Starting in the Middle of the Month on Mobile

Starting a budget in the middle of the month might feel overwhelming because it doesn’t feel like the right time to start. It’s not the first of the month, you’ve already paid some expenses or waiting for your next paycheck.

Your budget is built to be flexible, so unlike Goldilocks—there is no need to wait for "just right". 😉

Start Today

When is the best time to start? Today! Life with a budget is better than one without, so start your budgeting journey now. You'll begin with the money you have on hand, in your accounts today. And rest assured—YNAB is designed to set you up for success, no matter when you start.

What Should You Do First?

Now that you're on board with starting your budget, follow these steps:

  • Add your Accounts: Each account has its own register, where you'll add transactions.
  • Customize your Categories: We've provided the basics, but your budget should represent your priorities; make your budget your own!
  • Set Goals and Schedule Transactions: Setting goals helps you prioritize and make a plan for your money and scheduled transactions help you prepare for upcoming expenses.
  • Budget your Money: Give your existing dollars jobs by budgeting money to your categories. Ask yourself, "What does this money need to do before I get paid again?", and stop when To be Budgeted reaches $0.00. When you get paid again, pick up where you left off and continue!

I've Already Paid That Bill, Why Am I Being Asked to Budget More?

When you set a goal, you’ll see a yellow underfunded alert until you’ve met the goal. You'll only need to budget for expenses that haven’t yet been paid this month.

In your first month of budgeting, you may set a goal for an expense you’ve already paid. For example, if you paid rent on the 1st, but you're starting on the 20th. If you're starting your new budget after, it can be confusing or even frustrating.

There are two ways to handle this situation:

1
Ignore the yellow on that category. I know, it feels wrong but remember, red means stop, yellow means "proceed with caution". You can begin budgeting for those goals when the month rolls over.
2
Instead of setting the goal this month, remove and add it to next month. This will tell the goal to begin in the future. No alert! Then tap the month at the top of your Budget to switch months, and create the new goal:

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