This is the second in my series about finding balance in 2016… read the first HERE and enjoy this one, followed by the other areas where I’ve found balance this year, over the next few Thursdays.
A few months ago, my sister texted me about this new budgeting tool that she started using and that I have to check it out – and oh by the way, she was going to a webinar to learn how to use it. Wait, what? If I have to go to a webinar to learn how to use a budgeting tool, that’s way too hard – I don’t need that in my life.
She eventually got me on board to check it out – mostly because there is a free trial involved and it really wasn’t that complicated. The tool is You Need a Budget (YNAB) – note: I’ve learned that I need to be careful with how I talk about this with people because I told a coworker about it and I think she thought I was being a sarcastic bitch because I said “Oh you know what you need, You Need a Budget!” and she thought I was completely judging her and had no idea it was actually a budgeting tool.
Anyways, I have tried a number of different budgeting tools over the years – most recently Dave Ramsey. I do love his philosophy around the debt snowball, but I always struggled with the whole putting EVERYTHING towards debt. Most often, I would put a ton of money towards my debt snowball and inevitably, something crazy would come up in life and there went all of my progress.
You Need a Budget is completely different – it is built all around flexibility. The idea is that you give every single dollar a job. So, when you link your bank accounts to the tool, it pulls in the balances and you can divvy them up to the different categories that you set – e.g., rent, car payment, car insurance, pets, dining out, clothing, etc. – and you can set your goals for these categories. The idea is that you age your money over time, so you want to build a buffer for your categories (specifically the ones that you “need” pay like housing and utilities).
Nothing that is mind-blowing or life-changing, but it’s a philosophy that I’ve found that works for me. (Note, the people at YNAB have no clue who I am or that I’m writing this blog post – totally my own opinions.)
I’ve been able to make some great progress financially this year. Remember those seven credit cards I mentioned? Yeah, I only have two with balances and have significantly reduced that from the start of the year. It feels so good to not have a huge chunk of my paycheck go straight to my credit cards.
I still have more work to do in this area, but I know I’m getting closer and closer to being debt free and it feels so good! I will make sure to have a big party the day that happens and I hope you can make it.
What’s your favorite budgeting tool? Any YNABers out there?
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