Menu
Menu Back

Learn All Things YNAB

How Much Time Do You Have?

Free For 34-Days, Then $6.99 a Month*

On average, new budgeters save $600 by month two and more than $6,000 the first year! Pretty solid return on investment.

Sign up for a free trial today!

No credit card required.

Close

Start taking control 
of your money today!

Close
YNAB | Gain Total Control of Your Money. Stop living paycheck to paycheck, get out of debt, and save more money.

Gain Total Control of Your Money

Stop living paycheck to paycheck, get out of debt, and save more money.

Go Down Watch and learn
about YNAB
YNAB Budgeting App on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, iPad, Apple Watch YNAB Method - Four Rules for Budgeting Success

Award-winning software coupled with a tried and
true method for your madness money.

  • Grocery Bag
  • Bus
  • House
  • Spigot
  • Computer

Rule One

Give Every Dollar A Job

The secret is just to be intentional about what you want your money to do before you spend it. (Have we given away the secret sauce?) Take only the money you have on hand and ask yourself, “What should this money do before I’m paid again?” With just four simple steps, you’ll begin to take back control.

1

Connect your accounts.

2

After you add an account you should see those dollars here ready to be budgeted.

3

Give every dollar a job by assigning them to the appropriate categories (we've suggested a few to get you started, but you'll want to make them your own!)

4

Budget your dollars down to zero. Now you know what money you can spend until the next time you're paid.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  • 1

    Connect your bank accounts to YNAB so you know exactly how much money you’re working with.

    Search and connect to your bank and credit card accounts with YNAB
  • 2

    Set up your spending categories (you’ll start with defaults to 
get going faster)

    Add categories to begin budgeting your money
  • 3

    Put money into those spending categories. Every dollar counts.

    Add money to your budgeting categories
  • Stethescope
  • Christmas Tree
  • Ambulance
  • Plane
  • Graduation Cap

Rule Two

Embrace Your True Expenses

Imagine a big bill coming in and… you just pay it. No fuss, no muss. While it’s important that you decide what you want your money to do now, it’s more important to realize that some of your money now needs to be used for large expenses down the road.

1

Consider what large, less-frequent expenses are coming up (insurance, Christmas, braces), and your best guess as to when they'll hit and how much they'll cost.

2

Set a goal in YNAB for the amount you need to save for your future expenses.

3

The act of setting a measureable goal will help you stay on track.

4

We'll help you determine how much you need to save every month in order to be ready. No stress (or credit cards!) necessary.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
1

Think of a few large, less-frequent expenses (insurance, Christmas, braces), how much they’ll cost, and when they’ll happen.

Set goals to budget smaller amounts of money for future expenses YNAB will help you know how much money to put aside each month to reach your goal
2

Set a goal in YNAB for those expenses. We’ll help you determine how much you need to save every month in order to be ready. No stress necessary.

  • Thumbs Up
  • Happy Cloud
  • Arrow
  • Envelope

Rule Three

Roll With The Punches

We can’t believe this has to be a rule, because, of course, when you need to change your budget, just change it. That’s what rolling with the punches means. No guilt. No hand-wringing. It’s a halftime adjustment. A chess grandmaster adapting to an opponent’s silly mistake.

1

First, spend more than you budgeted (in your Dining Out category, obviously). Bam! You nailed that one.

2

Look through your budget and find a category (or several) with some extra funds. Move those extra funds to cover your overeating, er, spending.

3

Look at that! You're still budgeting because your budget is flexible.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  • 1

    First, spend more than you budgeted (in your Dining Out category, obviously). Bam. You nailed that one.

    When you overspend in one of your categories, the available amount will be red
  • 2

    Look through your budget and find a category (or several) with some extra funds. Use those extra funds to cover your overspending from Dining Out.

    Look through your budgeting categories to find money to move to cover overspending
  • 3

    Look at that. You're still budgeting. You didn't fail.

    Easily move money and adjust your budget

Rule Four

Age Your Money

We don’t want you stressed. So work toward spending money today that you’ve earned at least a month ago. It’ll change your life. You won’t have to time bills with paychecks. You may start forgetting when your actual payday is. You’ll be living far, far away from the financial edge. And it will feel great.

Take the next Step Learn the YNAB budgeting method Learn the YNAB budgeting method

Join the hundreds of thousands of people who've gotten out of debt with YNAB.

Your Next Step

Remember, budgeting is not restrictive. You won’t be spending less, you’ll be spending right. You can do this! Today. Right now. What do you have to lose? Except all that debt and stress. (Ok, so kind of a lot.)

Want to see more of the software?
You Need a Budget - For all of life's planned and unexpected expenses

YNAB.

Follow YNAB to get support and lots of great ideas on budgeting