Haven’t Attended a Live YNAB Class Lately? That’s Just Crazy

Alright, so you guys liked both of last week’s posts that looked at getting more out of YNAB (Wednesday’s post about transitioning from expense tracking to real budgeting and Friday’s about using hashtags in your transaction memos).

Yes, those posts were a little slice of Budget Nerd Heaven, but here’s the deal – you don’t want to be getting that information from me. I might offer up the occasional budgeting gold nugget and spark a little discussion, but if you’re looking for the real meat and potatoes of how to YNAB, you need to take advantage of our live classes.

I got this email over the weekend:

Hi Mark!
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the budget reviews and I think they’ve been very helpful to me. I think the most insightful was the expense tracking versus the budgeting comparison. I had one of those “a-ha” moments and realized that this is what I’ve been doing despite using YNAB for a long time.

I thought the blog post was really good. Perhaps it might be extremely helpful if there was a live class that was related to the topic? I feel like it needs some more exploration and a deeper dive. Is it possible that we can have that added to the roster of classes?


Great news – we already have that class. Transitioning from expense tracking to real budgeting requires adjustments to your workflow and your decision-making process. Our pro YNAB teachers handle both those subjects in the live class called Making Your Budget Work.

Check out the class outline:


See? The class covers all the key budgeting bases. And take note – the teachers give away free copies of the software in every session. If you’ve already purchased, you can save a friend or family member’s financial life with the software. If you haven’t purchased yet, you might get YNAB free.

If I were you I’d have three concerns about attending a live YNAB class:

  1. What if it’s long?
  2. What if it’s boring?
  3. What if it’s long and boring?

Here’s why the classes aren’t boring and don’t feel long:

The teachers are pros.

Erin, Lee, and Malisa started teaching YNAB after a combined decades of experience as educators. Ronna’s a grad student headed for a career as a college professor. And Dave…okay I don’t actually know Dave’s professional background, but I know he brings dry British humor (sorry, humour) to the webinar chat window. Not sure what else you could ask for.

The classes are visually appealing.

You’re expecting boring PowerPoint slides. Not here. Just like everything else YNAB does, the presentation slides are beautiful and useful.

Check out these two from our Variable Income class:


Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 10.07.30 AM

The classes are interactive.

You have questions; the teachers have answers. In nearly every class we have a primary instructor and an assistant. The instructor shares key concepts, occasionally taking breaks to answer attendees’ questions. Because our classes have become so popular, we’ve added the assistant instructor to answer questions in real time in the live chat window. In other words, you’re not going to walk away confused.

The classes are available for download.

You may sign up for a live class with the best intentions, then life gets in the way and you miss the session. I’d recommend signing up again and attending a live session (there’s just something about having your questions answered live), but we do keep class recordings, and if you can’t make a live class the teachers will point you to a download link.

The live classes are one of YNAB’s best sales tools.

A high percentage of class attendees haven’t purchased YNAB yet, and a surprising percentage of them buy the software immediately after attending the class. That wouldn’t be happening if a) the classes were boring, and b) the teachers were “hard-selling” the software. A boring hard-sell wouldn’t produce converts, and our stats tell us these classes are converting people to the YNAB way.

If you’re wondering why I’m pushing the live classes so hard (informercial style, even), it’s because I’ve had major lightbulb moments as an attendee (before and since joining the company). The live classes are a fantastic tool for helping you extract full benefit from the 4 Rules and the software, so sign up for one today.

If you’ve a lightbulb moment in a YNAB live class, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

17 Responses to “Haven’t Attended a Live YNAB Class Lately? That’s Just Crazy”

  1. Patty

    My lightbulb moment was so basic. Budgeting what you have available now (giving each dollar a job – aka Rule 1). It’s so elementary that I can’t believe I’d never thought of it and I realized why my attempts at forecasting always failed. I never had an accurate picture of my finances until I took the very first class.

    Thank you!

  2. talda

    I will admit that I was a live class holdout for almost a year because I thought I could figure things out on my own. It wasn’t until I finally attended a class did YNAB really start to make sense and start working for me. I definitely recommend them!

  3. Juliya

    I find that the classes are geared to new comers that either just purchased YNAB or trying it out. I think there should be more classes for those that have been using it for awhile.

    • Purfectoptions47

      I agree! I taken all the live classes offered since I started with YNAB last Jan. 1st. including the New Year’s crash course, and I’ve got the basics of the rules down. But I think many of us could benefit from some deeper info, maybe on L.O.L.M.I. or getting reports and how they can be used. I’ve enjoyed the tips mentioned in the blogs recently and want more of this kind of info.

  4. dianne Stevens

    I can’t stay awake to attend live classes. Can we have more weekend classes for those in new Zealand and Australia?

  5. Kristi

    I have benefited greatly from the live classes, and had no idea that there’s a variable income webinar. YAY! I too would love some advanced classes.

    • evatesq

      I love the YNAB classes! They are so helpful and informative. However, I would love to see a class taught that shows how I can use and make the most of YNAB’s reports feature. I only vaguely understand that feature and I suspect that it could be more useful to me, but I’m not sure how. I feel like an idiot when I look at the reports.

      • erinynabeducation

        Good to know! We’ve discussed a potential class called “Tips and Tricks” or something that for power users. This would probably fit in there. :)

      • Eva

        That sounds like a great class! I would be very interested in that class.

  6. Simon Hart

    Be cool to be able to see an income vs expenses graph like the one in the article!

  7. LeiraHoward

    I really wish that ALL the courses would be available to view later. My schedule is such that I can’t guarantee an hour to sit down and watch anything! The few courses that there are links to are all older classes- I wish every single class would be linked (or at least, that the class links would be updated so that the latest classes were always available to view).

    • erinynabeducation

      We are currently working on updating what’s currently there. However the content is the same regardless of who is teaching, and because we teach 60-70 classes a month, it’s not realistic or necessary to record every session.

      Every class we currently teach – and some older ones – are all available for viewing later.

  8. Krystal

    I highly recommend the classes, even if you consider yourself a YNAB expert. I recently sat in on the “Getting Started with YNAB” class with my mom who is just starting to use YNAB and found I picked up a few tips myself. Well worth the time, both for mom (who had been frustrated by my attempts at explanation) and me too.

  9. Simon

    I’ve heard about these live classes but I have to admit YNAB has never explained how it works because I honestly don’t understand how the technology works.
    Is it like a Skype call where you can see the teacher?
    Can the other people in the class see each other or is it audio?
    Do you type questions in a chat link thing and watch a screen of the teacher doing things on the budget software?
    I just can’t visualise what to expect???

  10. Krystal

    @Simon The window is divided into a large pane showing the teacher’s computer screen with a narrow pane for chatting. It is web conferencing software, I believe, that they use but the audio is only one-way. If you have questions, etc., they are typed into the chat. There are also a few times when the teacher may have you vote on some things by clicking on the main screen.

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