in the available column, put $100 in for the amount, and then choose the category where you want the money to go.

      Now as to what category it came from originally, I can't help you there.  There's no kind of audit trail or anything like that, so you can just put the money in the category where you need it most.

      Reply Like
  • bevocat that makes sense. 

    As far as what I did, I have no clue.  There isn't an opposing entry so I have no clue where I took it from now.  I don't think I'll balance at the end of the month- time will tell.

     

    Do you log your credit card transactions when you make them?

    Reply Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Mamba Yes, you should always log all transactions at the time you make them. Otherwise, you can't trust your category balances to guide your spending decisions.

      Reply Like 1
  • HUH.....I may be OK....I just looked at my bank balance on the left hand side of YNAB and it matches what I have in the bank.

    Reply Like
  • Oh, and I am VERY excited to see how YNAB handles recurring transactions when my first one processes tomorrow.  😂

    Reply Like 2
    • Hi Mamba -

      It looks like your question has been answered, that you've made some adjustments and are off to a great start! I just wanted to chime in and say "Hi!"

      Let us know how the recurring transaction goes tomorrow. 😉

      Reply Like
  • My recurring transaction went from grey to black and I approved it this morning!  Very exciting! 😂😀

    I also think I found the error I mentioned earlier in this thread involving a "move" I made regarding a credit card purchase.   Looks like I "budgeted" $100.00 to my credit card while making a "purchase".

    I made a purchase for $100.00 on my MasterCard and "moved" it using the app.  I have $208.57 in green in the available category for my MasterCard, which is correct but the "activity" is $105.57 and the "budgeted" amount is $100.00.   How can I fix this?  Or should I just leave it?  Is it going to reconcile at the end of the month?  The payment amount is correct and that is what matters.

    I learned NOT to use the app until I am more familiar with this system.

    Reply Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Mamba Remove $100 from the "budgeted" column of the credit card. What was the category of the purchase you made? Go to that category and add $100 to the "budgeted" column.

      Reply Like 1
  • Thanks- that worked.  I removed the $100.00 from the budgeted column, moved that to the correct category and then did the credit card transaction for payment of that expense.  I think its all good now.

    Reply Like 2
Like Follow
  • 6 mths agoLast active
  • 25Replies
  • 362Views
  • 9 Following