Getting Started on a Budget with YNAB

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Getting Started

YNAB 4 Quick Start Tutorial

Welcome to YNAB!  We’ll have you up and running in minutes! YNAB is built around four rules. It’s best if you are familiar with them and how they work in the software. We encourage you to read about the rules before getting started.  For now, we'll get you up and
Last Updated: November 3, 2016

Fresh Start

How do I start over? Lots of people start over to reorganize, or because they stopped using YNAB for a while and just want a fresh start. Fresh Start: saves a copy of your current budget maintains your category and account structure deletes all transactions and budget data
Last Updated: January 2, 2014

Overdrawn Checking Accounts

How do I start with a negative bank balance? Starting in overdraft can seem overwhelming, but YNAB can help make it much more manageable. Your overdraft balance is considered debt because it is money you owe, and your goal should be to get rid of that debt as soon as possible.  If
Last Updated: September 25, 2012

Cloud Sync

What is Cloud Sync? Cloud Sync keeps  your YNAB budget up to date in real time across multiple devices. Out shopping and need to know your balance to make a spending decision? You can be confident you’re up to date. Have YNAB on two phones and one desktop in your family? You’ll
Last Updated: October 21, 2013

Getting Started with Three Steps

When can I start using YNAB? The most important thing is that you can start today. You don't have to wait for the first day of a month and you don't have to go and gather a bunch of historical data. We recommend the following three steps:   These steps will work
Last Updated: February 12, 2013

Using YNAB on Steam

What is Steam? Steam is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by Valve Corporation. It is used to distribute games and related media online, from small independent developers to larger software houses. In October 2012, Valve expanded
Last Updated: January 6, 2014

Set up Cloud Sync on the Desktop

Download and install YNAB, then open it. When prompted to use Cloud Sync, click, “Yes! I’d like to use Cloud Sync.” YNAB will check to see if you have Dropbox installed. If you do, you’ll see this screen: If you don’t have Dropbox installed you’ll be
Last Updated: October 28, 2013

Setting up YNAB

Do I have to wait until the 1st of the month to start? No! Those new to budgeting are often confused about when to start. The answer is now! If you are feeling motivated to get your Budget started then jump in and seize the moment. There are just a few things to keep in mind: The past is
Last Updated: October 25, 2012

Install YNAB

YNAB runs completely offline as locally installed software on your computer and doesn't need an Internet connection to run - except to utilize Cloud Sync. If you already have the trial installed you don't have to re-install the software if you just purchased it. By default all
Last Updated: December 11, 2013

Helpful Links

To save you some searching, we’ve organized the articles that new users find most helpful here in a linear fashion.  You can also search for anything at the top of the support page.  Keep your search words shorter for best results.  Click the ‘View all topics’ button
Last Updated: August 4, 2014

Activation Keys

Did you just purchase YNAB 4? YNAB 4 is a completely new installation so you'll need to download it first if you haven't yet. It will arrive as a 'Trial' copy as all copies of our software do. You only need to paste in your key to remove the time limit and trial notices. Once
Last Updated: December 11, 2013

YNAB Terms

Available to Budget This is the amount of money that has been entered as income, but has not yet been assigned to categories (jobs). When you are first starting and do not have a buffer, your goal should be to save some money each month toward your Buffer. Eventually you will have enough of a
Last Updated: February 4, 2014

System Requirements

YNAB 4 requires the following minimum specifications in order to run: Windows (8, 7, Vista®, XP) 1.6Ghz or faster x86-compatible processor 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended) Mac OS X (10.6 or later) Intel Core Duo 1.83Ghz or faster processor 512MB of RAM If your computer
Last Updated: September 27, 2012

What’s New in YNAB 4? video

During this webinar we demonstrate the new features in YNAB 4 including Cloud Sync, Reconciliation, Autosave and Versions, Improved Reporting and an all new design.
Last Updated: June 28, 2012

Understanding the Two Income Types video

In this video we'll cover how the two different forms of income work in YNAB.
Last Updated: June 8, 2012

Creating a new Checking Account video

How to set up a checking account in YNAB.
Last Updated: June 8, 2012