YNAB newbie

I am entering my fourth week on ynab and I just now was able to fill up all but one of my true obligations and my auto payment. It's only the second week of May so I still have a couple of weeks to accumulate money for those and my goals and I just feel so optimistic. Like I can actually accomplish what I set out to do.

There were a few bumps along the way; I had to make a few budgets before I settled on the one I have and I realized it was better for me if I manually input all my transactions and I am sure I will be tweaking things for a long time to come but this is such a great website. It's amazing how little time it takes to get to a better financial mindset if you have access to non-judgemental tools and an open mind. I should have signed up a long time ago.

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  • Welcome! I'm a fellow newbie; have been using YNAB this time around for 8 weeks. I say "this time around" because I had a couple of false starts in the past. But this time seems to be sticking! I agree with you on the manual input of transactions. It's best to try to enter everything in the moment so that your category balances stay up-to-date. Credit card transactions often take a couple of days to pull through, and I have my cards linked just as a confirmation/reconciliation mechanism. What are some of your goals you hope to accomplish with YNAB?

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    • Slate Blue Pilot Good luck! I hear discipline is not so much an inborn trait as a diligent practice. So, I'm trying to practice! I just signed up to go back to school and it's a local community college so it's rather affordable. My goals are 1) to not have to take out loans to pay for classes, I did that the first time around and I am loathe to do it again. 2) Pay for a dream vacation to New Zealand (from NE USA) by March 2021. I was already almost halfway there before signing up. 3) Pay off my auto loan and start saving for car repairs and/or a newer car. I have just under $10000 to pay off. 4) Start contributing to my investment accounts. These are listed in order of priority. What are your goals?

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    • Slate Blue Packet Good set of goals! That vacation should keep you motivated, and when the time comes, you'll enjoy it so much more knowing that the cost has been planned in advance. No guilt and no debt to pay off over several months after the trip. My goals? Long term is to pay off my huge student loan by the time I'm 40. That gives me a little over 6 years to do it, instead of the 14 years left on the term of the loan. Short term is to pre-fund my vacation to Iceland that I have planned with my partner at the end of the summer. Also coming from the NE USA (NYC). We already paid for flights, rental car, some lodging with pre-YNAB money, but for the remainder of the costs, I'm trying to have all the money ready. About 4 months to go! New Zealand looks beautiful and could make for a future trip. About investment accounts: I started contributing to some right around my 30th birthday. At the time, I felt I couldn't afford it, especially while making big student loan payments. But a really good piece of advice I got was that I don't need to do all or nothing (either choosing paying of debt or saving/investing) and could do both at once, just in smaller amounts. Oh, and to just get over the hurdle of starting! I think my first contributions were about $50/paycheck. Even though the methods of Dave Ramsey, Mr. Money Mustache, and many other big financial personalities stress payment of debt over all else, it's just one perspective out of many valid ones. One thing I have grown to appreciate about YNAB's community is how non-judgmental people on these forums generally are about how you spend your money. 

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    • Slate Blue Pilot I am trying to contribute at least $20 a paycheck. Not much, but still better than nothing and I am at least making minimum payments on my loan. I have only read jlcollinsnh but he has mentioned Mr. Money Mustache and a few others I plan to look into. Iceland sounds wonderful; it's on my list of places to visit. I hope you and your partner have loads of fun. This is my first foray into the forums but even the ynab book stressed having breathing room so I'm not surprised about how not judgey people might be.

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  • Hi Slate Blue Packet !

    Welcome to YNAB and to the forum! We're glad you're here now! :)

    We think of budgeting as a process. Every experience you have, including starting again, makes you a better budgeter, so you're already leagues ahead of where you started from! ;)

    I hope you'll consider keeping a journal on the forum and letting us follow along on your journey!

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