Quick Start Step 1: Set a Goal

The most important thing about budgeting is starting. Everything else – the ending of financial stress, the excitement about paying bills, the unicorns and show ponies – will come later. But only if you start

So let’s get to it.

Why are you budgeting?

You didn't decide to budget because you love math. Sure, there’s some of that (though YNAB takes care of most of it for you), but a budget  is about reaching your goals. They might be small, like paying the electric bill on time and in full. Or they might be grand, like a second honeymoon to Tahiti. Here’s how.

First, think: Why decide to budget? What's your goal?

Find the category in your budget that matches one of your goals and select it. If you need to, make one.
Click “Create a goal” in the Inspector (right hand side of your budget!)
For this first one, select “Category Balance by Date”. (You can explore the other goal options later!)
Now toggle those options to your heart’s content. How much do you need to save? By when?
Click OK. (You knew that, but five steps is way more fun than four.)

Notice that category is now orange in the Available column. That means your goal needs money to stay on track! The next two steps will make sure you have it there.

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