Budgeting - Telling Your $$ Where To Go

Anyone budget?
Up till now I thought I’d been budgeting.
I’d been using a program called YNAB - but I had never really used it properly.
I’d fill out the budget, but never really pay any attention to it and just track my money in hindsight through it because I always had enough to get by.

Well, with losing my business through COVID-19, how things have changed.
So I spent a bit of time yesterday learning how to use YNAB properly and it is actually a really good program and has given me a plan to get through these tough times.

It teaches you to prioritise your spending and cover what’s immediately required - sounds obvious but the program makes the obvious much easier.

I don’t budget but I do track and categorise expenses — pretty easy nowadays if you pay by card for almost everything. Action flows naturally once you have that info.


The only person who tells my $$$ where to go is my wife


Yes. I use my credit card statement and split expenses up in categories like DJR and just use Excel spreadsheet. Work out what cash I’ve spent over the period too and include that. Has it changed my spending habits? I’m not sure. As before I started doing it, I had committed to spending less regardless. I’ve been doing it for a few years now and took awhile to determine best way to categorise expenses.

I don’t but I should. Wish I had some spare time to sort it all out…

I’ve got the time now - but because of that, I also have the need!

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Not specifically related but I’ve found the cloud based buisness planning tool Liveplan worth every cent in the past. Build your plan, sync Liveplan to xero and it’ll track and update as you go.

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Thanks for that - will have a trial of that for my business when/if this thing ever resolves.

I wouldn’t use YNAB for my business but wanted something like it as I find Xero alone is difficult to see how things are truly going as I’m not an accountant.

Xeros reporting is pretty intuitive, I just find that those two platforms working together are really good.

I was using YNAB4 but when they moved to YNAB5 (or “New YNAB”) they changed a lot of rules around how it all works and also moved to a subscription service, both of which don’t work for me. Some guy create “Actual Budget” for disaffected YNAB4 users in my shoes. It works really well (but unfortunately still subscription). Really happy with it.

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I hated it when they YNAB came out as lacked forecasting but that is actually its strength and it took me until last night and that video in the original post to realise that I had been using it wrong.

The fact that you could project in YNAB4 appeared to be a nice bonus, but the mechanism that allowed it to happen also allowed me to budget money I didn’t have.

And since the entire purpose is to make decisions based on the available balance in your categories, that kinda defeated the purpose because it allowed for the introduction of fake money into my category balances, leaving them unreliable.

The decision-making process is different with regard to cash on hand and cash on the way. I deal only with cash on hand in my decision making, and I’m grateful for YNAB for having taught me to think that way.

I need to spend more time with Xero and I will over the next few weeks.

In a way - this enforced break has actually been good - as long as I come out the other side.

I legit read the thread title as budgeting- telling your wife where to go