Fresh Start 2022

I'm dilly dallying about creating a fresh start for 2022.  On the one hand I like the idea of a new year a new start, on the other hand I'm not sure how much work it is and right now more work is not what I need!

Would love to get your ideas on the pros and cons.

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  • Hmmm - a fresh start isn't a ton of work, because your accounts, categories, scheduled transactions, targets, payees are all retained. The amount of extra work probably depends more on how much you will reconsider your priorities. You can always make a fresh start and abandon ship if you decide it is too much work - your current budget patiently awaits you if that's the case! 

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    • Marisa - thanks for the reply. When everything is back to zero on the fresh start, I'm not sure what to do with my targeted goals, which don't carry over to new budget.  Do I add them to the amount I include as the bank balance?  Maybe I'm losing the plot here? 

    • Violet Panther For categories that you've built up a bunch of funds over the months, you can re-assign the money directly to those categories. 

  • YNAB makes it really easy to return to your old budget. It took us two or three Fresh Starts to get the hang of it; like most learning in YNAB, best to dive in and don't hem and haw too much because you always adjust.

    Here's the summary of our journey:

    • Motivation: after ~4 years of transactions, my All Accounts tab was causing the browser tab to go "not responding". It was time to start fresh.
    • Most time-consuming part: I encountered a bug where the Account Balances didn't set correctly on new budget. Tip: Write down all balances and verify/correct starting balances on new budget. YNAB acknowledged issue but I don't know where it is in their bug fix queue.
    • Reflection: We used the opportunity to reorganize our categories, aligning with recent major life events. Moving to a new city with higher cost of living, adding a 2nd dog to the family, etc. 

    For our personal finances, doing a fresh start with a new calendar year doesn't offer much benefit. Aligning to start of month is key though.

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    • Tan Koala I understand what you're saying about not much benefit to a fresh start...we always make sure our budget tallies at the end of each month so that wouldn't be a problem for the year end.  This is our third year of YMABing, which has made an incredible difference in our lives.  Why a fresh start has been popping into my head this year, I have no clue, but thought I'd check out the perspective of more experienced YNABers. 😊

    • WordTenor
    • Can we agree that goals are dumb and immature? Sure.
    • WordTenor
    • 2 wk ago
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    Violet Panther said:
    I'd check out the perspective of more experienced YNABers. 😊

     Most of the truly long-time people (5+ years) have never fresh started, or certainly haven't done it in years. It seems very popular now among newbies to fresh start each January and I have no idea why. As you go on with YNAB, odds are you'll end up with a lot of money sitting--fresh starting each year will mean having to re-allocate thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars for no reason. Plus if you really stick with it, eventually you'll want an answer to "what year did I make x major purchase?" which if your budget has restarted each year, you won't be able to answer easily. 

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    • WordTenor - that makes a lot of sense. I think I've already messed up my current budget because I moved money sitting in targeted back to be assigned so it would be there for January - and then moved it back because it didn't help me, lol. And now when I look at January it looks as though I have a ton of money to assign, which should actually be at zero because I assigned everything. Ah well, back to the drawing board to see if I can fix this mess and then go on my merry way without fresh starting anything!

    • WordTenor I fresh start all the time, sometimes multiple times in a year.  For historical tracking, I simply use the relevant financial institution's web site or Personal Capital, which is great at keeping transaction history.  YMMV.   

  • I got a lot of good ideas from watching the Budget Nerds video on it.

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