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Tools to managing your finance

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Moderator Emeritus

Re: Tools to managing your finance

I think you'll find yourself in good company regarding Dave Ramsey on this forum.

 

First and foremost this is a credit forum and Dave Ramsey is basically anti-credit when it comes to modern credit scoring algorithms (i.e. close down your credit cards... bad mojo for FICO 8 / FICO 9 and suboptimal even for mortgage scoring purposes).

 

I did a little bit of digging and it turns out there was major change in how YNAB handles credit cards between the old desktop version 3 and the online version 4.  I even went as far as asking a question on that on their community forum haha.

 

I have non-trivial numbers of credit cards compared to the average, and as such my accounts are skewed more towards budget accounts... but I need to just try moving a revolver to a tracking account, take some silly charge on it, get it imported, and see if it can be assigned into a real budget category.  If it does, that solves my current issue with the app anyway, and I do vastly prefer YNAB's customizable categories (my budget / expense tracking, my way) vs. Personal Capital's one size fits all.




        
Message 21 of 50
Valued Contributor

Re: Tools to managing your finance


@Revelate wrote:

I think you'll find yourself in good company regarding Dave Ramsey on this forum.

 

First and foremost this is a credit forum and Dave Ramsey is basically anti-credit when it comes to modern credit scoring algorithms (i.e. close down your credit cards... bad mojo for FICO 8 / FICO 9 and suboptimal even for mortgage scoring purposes).

 

I did a little bit of digging and it turns out there was major change in how YNAB handles credit cards between the old desktop version 3 and the online version 4.  I even went as far as asking a question on that on their community forum haha.


Good point re: Dave Ramsey and credit!

And I know a number of users that switched from YNAB3/4 (or 'classic') to nYNAB (the newest version) had a heck of a time with how they changed the way that credit cards work.   That's why I mentioned that I'm using nYNAB - I thought it could be a version issue since they're always updating. 




Garden goal: Completely clean reports and a gold spade (which, at my current rate, is never going to happen...)
Message 22 of 50
Senior Contributor

Re: Tools to managing your finance

I use Fudget. Free tool and has gotten me totally on track. You set up your own budgets and add things as they come in. I’ve got my budget set up going out to April right now. 

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I don’t like complex budgets so I set specific dollar amounts for credit card payments. Like for example, say I charge something that costs $200 today, since my credit cards don’t cut until the 21st, I would add it to the February budget. 

 

I also keep my grocery budget separate just for tracking purposes and create a line item in my budget for the card I’m using for groceries with that budget (right now it’s Discover). 

 

This way I always end up with more money in the bank than I budgeted for. Like I have excess balances each month that I haven’t added to the next month yet so in April based on my current budgeting I should be around $700 if I don’t spend anything over what I have budgeted. I have budgeted for all of my bills including projected spend to meet my BBVA SUB which is why the budgets look so low at the end but I’m actually running about 75% of my income through my credit cards to earn rewards so all of that is in there too. 

 

It may be confusing for some people but I tried things like Mint and just found myself frustrated. I also was using a daily budget app that is a simple add and subtract deal which I got irritated with as well. Fudget is the first app I’ve found that I actually like using and helps me not to spend more money than I have. I haven’t had to carry balances on anything unless I had already planned to ($208 of my budget each month is planned spending towards my NFCU BT I took out so obviously that $208 is flexible if I’m willing to pay a bit of interest to NFCU) and I always have enough cash in the bank to be comfortable about not becoming overdrawn. 

 

Actually I am going to go do something I never do - I’m going to go pay the $3.99 for the full app. It’s definitely worth it. 

 

ETA: I think this is the first app I’ve actually bought on iOS other than in app purchases for game currency. 

ADFAA80D-46E8-40E1-92DD-1F11997B1D3D.jpeg

 

 

 


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Message 23 of 50
Valued Contributor

Re: Tools to managing your finance


@calyx wrote:

@Revelate wrote:

I think you'll find yourself in good company regarding Dave Ramsey on this forum.

 

First and foremost this is a credit forum and Dave Ramsey is basically anti-credit when it comes to modern credit scoring algorithms (i.e. close down your credit cards... bad mojo for FICO 8 / FICO 9 and suboptimal even for mortgage scoring purposes).

 

I did a little bit of digging and it turns out there was major change in how YNAB handles credit cards between the old desktop version 3 and the online version 4.  I even went as far as asking a question on that on their community forum haha.


Good point re: Dave Ramsey and credit!

And I know a number of users that switched from YNAB3/4 (or 'classic') to nYNAB (the newest version) had a heck of a time with how they changed the way that credit cards work.   That's why I mentioned that I'm using nYNAB - I thought it could be a version issue since they're always updating. 


I just downloaded YNAB last night, and am still setting things up.   One thing I noitced is that when setting up the budget it is comparing my budget to the current amount in my accounts.   For example when I budget my car payment of $265 it deducts the $265 from my bank balance like I already paid it for budgeting.  I don't see anywhere in the budget on how to tell it of expected income. So with what I have enterd so far YNAB is showing me over budget by $131, but I have a lot of income to still come in January.   Am I missing something with how it works?

 

Do you think it is worth $84 a year?


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Message 24 of 50
Valued Contributor

Re: Tools to managing your finance


@MakingProgress wrote:

@calyx wrote:

@Revelate wrote:

I think you'll find yourself in good company regarding Dave Ramsey on this forum.

 

First and foremost this is a credit forum and Dave Ramsey is basically anti-credit when it comes to modern credit scoring algorithms (i.e. close down your credit cards... bad mojo for FICO 8 / FICO 9 and suboptimal even for mortgage scoring purposes).

 

I did a little bit of digging and it turns out there was major change in how YNAB handles credit cards between the old desktop version 3 and the online version 4.  I even went as far as asking a question on that on their community forum haha.


Good point re: Dave Ramsey and credit!

And I know a number of users that switched from YNAB3/4 (or 'classic') to nYNAB (the newest version) had a heck of a time with how they changed the way that credit cards work.   That's why I mentioned that I'm using nYNAB - I thought it could be a version issue since they're always updating. 


I just downloaded YNAB last night, and am still setting things up.   One thing I noitced is that when setting up the budget it is comparing my budget to the current amount in my accounts.   For example when I budget my car payment of $265 it deducts the $265 from my bank balance like I already paid it for budgeting.  I don't see anywhere in the budget on how to tell it of expected income. So with what I have enterd so far YNAB is showing me over budget by $131, but I have a lot of income to still come in January.   Am I missing something with how it works?

 

Do you think it is worth $84 a year?


I think it absolutely is - it makes me a little more mindful in my spending, so I waste a lot less money (I won't say I deprive myself at all, but I don't squander money on meaningless stuff as much).  I've saved thousands in the year I've had it.    And I'm not going to lie - I enjoy moving my money around the categories during payday, so I'm getting entertainment value as well.  


The key to YNAB is to ONLY budget the money you have.

You can't forecast out, or budget future dollars, you just budget your money as you go.

I *highly* recommend watching the videos online, they are super, super helpful
They also have a pretty robust support community on their website and on Facebook.

Also - I don't know if you got the 34day free trial, but you can email them and ask for a three month free trial and they will extend it.  I'm paid monthly and I really wanted to try it out with a couple of paychecks before committing.




Garden goal: Completely clean reports and a gold spade (which, at my current rate, is never going to happen...)
Message 25 of 50
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Tools to managing your finance


@MakingProgress wrote:

@calyx wrote:

@Revelate wrote:

I think you'll find yourself in good company regarding Dave Ramsey on this forum.

 

First and foremost this is a credit forum and Dave Ramsey is basically anti-credit when it comes to modern credit scoring algorithms (i.e. close down your credit cards... bad mojo for FICO 8 / FICO 9 and suboptimal even for mortgage scoring purposes).

 

I did a little bit of digging and it turns out there was major change in how YNAB handles credit cards between the old desktop version 3 and the online version 4.  I even went as far as asking a question on that on their community forum haha.


Good point re: Dave Ramsey and credit!

And I know a number of users that switched from YNAB3/4 (or 'classic') to nYNAB (the newest version) had a heck of a time with how they changed the way that credit cards work.   That's why I mentioned that I'm using nYNAB - I thought it could be a version issue since they're always updating. 


I just downloaded YNAB last night, and am still setting things up.   One thing I noitced is that when setting up the budget it is comparing my budget to the current amount in my accounts.   For example when I budget my car payment of $265 it deducts the $265 from my bank balance like I already paid it for budgeting.  I don't see anywhere in the budget on how to tell it of expected income. So with what I have enterd so far YNAB is showing me over budget by $131, but I have a lot of income to still come in January.   Am I missing something with how it works?

 

Do you think it is worth $84 a year?


I haven't found anything better yet for real expense tracking and budgeting.  Whether you need it or not is a different question.

 

You cannot do real forecasting with it (well, you used to be able to mark income transactions in the future and maybe still can but I don't find it necessary), and it isn't setup to really be display convenient for those of us that float money and don't keep around a non-trivial checking account to be paying out of it.  I'm admittedly not their target audience.

 

Really what I do is I know how much money I have coming in net, and I just budget up to that line when it comes to rounding things out like investments or savings at the end with the extra cash flow. Then I look at the end of the month record and see whether I was over or under and where.

 

Until you mentioned it I hadn't realized the expense had gone up; I may look towards doing expense tracking some other way as I don't really need hardcore budgetting at this point in my life, still evaluating Personal Capital which unfortunately isn't as sophisticated and I'm finding tons of issues in it for real tracking, and I didn't realize how annoying no manual input is when the app is getting things wrong.  I could deal with support but meh.

 

May need to try Mint again, but I will say if you're willing to pay for a tool, YNAB is one of the best.




        
Message 26 of 50
Valued Contributor

Re: Tools to managing your finance

Revelate - I believe classic users are grandfathered in with discount pricing - you may want to check in on that.

And if you pay through iTunes, I think you can do it monthly vs the annual fee (I don't use iTunes, so it's the annual hit for me).




Garden goal: Completely clean reports and a gold spade (which, at my current rate, is never going to happen...)
Message 27 of 50
Established Member

Re: Tools to managing your finance

I found a GREAT tool that I have been using for about 5 months now called EarnUp.   Mind you, it's not a monitoring tool like Mint or YNAB or similar, but I have been VERY happy it.

 

Basically, you add accounts/bills to your EarnUp account along with their due dates.  Based on your pay schedule, you tell EarnUp how much to deduct every pay period from your bank account to put in your EarnUp account.  You have a few ways to personalize your payments.  For example, I get paid bi-weekly, and my mortgage pmt is $1449 due on the first of each month.  I set up my EarnUp to take $750 per pay period and hold it towards my mortgage.  Because I am paid bi-weekly, this actually will result in an extra mortgage payment every 6 months, plus the extra amount monthly because EarnUp is sending $1500 I set up, not the $1449.  If you're paid bi-weekly, you have the option to completely skip the payments in the "extra" month, or to just continue paying them....you decide.  

 

I started with smaller accounts to make sure things got done as expected before adding my mortgage, and it has gone perfectly.  I have a Care Credit bill that is 0% for 6 months, and using EarnUp, it will be paid in full before the 6 months expires.  I have also added a car loan which is $309/mo x 5 years.  By allowing EarnUp to make the extra payment every 6 months, I cut 7 months off the term of the loan.

 

Downsides:  for me,  December/January has been brutal. (I started EarnUp in October and have added accounts a couple at a time).  That's because they don't pay your bills in advance of there being enough money in your EarnUp account, so in your first month,  you either need to have some disposable income or you need to work a LOT of overtime. Like this:  I added my mortgage deductions for EarnUp to start in January so EarnUp would pay my February 1st mortgage payment.  My January paychecks are 01/11/2019 and 01/25/2019, and there is $750 out of each of those checks going to my EarnUp account.   BUT I still had to make my January mortgage payment on 1/1/2019, and continue to pay my regular monthly bills that aren't on EarnUp in January with $750 coming out of each of my January paychecks that there ordinarily wouldn't be.  But next month, that won't be the case.  My February mortgage will be paid by EarnUp using the money from my Jan 11 and 25 paychecks, so when Feb 1 rolls around, I don't have multiple large bills to pay.  By my second paycheck in February, all of my accounts will be in EarnUp, so what is left after my EarnUp withdrawls is mine to be silly with. 

 

I pay $9.95/month for EarnUp, and that doesn't change with more accounts.  You can also add utlity bills, etc.  My student loans don't start repayment until June, but I am already set up for EarnUp to take money for those starting in April, so I will start replayment a month ahead of schedule in May, and I added $10/month and will allow the extra payment every 6 months to be made.  The fact that they take a smaller amount out of each paycheck makes life MUCH easier for me. 

 

Another non-related to EarnUp thing that I do is I have set up a google calendar just for money.   It doesn't pay bills, or anything like that, just tracks them on the calendar.  I have my pay dates on there as well.  On the Saturdays after pay Fridays, I spend an hour or two in the morning checking the calendar to see what's coming up and make sure it's set up, confirming that any auto-pays since the last paycheck have happened, and running through my checking account transactions to make sure there's nothing unexpected there, or a bill I might have forgotton to put on the calendar.   When I get an email about a bill that's due, without fail, on the spot, I look at the calendar to make sure that bill is on it and on the correct date.  Then I archive the email so it doesn't sit there nagging me.

 

It sounds like a lot of time/effort, and initially getting everything set up is a bit of time.  But now, the more things I have in EarnUp, the quicker my "Saturday after pay Friday" review is: a quick scan of the bank account to make sure all expected EarnUp deductions happened, a quick look at the bill pay calendar, and I usually log into one or two of my online accounts to make sure the previous EarnUp payment was made.  It is MUCH less stressful for me, and the money in my checking account on Saturday after pay Friday is mine, and the bills are paid on time, ahead and automatically. Smiley Happy

 

Good luck!!  However you choose to do it, pick a plan, spend the initial time setting it up, and then let it work for you. 

 

 

 

 

 

Planted the garden: 11/1/2018
See what grows: 5/1/2019
Message 28 of 50
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Tools to managing your finance

Well if you need a true budgetting tool it is hard to beat YNAB.

That’s not what I need though, I need expense tracking and turns out I found another class of expense categories in Personal Capital (free web/app) and given it’s one of the better investment aggregators out there, I wound up cancelling YNAB and just using Personal Capital.

Really very handy app even if it doesn’t handle my mortgage correctly but did put in a request to support to try to correct that: basically everything else it does darned well especially for a free app.



        
Message 29 of 50
Valued Contributor

Re: Tools to managing your finance


@Revelate wrote:
Well if you need a true budgetting tool it is hard to beat YNAB.

That’s not what I need though, I need expense tracking and turns out I found another class of expense categories in Personal Capital (free web/app) and given it’s one of the better investment aggregators out there, I wound up cancelling YNAB and just using Personal Capital.

Really very handy app even if it doesn’t handle my mortgage correctly but did put in a request to support to try to correct that: basically everything else it does darned well especially for a free app.

I am not sold on YNAB yet.  I don't really consider it a true budgeting tool as it is set up to only use the money I have right now, not the money I will receive this month.   I want to set a budget of my monthly expenses and income, and be able to track my progress.  I don't want to have to rebudget after every paycheck.  If I put in all my monthly expenses it shows me overbudgeted because I have not yet recieved all my income for the month.   If I only put in my expenses for this pay period I will be adjusting everything weekly.   Both DW and I are paid bi-weekly on opposite weeks so we have income every week.  To me YNAB is simply an electronic version of Dave Ramsey's envelope system.   I haven't given up on it yet, but I have the feeling that once the free trial is over I won't pay for it.

 

I am also running mint at the same time to see which works best for me.   Right now it seems like mint will the winner. 


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Message 30 of 50