YNAB Quick Tips – Starting a New Month

The most tedious part of a budget is creating it at the beginning of every month.  What I do  within YNAB is create a generic budget that is what we typically use to budget as a starting point each month.  I just adjust all the numbers for where we expect to spend our money that month.  This gives us a quicker starting point to filling out the budget, and is really easy to do.

To do this, create your “starting point” budget in next month’s place.  Before you start budgeting for the month, just use the “Use Last Month’s Budget” feature to pre-fill the next available month.  This will copy exactly what you have for your template into the next month’s budget.  Then you can start adjusting the numbers for the month you’re actually budgeting.

There are a few exceptions that occur that are worth mentioning as well.  What about items you plan on budgeting for a few months, then the monthly amount changes? Or what about saving for a particular item, and you know you will be done on X month?  To handle those situations, I just go to the month where the changes occur, and fill out the one category to be the new amount.  By using the last month’s budget feature, it won’t overwrite values already pre-filled, so this technique works great.  As far as the savings goes, I just go to the month after when it’ll be done, and put one penny in the budgeted amount.  Then you’ll know to just take that out when you get to it.

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