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Hole in the ship! Do you notice money leaking?

Update: moved the script to GitHub

Bad news for me. It seems two years ago I haven’t paid one of the taxes and now I owe 900 PLN. We’ve spent 1000 PLN more on groceries this month. Those delicious damn nuts are expensive. No month is the same even if you plan for it. And accidents happen.

I’m a little bit stressed because I had plans and now I need to change them. But at least I know I had plans and I know what I need to change. This time I’m smarter.

I wasn’t so well prepared before. Before I properly budgeted my money I was just running a month to a month and just living by. When something big happened (like car insurance, or yearly taxes) I was scared, stressed and unprepared.

But since I started using YNAB properly I have buffers I can use for situations like this. If you happen to feel your money sometimes goes out of control try then some budgeting. I bet it will help.

What I found using YNAB is that it’s not worth to be too picky about categories. I’ve started with 40 or 50 categories and tried to track each expense groups separately (like kids fun, cosmetics, PIT, VAT, etc.). Now I’m using around 30 or 35 (including business). But daily spendings are mostly associated with 3-5 categories. Other categories are funds we are gathering for different purposes.

I could go by with even less categories, but I haven’t yet made my mind.

So what we track separately?

As they suggest I have grouped categories in following groups: Daily spendings, Funds for hard times, Monthly, Business, Savings.

Daily spendings includes: Groceries and rest, Gas, Nanny, Fun, Sport

Funds for hard times: Doctor, Cash flow buffer, Car repairs, Home stuff, Car insurance, Gifts, Christmas (yes, we prepare for it from January)

Monthly:  Mortgage, Electricity, Phones+Net, Home rent

Business: Net visibility (servers, domans, etc.), Taxes, New phone, New computer, Software, Education

Savings: Holidays, Car replacement, Retirement, New photo camera

I could combine monthly expenses into one because they are usually the same and maybe I will. But for now I haven’t decided to do it.

I know what you’re thinking that’s a lot of stuff to track expenses against, right?

But by paying with a card I have automated most of it - I wrote a simple app that takes my statements from mBank and Eurobank which I use and automatically puts them into You Need a Budget!

So I need to worry about entering only a few items per month and YNAB iPhone app helps me with that.

This way I have full visibility of my expenses and also what’s great is I prepare 3 months in advance.

Knowing my usual per day income I estimate what would be my income for following months. Then I can decide what to do why my money.

And this is where the fun begins! When you know all of this you can start planning and saving for stuff you want! And then you can react knowingly.

Hope you’ll get a look on YNAB which is great. If you have any questions feel free to ping me.