Using YNAB and budgeting

I bought one of the first YNAB’s when it was still just a simple budgeting program. I liked it well enough but after a year or so I stopped using it. I always budget daily with a notebook and pencil. SoI know exactly where money is going and when. I find using a notebook is easy and I like the physical act of jotting things down.But I’m always on the look out for an online budget. I’ve used Mint and that does quite work for me, I’ve used Dave Ramsey’s budget and that was good but got too expensive. I’ve also used his free one recently and that’s okay. So when I saw the new YNAB earlier this yea, I thought about it but didn’t do it. then about a week ago I looked again and decided I’d do the $5.00 subscription for a month and check it out.  So I had it figured out to a 0 balance and then when the paycheck hit direct deposit, it kept saying I still had $xxx to budget but I didn’t. I have tried everything to figure out where this error is and the only thing I can come up with is its an error in the program somewhere. So I have this $xxx  sitting in a category of ‘ this is not real money’…..If I believed what the program is telling me to budget we’d be quite over drawn.  So, I spent over 5 hours off and on going over this. Still, nothing jives.  I may just wait till August or all the bills are out and then clear it and start with a new budget. It is frustrating since the amount in the checking area is correct but not this other amount.  Any ideas anyone??? why would this discrepancy be there.

Anyway, I’m home all day today just tidying up, making pizza  dough, and some decluttering.


2 thoughts on “Using YNAB and budgeting

  1. I use the desktop version of YNAB currently. I did try out the new subscription version. For me the desktop version works. I don’t have a need to check my balances during the day, so I update my info at night at the end of my day.

    It’s difficult to answer your question accurately without knowing a lot more information. My guess is it’s the way you set up the funds in your budget. When you say you budgeted to 0, were you already including the money that the paycheck represents? If so, then the deposit is a duplicate of money you already budgeted. But the application doesn’t know that and is considering it new money available to be budgeted. When you set up the info (money available) in the application initially, did you include the money in your available balance even though the deposit hadn’t hit your account yet? If this is the case then you would need to adjust your initial balance to not include the new deposit.

    Are you following the YNAB way of budgeting (money earned this month is spent next month)? If you are then the money is available to be budgeted for next month. That may be what the system is trying to tell you. If so, then you could budget it this month (because you have it), but then you won’t have it for the following month. This means on July 1 you had money in your bank account to cover your expenses for the month of July and that’s what you indicated as your initial balance. Then the deposit you’re referring to becomes money available for August.

    I’m not sure any of what I just wrote will help. I suggest if you want to try the system out, to get in touch with the YNAB staff. When I’ve had questions in the past or problems with their application they were always helpful and pretty fast with their answers. I don’t know how they are now though.

    Good luck.

    • I didn’t think I had already budgeted the money since I was waiting for the DD but maybe I did because that would account for the discrepancy. I’m still playing with it but nothing removes it even going back to the DD so….. I like the new program as it’s quite intuitive but I hate mistakes so….I might contact them to see what they think or I may just start a new budget but that’s kinda a pain… For now, I stuck the money( that I don’t really have in a category. Thanks for the input, I appreciate it.

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