5 Budgeting Articles to Refresh Your Knowledge, Smooth Your Workflow, and Reduce Your Stress

ynab4_iconThe couple dozen budgets I’ve reviewed have shown me that life can complicate budgeting. In the course of writing the reviews, I’ve found myself going back into YNAB’s support archive to make sure I’m giving sound budgeting advice. The support articles are a treasure trove of tips to make your money management easy with YNAB.

Here are sections of the support archive that will tune up your budgeting workflow:

1. Getting Started with Three Steps

Enter your income, budget your income, follow your budget. Sounds easy enough, but this article gives a great refresher on your fundamental budgeting workflow. Once you’re clear on how each of these steps keeps your budget accurate and up to date, move on to…

2. Handling Transactions and Transfers

What’s the difference between a transaction and a transfer? How do I record different types of income? What about reimbursements? Split transactions?

Correctly recording transactions can really throw people off. Use this series of lessons to make sure you know exactly how to get and keep accurate data into your budget.

3. Handling Credit Cards in YNAB

I have yet to review a budget where the budgeter didn’t use credit cards, and most of them have had a balance on a card. Managing credit card balances, payments, interest and fees is (at the moment), the trickiest part of using YNAB. Watch this quick 19-minute video to gain perfect clarity on how to manage your plastic with YNAB.

4. Rule 3: Rolling with the Punches

Everyone overspends. Everyone. Use this article to make sure you know how to manage normal overspending to keep your budget accurate.

5. Making a Fresh Start

Sometimes the wheels just come off – you stop recording transactions, your credit card situation makes a total mess of your budget, or you just fall off the budgeting wagon for a while. Don’t sweat it – it took me four years to finally wrap my head around budgeting and solidify the YNAB habit. What matters is jumping back in, and YNAB makes it easy.

By the way, over 5,000 people participated in YNAB’s live classes last month. No matter where you are in your YNAB “career”, there’s a class to help you get more use from the method and the software. Sign up for one today.


8 Responses to “5 Budgeting Articles to Refresh Your Knowledge, Smooth Your Workflow, and Reduce Your Stress”

  1. marienevada

    Thanks for these. I’ve taken a class which was very helpful. But these articles help me focus and came just in time for a little conundrum I have going on right now. So thanks for the great timing. (and because I’m “that” kind of person, let me help you with something else. It’s “have shown me” not “have showed me”. You’re welcome. lol )

    • mark

      Ha – I’ll take it! My dad has taught English for more than 30 years; I should know better. :)

  2. Anna Patel

    Where can I post our budget for your review? We are probably one of the few families who use don’t credit cards (neither myself or my husband has a credit card). We don’t have a mortgage (yet) or car payments. Our only revolving debt is my student loans (which run us about $350/month. I would be very interested to get feedback on our budget, and where we can improve, so we can save for our dream home.

    • mark

      Hi Anna –

      Send me an email at mark@youneedabudget…

      I’d love to look over your budget.

  3. Ben

    Your article title really caught my attention. Lately I have been finding my budget to cause more work than I feel is needed and don’t really benefit from the added overhead. I’m thinking of Walmart transactions that need a Split between my categories like Clothing, Personal Care, Household supplies etc. How many budgets do you find that have all these thrown into 1 category like “Shopping”? I think this would definitely smooth my workflow….I have been budgeting with YNAB for almost 4 years now and I feel I am well financially (no credit card debt, full buffer, etc.)…so I’m thinking I would be safe doing this. It’s just hard to “let go” of my habit of breaking them out into many categories though :)

  4. Malisa

    Coincidence that three of your five tune-up articles are ones that we offer full classes on?
    –Getting Started (which includes all four rules, so really, I could say four of the five)
    –Credit Cards
    –Starting Over (previously called Fresh Start, it includes the Fresh Start feature and 3 other ways to ‘start over’ or otherwise refresh your budget)

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