when budgets start in the middle of the month rather than on the 1st

I'm sure this isn't recommended as a YNAB rule either... well that's too bad because it is not possible for me to budget on the first unless you wanna give me free money to start off that way. 

Looks like YNAB was designed to work from the 1st of each month automatically but, I'm sorry my budget doesn't work that way; when the 22nd rolls around my budget for the next month has already started and I can't seem to do that anywhere but Mvelopes where I could set the date of each budget for each day if needed.  

How do I start my budget in the middle of the month? I could do this on YNAB 4 by fooling it and starting it on the next month but i can't do that with the online version. 

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    • bevocat
    • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
    • bevocat
    • 2 yrs ago
    • 6
    • Reported - view

    So don't do it that way. Take how much money you have right now, today, this minute, and decide what each dollar needs to do until you next get paid again. When you get paid again, decide what each of those dollars needs to do until the next time you get paid again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Like 6
  • You absolutely don't have to budget on the 1st. When you get paid, you decide which dollars from your paycheck need to cover expenses for rest of this month, and which will be budgeted for next month. In the long run, you will be a month ahead, so that 100% of your April paychecks get budgeted to cover expenses in May and beyond, but YNAB works fine regardless of your payday.

    Based on your post, it's not clear to me that you know that you can click ahead to next month and start budgeting money there any time. For example, it's currently April 26 and I already have May fully budgeted.

    Like 1
    • QC
    • HaplessFinanceProfessional
    • Queenofcoin
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    YNAB isn't a prescriptive method.  In fact, it's rather adaptive which is why it suits so many people who have as many different situations as you can think of.

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  • Like the others have said, YNAB budgets don’t start on a particular day. They should be based on your pay schedule. Once you get a full month ahead, you can budget a month at a time.

    Like 2
  • So how do I split my paycheck across two budgets then? I get paid around the 2nd or 3rd week of each month which covers most bills that are due right when I get paid then there are a lot of bills and subscriptions that are due during the 1st and 2nd week of the new month 

    So if you get paid 5,000 how are you supposed to split your bills, money and whatever you owe across like that? How do you keep $2,500 for the two weeks and then $2,500 for the other two weeks? 

    I prefer to think of it as a month rather than spiting it as it logically makes sense for me, my May budget already starts before May even hits and to me that makes more sense, I am not bound by the calendar technically. 

    It makes no sense to budget for April and May with one paycheck like that... not especially since I've already started 4 days ago and I tend to budget for everything for the entire month so that I can see what my spending looks like as I like to have an overall picture not half and half.  I'm aware of giving every dollar a job, that's not a problem here because every dollar does get a job :D 

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      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      MrGsPhace You don't actually need to split it, YNAB will work exactly as you want. If you have $500 for groceries and you budget that now, you know that money has to last until you get paid again. Any balance that is in the category at month end will still be there the next month.

      I do not budget into future months* so if I check my phone any money that is in a category is the money I have for that category until I can next fill it. So in your case, I would budget my $500 to groceries on the day you budget (the 22nd?) and then budget the next $500 on the 22nd of May. Reporting won't look weird except perhaps in the first month. The only risk would be if you were to look at a balance of $350 in groceries on April 29 and think 'ooh great, lots of spare cash I can move it to spend on sparkly things' but you're used to considering your pay period as a month so you're unlikely to do that.   When you roll into May, that $350 is still in the available category and you spend that until your 'month' runs out and you budget again on May 22.

      *I have a category for future months but all funds are always budgeted in the current month only.

      Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      MrGsPhace Sign up for a workshop or read all the getting started materials. You need to unlearn a lot of your assumptions.

      Like 2
    • MrGsPhace I get paid on 15th, so the way I deal with this is to split my bills into two groups, “Bills (weeks 1-2)” and “Bills (weeks 3-4)”. You could split that into whatever dates work for you because I’m using this to mean “pre-payday” and “post-payday”. 

       I then have sub categories for each payment (rent, electricity, internet, mobile phone, etc), and I put each one into the group corresponding to when its payment goes out (rent on 10th = group 1, internet on 28th = group 2, etc). I split everything out into its own category because the dates didn’t line up for combined categories for “utilities” etc, and I don’t find it too cluttered because I can just fold up each group once it’s funded to just show the group name/amount.

      When I get paid I go and select “group 2” and fund everything, then I jump into next month, select “group 1”, and fund everything there too. This way I know I’ve got money allocated for the bills coming out next calendar month before I get paid again (rent helpfully comes out on 10th!), and when I jump back into this calendar month, my “to be budgeted” amount updates to reflect that assigned money.

      I do something similar with the other non-bills categories for regular spending, but I tend to set goals for each one based on what I normally spend, then I’ll go and fund each one to 50% of that goal amount (so if I know I spend £100 on groceries each month, I’ll add £50 to this month’s groceries category, and £50 in next month’s groceries category). This is a bit clunky though so I might rethink this bit.

      For my long term categories (traditional savings and “true expenses” categories where I’m gradually building up the funds for  a point in time), I just ignore those until I get paid on 15th, then fund everything when I’m allocating my salary.

      Works for me, might also work for you :)

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    • Peter
    • Professional Designer, Web Developer
    • lasty
    • 2 yrs ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    There's a recording of a workshop that specifically touches on this. Take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQeS5kTE6wU

    The essence is that you budget what you have now and ask yourself which categories need to be funded before your next paycheck arrives. That's basically it. Setting up a budget template and ordering your categories in the order they need to be funded helps with this.

    Like 1
  • I get paid between the 24th and the 27th. And sometimes do bits of freelance work that can be paid at any time. It doesn't make the slightest difference. You budget the money you have, when you have it, taking into account what obligations you can't get out of paying that you have coming up before the next time you expect to be paid.

    You can put the money in next month if you like, or if you put it in this month but don't spend it, it will be in next month already when you 'turn the page'.

    Watch the online classes and tutorials. They really help.

    Like 2
  • Nick True addressed this in a video I saw earlier. May be helpful.

    Like 3
  • lindsay_g the two group budgeting method makes sense, but its not simple enough for me and my wife so that's not going to work and is too much headache when something changes (but life is full of changes and things WILL change and YNAB is good at going with it). 

    Peter

    I get everything all at once so I tend to budget it all at once also; its just that much easier for me to put each dollar to work but I also prefer to work on a 30 day cycle so I don't overspend like someone mentioned because doing it any other way will give me a false sense of extra funds.  My payment pays for everything so everything has to be funded even though my bills tend to be spread across the first 3 weeks of the budget period and unfortunately I cannot change some of the bills which makes certain things a bit more difficult than they have to be. 

     

    monkeyhanger

    I like your approach best, I am aware that YNAB does rollover; but I'm confused, if it rolls over then it adds to the budgeted amount that I've already set or should I leave it to 0 until I'm ready to fund it? I actually don't mind clicking a button that asks to budget the categories from last month when I'm ready, I suppose that works just as well.... 

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      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      MrGsPhace If you follow this method you budget only once when you get paid so you don’t budget anything in the following month. You should never be budgeting money you haven’t received yet.

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      • MrGsPhace
      • Beige_Battery.1
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      monkeyhanger I see, I get it now; I'm used to the old YNAB where you had to decide if you wanted to roll over or not; this version doesn't quite rollover, its just there when you go to the next month; that's a bit easier and better. 

      I just don't want to forget about bills upcoming and those categories for those bills have not been budgeted yet until I receive additional payments (my wife also earns some money too).  

      I guess one way to solve that is to input future transactions so that way I can always see it but it doesn't affect the categories until that day comes as a reminder that I need to budget those categories when the income comes in. 

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      • Peter
      • Professional Designer, Web Developer
      • lasty
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      MrGsPhace If you get paid all at once and you are worried about overspending if you assign it all in the same month, I suggest thinking in calendar months for the sake of the budget and budgeting everything you still need for the current month there, and the rest for the same category in the next month.

      This way you'll think about spending in calendar months, decoupled from your paycheck cycle. Once you've followed rule 4 and aged your money you can change how you handle this but I assume you're still living paycheck to paycheck if you are worried about this sort of thing.

      I get paid every month on the 25th with many bills hitting between the 1st and 15th, so here are three concrete examples from my budget and how I would handle them if I lived paycheck to paycheck:

      I spend 220 € per calendar month on groceries. When I get paid around the 25th I've already budgeted 200 to my grocery budget (and used most of it) so I fill that up with 20 bucks more to reach the goal 220 €, then budget the remaining 200 bucks in the upcoming month, and so on.

      My electricity bill gets withdrawn every month on the 28th, so when my money hits on the 25th, I'll budget the whole amount for the same month. This category will stay empty for the majority of the calendar month.

      My rent leaves my bank account on the 7th, so when my paycheck arrives I'll budget the money for rent in the upcoming month so it'll sit there once the month rolls over but I don't need to see it in the current month.

      The more you age your money and escape the paycheck to paycheck cycle having the funds to budget ahead, you'll gradually fund more and more categories in the upcoming month(s) in full, alleviating you of this process altogether.

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      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      MrGsPhace 

      MrGsPhace said:
      I'm used to the old YNAB where you had to decide if you wanted to roll over or not; this version doesn't quite rollover, its just there when you go to the next month; that's a bit easier and better. 

       Positive balances always rolled over. In YNAB4, you had the option of rolling over negative balances. The problem with that, of course is that having any negative balance is a violation of Rule 3, and allowing it to persist really goes against the fundamentals of allowing YNAB to work for you and improve your situation.

      Like 2
  • Hello - I hope it's ok for me to ask an additional question here.... I'm a complete newbie to YNAB, and sensible budgeting as a whole tbh - even though I have had 'vague' ideas of what  I have to spend on certain things each month! Nothing like this - and long term savings end up getting eaten into because I've not got a real terms clue about what I'm doing with my income!!! 

    But... Thanks so much for the advice here as this is what I'm struggling to get my head around just now... I get paid on the 25th (it was so lovely adding money to the budget for the first time!!!) and I've gone ahead and put in the whole amount I earmark for petrol into April... - but I've just filled the tank this week and won't do so again until the 2nd May(ish)... have I done the wrong thing adding the total amount into April's budget? f

    And if so ... how do I go about changing that? I think what Peter

    you are saying about topping up towards the end of the month is what I'll have to do in future -but I'm not sure what to do just now - and I may be over-stressing as I really want to get this right!!!! 

    And... if I put some of that money/all that's left back into 'To be budgeted' and then add it into May's budget will the underfunding in April make a difference to May's budget?

     Sounder  that video from Nick True was really helpful - I'd put all my amounts into April without thinking it through - so I've gone back and moved that money into May's budget for everything that is going out on or after the 1st! Phew!! 

    So yeah - thanks! I'm just not sure about the things that I am partly using this month and next... and things like my 'Birthday's' budget - if I've earmarked money into that category but not bought any presents - does that roll over or should I take it out and move it into May myself??????? 

    Thank you ... very glad! 😊

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      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Ruthie Toothie If the money is there at the end of April, it will still be in the available balance at the start of May. It makes no sense to take it out and then put it back in again.

      Available = available b/f from previous month* + budgeted in month - activity in month.

      * positive balances only - overspending does not carry forward in a category.

      There was also no need to move the money from April into May for anything that goes out on or after the 1st unless, and it's quite a big unless, you would think you had could spend that money in the next few days. If you know the available balance has to last you until the 25th of next month then you can budget it all in April without worrying about it. If you don't trust yourself or whoever you share the budget with then by all means split it between April and May but you don't have to. 

      Like 2
  • monkeyhanger  That is great! Thanks... so I could have left it as it was - I was a bit mithered it would negatively effect next month! That's great to know it all just moves forward, which makes complete sense now I think about it because I suppose some months I won't have to (e.g.) use as much petrol - and that 'over-budgeted' amount  has to go somewhere - it wouldn't just cease to exist!!!!! Thankee - much appreciated! 

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      • Peter
      • Professional Designer, Web Developer
      • lasty
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Ruthie Toothie Glad you're getting the hang of it. The positive category balances moving forward are also very helpful for what we call "True Expenses" like bills that don't happen monthly, or that pesky holiday season that always sneaks up on everyone. You figure out how much you need and when, then divide it by the number of months left until then. If you want to spend, say, $240 on holiday gifts in December, start adding $30 to your holiday gifts category every month from May onwards and it will sum up for you to reach your goal.

      Like 1
      • Ruthie Toothie
      • Tentative but determined!
      • Ruthie_toothie_080
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Peter that's very cool! I'm super bad at planning for Christmas etc - so that is definitely something I will now do! Just got to decided about how much I usually spend!!!!! 😊

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      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Ruthie Toothie It sounds like you haven't seen much of the support material. Have a look at the free workshops https://www.youneedabudget.com/free-workshops/ and other support material.

      You'll find on the forums that some of us who've been using YNAB for ages, do things slightly differently. A key difference, is that most of us don't budget into future months. That doesn't mean we're not getting ahead or saving for future months. Instead we budget those funds into a Next Month category. I won't overwhelm you with the reasons for why here just don't be surprised if you see that recommendation if you stick around on the forum. Good luck.

      Like 3
      • MrGsPhace
      • Beige_Battery.1
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      monkeyhanger 

       

      one big help would be is to reduce debt so that I can actually just throw all the extra into a holding category like emergency fund or next month fund+emergency fund so that I don't have to worry if I will run out before the next pay check. 

      every 2 months I go through a major change; this doesn't help my bottom line; lack of stability doesn't help but life has been changing for me in the past year so we're still trying to iron out a lot of things what we want and depend on what happens within the next 3 months I'll have to focus spend on different things that are important like hiring a moving company and paying the bills until one or both of us get jobs, etc. 

      IDK I seem to remember YNAB4 being a bit more complex than the online version; I like the newer one, its a bit more simpler. 

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      • Ruthie Toothie
      • Tentative but determined!
      • Ruthie_toothie_080
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      monkeyhanger Thanks! You are quite right - I've not managed to get myself on to any of the workshops as yet - as the timings haven't quite managed to fit in well (I'm in the UK) but I've ordered the book and am looking forward to learning muchos from there - and think I may be able to get into a couple of workshops over the next couple of weeks (?!?!).  It's good to know that once I get into my stride with YNAB that there will be future tweaks and challenges I can think about! 😊

      Like 1
      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Ruthie Toothie I'm also in the UK. The workshops are all on youtube. It does mean you can't ask questions but you can at least watch them at a more sensible time.

      Like 3
      • Ruthie Toothie
      • Tentative but determined!
      • Ruthie_toothie_080
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      monkeyhanger yes I have started with the introductory ones first - and I think some I’ll get my head around more when I come to needing to tackle a particular issue?!?!? I am planning to watch them a few times over!! 😊

      Like 1
  • Can you split it like YNAB4 or not?

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    • Silver Horse The process for designating income for this month vs. next month is different in the new YNAB than it was in YNAB 4, but you definitely can still split it! Two common ways people do that are clicking ahead and budgeting to future months, or budgeting some or all of your paycheck to an "Income for Next Month" category.

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    • Silver Horse No, not quite like YNAB4, since there is no Income for Next Month category. You can, however, budget some in this months area and the rest in next months area.

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