I started using You Need a Budget (otherwise called YNAB) on August 16, 2016. How do I know that exact date?? Because it changed my life so much!
Kinda joking, but mostly, I recognize that milestone because this blog post I wrote celebrating my one year anniversary. A lot has changed over the course of the past year and a half, but one of the things that remains the same is how much I love using You Need a Budget as a Budgeting Tool.
My sister surprised me with the Book that the founder recently released, also titled “You Need a Budget.” Even though I’ve been using the tool for as long as I have, I still found some useful tidbits from the book.
About You Need a Budget
If you aren’t familiar with You Need a Budget, it’s an online budgeting tool where you connect your accounts (similar to Mint) and you assign “every dollar a job” (different than any other budgeting tool I’ve used). The thing that I like the most about it is that it’s pretty flexible… so let’s say you plan that you’ll put $500 in savings for the month, but something comes up. You have the flexibility to move your money around to meet that. This was one of the things that I used to get frustrated when I followed Dave Ramsey, for instance, because you have no control what life will throw at you. You can’t predict when you’ll get in an accident, lose a job, or need to help a family member.
In the book, Jesse Mecham (founder) does a great job of breaking down the four principles of YNAB:
- Give every dollar a job
- Embrace your true expenses
- Roll with the punches
- Age your money
As you may have noticed, last year I had a goal to age my money to 45 days. What this means is that when you get a dollar, say on payday Friday, your “age of money” is how long it takes for you to spend that dollar. It follows a first in, first out approach, so the dollar you made a month before would be spent before your last dollar that you made. So basically, if you never had any income coming in and your current spending habits, this is how long you would be able to last without bringing in any additional money.
What I thought about the book
I think the book “You Need a Budget” does a really good job of bringing in practical examples of why you should use You Need a Budget… and how it’s different than how you may be currently looking at money. Whether you’ve never used this tool before or if it’s something that you’ve had for years, it gives you some new insight that makes you pause and think about your finances.
If you are looking for a “fresh start,” definitely check out this book to change your perspective. My money habits have changed drastically since I started using YNAB, mostly because it finally gave me a budget that fits with my lifestyle and how I want to spend my money. I don’t even know how I can put it into words, but I am so happy that I finally found this budgeting tool (thanks sister!) because it has seriously changed the way that I live and use my money… If you want to give it a shot, sign up HERE –> this is my referral link and we’ll both get a free month.
Do you love or hate budgeting?
Ever heard of YNAB? What do you think?