Wednesday, October 09, 2013

YNAB You Need a Budget

I am not getting paid to write this. I share this because I like to share the good things I've found in case it might benefit others too. I have been using YNAB for some time now and it really works for me. It is a unique budgeting software in that, most budgeting software seem to be reactive where YNAB is proactive. The other budgeting software tracks and categorizes your spending for you to analyze. They may even have a budgeting feature for you to set spending amounts for each category. While there is some value to setting limits for your spending and knowing where your money went, there seems to be a gap--a bridge for getting from what you are spending and sticking to your budget. They seem to lack a good method for helping you stay within your budget. Sure, spend less...but things always come up right? The unexpected happens no matter how well you know and account for your fixed and variable expenses. And when they do, that's when I just throw my budget out the door. Or another situation that other budgeting software addresses poorly is when I just need to know, can we afford this purchase or that purchase? My response before YNAB use to be I don't know...I look at our accounts and there is money in there and I haven't spent all of the money in that budget category so...I guess we can afford it. But that's really not an accurate picture and then at the end of the month we've spent more than we had intended to because we've spent from checking, and PayPal, and our credit cards to get points and then at the end of the month I pay it off and realize we've overspent. And why is it that the more money we make, the more we seem to spend? If I could live like when I was in college on the income I have now - I would be swimming in a massive money bin like Uncle Scrooge in Duck Tales!!

Now why does YNAB work when the other budgeting apps have not work for me? They have a method based on four simple principles. Strangely enough, I get to spend, spend, spend. Spend every single penny and it feels good!! That is YNAB's rule #1 - give every dollar a job (not actually 'spend' but I see it that way). And when every dollar has a purpose, it does its job. I also 'spend' money towards our savings account which is YNAB's rule #2 - save for a rainy day. Because the unplanned expenses always comes up YNAB's rule #4 has taught me how to roll with the punches. This rule has helped me tremendously!! Living by the YNAB methodology has helped me achieve rule #4, living on last month's income so when the paychecks come in a good chunk of it goes to savings and the rest is spent on fun stuff but the bills still get paid from last month's income. Nice huh?
It's a different methodology for managing my money and it works for me. Check it out!

I like the simple user interface and simple features because I don't have time to track all the little details. I can track spending and see its immediate impact on my budget. I can set funds aside for long term annual expenses such as car insurance and quarterly tax payments. When these things are all lumped in checking and savings, it can be hard to keep track where that money is promised to go but YNAB keeps it straight for me. It also helps me track my student loan debt and when I have extra money left in my budget, I make sure to spend extra towards that category. I finally feel in control of our money. And when John asks me, can we afford that? I look YNAB on my phone or iPad and know that, yes we can afford that.

So if you find that it also works for you, please use my referral link to purchase the software (one license works for all your desktop PCs/MACs and the phone apps are free). You'll save $6: and I will earn $6 for the upgrade for when they release a new version.

To get your 10% or $6 discount for YNAB Personal Finance Software:
  1. Go to: 
  2. Click: ‘Take me to the store’ button 
  3. Click ‘Purchase’ on top 
  4. Now you will see the discounted price!


JoeinVegas said...

I need something, perhaps I'll try it. Thanks for the info.

Daly said...

I recommend going with the trial installation and definitely attend one of the live webinars (they've been most helpful in helping me understanding quickly and hitting the ground running). And then of course, use it regularly so it becomes habit and natural. Then it will become part of you. Good luck if you decide to try it!

Bella Wilson said...

Nice read! I like the suggestions and ideas.