Do I have to fill in my budget every month new?
Hi I'm new to YNAB and really enjoying it so far. I'm now working on my second month of budgeting, and I'm wondering if I have to fill in all the budget numbers in again anew, or if there is a way to have them carry over. Especially for items like mortgage, insurance, etc, it would be easier if they would appear as they did in the previous month. TIA!
What I do is select all the categories or category groups I want to fill, and then looking at the sidebar on the right side of the screen, I can click any of the quick-budgeting buttons like "Budgeted Last Month" to quickly fill in my whole budget again. You can basically fill your whole budget in 2-3 clicks this way if you want.
Also if you set up goals for your categories (for instance, I have a monthly savings goal of $26 for Electric Bill), you can select "Underfunded" and your categories will quickly fill to whatever your goal amount is.
One core principle is that your budget should only contain money that can be spent; categories should always backed by cash in hand. This will be true as long as To Be Budgeted is $0 (or positive). That means you'll have to be a little deliberate as to when you make your allocations (budget entries), in order to avoid a negative/red To Be Budgeted.
Goals and the Quick-Budget buttons are designed to reduce effort when budgeting. In addition to the explicit Goals (shown on the right when a category is selected), scheduled transactions create implicit goals in the month of the outflow. The Underfunded quick-budget button is perhaps the main workhorse and will fill both of these goals. Again, you may need to select a subset of categories to keep TBB non-negative.
If you are splitting an expense across two checks (e.g., something large like Rent), you can just type in the first check's contribution and then use the Underfunded when allocating the second check. (Tip: put the per-check amount in the category name for reference.)
As a heads up, a huge simplification happens when you don't need to budget your check(s) in the current month's area. This lets you budget in month-sized chunks across all categories (in next month's area) using cash in-hand, ideally with a couple clicks.
Hi Yoni U ! I'm glad that you've joined us here in the Forum. Excellent wisdom from The Artist Formerly Known As and dakinemaui on streamlining the budgeting process with Quick Budget and what to keep an eye on.
These articles go in to more detail on the above, and if you're a visual learner—can help show you what it looks like in your budget:
Let us know if you have further questions!