No. of Recommendations: 3
Now I still need to learn how to stick to the budget and stop going over, especially in certain categories that I consistently plan to spend X but seem to always end up spending X + $75... That is the current stress point in my life that I would love to resolve.

I use YNAB also and have found it very, very helpful. I did want to respond to this as a YNAB user.

1. I've found that I do best with YNAB if I don't stress so much on whether I "stick" to the budget but more that I focus on overall spending what I have available to spend. That is, let's say I have $100 in a particular category and I need -- or want -- to spend $150 on that category during the month instead. The value of YNAB for me is that to do that I need to make a choice. I've filled out my YNAB budget at the beginning of the month, giving every dollar a job. It is fine for me to spend $150 instead of $100 in a category but I need to take it from somewhere else. Maybe I cut $25 from the grocery category and another $25 from my auto repair category which is very healthy or whatever. The thing is that I consider all of the sticking to the budget so long as I'm finding a place to take the money from where I can afford to do that without imperiling future plans.

2. It used to frustrate me when there were categories that I was consistently overbudget on. At some point I realized that in most instances one of two things was going on. First, it might be a category that I didn't really like spending money on so I always hoped I could spend less. So I would underbudget through kind of a hope springs eternal mechanism. I used to do this with home repair for example. I realized that my budgeting was just inadequate for those categories and I needed to budget more realistically.

Second, there were times when I was constantly going overbudget on a category because that category really was a higher priority to me than I was showing with my budget. Early this year I set a dining out budget that was really low. The thing is that the budget clashed with how much I really did want us to eat out. After a few months I raised the dining out budget. It is a category I watch -- it is less than half of what it was a couple of years ago -- but now my budget better matches how much of a priority it really is for me (of course, I had to take money out of another category so I could raise the dining out budget a bit).
Print the post  


UGC Disclosure Notice Regarding Credit Card Posts
Community board discussions about credit cards are not provided or commissioned by banks who may have advertising relationships with The Motley Fool. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
TMF Credit Center
The Motley Fool Credit Center arms you with real tools and simple messages, that will help you in every credit situation.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.