YNAB is an amazing, sexy zero-based budgeting tool. Hard as it is to believe, there’s even more amazingness in the personalization and customization options available via the YNAB Tool Kit.
“Tool Kit for YNAB is a free, communite contributed, open source browser extension for use with You Need a Budget. It adds tweaks and additional features for a more customizable experience.”
I highly recommend installing the below linked extensions to enahnce your YNAB experience. Here are my top 10 settings in the Tool Kit.
5. Resizing of Side Menu & Inspector
In the General tab and the Budget screen settings tab, you’ll see options to resize these menus. When screen real estate is at a premium, this little ability to make the most of your workspace helps you focus on your priorites and budget management more than horizontal scrolling. Set these toggles “On” to get the most use and visiblity out of the side panels as needed.
4. Compact Mode
My monitors at home offer lots of real estate and high-resolution. Ensuring fotnts are tight, navigation is compact gives me lots of room on the YNAB footprint for white space between all the data, some breathing room to work with, stand back and admire your good-looking budget. Tighten up the rows, fonts and other attributes to give your YNAB experience a more “professional” layout and streamlined information.
3. Hide Non-Essentials
Never use the “Help?” icon? Edit Account button something you rarely need? Account balances distracting? Age of money still causing a head ache? Choose to hide these and other attributes of the tool to focus on the stuff you want to use.
2. Stealing from Future Alert
This little gem is a great way to keep tabs on what future funds get tapped when adjusting covering spending. When paying yourself in advance – meaning, you’ve paid all your bills for this month and you’re ready to starting putting money aside for next month’s bills – it can happen that while adjusting this month’s budget you’ve reallocated next month’s money, and your future plan is over budget. Enabling this Budget Screen alert indicates ‘Budget Next month’ is in the red by changing colors in the YNAB header.
And my personal favorite, and number one reason to leverage the YNAB Tool Kit:
1. Display Target Goal Amount and Overbudget Warning
Hands down, the best thing this extension provides – visbility inline with your budget categories, of the target goal. Ontop of that, when you’ve spent more than you’ve budgeted, a red warning informs you that you’ve budgeted beyond the goal.
The goal amount is what I am always looking at to confirm if I’ve budgeted enough yet for the month in that category. By having this in place where it displays in your budget rows, you subtly reinforce the goal every time you look at the budget. You aim to get the goal to turn ‘green’ as satisfied.
One thing I did noticed recently, is that when you have a future transaction planned, do not set it to a category or it won’t track against your goal progress for that categoy. Not 100% sure why, but future transactions must be set to ‘To Be Budgeted’ category and then assigned another cateogory for YNAB to realize you’re working against your goal amount.
Cheers, and happy Budgeting!