I Love YNAB!



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expressive, Finances, happy

I love YNAB! You Need a Budget is the budgeting software Jared and I have been using since early 2013.

YNAB uses a zero-based budget which means you budget every dollar you have. You can set up custom categories, and track all of your financial accounts. The software is made to link to your accounts, though I do not have it set up this way because I like to put in every transaction manually, like an old-school check register.

Our categories are pretty basic and haven’t changed much over the years, since we started. There is a Giving section, subdivided into Charitable Giving (my favorites are Atlanta Habitat and the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House) and Offerings for church. Next is a section for credit card payments, subdivided by each card. Credit cards are debt, but there is a separate Debt section subdivided into our Car Payment and Mortgage.

Next is Savings, subdivided into Emergency Savings, Home Maintenance, Auto Maintenance, Vacation, and Boy Allowance. After that is Monthly Bills, which includes Electric and Gas, Water and Trash, Insurance, Phone, Internet, Entertainment (which includes all our streaming services), and Web Hosting.

Then comes Every Day Expenses, which includes Groceries, Restaurants, Gas for the car, Medical, Clothing, Personal Grooming (Haircuts), Pet Care, Date Night, School Expenses, and Surprises. Interest on the credit cards gets lumped into Surprises.

Next is a section for Business Expenses— Jared’s work expenses,and my photography business expenses.

Finally, comes Annual Expenses. This includes Gifts, Safe Deposit Box Fee, Car Registration, Christmas, Taxes (this mostly refers to my estimated taxes), memberships (this includes the recreation center when our membership is current, along with Amazon Prime), and Family Photos.

As you put in transactions and categorize them, YNAB automatically adjusts category amounts accordingly.

You can set target amounts, both by total amount and by the monthly amount needed, which is supposed to help those who want to forecast. Sometimes I cheat and forecast a month or two anyway, though, based on anticipated income and any goals we may have.

Anyway, this is our budgeting software and how I have it set up! I love YNAB!


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