How does everyone manage their money?

I’ve been using YNAB for about nine months and I’ve found that I have so much more control of my money (which previously had a habit of disappearing on me!) I can’t imagine not having it now. Before that I used a Google Spreadsheet which I gradually ruined by adding in so many views and custom functions to the point it took ages to load or just timed out!

I’m curious as to how other people manage their day-to-day budgeting. Do others here use YNAB or spreadsheets? Monzo’s Summary? Just rely on memory?

Memory + Monzo mainly. I know how much I spend each month on DD/Bills and so minus that from my monthly salary. The rest of the money then gets split 50% savings 50% spending money. I often put more than that into savings but thats how my basic premise works.

I also then budget to make sure I never have less than a specific amount in my account. If I have a particularly heavy month then I also make sure to be extra frugal the next month by giving myself next to no spending money.

Seems to work well for me

Good old spreadsheet works for me!

1 Like

Badly :grin:

A4 page with the dates scribbled down the side. Every month I say i’ll do a spread sheet and then don’t bother :sunglasses:

I’ve used apps (Microsoft Money, Jumsoft Money, Credit and Debit) to track all my past and expected transactions since I was a student, but since switching to Monzo I’ve found that a combination of the feed and summary has removed the need for any other tracking. I just keep a note somewhere of the few known expenses that aren’t covered by summary.

1 Like

Up until recently I logged the balances of all my financial accounts once a month on a spreadsheet and also glanced over bank/credit card statements. I still log balances once a month but I no longer bother reviewing statements. This is because I now do most spending through Monzo and aggregate all my bank accounts and credit cards through Emma - so I can now easily check all transactions more or less as they happen.

I do have overall spending budgets in mind but I’ve never felt the need for highly granualar tools like YNAB, or even the budgeting tools in the Monzo app. I think the thing that helped me a lot with money management was when I started to do my saving/investing and moving money to a dedicated bills account as soon as I got paid - i.e. before I had a chance to spend any of it. I’m not bothered how I spend whats left over.

1 Like

After discovering it on here I am now a huge fan of YNAB - I have never been so in control of my money before. Unfortunately it makes a lot of Monzos features redundant…


I have started to use YNAB. I’m finding it helps me to be less stressed about the month ahead. I can budget for gifts, put money aside for car insurance etc. It’s helping me to keep an eye on my credit card repayments too.

MIght have a wee look at YNAB.

Currently have a spreadsheet on google drive and split the money into different accounts at the start of the month.

I used Microsoft Money back in the day, but it’s all spreadsheet now. I originally used Google Sheets, but I find Apple Numbers works better for me; mainly because of iOS inputting being so much easier.

Spreadsheets (Google Docs).
Log everything, record balances.
Tabs for future month projections.

With this I have more control over all accounts and spending.

I’m surprised so many people use spreadsheet, lists and apps. I’ve always just relied on memory.

Checking my balance regularly and just knowing what was there and what is coming and going. Like a running total in my head.

1 Like

Agreed, never saw the need personally to use a spreadsheet or an app

I’ve never been able to do that. Big payments (council tax etc) always came as a huge surprise, despite being the same date every month :flushed:, I would always be super responsible and check my account before making a purchase, but always forgot to factor in future outgoings.

Since starting using YNAB I have not been in my overdraft once whereas previously I’d always be a few £s in by the end of the month.

I used to think like this.
But I was young and foolish then. I spent too much and was bad at managing it all.

Also London is expensive and I find everything really needs to be monitored otherwise it will get out of hand.
Plus today I have many subscriptions and automated payments, often for varying amounts on different days. The only way to be able to plan months in advance it to know exactly what I’m spending each month and exactly how much I have “left”.


I use the Summary tab for bills and to work out how much I may be able to save. All retail spend goes on credit cards, which I track via Moneyhub

Oooh! I have a relatively advanced setup for this, including investing and stuff too. I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to share this :wink::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

During the month:

  • Move all money earned into a natwest savings account
  • Have Plum work in the background to take money out of my current account for savings
  • Actively use YNAB to track my spending and budgetting for stuff

At the end of the month, on the first monday after the new month has begun (when interest is paid):

  • move all money from previous month that isn’t spent into pots (holiday etc)
  • Move 80% of the money added in the previous month from my natwest account to Monzo
  • invest 40% of that money into a Vanguard LS80
  • Invest 10% into random stuff like crypto or stocks I think look nice. This is mainly just to deal with the fear of missing out
  • Budget it all in YNAB and try to move 10% of it to my holiday pot
  • Review my google spreadsheet of my Monzo expenses (IFFT) to see what i spent the most money on
  • Review my google sheet of all of my income to see if i can improve anywhere (i run a blog and stuff)
  • Review my google spreadsheet of how my networth is laid out and update it
  • Tell Plum to invest my money into something like Ratesetter

Some referral links if you like the sound of something! Would make me really happy if you used one of these links, they benefit both of us as well :grin::grin:



1 Like

I’ve mentioned how I manage my money many times and I’m sure people are getting bored of me talking about it :sweat_smile:

My salary enters account A and my bills come out of that account as usual. I have standing orders set weekly to automatically move money from account A to account B (Monzo in this case) for my spending and monthly to account C for my savings account. I should have an account D for yearly debits like @garete has (see below).

When I run out of money in account B I have to wait until the next ‘weekly payday’. I could cheat, yes, but it physiologically helps better spread my payments as I only ever look at the balance of account B. I never look at the balance in account A, I treat it as if it isn’t there as any spare money is swept into my savings before payday and I get warning texts if it somehow is about to run out of money (which I designed the account to run a surplus).

With this method of conducting my finances I have saved over £21,000 in 2.5 years from a £30k salary and never use my overdraft anymore. Essentially, I try to imitate without actually paying for their service.

I’ve tried to use services like YNAB but I find its not worth the hassle when I can live within a fixed budget instead each week without thinking about bills at all because of making sure my main account is always in a surplus. I am thinking of moving to a daily budget instead in the future. @garete made an excellent illustration of his similar setup.


*Savings subject to your situation

I don’t have a spare £700 a month :laughing:

Now it’s setup and tweaked, I can mostly ignore it.
Though I am looking at moving some Yearly to a Monzo pot (a pain)

YNAB is the main tool I use. Used it on and off for a few years but been using it non-stop for around 18 months and really like how much oversight it gives me. Real eye opener to how much money I was just wasting away and not realising where it went. I use Monzo Pots to segregate some bits of money but set them as one account in YNAB. A tad confusing so I may just add them as separate accounts.