Paralyzed with anxiety trying to get started

I just signed up for a free trial and am absolutely paralyzed with anxiety trying to set up  and 'do' YNAB.  (YNAB, you probably could get more customers if your opening page wasn't so complicated and overwhelming) I watched a few videos and just don't know how to start. I added one checking account which has $1400 in it right now because it is the middle of the month. Now what? I don't know what to do next. I don't know what I am going to buy let alone how much something is going to cost so I don't know what categories to put in. I just ended up putting the $1400 in the 'stuff I forgot to budget for'. Not sure what to do next. Do I just link my checking account and see what happens?

Side note** I am very very good with my money already and my husband and I have good jobs and we do well. I have emergency savings, retirement, long term savings, short term, travel fund, house fund, etc. I just wanted to jump on the YNAB bandwagon that everyone is talking about but so far it just makes me nervous and anxious. 

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  • What is the very next bill you have to pay? Find or create a category for that, and assign the cost of the bill to that category.  What is the very next thing you are going to purchase? Find or create a category for that, and assign the cost to that category. Continue this process until you have given each of those $1400 a job, a purpose, a thing to do. 

    It sounds like some of your dollars already have jobs - is your emergency savings on budget? If not, add it. What are you saving for, long term? Give the long term savings dollars a job (or several). What are you saving for in the short term?

    Like 3
  • Sounds like you're trying to get it perfect from the start. Not what you should be striving for. It's an envelope budget system. Between now and the next time you get money, what do you have to do? Go to the grocery store? Budget some money to a Grocery category. Doesn't matter if you get it right, it can be edited later. How about pay a utility bill? Budget to that. All of your accounts should be on budget. Yes, I mean you should put your savings account on budget. It doesn't matter if you don't want to spend out of that account, budgeting doesn't require spending. What are you saving for? House fund? Okay, allocate funds to a House Fund category. Instead of managing your budget by account balance, manage by category balance. A dollar in your savings account is no different than a dollar in your checking account once you have assigned jobs for all of your money.

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    • jenmas , thanks. I am so anxiety ridden trying to do this. I want YNAB to be fun and enjoyable but so far it just stresses me out. 

      Like
  • The big problem is that I pay for everything with my credit card and just pay it off. So I have no idea how to 'budget' that. I also transfer my portion of the mortgage to my husband and he pays it. We also have a house account which I periodically transfer money to. I don't know how to do this in YNAB...just so stressed and anxious trying to figure this out. :(

    Like 1
    • Powder Blue Panther Re: paying for things with the credit card, just treat it as you would paying something with a check. The only difference is that YNAB will move assigned dollars to the credit card category for you, and the payment is a transfer between accounts (vs. an expenditure).  You should still have a plan for what you're going to spend, which is all a budget is.

      What accounts do you want to have on budget? The ones that are in your name only? the ones that are in both your names but not his? Decide what you want on budget. If you have the joint/his account on budget, sending him the mortgage money or putting money in the joint account is just a transfer. If those are off budget, they should be expenditures from a category.

      This is really not something to be getting stressed or anxious about. What's the worst that happens if you mess up your YNAB budget? Are you all of a sudden going to change your spending habits to spend more money?

      Like 2
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 12 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther your credit card should be an on budget account. When you pay for something on your credit card, you enter it in the credit card account register.

      So let's say you add your credit card today and it has a balance of $500 and there are no pending transactions. Out of your $1400 Ready To Assign (formerly To Be Budgeted), you need to allocate $500 to the Credit Card Payment category (this is the amount of your cash that is assigned to pay your credit card bill and ideally should match the total balance on your card if you are a Paid in Full credit card user. If it doesn't match you either are carrying credit card debt or you are on the credit card float - ie relying on money you receive "tomorrow" to pay the credit card debt you incur today and it is very possible to be on the float and never pay credit card interest. All good as long as there are no glitches in your life, but can easily start to cost you interest). Then moving forward let's say you go to the gas station tomorrow and it costs you $23 to top off your tank. Also, yesterday you assigned $50 to your Gas category. You go into the credit card account register and enter the payee as Gas Station and the category as Gas and the amount as $23. YNAB will deduct $23 from the Available amount of your Gas category (Right hand column on budget page) and allocate those $23 to your Credit Card Payment category which will now have an Available balance of $523 in order to cover your credit card bill.

      Like 1
    • Thanks, everybody, for your responses. I know you are all trying to help. This is just too overwhelming and complicated for me right now. Maybe I will try again another time. 

      Like
  • Check out Nick True's video about starting YNAB in the middle of the month if you haven't already. Also, I started YNAB in the middle of the month and I remember how confusing it all was at first! I just started with categories I had from my previous budget (if you have one), and funded them in the month I started until I hit 0.

    I would recommend that you create categories and decide how much you need to fund them, by either a piece of paper IRL or in the notes section, before linking any accounts. Then, once you've decided how much you will need for each thing, add your bank account (I prefer not to link my account and enter things manually) and assign the money. I would also start with the basics, adding categories and putting money into them, before trying to add on more advanced things like goals or tracking accounts. If you mess something up, you can adjust and move forward. For example- when I started I didn't fully grasp the 'only budget money you have' concept and I got very turned around and started fresh like twice or three times. My money was still there in my bank account and no harm done! I also kept my old spreadsheet I used to use to track my money around just in case I needed to match stuff up. I hope this is helpful! Also, you can reach out to YNAB's support via email. I have emailed them so many times and they're always very helpful!

    Like 1
  • Powder Blue Panther YNAB can be overwhelming in the beginning because it is a very different way of thinking about your money. It doesn't really change what you do with your money necessarily (especially if you are actually doing well with how you spend your dollars), but it can give a whole lot more clarity to where those dollars are going, help plug any leaks, pay off debt, and plan for fun things in the future, both long and short term.

    YNAB's primary goal (especially in the beginning) is to decide where your dollars are going.

    Step 1 would be to add all of your accounts - checking, savings, and credit card accounts (with current balances)

    Step 2 would be to create categories for all the major expenses you can think of that occur monthly (mortgage, car (including payments, insurance costs, maintenance, gas, etc), utilities, cable, phones, groceries, health insurances, etc, etc, etc). It helps to review your checking and credit card accounts to see what you have spent money on to start building a list of categories.

    Step 3 is to look down over your list and figure out the most pressing need for the bills that you have coming up. I like to organize my "bill" categories by the date they are due, with the first of the month bills at the top. You are in the middle of the month, but that's totally ok, you just start where ever you are.

     

    The real truth comes when you begin to assign the dollars. If you actually have enough funds in order to pay your credit card bill off every month (i.e. you are not on the "float"), then you should be able to assign enough dollars to the credit card category to pay off the bill, and still have enough funds to budget for the things that you need between now and the next pay day.  If you don't have enough funds to cover the current credit card balance, and assign dollars to what needs to be paid then you're probably riding the credit card float and don't realize it, even if you pay the bill in full every month. That's ok, and probably not a big problem to correct if your float isn't too large and you've got some funds in savings.

     

    I hope this helps you, and anyone else who might be overwhelmed by a new way of thinking about their money. I'm totally available to help newbies get started, too, so don't hesitate to PM me if that's easier. I've been using the program for over 8 years and it's moved us through a LOT of debt, into a much better financial position and weathered us through some really wild financial changes in our life in that time, and we always come out stronger for it, thanks to the clarity that YNAB gives us.

    Like 3
  • Maybe try starting your budget from the phone or iPad app. There's a new getting started feature that makes it easier to ahem, get started. It should be the opposite of stressful once you get going. You'll have full control of your money with YNAB.

    Like 1
  • Welcome, Powder Blue Panther ! We have a new video that might help you get started: Creating Your Budget in YNAB. Want to give it a try and let us know what questions you have from there?

    Like
    • Why do you add a savings account to budget? I don't  want to spend that money I want to save it. I just don't understand so many of the YNAB concepts. I have linked then unlinked and deleted my accounts. I just don't understand the numbers and what YNAB is telling me to do. So painful and stressful. I don't see the 'fun' of YNAB. :(

      Like
      • MadDog
      • Navy_Blue_Pegasus.2
      • 12 days ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther Adding savings to your budget in YNAB is part of why it is different. The way that we show that we have saved money for something is to include it in the budget so we can prioritize it as part of the plan. As one of the long-time users has said many times, all budgeting is saving but just with different timelines on spending.

      When I budget for the rent, I am "saving" or setting aside that money for rent. I just happen to use it once a month. Same as when I set aside money for car repairs. I save it so that it is ready for when I need to use it. 

      The other thing with YNAB as you move into it more, we become much more granular on what your "savings" are doing. For most people, those saving have many potential jobs - car repair, vacation, emergencies, income replacement. In YNAB, we segregate these jobs more clearly and it becomes easier to see that I can cover things rather than hoping that my savings are enough.

      Big thing is to really take it one step at a time. I saw that you put the $1400 in Stuff I forgot. Good start. Now, whenever you make a purchase, determine what category you would put that expense in. Bought groceries? Make a grocery category. When you enter the transaction, you enter that you paid it with the credit card and then YNAB will move the money to credit card payment as explained above. Keep repeating this. Maybe that will be easier than estimating what you will spend. Then, as you have entered transactions, you will start to see the pattern and when you next get money, you can then start to estimate where you will spend. Nothing is permanent! 

      Like 4
    • MadDog , thanks. As I said to another poster putting in my savings account really panics me. I don't want to see that money. I don't want it mixed in with my checking account money. In my bank account they are two separate accounts but YNAB puts them together and I just don't understand or like that. I want my savings account to be far away from and separate from my checking (spending) money. I don't want to budget to spend my savings money I just want to save it. 

      Like
    • Powder Blue Panther I think starting with your checking and credit card accounts is just fine! Eventually, you might want to add savings, because it can be really powerful, but don't let that hold you up today!

      Like 4
    • Marisa is right, Powder Blue Panther - there's no reason you can't begin and leave your savings accounts out of the picture for the moment. If you do move money to them from your checking account, then you can just record that as a transaction with an outflow (and vice versa).
      I don't have my car loan or my BF's car loan, or our mortgage in my budget as actual accounts. I just make a transaction that pays the bill every month and the money disappears. I didn't want the headache of figuring out how to account for escrow, and insurances, and interest in them, so I just left them out of the picture all together (plus I didn't wan them to factor into my debt total, either).
      The beauty of YNAB is there is a lot of room for flexibility for you to set it up just the way it works for you.

      Like
  • Powder Blue Panther said:
    Why do you add a savings account to budget? I don't  want to spend that money I want to save it. I just don't understand so many of the YNAB concepts. I have linked then unlinked and deleted my accounts. I just don't understand the numbers and what YNAB is telling me to do. So painful and stressful. I don't see the 'fun' of YNAB. :(

    Exactly. This is an allocation budget, not a spending budget. You should allocate all your savings to categories that define what those savings are for. Six month Emergency fund or Income Replacement fund, Vacation, Christmas, House Maintenance, Car Maintenance, Next Car savings, etc.

    The fun starts when it clicks and if you stay with it and give it your best shot, it will click. Just keep at it and ask questions until it does. Once you get there, it will be blissful. You will know that you've got everything covered and you'll have totally optimized all funds current and incoming.

    Like 3
    • Superbone , I just don't get it. I now have $1400 in my checking and $4000 in a short term savings. When I look at my bank account they are separate. I don't want to know about the $4000 because I don't want to be tempted to spend it. But when I put them in YNAB it says I have $5400 to be budgeted. This panics me because I don't want to be tempted to spend that money. I don't want to see it. I don't allocate it to anything...it is just savings. 

      Like
      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 12 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther Often times what people do (I do this myself) is to make a category group ALL THE WAY DOWN AT THE BOTTOM of the budget, which holds your savings categories.  You can keep this category group collapsed, so you don't see it, and won't be tempted to use it for spending.

      Keep all of your more common daily/weekly/ regular categories toward the top so you see them and they're easier to find.

      I understand that having the money in your "budget" (which some people think of as a spending plan) but YNAB uses budget as spending and savings plan.  In fact, as some have said, it's all savings.  Just the time frame is different.  You might have a 20 year time horizon on a roof replacement, or a week time frame on groceries/household, but it's really just sitting in there, being saved until you use it.

      So don't panic that you have some immediate use savings, some short term savings, and more long term savings in the same budget.

      The category is what tells you the job of the money, not the account.  If it's in the "Income Replacement" category, then you don't use that for buying coffee.  your coffee has its own category.

      Like 2
    • Powder Blue Panther Make a category called savings and put the $4000 in it. Then don't spend from that category, just like you wouldn't spend from the savings account.

      Actually, it's more helpful to make a savings category *group* with categories like "Medical Emergency"  "Income Replacement" or whatever you would justify pulling from savings to cover. 

      Like 1
    • Move Light Sound Life , wouldn't it be better just to not even have the account in YNAB? I am thinking of just putting in only my checking account because that is the money that I receive and spend. 

      Like
    • Bruce , I think it would just be best not to even put the savings account in. Just my checking account because that is the money that I receive and spend. I don't like that YNAB lumps all of your money together in one big pot. That is not how I organize my money.

      Like
    • Powder Blue Panther Hey, if it gets you started, go for it.

      Later, when you're comfortable with a few more things, you'll likely find a lot of power and control using YNAB to maximize your savings. 

      Don't let this hang you up. You can always add it later.

      Like 1
    • Powder Blue Panther And when you're ready to think about it again, check out these threads: 

      https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/p8hhfnk/category-names

      There's a "deja vu" thread linked in there as well, which you may be interested in reading.

      But that's for later. You're welcome to just focus on getting the hang of dealing with transactions and planning your spending in the app.  You're an adult, you make your own decisions. 

      Just know that a ton of people get a lot out of planning their savings in YNAB, and you could have that success, too, so come back to the idea in the future!

      Like 1
    • Bruce , but it goes in the big green bubble that tells you you need to budget it. That is what I don't like. I don't like that YNAB mixes all your money into one big pot. That is not how I handle my money. I have accounts separate so I am not tempted to spend from them.

      Like
    • Powder Blue Panther So make your savings account a tracking account, or just delete it from your budget. No one is going to force you to have your savings in your budget. Do most people find it helpful? Yes. But if you don't, then you don't.

      Like 1
      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 12 days ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther It is only in that big green bubble for as long as it takes you to move it to a category. Once its in a category, it's protected from spending unless you intentionally spend FROM that category.

      Like 3
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 12 days ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther budgeting by account is one way to do things. Absolutely. What we're trying to say is that the YNAB method (and the YNAB app/software is designed specifically to support the YNAB method) is to budget by categories instead of by accounts.

      Like I have a "Loss of Income" category that will fully cover me for 6-8 months. I could not tell you which account that money is in - it's in all of them (I have 3 checking and 3 savings account to take advantage of interest rates and sign up bonuses) or maybe it's in Account 1, but it could be Account 3. Don't know, don't care, because it does not impact how I spend my money. I would never be tempted to take money from that category and reassign it to something like clothes or eating out because that goes against the priorities I have set for myself. I don't have a general "savings" category because all savings is just delayed spending. I have categories for my annual IRA contribution, the annual out of pocket max for my health insurance, car repairs, home repairs, monthly taxable investing, Christmas presents, other presents, vacations (I actually have about 5 different vacation categories), New Car (hopefully not until 2030), kitchen remodel (I have the money just not the will to deal with contractors!), technology replacement, etc., etc.

      Similarly, having $1400 in my checking account doesn't stop me from spending ten times that because I put everything on a credit card anyway and my credit card limits add up to more than my annual income, and regardless of how much is my checking account, the bills come due. So - I want to go to dinner with a friend, I make the decision on whether I can go to dinner is based solely on what's in my Eating Out category.

      Like 6
    • jenmas , I know everyone is trying to help but so confusing. The more I try the more confused I get. :(

      Like
      • MadDog
      • Navy_Blue_Pegasus.2
      • 12 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther Then I would start as recommended elsewhere. Only put your chequing account on budget for now. Use it until you get comfortable. Then later on, you can look into options to add your savings account.

      Like 2
    • MadDog , thank you. The anxiety is killing me but I will try. Still hoping I can figure out the 'fun' of YNAB that everyone is talking about. ;)

      Like
    • Powder Blue Panther The fun comes from understanding your priorities and telling your money where to go. It's not instant gratification, but it will be worth pushing through!

      Come back and check in once you've got your checking account money divvied up among your categories!

      Like 3
      • Orange Pony
      • freelance creative
      • Orange_pony.13
      • 12 days ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther I say this as a person with pretty significant anxiety issues: if you are this anxious about just setting up YNAB, you really need YNAB.

       

      Breathe. Do one thing at a time. Keep handling your money as you usually would, but start to layer in some YNAB tracking and categorization as you go. If you are already good with your money, you are not suddenly going to become irresponsible just because you are using an app. 

       

      What I suspect will happen is that you'll feel a huge weight of anxiety lift off your shoulders in 2 to 8 weeks when you suddenly understand where your money is going and what you need for it to do. But don't try to force that feeling; just go one day and one transaction at a time.

      Like 6
    • Orange Pony this is really great advice!!

      Like 1
    • Orange Pony , this is good advice. I wasn't stressed at all about my money. I just wanted to see what all the buzz is about with YNAB. But setting up YNAB is what is stressing me. I did manage to add my checking account and my credit card but now don't know what to do. I know tomorrow I will probably use my credit card for something but don't know what.

      Like
      • Orange Pony
      • freelance creative
      • Orange_pony.13
      • 12 days ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther soooo if you're in YNAB -- for free at this point, on the trial period -- just to see what it's about, then you have literally nothing to be stressed about.

      Set up a budget. Put money in places. Go "huh" and delete that whole budget.

      Start over. Set up another budget. Put money in different places.

      Include your savings account.

      Leave out your savings account.

      Fresh start your budget. Watch a couple webinars and try using the category names the instructors use.

      Start over. 

      You have absolutely nothing to lose except a bit of time spent thinking about your money and what you need it to do for you -- and that is NOT time wasted.

      Like 6
    • Orange Pony , good advice! You might be able to get me off the ledge! ;)

      Like 2
      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 11 days ago
      • 8
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther 

      Powder Blue Panther said:
      this is good advice. I wasn't stressed at all about my money. I just wanted to see what all the buzz is about with YNAB. But setting up YNAB is what is stressing me.

       Yeah, this happened to me too when I started using YNAB 7 years ago. You want to know why? because it told me the truth, something I wasn't aware of. I wasn't as good with my money as I thought I was, and that thought literally made me nauseous.

      7 years later, I'm a pro and saving like crazy. But one of the reasons I'm saving is because my savings is part of my budget, not outside of it. The accounts just don't matter because they don't define the purpose of your money. Your categories do.

      Lastly, the only difference between spending and saving is when you spend the money. YNAB works great for that because money assigned to a category stays in that category until you spend it or move it to another category.

      Like 8
  • same. Wife and I are trying to get going, but we cannot even link our USAA account. Not a good start. I believe in the concepts, but it just is too ridiculous so far...

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    • Turquoise Cello , I was hoping it would be fun but it is killing me with stress and anxiety. Good luck to you.

      Like
    • Powder Blue Panther Just curious... Have you tried anyone's suggestions? Or are you just sitting there thinking anxious thoughts?

      Like 2
    • Move Light Sound Life , I am reading and trying. I have my YNAB open and am trying to budget. I don't know what I am going to spend my money on so having trouble budgeting to $0. I decided against adding my savings because that was making me nervous. So I am back to square one with just a checking and trying to figure out where to put the money.

      Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 12 days ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther Just enter a number in a category. Because Rule 3 is "Roll with the Punches" - that means if you make a budget allocation today and tomorrow you realize it was wrong, you just move the money around. The budget page isn't meant to be static. It is a living, breathing reflection of your priorities and those can and do change. You are not able to see the future, you merely make a best guess based on the information you have right now. And tomorrow when you get more/different information, you refine. Do not let perfect be the enemy of good.

      Like 5
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 12 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Turquoise Cello linking your accounts is not required to fully implement a YNAB budget. It's nice for backup/double check, but isn't necessary to function.

      Like 2
    • Welcome Turquoise Cello ! I took a look at your connections and see that you have a successful connection to USAA, and will be able to import once you link it to your accounts in YNAB. 

      That said, jenmas is right! You can add transactions in a variety of ways.

      Like 1
  • Powder Blue Panther said:
    I did manage to add my checking account and my credit card but now don't know what to do.

     Assign money to categories until your Ready To Assign = $0. Just guess. It doesn't matter if you're right or not. Your guesses will get better with experience.

    Tomorrow, if you decide to buy a pizza, but you had put $30 into a hobby category instead of dining out, no worries! You'll just move the $30 from the hobby category to the dining out category and make the purchase. Easy!

    In that process, if you think of a hobby thing you want more than pizza, then you look for a different category to pull the $from to buy a pizza.

    Like
    • Move Light Sound Life , I am finding it hard because I don't what I am going to buy. I know I will probably buy gas tomorrow so I put $50 in gas but don't know what to do with the other $1350.

      Like
    • Powder Blue Panther Oh! I'm really glad you're trying. Good work stepping beyond the feelings - keep going.

      Do you have any bills due soon? 

      Are you going to buy food soon?

      What about bills for next month? They'll roll over if you assign money now.

      Stick your last couple hundred in a Stuff I Forgot to Budget for category. Then, when something comes up - say you pay for a doctor appointment that you didn't think about, you move the money from SIFTBF to the medical category. 

      Like  jenmas said, it doesn't have to be perfect now.

      Once you're down to $0, you can either do something else right now, knowing you got started on YNAB, or you can peruse other people's lists of categories for ideas on expenses you might encounter in your own life.

      If it were me, I'd move on to another activity. I'm sure you're emotionally exhausted. You'll be rejuvenated tomorrow when you buy gas with money you set aside for gas.

      Like 1
    • Move Light Sound Life , so watching videos...is assigning money the same as making the budget? Confused about this.

      Like
    • Powder Blue Panther In a way, yes. Assigning money to categories is how you make your budget.

      The budget is your plan for how you want your money to be used.

      The other aspect I would consider "making the budget" would be honing and organizing the categories to suit your needs. 

      Both assigning money and reorganizing categories are easily changed if you need to do so.

      Like 1
    • Powder Blue Panther I don't know if your video mentioned this, but it might help you to put the due date/amount in each category title. 

      That way, you don't have to always think about it. The info is just there.

      Like 1
    • Move Light Sound Life , the girl in the YNAB video is doing something with goals and dates but 'money to be assigned' is $0. Not sure what she is doing exactly and now wondering if I started out wrong.

      Like
    • Powder Blue Panther nope, you didn't start out wrong. If it's the new video, YNAB changed how they have people think about starting a budget, but that doesn't mean doing it differently is wrong. In fact, the advice has just changed as of today.

      The only "wrong" you can do with budgeting is to not engage with it. 

      Like 2
    • Powder Blue Panther No, you did not start out wrong. You started out fine.

      YNAB does have goals (now called targets - they just overhauled terminology a bit). Their intention is to A) help you remember what you think of your priorities before a budgeting session and B) minimize repetitive work with the Quick Budget Tool (now Auto-Assign).

      Goals/Targets do not comprise your budget. What shows up in the Available column is your budget. The Assigned column is just what you (or the auto-assign tool) use to move money into categories.

      Especially because you were overwhelmed at first, I'd highly recommend just waiting on the goals. Get used to the way the basic software and the method work manually first. Then you'll know more how you want to set up the goals, because you'll see what you end up doing over and over.

      Of course, if you want to play with them, there's no harm. I often made a sandbox budget (literally a separate budget called Sandbox) and fiddled with different ways of using the software where I knew it wouldn't mess up what I'd done well and wanted to keep.

      Like 1
    • Powder Blue Panther Now, if you want to look ahead a bit, try adding scheduled transactions for repeating bills. 

      That happens in the account register, but it will show you helpful information on the budget screen when you click on its category.

      Like
    • Move Light Sound Life ,I just paid for gas with a credit card and now have no idea what is going on or what all this means. My stress level is going back up now...lol.

      Like
      • MadDog
      • Navy_Blue_Pegasus.2
      • 11 days ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther So, looking at this I am assuming that your gas purchase was $39.12 ($100-$60.88=$39.12). That means if you used your credit card for the transaction, then $39.12 should be showing against your credit card in addition to any money you have budgeted to it. We cannot see the screen shot. 

      Also, you have two transaction that are not yet categorized which means that you have not assigned them to a category. You can click on the Yellow Uncategorized transactions and add the category to the transaction. It should also be a yellow bubble when you are in the transaction. Alternatively, you can go to accounts at the bottom and get to the transactions as well.

      As a note, I will say that I found the app on the phone very difficult to use and follow because it has less real estate and you don't see all of the available columns without clicking. You might want to use the software on the website because it is way easier IMO to learn YNAB that way. I really only use the app to record transactions when I am out and about and do all my assigning on the web.

      Like 3
    • Powder Blue Panther Everything MadDog said. Keep us updated!

      Like 1
    • MadDog , yes, thank you. App is confusing...I felt sort of OK last night setting up budget on my computer but not sure what is going on with the app. What is the $486 ready to assign?

      Like
      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 11 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther 

      Powder Blue Panther said:
      What is the $486 ready to assign?

       That is the amount of money in your checking account (I think you said you were leaving off savings accounts for now?) which has not been assigned to a category yet.

      You should assign your money to categories until that number is 0.  Then if you have to move it around because you "overspent" in one category, money can be moved from another category to cover it.

      And if you have all your known expenses for the month covered, then yay, you've got more money than you need for the month and you can start assigning money for next month's expenses!

      Like 2
  • Bruce said:
    you can start assigning money for next month's expenses!

     For example, if you put that $4xx in your rent category now, it will stay there and roll over into next month's rent category.

    Like 1
  • Hey Powder Blue Panther ! Welcome to YNAB. I'm sorry to hear things are off to a tough start! There are a lot of great suggestions and tips in the thread, but I wanted to mention that we have an amazing support team that is happy to help one-on-one too. Here's how you can reach out

    Like 1
  • Can anyone tell me what this means? I know it is something to do with my credit card. I just don't understand the software and how it all works. I am just tooling around with stuff trying to figure it all out and thought I'd try the 'Reconcile' button because I just paid $486.84 to my credit card so my available balance is down. But when I try to reconcile I get this and I don't know what it means or what to do. It won't reconcile.

    Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther when you hit the reconcile button in YNAB, it asked you if your checking account balance was $1300 and you clicked no and manually typed $813.16 for the checking account balance. So YNAB is letting you know that the information in YNAB is different than what you say is the balance in real life.

      Like
    • jenmas , hmmm I don't quite understand your answer. My actual bank account says I have $813.16. Not sure why YNAB says I have $1300. I tried to reconcile and type in $813.16 but it wouldn't allow me to do that.

      Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther YNAB says you have $1300 because you had a starting balance of $1400 and you only have one transaction in the account so far to pay a credit card $100. If you are relying on auto import instead of doing manual entry, you have to wait a while for the feeds to catch up. If you have other transactions in your checking account, go ahead an enter them.

      Like
    • Powder Blue Panther Your balance in YNAB is 1300 - you started with 1400, and have an outflow of 100. If your balance at the bank is 813.16, you're missing 486.84 of transactions (total) that left the account. So there is at least one transaction that your bank has that YNAB does not. 

      You have two options. You can 1) find and enter the missing transactions into YNAB, then reconcile, or 2) Click "Create Adjustment & Finish" and YNAB will create a transaction of -486.84 that doesn't match any transaction at your bank, but gets your balances to agree. 

      If you do 1, you can appropriately categorize the transactions in your budget. If you do 2, then you need to go back to your budget and figure out where you're removing the money from your budget. 

      Like 1
    • Fuzzball Meows , thank you. I thought I had figured it out. I hadn't logged the $486.84 I paid. I logged it but still get the same message. Oh well. I guess it doesn't really matter.

      Like
      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 10 days ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther you need to clear (click the gray C icon on the right) the $486 transaction, to tell YNAB that the payment has also cleared your bank. 

      Like 3
    • Vibrant , thank you...so many little things. I’ll get it one of these days. 🤪

      Like
    • Powder Blue Panther Often times with checking accounts, uncleared/pending transactions are included in the balance the bank shows you. If that credit card payment hasn't cleared in real life, then that account register looks perfect! 

      In case nobody's linked it yet, this help doc on finding your cleared balance might come in handy as you get into a reconciliation rhythm. 

      Keep the questions coming - we're here for you! 

      Like 1
    • Powder Blue Panther In addition to what Vibrant said, you may need to click the x at the left of the blue bar to cancel the reconciliation. I don't remember if it'll go away on its own once you clear the transaction in YNAB.

      Personally, I've learned to never click "no" when YNAB asks if the numbers match - I just click off the reconcile box and go looking between the YNAB register and the account to make things work. 

      Like 3
    • Powder Blue Panther Reconciling an account is the process of comparing items which have cleared your bank account to items in your YNAB account register.  (This isn't a YNAB thing; this is how you reconcile any account using any budgeting/bookkeeping system.) If there's a cleared item on your bank's website that doesn't appear in your YNAB account you need to enter the item and clear it (click the gray "c" to make it green) for the accounts to match.

      Like
  • I could just cry...I was working hard and overcoming my anxiety and started to feel like I was getting  it now this happened. What is going on?? Where did this money come from? What happened to my CC??  

    Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 9 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther you need to be a little more specific. What do you think is wrong with your credit card? Is the balance not $237.50? Did you not pay your credit card bill a total of $391.80?

      What was the balance on the credit card when you added it to YNAB? The reason that the CC Payment Category is negative $386.94 is because you entered a transfer to pay the credit card bill in an amount that was $386.94 more than you had budgeted to pay your card. To fix it, assign at least $386.94 to the credit card payment category so that the budgeted column has a total of $391.80 in it. Personally, I would assign all $481.98 to the credit card payment category (total of $486.84) and I would take $95.04 out of the categories under savings and/or day-to-day and also assign it to your credit card payment category (total of $581.88) so that the total available in the category will equal +$237.50 so that you are set up as a paid in full credit card user (the working balance of the account on the left of the screen equal to but opposite sign of the payment category available balance.

      YNAB is only capable of reflecting the information that we put in it so it isn't doing magic math.

      Like 1
    • jenmas , I made a CC payment and don't fully understand what happened. I guess the payment for some reason put money back in my account to be reassigned? 

      Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 8 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Panther if that is what you did then you entered the payment incorrectly into YNAB. From your credit card account register, the payment should look like this (Cash Management is the name of the account that I pay my credit card bills from) - at no point did I pay the credit card down to zero (I only ever pay the statement balance) nor did I pay more than was available in the Credit Card Payment category:

      Like
    • jenmas , I thought that is what I did. I honestly don't know what I did but I reassigned the money to the credit card. I don't know if I did it correctly but there is no more red. 

      Like
    • Powder Blue Panther Sounds like you're back on track! Here's what I'd suggest double checking:

      • Your cleared balance at YNAB should match the cleared balance at the bank
      • Your uncleared balance in YNAB is made up of your uncleared transactions. Type is:uncleared in the search bar to see what they are - make sure they really will be clearing your account in the near future.
      • Make sure your Credit Card Payment category has enough for your next payment. If you pay your card in full, it should be a green and positive match of what you owe on the card. If you are working on paying down debt, you'll budget your next payment to the Credit Card Payment category before you send that payment over to the Credit Card Co. 

        Let us know how it goes!
      Like
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