We've been using YNAB (You Need A Budget software) since the first year it came out, and we are still using it successfully. We have also gifted it to our grown children!
Still paying off student loans, that big wedding, or last years cruise? Looking at a stack of bills from a Christmas gone wild? Wondering how you can send your child to piano lessons this year? Credit card debt getting out of hand? Do you realize You Need A Budget?
Here are a few reasons why we love using YNAB.
- Money Management simplified
- We can easily see at a glance how much money is in a particular category BEFORE we make a purchase.
- Rules that are easy to follow
- FREE Live Classes… need I say more?
- Demo YNAB Free.
- Forums, Support, and Podcasts*
My first experience using a budget was with the envelope system. On a stack of envelopes, I wrote “groceries,” “gas,” and “eating out.” When I got paid, I cashed my check and divided the money into the appropriate envelopes.
First, I paid my bills. Every dollar was assigned a category and priority. If I unexpectedly ran out of gas money, that would require me to use some from the envelope labeled for eating out. When the eating out envelope was empty, I stopped eating out!
In this way, I managed to pay all my bills first and save money in the end. I wanted to continue using this system using my debit card. I wanted to have access to my budget 24/7 and have it updated instantly so that my husband and I could work from the same numbers even if he was at work and I was out grocery shopping!
YNAB solved these problems and helped us get a better understanding of where our money was going and where it should be going.
About once a year, I will refresh my memory on the Four Rules and make sure we are working toward our goals. At the end of the year, I print reports and see where I could cut back or do better. These reports and graphs help us see where our money is going and how we can make changes.
YNAB is used on iPhones, iPads, and Androids as an extension of the software on our computer. We balance our budget on the computer, but enter transactions on the spot, as soon as we use our debit cards. It is also possible to import transactions directly from your bank, which will improve your accuracy!
If you have credit card debt, then you need a budget ASAP. Some of my friends use other Budget software like Mint.com, if you prefer a FREE app, by all means, use what you must, but start budgeting your money today. Stick to it, and you will not regret it.
Following the Four Rules will make a huge difference. Rule number four is my favorite:
We don’t want you stressed. So work toward spending money today that you earned at least a month ago. It’ll change your life. You won’t have to time bills with paychecks. You may start forgetting when your actual payday is. You’ll be living far, far away from the financial edge. And it will feel great.
Commit to one month on a budget and see how much you can save. See how you spend and if you can cut anything out. After a year of using a budget, you'll be glad you did!
For the record, I receive no remuneration from YNAB. I have recommended it happily to bank tellers, cashiers, friends, fellow moms and strangers who have noticed me entering a transaction in my iPhone. The software makes a wonderful gift for students going away to college, newly married couples, or even a teenager getting their first job.
*The podcasts are very informative and inspirational, however, one caveat, if you have misophonia, skip the podcasts. If you do not suffer from misophonia, you will gain much knowledge from the FREE podcasts. Enjoy!