I have really tried, and I don't get it. I've watched all the videos and webinars. I've read the forums. I've contemplated this as I'm trying to sleep. And I just don't get it. This is embarrassing for me since I supposedly have advance training in local government finance management, but if someone could please explain how this works to me like I'm 5, I'd appreciate it.
I am a long time Mint user, but it has some deficiencies, so I'd like to see if I can use YNAB instead. But as I said, there is something blocking my understanding of the conception of how this method is supposed to work. My wife and I are very frugal; we have no debt and lots of savings. We don't have money or cash-flow problems. Every month, I set up our budget in Mint, accounting for what we will make that month and what we plan to spend. Of course, some of our "spending" is categorized as "savings" which I will transfer to high interest savings accounts for use later. If any money is left over at the end of the month, then we will put in into our savings account (we have sub-accounts in ING for different purposes). If it looks like we are going to come up short (this has almost never happened because we don't let it) or if we have a trip planned or unexpected event (car repair, etc.), then we will transfer money into the checking account from the savings account and call it income for that month. Again, we don't have money problems: we have a 14,000 emergency fund, a 2,000 mad money fund, and some HSA savings. We keep a couple thousands dollars in the checking account to avoid over-drafting but this is never an issue as all our spending is on our credit cards which we pay in full at the end of each cycle (Could this be sort of a natural buffer? We pay towards the end of the grace period).
Maybe YNAB just isn't for me. I am used to being able to tell how much income I'll have that month and how much I can spend (the way Mint looks). I feel like in YNAB I can't tell if I've over-budgeted my income for the month (maybe because it includes all my savings in my available income which doesn't really make sense to me?). I don't think I understand the income being available this month or next concept. There is some je ne sais quoi about this system that I'm just not getting. I would like to give it one more try before I give up completely. If someone could try to explain the concept to me or perhaps suggest why I am having such a hard time grasping it, I'd be most appreciative.