YNAB For Beginners – Quick Start Guide (2018)



A step-by-step guide with EVERYTHING you need to get started with YNAB. This YNAB tutorial will walk you through every single detail of setting up your budget and getting ahead with the app.

YNAB Getting Started Beginner’s Checklist:

YNAB Affiliate Link for a free trial:

**I made the YNAB credit card video I mentioned!**
Watch it here:

YNAB Setup In The Middle Of The…

48 Comments

  1. Ugh, Nick, this is Natalie again…we are 4 hours in…We set up ALL of our accounts and ONLY want our checking to be used for budgetting. Somehow, it is using ALL of our assets, savings or one of the other and we cannot figure out how to CHANGE anything in the "accounts" themselves so only our checking is used at the top in the green arrow for budgetting–really frustrated. Left an email for them but honestly, it doesn't seem to have a feature to click on my accounts and drag them to 'asset' from savings is that is the issue. I can't do ANYTHING to fix this problem. Also, has things called outflows and inflows showing up that we didn't even select–so we think we screwed up big time. We watched the video yesterday AND as we input everything step by step, including goals for ALL of our expenditures so each month, as we age our money, they will be funded in advance. Not sure where we went wrong. 🙁 Help.

  2. The most frustrating thing about budgeting apps was the struggle to imitate real life situations like moving your money from credit card account to checking account. I've recently found out about YANB and love its fluidity and accuracy!!! Thank you for your video.

  3. This is actually Darin's wife, Natalie,–logged in as my hubby. Just watched your video. We're Dave Ramsey followers but watched all reviews of each money ap from Mint to Every Dollar to YNAB and now that I've seen this app in action, we are going with THIS one. We will also be using it for our 23 year old son. I love the intuitive nature, the red/yellow/green color coding and flexibility of naming categories. Yes, goal is to "age our money" and get to working FULLY funded AHEAD of the month! Thank you so much for sharing this. We are DEBT FREE except for the house, so thankfully, the confusing credit card part wont' apply! Woo hoo! (That was hard for me to follow–hee hee). THANK YOU again. Great video! Natalie and Darin!

  4. Our mentality is so messed up we validate ourselves with wasteful vanities, you don’t need to buy that new shoe or that new car yet when you can’t even guarantee yourself financial freedom, why not invest and be your own boss.

  5. I tried this a couple of years ago with your video & I gave up pretty quickly. I have never been good with money, but am a single mom and want to get out of the paycheck to paycheck cycle as well as be a role model for my daughters. I'm going to try again–any words of encouragement? Does the system really work?

  6. Hey Nick – I am back trying this again. I have a lot of biweekly payments and I am not sure if I need to add them in my budget simply as monthly payments which get paid 2x month or actually split them out in my budget. DO you know what i mean?

  7. Not a YNAB user –currently on Quicken but considering making the switch. More importantly, I want to point out how much I love that you're doing this from the road. I've been an entrepreneur for 25 years and we're getting ready to hit the road full-time and super stoked. Love to connect and maybe our path's will cross and we can nerd out about $$$ 👍

  8. I just signed up for YNAB's free trial, I wish I had found your video first, but so glad I found it now. YNAB was so confusing for me, but after playing this video twice, I'm starting to grasp it….lol. Thank you so much! New subscriber and just added the 30 Second Money Tip! 🙂

  9. YNAB literally changed my life. I've been using it for 7 years now, and you STILL taught me new things about optimizing my use of the program!

  10. I feel the shift already. I have struggled with budgeting forever and used YNAB sort of for 2 years. This has cleared up so much for me. I spent 2 nights watching, rewatching, setting up my budget, watching some more, etc. The most helpful part was understanding how to use the goals feature and how to then fund them. I didn't get that. I'm excited to budget for future months with the money I've earned this month. Yay!

  11. Regretfully I have never really budgeted and never really took it seriously. I just recently got divorced and my new girlfriend in my life has turned me on to ynab. I'm looking forward to giving my money jobs. Thanks for making this video. It cleared up a lot of the fog I was having.

  12. Why isn't Auto Loan with a fixed monthly payment placed under the Fixed Expenses category? Why do you suggest putting under the Debt category?

  13. Just watched a bunch of your videos. Super helpful. I looked at your checklists and noticed that you had Fast Food and Restaurants listed under Entertainment, which completely changes the way that I think about them as compared to my old category of “Food”. I like how it emphasizes how those subtypes are nonessential compared to groceries. Thank you!

  14. A friend recommended I watch this before trying YNAB and I'm so glad I did! I'm going to watch your others, especially the one for credit cards, and then I'll come back to your affiliate link.

  15. Hey honestly im totally confused….. I just got YNAB today and started first thing with this video…… do i not put my whole account numbers in? or just what im planning on using? so confused would love some help!

  16. Thank you so much for this. My brother recommended YNAB to me and I didn't know how to get started. You hit all the important notes and I'm excited to use this and not have to live paycheck to paycheck. Thank you again!!

  17. i want to change from excel networth file to this app but seems there is so much work to do and i am afreadi my time might be put in here rather than finding more money 🙂

  18. I have been a YNAB customer for two years. My Age of Money is 90 Days. Everyone, no matter how destitute you feel, if you only budget the money you have available, I promise you will get there.

  19. Thank you so much!! I am that person who has tried YNAB twice and felt discouraged by how confusing this was. I just spent half the afternoon watching this video, pausing to fill in my accounts, budget & transactions as you went along, and I now feel thoroughly excited to use this platform! I can't thank you enough!

  20. I've been using YNAB for about a year now but wasn't budgeting correctly, I kind of just let the red notifications show up and just moved money around until it was back to 0 my "to be budgeted". It was easy to just let it happen when I had my transactions get automatically added

    But now, I just readjusted all my categories and set up goals to hopefully be ahead of my expenses! I exclusively used the mobile app before but did not know I was missing out on the reports section on the desktop version, I'm hoping now it can help me get a better idea on how to budget non-fixed expenses.

  21. First paycheck of the month is split into categories the same way every month. Second paycheck of the month is likewise split the same way every month. Is there no way to set up funding models for each paycheck to I don't have to go through splitting the check 10 different ways every two weeks?

  22. Having gone through most of your videos on YNAB set up, tips/tricks (that goals flow chart!) I can say that my wife and I would not be in the solid financial position today without your help! Our weekly budget meetings are enabled by YNAB, which is only possible through your guidance. Thanks for doing this!

  23. How do you deal with your bank when you do a transaction and it pends yet deducts from your available spending? Do you put in YNAB the day it clears or do you put the transaction for the day you spent it so it matches up with the available funds in your bank account?

  24. THANK YOU! This is so helpful! You made this so easy!

  25. Nick, I am still lost. Let's say I have $60 thousand in my checking account, do I budget for all of it? I am confused

  26. Super helpful. I liked seeing how you categorize items and clearly explained aging money plus adding amounts and dates made my life so much easier when I went in to set my goals. I’m curious what your recommendation would be for an emergency fund and if there’s an easy way to solve for that.

  27. Hey Nick – Thanks for the tutorial. Where I get stuck is while shifting categories on the computer is easy how do you manage this in real life, ie. do you have mutilple checking/savings accounts to mimic the envelope system ?

  28. Hi Nick, just setting up YNAB using my phone so it’s a lil different from your setting up. Would it be better to set up on a MacBook first? Does it matter? Thank you!!

  29. Thanks Nick! I know this is an old video but your content has really helped me get started and on the right path. Currently in the midst of house hunting so this product, with your help, has made the endeavor much less stressful. Liked, subbed, and will use your affiliate link!

  30. Thanks Nick! There's a lot of info in this vid, changing playback speed to .75 helped me slow down the firehose lol

  31. Hi Nick, I had to see this video again because I've was having some issues but all solved..question though..I'm still on the trial version – once I purchase am I able to do that through your affiliate link?

  32. So after listening to a few of your tutorials I believe I have YNAB set up. The credit card thing took a bit to grasp and make sure i was coding the payments/ transactions properly and trusting money would shift from one account to another. Some of the accounts don't link. For instance my local credit union (not surprised) and apparently Capital One has issues with the feature. I do, however, like to manually enter ( as you have said) and thus I am not disappointed. I also use Everydollar and do like projecting out the month. I plan to use Everydollar to that feature and YNAB for everything else. I do have a question. In Everydollar you can set up a FUND which tracks growth and allows you to see how much over time your are giving or saving. Does YNAB do this automatically? For instance, in my giving category does it give you an annual overview of what you gave? So far the limitations with Everydollar are covered in YNAB. My debt journey began nearly two years ago. I have one credit card to go ($7,000) and then a HELOC to worry about before I can sprint with saving and retirement. Look forward to Freedom. Not sure where you are at while reading this but thanks for the lessons and keep the good content coming.

  33. I'll use you link…Let me know how.? Can most banks be linked? Your explanations and training very helpful

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