You Need A Budget (YNAB)

I just wanted to post an updated article about this awesome software.  In case you have never heard of it, You Need A Budget (YNAB for short) is a browser based cloud app that helps you to budget your finances.  It’s not your typical finance management application, though.  

I’ve used other apps in the past but finally discovered YNAB about 4 years ago and have been using it ever since.  If you’ve never budgeted before, this is an excellent way to get started.  The app is available through any web browser, but there is also a mobile app that you can use for on-the-go budgeting.

There are three basic rules for budgeting efficiently:

  1. Give every dollar a job: when you get some money (paycheck, gifts, etc.) immediately assign it to a category in your budget.
  2. Embrace your true expenses: plan ahead for upcoming expected expenses, assign money to these ahead of time so when the bill is due, the money is there.
  3. Roll with the punches: life doesn’t always play out as planned, and neither does budgeting.  Sometimes something unexpected comes up and you simply have to adjust your budget and keep moving forward.

In addition to the app itself, YNAB also provides a lot of really great pointers, documentation, and even free web classes every week to help you get started beginning with the three rules I just provided.

YNAB is also backed by some of the nicest and most dedicated support staff.  I have always been satisfied with their support and would rank it five-star support.

One last feature I would like to mention is the Direct Import feature.  This allows you to link your accounts in YNAB with your online banking account so that YNAB can automatically download transactions as they are cleared by your bank.  Don’t worry, though: when a transaction is downloaded you still have to approve/deny it so you have a chance to catch erroneous or fraudulent charges.  Transactions are also matched with any manually matching transaction that was previously manually entered and waiting to be reconciled.

The app is subscription based and currently costs $6.99 per month.  You can use my referral link by clicking here to sign up now and get your first month free!

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