Friday, July 24, 2015


Disclaimer: This isn't a sponsored post. I just like this product. 

At the end of last month, I mentioned to Matt that there was a budgeting program that several of my friends had mentioned and that it was also free for students. I thought he was going to shoot down the idea since he's been pretty stubborn about using his own method with excel. He said yes though and emailed YNAB and the next morning we had our free code in our email.

We spent the whole next morning putting in June's expenses (They were awful since we had moved, but on the upside, we did make more than we spent.) and then hammered out a new budget. 

September is bringing a lot of changes. The biggest one is that Baby X is leaving us after almost 16 months of me watching him. That means we are losing a pretty big source of income. I have a few plans and another small job lined up (it is one of my dream jobs) so I'm not worried about the loss of income in the long run. 

So with only living on one income and our new rent price, we set a new budget.

It works out so that we have $786 a month for all expenses that are not bills.

Here is what next month looks like...

(Click it to make it larger)

I know it looks pretty empty right now, but that's because we haven't filled in what's going in for the bills yet. We'll do that on August 1st. 

YNAB is basically a more user friendly version of excel. I hear it's a lot like mint but most people seem to like YNAB a bit better. We didn't look into mint since YNAB is free for us.

Monthly bills are covered by half of Matt's income. Whatever is left over is what we save for the month. The other half goes towards everyday expenses.

Other then food and gas, everything else we consider flex money. The categories under flex money are really subsets under it. We found it was easier for us to track it this way though. I picked what I was actually interested in tracking for our subsections. For example, I'm trying to eliminate shopping at Target and Walmart completely. (I don't have a problem with either company). Matt and I plan what we are expecting this month and budget that way. Like this month, we had a $150 medical bill to pay, which is usually not the case, but we also knew we were not traveling.

At any point, I can see how we are doing by clicking on reports. There are various charts that show different things. My favorite is the pie chart. This is what July looks like so far.

(Click to make it bigger)

I like it a lot so far, since it's easier for me to read than Matt's excel sheets and it automatically updates on my computer when Matt updates it.

We also tried a new way to manage day to day expenses but I'll blog about that another time.

This might seem kind of weird to blog about, but I'm really excited about it. Matt and I have some big goals that we are trying to reach and we need money for a few of them. Also, it's really nice having finances in order. It's a lot less stressful in general.

Anyway, let me know if you have any questions about YNAB. I probably won't be able to answer them, but I can point you in the right direction.


  1. Is your bank account linked to this? That's what made me squeamish about Mint. We use Everydollar, which seems similar to this but not as sophisticated.

    1. You can link up your bank account, but we chose not to. Matt and I just put it in manually every morning. It takes like 2 minutes.

  2. I just heard of YNAB yesterday for the first time so your post grabbed my attention! I read about the YNAB method on their web site, and it is pretty much what I am already doing, but without the software. My friend is going to show me how she uses it tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to seeing what it looks like. I am also curious as to whether it links to your bank account, downloads your bank and credit card statements, etc - like the commenter above.

    1. It was more or less what we were doing before too, but I found that YNAB is faster and easier to do. That is wonderful that you have a friend that can show you how to use it. We spent about an hour figuring it out and setting it up. After that though it was really easy.

      You can hook it up, but we chose not to. It's easy to put in manually and we hooked it up to dropbox. We have a rule that anything on a cloud can't have anything personal on it.