a bit dissapointed

saied45saied45 Posts: 19Member
edited October 2011 in Personal Finance
so i got ynab after hearing great reviews from life hacker. coming from quicken whos software is bloated and has bugs all around i was happy with the sleak looking interface. Then i found out that you cant download transactions like you can in quicken and this was a major turn off for me. i believe balancing your budget is gonna take longer if you have to manually enter your transactions.
so as a newby in ynab can i ask why did you guys move from quicken and how are you dealing with this cant download transactions from your bank thing
Post edited by Unknown User on

Comments

  • nibonibo Posts: 186Member
    Hi Saied;

    You can download your banks transactions, I do it weekly. Here is a link to the YNAB user manual, you might need to search "download" for the instructions to come up, but they are there, I just located them myself.

    http://www.youneedabudget.com/help/webframe.html
  • Turf_HackerTurf_Hacker Posts: 6,292Member, Moderator, YNAB Team, Beta Tester
    We moved from Quicken because it simply wasn't working for us for budgeting. I could create lots of pretty charts and graphs showing where the money went, but it doesn't provide any support to help me plan where the money should go and how I can adjust when I need to change the plan.

    I've never used direct connect in Quicken for my bank accounts (I do download investment quotes, though).

    I have found that I average well less than 5 minutes per day entering transactions (any one session of more than 5 minutes is quite rare). I do this by basically entering transactions every day (as you enter transactions, YNAB memorizes the payee and the category you last associated with this payee which greatly speeds up the process), and by making heavy use of the transaction scheduler. All of our paychecks, regular bills, and regular ATM transactions are entered in the scheduler. When they move into the register, I sometimes have to make small adjustments to dates and/or amounts but this takes less than a minute.
  • saied45saied45 Posts: 19Member
    i see. luckily i am young and still have no college or financial debts so i will stick with quicken for now. i do hope that in the next version of ynab containts direct connect and i will quickly jump ship.
    however i will start learning ynab as it seams like a great peace of software
  • brendanbrendan Posts: 132Member
    I've never used quicken, so I'm not sure how quicken allowed you do to it (but I did use to use Microsoft Money).
    Ynab DOES allow you to download transactions from your bank and import them. But it doesn't support "direct connect".

    You don't have to manually enter your transactions (however some people on the forums think it keeps you closer to your budget if you do).

    They way I do it is:
    • Schedule recurring transactions using the scheduler. These are automatically put in the account register as uncleared on the scheduled date.
    • When I spend money on a card or cash, usually I use the android app to enter the transaction. When I sync these transactions then appear in the account register as uncleared.
    • Every few days I import OFX files from the bank, which matches with the previously scheduled transactions and transactions from android app. It also catches transactions that I forgot to enter, or my wife forgot to tell me about.
    You could skip the first two steps, and just do the last step, but your category balances might not be correct and you might overspend.

    The reason I use YNAB over other software is because YNAB gives me a simple way to implement the Four Rules of Cash Flow:
    • Give Every Dollar a Job
    • Save for a Rainy Day
    • Roll with the Punches
    • Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

    If you haven't read it already, read the free e-book at http://www.youneedabudget.com/book/.

    The thing that makes YNAB amazing is not the software, it's the change in thinking around your budget.

    Using YNAB i've paid cash for a 90 person wedding, a 6 week honeymoon and have no credit card debt. Surprises like big car repair bills don't stress me anymore, and I always have enough money to pay the annual bills like insurance.

    Give it a try, I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do.
  • sinclacsinclac Posts: 84Member
    saied45 wrote:
    i do hope that in the next version of ynab containts direct connect

    Not likely to happen any time soon if at all.

    I an amazed at how lazy people get with their money that they can't even enter their transactions.
  • merlin1279merlin1279 Posts: 52Member
    sinclac wrote:
    saied45 wrote:
    i do hope that in the next version of ynab containts direct connect

    Not likely to happen any time soon if at all.

    I an amazed at how lazy people get with their money that they can't even enter their transactions.

    Okay, this cracked me up. I agree, really, though I think it takes that YNAB mental shift to see that inputting your transactions manually is what KEEPS YOU FOCUSED on your budget and your spending -- and therefore to see that this demand for automation is laziness.

    Already -- in about 45 days of using YNAB -- I have learned two things. First, if you update your spending every day or two, it doesn't take long at all to do. Second, if you just stop spending money, you hardly have anything to update =)
  • jk11jk11 Posts: 30Member
    I've used Quicken, Mint, and Yodlee MoneyCenter. I've found when I let a 3rd party enter my transactions I soon forget about a budget and start spending like a budget doesn't exsist. There is just something about hand entering helps enforce good habbits.

    I still use MoneyCenter to quickly access my investments and track overall networth. But for tracking the budget I've yet to find anything better than YNAB. With YNAB Android (or the IPHONE) app I enter as I go, sync in the mornings over coffee and the morning news, and once every few days reconcile with the bank.
  • litterbuglitterbug Posts: 3,646Member, Beta Tester
    merlin1279 wrote:
    sinclac wrote:
    ...if you just stop spending money, you hardly have anything to update =)
    I entered receipts manually in Quicken too, but it takes less time with YNAB because I do less impulse buying and am more conscientious about consolidating my shopping trips, which means many fewer receipts!
  • bookman413bookman413 Posts: 1,442Member, Beta Tester
    saied45 wrote:
    i see. luckily i am young and still have no college or financial debts so i will stick with quicken for now. i do hope that in the next version of ynab containts direct connect and i will quickly jump ship.
    however i will start learning ynab as it seams like a great peace of software

    I think you will find that if you just bite the bullet and start using YNAB, you will save a lot of money. A LOT of money. Money that you can use to invest, start a business, whatever hits your hot switch. That's because with YNAB you proactively plan and direct your finances, whereas with Quicken you really cannot.
  • I find that I actually look forward to entering my transactions manually in YNAB. It takes a very small amount of time, and I know that YNAB has allowed me to plan those expenditures. If I stayed within my category balance, I get to see those numbers grow as they rollover each month. If I didn't quite stay under, I no longer worry for days about paying the bills, or worrying at all that I forgot something I was supposed to pay when I was figuring out how much I could spend in my head at the checkout line. If I went over a little, I simply adjust my budget a little or roll the extra over and take it off of my buffer, and YNAB allows me to see how this affects my bottom line. (going over budget happens less and less with each week)

    Generally I enter transactions manually. Once they've hit my bank ("processing") OR I've sent/given the check, I mark them clear. As they pass the pending stage and post in my bank account I check the date, and make sure the running balances match, then flag them with a blue flag indicating that they've been reconciled. Honestly, I LOOK for reasons to spend more time in YNAB :)

    Also, since I don't quite have a full buffer and I get paid weekly, I tend to "forecast" weekly. I get paid on Mondays, so on Monday I enter my paycheck, then I head over to my register. I pre-enter into the register any bills from that week from the scheduler. That allows me to see how much money I have to budget that week for other things like groceries. Its not as good a system as having a full buffer, but it keeps me on track.
  • saied45saied45 Posts: 19Member
    while i dont think ill ever look forward to entering my transactions im gonna start ynab. BUT where do i start. its nothing like quicken.
  • MalisaMalisa Posts: 6,140Member, Moderator, YNAB Team, Beta Tester
    saied45 wrote:
    while i dont think ill ever look forward to entering my transactions im gonna start ynab. BUT where do i start. its nothing like quicken.

    Start accounts with the balances you have. Decide what that money has to do before you get paid again, give it those jobs (budget it). Then record your spending as it happens.

    You can attend one of the live classes to see it in action (link in my signature) or check out some of the tutorials or on-demand classes here.
  • vespitovespito Posts: 133Member
    Hi saied,
    I almost passed on YNAB for the same reason - no direct connect. All I can say is that after using YNAB for over a year, I don't think it takes much longer. Downloading statements takes very little time and is pretty easy. It's just second nature now; I am really, really, really lazy and I'm pretty happy with the way YNAB works.
  • saied45saied45 Posts: 19Member
    now that i think about it i dont think it will be as hard either. however what do i do with my credit cards. althought i pay them fully each month i still accumalate debt monthly so do i enter it or no?
  • JoelJoel Posts: 9,743Member, Beta Tester, Beta Moderator
    saied45 wrote:
    now that i think about it i dont think it will be as hard either. however what do i do with my credit cards. althought i pay them fully each month i still accumalate debt monthly so do i enter it or no?

    Enter your credit cards as accounts.
    Record the starting balances as outflows to Income: This Month (you may have a negative Available overall - basically this means assuming you pay the cards in full right now, can you do that or not?)
    Record transactions as they happen on your credit cards.

    It is just a matter of time before you will have the cash in your account before making any purchases on your credit cards...
  • akipakip Posts: 218Member
    Hey Saied,

    Just a heads up that in the first month you enter your credit card balances for a PIF card, you may feel a bit of a cash crunch. This is because YNAB will immediately set aside the funds to pay it off, and any future spends on it from this day forward will be accounted for in the category balances that you have budgeted for the rest of the month. I guess the point I am trying to get to is that you "lose" your 2-3 week window that you normally have from when you are billed, to when your payment comes due. It is just this one time, and moving forward this will not impact you again.

    If that is not clear, hopefully someone who is better at getting thoughts onto paper will pick up on this and will set it out in layman's terms!
  • Turf_HackerTurf_Hacker Posts: 6,292Member, Moderator, YNAB Team, Beta Tester
    I would put it this way.

    Most people (non-YNAB users) that are using CCs for their expenses are buying things today with the money they will earn next month. To put it differently, even if they are paying the card in full every month they are using money not yet earned to make these purchases.

    When using a PIF card in YNAB, you are using the CC to buy something today with money you have already earned (with a full buffer it is money you earned last month) then paying for it next month. It is fair to say that doing it this way you aren't accumulating debt, simply using a different method to spend money you have already earned.

    The key difference to me is that, with the "YNAB way", you aren't creating debt as you already have the cash in hand to pay the balance due at any time. Contrast this with the first way I described where you haven't earned the money (yet) to pay for the charges, and you are indeed creating debt.

    The transition between these two can cause difficulties as the existing balance when starting isn't covered by money already earned. The existing balance represents a commitment against money yet to be earned, so sometimes it takes a while to catch up.

    Hope this helps!
  • akipakip Posts: 218Member
    That's genius Turf_Hacker! Thank you for making that thought more clear! :D
  • saied45saied45 Posts: 19Member
    im slowly starting to see the benefits now. maybe i should change the title of this post.
    thanks all for helping. what an awesome forum
  • bookman413bookman413 Posts: 1,442Member, Beta Tester
    For your credit cards, make an account in YNab for each of them. As you use them during the month, record the expenses, with their categories, in the credit card register(s), which will go negative as the month goes by. Then when you pay the card off, just do it as a transfer between checking and the credit card account (in YNAB) with no category, which will zero out the credit card account registers

    oops, just saw that everyone else covered this response already!
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