Quick Start Step 1: Set a Target

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: What are your expenses? What are your priorities? Create categories for each expense and goal that you have.

Your budget is a roadmap of your priorities. If your budget is the map, then your categories are the stops along your route. And Targets can help ensure your car doesn't run out of fuel, er, dollars, along the way. 

Once you've set up your categories to reflect your priorities, follow these steps to add Targets to help keep you on the road:

Find a category that matches one of your targets— or create a new category!—and select it.
Click Create a target in the Inspector on the right.
Select the type of target you would like to set. You can learn more about the different types of targets here.
Enter your target information: the amount you'd like to assign, and by which date, if applicable.
Click Save Target. (You knew that, but five steps are way more fun than four.)
Your category will now have a yellow Available column amount (with a progress indicator). That means your target needs money to stay on track! The next two steps will make sure you get there. 🙂👍🏻
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