Why YNAB is my Favorite Money Management Tool

It is so much easier to find joy in the journey when you are not stressing about money.

So today I am going to share my favorite money too.

It is YNAB – which stands for You Need a Budget.

I used to use Quicken…

From the beginning of my marriage, I have been in charge of the money, and I used to use Quicken and would dutifully fill in what we had spent each month and go over it with Rob. 

I enjoyed doing this, but it was hard to get ahead and save as much as we were wanting to.  And sometimes we would get a big “unexpected” bill, like car insurance.  Which really in some ways I knew it was coming, but I didn’t have a way to track or prepare for it in Quicken.

10 years ago I discovered YNAB. 

When I learned about their 4 rules, I knew it was the tool for me.

Then as I started using the program, I not only enjoyed paying bills more, but also it was easier to communicate with Rob about what our money was doing and by budgeting together we were able to make progress financially.

I tell my friends and family about it, so I am happy to tell you about it today.

Let me start with the 4 rules.

Give every dollar a job. 

When you get money in, decide what you want the money to do. 

Money is a neutral thing; it is a piece of paper or a number in an account. 

When you give that money a job, then you take this neutral thing and put it to work for yourself.  You plan on what you need it to do and then allow money to do its job!

Embrace Your True Expenses

Now, the job you assign it to may not get used for 10 months, but it is waiting patiently until you need it.  For example, when Bryson got his drivers permit, I knew when he turned 16 our car insurance would go up about $1000 a year, so I started giving $100 a month the job of “auto insurance for Bryson” 

And I was not tempted to use it for something else because it already had a job!

Roll with the Punches

Be flexible.  Sometimes unexpected things come up.  Maybe this so-called “driver in training” knocks over your mailbox.  It is easy to roll with the punches, you just choose a category that has extra money in it and move it over to home repair and then take a deep breath and smile and move forward. 

Age Your Money

As you start living these rules, you start living on the money you earned last month.  No more living paycheck to paycheck! 

As you are more intentional with how you spend your money, you spend less than you earn, and the age of your money grows! 

You have so much less stress, because you can put bills on autopay, and you are planning for and saving for your next fun trip! 

You might be thinking, those sound like nice rules, but how do I apply them?

This is why you will love using YNAB!  It is a software you can use on your computer, and it is an App on your phone. They can talk to each other, because it is web based.  If you do something on your app, it will be there on your computer too.

YNAB is set up to help you seamlessly implement these rules.  You create a budget and they have so many tools inside the program that help you to figure out and adjust things.  Like setting the target of needing $1000 by October for the car insurance going up.  It can help you see how much to put into that category and then will remind you each month to assign those dollars there.

YNAB has free classes and superb customer support.  When I changed over from YNAB 4 to the new version there were a few bumps in the road, but they helped me every step of the way.

What else do I love about it?

It is easy to pull in your bank statements and reconcile your accounts. 

The best part, you are not just pulling in information and seeing where your money has gone.  You are planning ahead and choosing where you want your money to go and when you pull information in, it is so easy to see how much you have left in each budget category!

The reports are a fun way to see where your money is actually going.  They also make it easy to sit down and review and plan.

It is so easy to adjust and change things.  You will feel like you are in control of your budget, it isn’t in control of you. 

Give YNAB a try for free!

If you have any money stress in your life – go check out YNAB at ynab.com and try the free 34 day trial. 

I know that as you use this program and apply the 4 rules, you will find a lot more joy in your journey through life.