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? We've gotten you started with some common expenses, but you can also add categories for each expense and goal that you have, and enter the target amount for each of them. If you don't know them all right now, thats okay! You're taking those first steps, and you can fill in the rest when you can.
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 expenses or goals—
or create a new category!—and select it.
- Enter the amount for that expense or goal - thats the target amount you want to assign to that category.
- Select the type of target you would like to set. You can learn more about the different types of targets here.
- Choose a due date or day, 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. 🙂👍🏻