You Need a Budget (YNAB) Beginers Guide

You Need a Budget (YNAB) Beginers Guide

Have you ever wondered how you can improve your finances by budgeting effectively? You have probably heard about how people make it big simply because they have trained themselves to attain the necessary financial discipline required for success. If this is something you have desired to do for a long time, it may be time to look into a tracking app that helps you account for every single dime that comes your way.

It is not that people don’t make money, but in most cases, the misuse of the resources at their disposal makes them seem grounded when they should be progressing. If you have desired a long time to attain this kind of success, consider starting with the YNAB app. But what exactly does this app do, and will it be beneficial to your individual goals? Read on to discover exciting details about how to use and make the YNAB work for you.

 YNAB – What it is and How it Works

YNAB is the You Need a Budget App. One knows that it is an app they need to install in their devices to help them track their expenditure and stay focused on the bigger financial picture. Fortunately, it is a simple but not necessarily straightforward app. With a good and easy to understand user interface, anyone can quickly learn how to use it to their advantage.

Some people may get overwhelmed with the software considering that it is cloud-based. However, anyone that manages to get past the intimidating software will soon discover just how useful and friendly the app is. What’s more, you get free signup and trial for 34 decide which should be enough time for you to decide if this is what you need.

YNAB is a money management app that helps users achieve their financial goals with ease. Consistent use of the app easily helps the user achieve financial stability and prosperity.

Where is YNAB Available on?

Being a multi-device app, you can be sure to comfortably use it on both Apple and Android, including on Apple Watch, iPad, Android, and desktop. Those who want further automation will love the fact that it easily integrates with Alexa from Amazon.

How Much Do you Need to Pay for it?

Well, YNAB is a paid app that functions perfectly for most users. However, the payment scheme differs based on what you prefer. In most cases, one chooses the plan they want, which can be anything from monthly or annual subscription. Those who opt to pay every month need to subscribe at $11.99, while the yearly subscription rate is $84.

The exact cost in your country may differ depending on the USD value and exchange rate. However, before you decide which payment plan works for you, consider the 34 days free trial period that is available for all new users. This is an opportunity to explore to decide if this is what you want for your budgeting needs. The deal is even more ideal for students who get a one-year free offer and a $10 discount if they choose to continue using the app after trying it for the year.

How Safe is the App?

This is a significant concern for most people considering that the app’s information must function optimally. The idea of supplying this information is scary, and a little assurance can go a long way. Fortunately, YNAB is safe for all users. All the data supplied is secured because the app takes this matter as a serious concern. Their numerous security measures are proof of this.

First, the YNAB app has a one-way hashed and salted password, which means you should never worry. It does not matter if someone accesses your account because they cannot pass the password request unless they are good at making the right guesses.

Besides that, YNAB ensures that all users create solid passwords that make it impossible for random guesswork to get it right. Apart from requiring an 8-lettered long password, the app ensures that none of the over 2000 most commonly used passwords are accepted. While most systems use encrypted data, YNAB goes a step further to ensure that the encrypted data goes into their serves with an indecipherable code.

Those with concerns about their data being stored after the trial or when they choose to quit using the app after whatever time should rest easy knowing that the app completely deletes such info. The complicated cloud-based software is not without a good reason. It is built on a similar technology as the CIA’s internal cloud. The app also uses PCI-certified payment in processes sing of credit cards meaning that payment details are sent directly to service providers instead of going to the YNAB system.

To even further cement their security and credibility, the app ensures not to store any of your banking credentials directly. It can only work if the connection is secure since it forces the browser to use an encrypted connection. With all these measures, users can safely use the app knowing that nothing can go wrong. The app has even more security measures that users are encouraged to read about on their official website.

How Does it Work, and Will it Rely Help You Save Money?

Many apps promise excellent results when sometimes it’s just a matter of hyping the market when there is nothing much to offer in the real sense. Fortunately, this is not the case with YNAB. The app works based on several principles that ensure users attain their intended goals. The general motto is to make every dollar work for you. As such, the app ensures that your money is a priority and made to work for you. Using this app ensures that you cater for unplanned expenses as much as you embrace your costs.

What’s more, there is no guilty tripping in case you end up overspending. The fact that you can transfer the expenses to another category means you get to pick yourself up again. Most users love the fact that it is possible always to spend less than one earns.

What makes this App Different from its Competitors?

With most people slowly becoming conscious about how they spend their money, it is not surprising that there is an influx of budgeting and money-saving apps in the market. However, YNAB stands out compared to most of these because of its unique features. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is still pretty popular and loved by those who believe in its capabilities.

The first attractive thing about it is that it is a realistic model since it focuses on current financial situations rather than vague expectations. Unlike most apps in this sector, it does not require one to input their current and future income.

Instead, the app encourages users to deal with what they have at the moment. This means that whatever you input is what you have. It comes with several default categories like most other money apps. Users must assign their expenditure to one of the categories, which are basically what most people would categorize their expenses.

The first one is the immediate obligations category, which caters to immediate needs such as the internet and food. These are the expenses that cannot wait and must be addressed as soon as they arise lest they may hinder one’s effectiveness or ability to operate normally.

Other categories that users can organize their expenditure include the true expenses, which are not as urgent. These include medical and clothing expenses. The debt payments category should also cater to all debts, including student loans and other bank loans or credit card payments. Other users may find the quality of life goals category useful.

In this section, they can key in expenses such as gym and fitness costs, as well as vacation expenses. Another crucial category is the just for fun category, which caters to things like outside dining, gaming, and other normal activities people do for fun but may require some funding.

Making it Work

With so many categories to work with, this can sometimes become overwhelming. It is possible to assess the amount of money at our disposal by using a color-coding system. This works because every time you enter an expenditure in a particular category, the color changes. Knowing what each of these colors means will help you interpret your financial situation accurately.

The green color often shows that there is money available to spend. Any section with orange indicates an underfunding in that category, while red signifies an over expenditure. Whenever there is an expenditure, then this shows that you need to move money. With such an elaborate system, this app will encourage you to put money aside to cater to any possible needs even if you currently do not have such a need.

You also get a warning if you attempt to go beyond the budget. There will be a red alert in case your to-be budget exceeds the actual amount you have. This is excellent for people who have difficulties exercising restraint and can also help you stay out of debt. Whenever the category turns red, you are likely to find ways of spending only on what you have and ignoring expenses forwarded to the future.

Anyone who wants to develop a discipline of working within their means should consider getting the YNAB app. It will not allow you to budget for the money that you expect, even if you are sure about it. In case the red seems to be very glaring, it is advisable to move money from the lower priority categories or postpone some of the non-urgent expenses for when you have enough cash to accommodate them.

Can YNAB App Help with Future Planning?

Absolutely! This app is an excellent savings track. Rather than expect you to meet your budgetary needs, it will encourage you to exceed savings goals. It takes a proactive strategy to money management as opposed to a reactive one. If you are struggling with credit card debt payment, this is the app to choose from since it helps you decide how to handle the repayment effectively. It does this by breaking down the debt into small and manageable portions that will not be overwhelming. Working with such manageable targets is one of the easiest ways to achieve success.

Another interesting feature that the app comes with that most people interested in money management will love is the age of money tracking. This feature can help you attain financial stability quickly since it helps you monitor how long money stays in your account before it is spent and depleted. People living from paycheck to paycheck will not have anything to track other than those who put monthly income. You can tell that you are attaining financial stability if the money in your account stays longer before it is used, showing that it ages.

Free Financial Education

This app stands out even more because of the after-sell services it offers. Most people would have been in better positions financially if they were empowered and encouraged to take charge of their finances. YNAB ensures that they hold seminars on different interest topics to keep their customers updated on the critical financial aspects, including expenditure. Users and other interested people can always access this kind of information whenever they want and the format they desire.

Creating a Budget on YNAB

The app may have so many great advantages, but it is not useful as long as it is not easy to use. To better appreciate how this app works, below are simple steps users must follow to create a budget that works.

  • The first step is to take stock of your expenses. The bottom line is to ensure you have money to spend on essential things. This is a personal decision since what is important to one person may not necessarily be meaningful.
  • Once you have a clear picture of where you stand, get the exact amount of money you have currently. Focus on the priorities and urgency as you move to the lesser expenses that can wait.
  • Get to the actual work that YNAB does, giving every dollar a task. Every money you spend must count.
  • Live and enjoy life but make adjustments where need be. Do not be too hard on yourself just because you want to meet financial goals. After all, your financial stability should afford you a little luxury once in a while. Just makes sure to spend the money that you have.
  • Repeat and redo some of the steps every time you get money. It is essential to keep updating the records as this will help you realize whether you are making progress or not.

Are There Any Rules to Consider?

Yes. YNAB is different from most other financial apps. It operates on the principles that one needs to stick to the following rules.

Giving each dollar a job. Make your money work for you by spending each dollar on specific expenses rather than on anything that comes your way.

Embracing true expenses. Users need to be real.

Rolling with the punches. As long as life is not a straight line, be open to making adjustments whenever necessary.

Age your money. Try to have your money stay longer before spending it.

YNAB Review- What are People Saying About this App?

Well, some users find it intriguing and useful at the same time. It appeals to people who want to change their spending habits and want to develop a saving culture.

Some users have reported satisfying results when they used the app. Most feel that it is adequate because it helps users keep track of their financial goals. What’s more, it can be linked to credit cards, making it easy for users to achieve their payment goals. The app appeals to different people based on what their financial goals are.

Some users love the extra information that comes with the app. Besides learning how to prioritize expenses, they can educate themselves and challenge themselves to become financially literate.

Pros and Cons

With so many things to offer, the YNAB app comes with several positives and negatives. Some of the good include:

  • It is user friendly and easy to navigate
  • Available for various platforms
  •  It is a comprehensive app
  • Comes with informational content and allows for free trials
  •   It comes with the ability to customize different categories to your linking
  • You can split transactions to help you plan a budget with precisions
  •  It offers users accurate starting balances
  • Allows for one to set up sinking or emergency funds
  • It is easy to make adjustments and move expenditures around
  • Excellent security measures

It comes with a quick budget category where users can easily use budgets from previous months with slight adjustments

However, everything good has a downside to be considered. YNAB is no different. Potential cons of this app include:

The app may be limited, especially when using a phone. It does allow for setting up of budgets on mobile phones

Credit card transactions are treated differently and can be confusing. While credit cards can be connected to the app, any expenditure via the card moves the expenses from the category to the card, and when payments are made, it is treated as a transfer. This can be confusing for some people, especially those who are not used to it.

Final Thoughts

Like many other money apps, YNAB is an excellent app for anyone desiring to attain financial discipline. It is the type of app that will help you learn how to save and spend whatever you have only. With an emphasis on saving more than spending, users can attain financial stability much faster than they would have without the app.

I would say that this is an excellent app for anyone struggling to stay within their budgetary limits, all those who seem to be in constant debt. However, it may need some getting used to get past some of the features that seem complex to grasp. After all, the free 34-day trial phase should be a great opportunity to try things out for yourself.