If you haven’t heard of it, YNAB, or You Need a Budget, is a an online program that has changed the way that I look at and save money. Over the past five years, I’ve been diligent to keep up with my finances and track pretty much everything I do – give, spend and save. I’ve been able to stop living paycheck to paycheck, get out of debt, stop overdraft and late fees, and finally take control over where my money is going.
It’s simple – you create a budget in the program, connect your bank and other financial accounts, and use your phone to enter expenses as you make them. You give each dollar a job as you receive income and by entering your expenses, I always know if I can join friends for dinner, buy that concert ticket or if it’s time to spend the evening with PB&J and Netflix. And I don’t feel guilty about spending money on a vacation or trip any more.
Here is the best part, by sticking with the budget and using the phone app religiously, I was able to save thousands in just a few short months. I’m obsessed with keeping up with income and expenses, watching my net worth grow and looking at ways to give, spend and save in a more comfortable way than I ever have before.
YNAB can work for everyone but might not be for everyone. I’ve been told many times that other programs like Mint do the same thing for free and don’t require you to have to enter all your transactions. But here is where YNAB was the clear winner for me – it forced me to be engaged with my money and made me stay on top of entering transactions, thus watching my budget and seeing where I was falling short or really saving. With their new bank import feature, those individuals that don’t want to enter transactions can now skip that process but it doesn’t give you a real time view of your income and expenses if you haven’t downloaded or imported your transactions from the web version. (the mobile version doesn’t allow importing of transactions)
If you and a significant other share accounts, the web and mobile apps constantly stay synced so charges from each person are reflected in the program for better accountability and tracking that allows everyone to stay on top of their goals.
It’s worked for me and I love it! Check it out or ping me with any questions!