You Need A Budget Catch-all

necro to check what people are using here in 2017, I still have YNAB4 on steam but have been looking over the other options, I didn't realize there are very many!

I'm still with YNAB on steam. Works still for all our purposes just fine.

Yup, still with YNAB on steam:)

Same here, but I put the license key from the Steam version into a stand-alone install so I don't have to open Steam every time I launch it.

YNAB on Steam.

YNAB online. The account connectivity alone is worth the $4.17 a month. It's saved me hours of budgeting at a time, so now I'm more willing and able to check in on and stay on top of the budget more than once a month.

Still have no computer so I'm using YNAB only via the mobile app, which is rather lackluster because the app isn't meant as a replacement for the software, merely an input method. So there's no accessing the budget. As a situation it sucks and the amount of receipts I have to enter is large. That's just my peculiar situation though.

I started YNAB online in January, since that's the way things are going. It handles credit cards a bit differently and I can't wrap my head around it, so: big incentive to pay off the credit cards soon. I'm also a bit vague on the "age of money" thing, and TBH I've never been super-clear on YNAB's philosophy. But all my bank and credit accounts are connected, I can do my budgeting whether I'm logged in to OS X or Windows, and mobile syncing is nearly instant, so that's worth $5/mo to me.

Still on Steam.

I've fallen off the band wagon for a while now, logging every expense got too​ much after becoming a dad. I only used it as a monitoring and reporting tool anyway. As soon as YNAB allows me to connect my Belgian bank I'll reconnect. Not holding my breath.

Gravey wrote:

I started YNAB online in January, since that's the way things are going. It handles credit cards a bit differently and I can't wrap my head around it, so: big incentive to pay off the credit cards soon. I'm also a bit vague on the "age of money" thing, and TBH I've never been super-clear on YNAB's philosophy. But all my bank and credit accounts are connected, I can do my budgeting whether I'm logged in to OS X or Windows, and mobile syncing is nearly instant, so that's worth $5/mo to me.

There are some good videos on their website that get into the age of money thing.

WIth classic YNAB, you can manually download transactions from your bank and import them into YNAB (ctrl + i). I do this about weekly to ensure any charges we missed on our cards or automatic payments are counted and entered. It takes some time, but isn't bad. I use my bank's Quicken export and YNAB picks it right up-- even remembering which account it goes to.

I still do manual transactions with New YNAB (hence enjoying the speed of the Dropbox-less sync), but automatic import is great for the reasons Antichulius mentioned, particularly catching all the credit card charges.

Mobile app in the middle of editing transactions suddenly told me it needed to re-import the budget, and the action won't complete, just a spinning load icon. I think I just lost two hours of work. And I scrunched up the cash receipts and tossed them. F***'s sake.

Edit: it eventually came through and maybe things are ok? I only lost the last 8 or so transactions I put in. I hope nothing way back disappeared because I won't catch it.

Mermaidpirate wrote:

It eventually came through and maybe things are ok? I only lost the last 8 or so transactions I put in. I hope nothing way back disappeared because I won't catch it.

Happened to me several times as well. They use this weird format where every transaction is basically a separate file, so your older transactions should be left untouched. (I'm talking about YNAB4, New YNAB might be different).

Also there's one small thing I learnt that maybe everybody else knew already but just in case: you can have split categories in a transaction mixed between debit and credit. As in, say A pays me $600 for rent, and I pay the internet bill to him, so he transfers me $580. I can make one transaction, $580 income, $600 income [rent category] -$20 expense [internet category].

I was just giving them separate transactions before, it never occurred to me to try this way until now.

Mermaidpirate wrote:

Also there's one small thing I learnt that maybe everybody else knew already but just in case: you can have split categories in a transaction mixed between debit and credit. As in, say A pays me $600 for rent, and I pay the internet bill to him, so he transfers me $580. I can make one transaction, $580 income, $600 income [rent category] -$20 expense [internet category].

I was just giving them separate transactions before, it never occurred to me to try this way until now.

I'll have to try this again soon. I was trying to do just that when I took cash out and split it several ways, but it wasn't working for me. Or maybe I wasn't in the right mindset and took the wrong approach to my situation.

Either way, thanks for the tip!

On the mobile app, you can tap the value sign on the left of the split category amount to change it from positive to negative.

Yes, I split cash that way all the time, works great.

Quick question - My wife is a bartender so makes mostly cash. For some bills, she will deposit the amount in the main account and then pay the bill. Is since something that can easily be planned for in this software? Thanks!

Karma, it basically works by budget forecasting. You put in your forecasted budget for the month into category buckets, and then as you spend things you mark the spending against those categories and it shows how much you have left in that category. You can move 'budget' around as the month progresses to take money from one category to another, and you can schedule transactions against them for things like automatic bill pay or subscriptions.

For me, the way I manage the bills is I have an umbrella category called Monthly Bills and within that I have categories for each bill (electric, internet, water, rent, etc). So at the beginning of the month I put all of those forecasted spending in, and then as the month goes on and I actually pay them it comes out of the category.

YNAB used to have a lot of pretty good videos on their site, if you want to take 10-15 minutes and look around it should give you a pretty good idea of how it works. The real goal that the structure pushes you towards is to build up a cushion in your main account, so you are paying this month's spending out of last month's income.

Does the software have a decent means of handling budgets that have a lot of variable income? e.g. bonuses, months with extra paychecks, daycare reimbursements?

I'd say yes.

Here's something from their site (they also have videos which describe their approach which would be worth watching generally)

https://www.youneedabudget.com/slayi...

Ugh, I think I've just made a critical error. I was clearing transactions in "wallet" and the ones where I transferred money to the wallet in a split transaction wanted a category before it allowed the clear. So I assigned them all to the "transfer" category I made up for some misc stuff. Even as I was doing it I was telling myself this is a bad idea, I should be doing this in a different order or at least seeing what effect it has on the "bank account" side of the transaction first.

After I cleared everything in "bank account", there was an extra $4000 showing in it that shouldn't be there, and it looks like the withdrawal side of the transfers I categorised has been erased. At least I think that is what has happened. It is hard to tell using only the phone interface and looking at transactions from a year back. I also found a couple of transactions set to $0.00, split (0 categories) so something weird definitely happened somewhere.

This is going to be a hard one to correct. Fuuuuu...

I might just add each transfer separately on the right date, although then the transactions will not match the bank account. I don't know.

ouch, hope you get it back the way you want it to be

That sounds crappy. For me personally I only use the phone interface to put in quick transactions, anything more complicated like transfers, splits, budgeting, etc I always use the computer since it is easier to understand and I don't have to go through all of the phone app gyrations. When you try to fix it, do it on your computer and it might be an easy fix?

You're right, that would be better Haven't had a computer for the last year to be able to do that, and because it requires a software install, it's not something I can do on a library computer or whatever. Fortunately, I've just bought a second hand PC and soon there will be budgeting. So much budgeting. (The (legacy) app doesn't let you in to the budget at all, only transactions)

Well kudos to you for keeping it up with it even without a PC, good discipline!

I'm still on YNAB 4, non-web. I'm really leery about going to a web-only tool, even if it's from the legitimately good folks at YNAB, and not have my data files. Which is paranoid I'll give you. Has the web version matured pretty well?

Hoping someone can give me some information on the YNAB online version. Currently we use an app called Goodbudget and we love it but lately we have wanted to do more reconciliation by having a system that can download transactions into your account should you miss one. Goodbudget only does manual entry and not account verification. Shame as it is a great app.

Does YNAB allow for manual entry via phone so we keep up our goodbudget practice of basically keeping a checkbook or is it different? Would love any information as we are considering the jump for August. I know they offer a month free so hoping to give it a try. It's hard as we love goodbudget so much it just is missing this one key feature.