I downloaded the trial of YNAB and of course, given the hundreds of reviews, power of the software, large user base, and support, etc… it really is one of the best budget programs available. However, I had a quick question that I'm sure someone can help with.
When I decided at the first of the year to budget I began using a different on line budgeting software. It is a strict envelope system and I simply allocated all of my money into the envelopes (gave every dollar a job) and it's been working well. However, YNAB is more full-featured and I think it functions much better in other areas. Here's my question/issue:
With strict envelope budgeting it works very well for me as I'm paid every two weeks. What I don't spend stays in the envelope, carries over the the next month, etc… Because YNAB is based on a month-to-month system it seems that I'm about to overspend in a category where my other system still shows a decent amount in my envelope/category. After reading through a few forum posts I realize that I could treat YNAB exactly like I do my other on line budget - simply add the income as I get it and budget every two weeks. But… that doesn't really work with Rule 4. I currently have enough for a buffer (live on next months income). Maybe it's just the perfectionist in me - I don't want to overspend in a category.
A couple of other forum posters said that they use the extra income that they will receive twice a year (in the months they receive a third paycheck) to allocate to debt-payment, Christmas, or other rainy day categories. I could do that, but what if I would rather treat YNAB more like a basic envelope system? How would one go about setting up her/his budget yet still implement Rule 4?
I realize one response could be, well… just keep using your envelope system. But, I really like YNAB for other reasons and I'd like to continue using it. Any suggestions on how I could set this up? Maybe I'm just missing something or making too big a deal out of this.
Hopefully this post wasn't too confusing. Thanks in advance for suggestions/advice! The forums on here really are fantastic.