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The Rick
09-29-2012, 12:51 AM
Just wanted to share a great piece of software I stumbled upon recently called "You Need A Budget" or "YNAB" for short:

http://www.youneedabudget.com

It's more than software really...it's more of a methodology for personal finance/budgeting with accompanying software. The beauty, in my opinion, is in its simplicity. That and the common sense approach to stop living paycheck to paycheck.

If you happen to be looking for money management software, it's worth checking out.

The Rick
09-29-2012, 12:54 AM
By the way...this isn't a paid endorsement or anything like that. :) Just love the concept and the execution.

La literatura
09-29-2012, 07:07 AM
Can you compare it to Mint.com? I use Mint.com, which is nice because not only is it simple, yet comprehensive, but also because it's completely free.

jjjayb
09-29-2012, 07:45 AM
Off to D.C. in 3..2...1...

Maybe someone can pass this on to Obama.

The Rick
09-29-2012, 07:54 AM
Can you compare it to Mint.com? I use Mint.com, which is nice because not only is it simple, yet comprehensive, but also because it's completely free.

Simply put, Mint is geared towards past spending, while YNAB is geared towards future spending. With Mint, the budgeting aspect is almost an afterthought. With YNAB, it's the centerpiece.

Instead of basing your spending decisions on how much is currently in your checking account (which we all know can lead to heartache if a future expense is forgotten), spending revolves around your plan.

The Rick
09-29-2012, 07:57 AM
Can you compare it to Mint.com? I use Mint.com, which is nice because not only is it simple, yet comprehensive, but also because it's completely free.

Here's what the guy who came up with it said:

Mint is GREAT at letting you view all of your money in one place, and see what has been spent. Its a very pretty post-mortem analysis opportunity.

YNAB, and its baked-in philosophy, is about getting people to look forward and anticipate, telling their money what to do before the spending happens, anticipating larger, less-frequent expenses, and eventually breaking the paycheck to paycheck cycle.

Zebedee DuBois
09-29-2012, 08:15 AM
What I want is a Mint-like piece that has a more detailed investment section. Something that shows day to day gains and losses.

SomeRandomGirl
09-29-2012, 08:46 AM
We're YNAB users too. We got YNAB3 in 2009 when they offered a discounted price to a bunch of us on the We're Debt Free board (a Dave Ramsey spin-off) on BabyCenter.com.

I bought YNAB in November, used it for about 6 weeks before it really "clicked" and then we were off and running. I started up a new budget with the new year and have been happily budgeting since. I personally incorporate YNAB's budgeting ideas and mentaility into Dave Ramsey's living debt-free plan and it works well for us. We've paid off about $26k in debt, which is great considering my husband has been laid off more than half of the past 3 years.

For most people, YNAB does take a few weeks or so to "get". It's hard learning to not look at your bank account and think "I have xxx amount of money leftover to spend". With YNAB you give every dollar a job. So when you get paid, every single penny of that paycheck is budgeted towards something, be it your mortgage, your phone bill, your savings, or your video game fund. You can set up sinking funds for things that you know you'll need to buy or spend money on in the future. For example, I know that I have to renew my tags every August. So instead of coming up with the $200 every August (random number), I can put about $17 a month aside into the tags category and come August, it's all there ready to be paid out.

I love YNAB. I really do.

The Rick
09-29-2012, 08:58 AM
We're YNAB users too. We got YNAB3 in 2009 when they offered a discounted price to a bunch of us on the We're Debt Free board (a Dave Ramsey spin-off) on BabyCenter.com.

I bought YNAB in November, used it for about 6 weeks before it really "clicked" and then we were off and running. I started up a new budget with the new year and have been happily budgeting since. I personally incorporate YNAB's budgeting ideas and mentaility into Dave Ramsey's living debt-free plan and it works well for us. We've paid off about $26k in debt, which is great considering my husband has been laid off more than half of the past 3 years.

For most people, YNAB does take a few weeks or so to "get". It's hard learning to not look at your bank account and think "I have xxx amount of money leftover to spend". With YNAB you give every dollar a job. So when you get paid, every single penny of that paycheck is budgeted towards something, be it your mortgage, your phone bill, your savings, or your video game fund. You can set up sinking funds for things that you know you'll need to buy or spend money on in the future. For example, I know that I have to renew my tags every August. So instead of coming up with the $200 every August (random number), I can put about $17 a month aside into the tags category and come August, it's all there ready to be paid out.

I love YNAB. I really do.

Wow! That's great...congratulations! Thanks for sharing!

I just started using it a couple of weeks ago, so I'm still pretty new to it, but am loving it so far.

ArrowheadHawk
09-30-2012, 05:34 PM
I downloaded this based on this thread. I really think it is going to help me budget and stop living paycheck to paycheck.

The Rick
10-01-2012, 01:22 AM
I downloaded this based on this thread. I really think it is going to help me budget and stop living paycheck to paycheck.
Great! I was hoping someone would find it useful.

Like I said earlier, I'm loving it so far. I've been using it for a couple of weeks now and am already seeing results. Starting with November, I should be ready to "live on last month's income".

If you haven't already done so, you should check out one of the free live online classes. I sat in on the intro one and it really helped.

The Rick
01-02-2013, 01:44 PM
Bump for the new year and anyone who might have a resolution to do a better job of budgeting.

We're still using it and it's really changed our lives for the better. We're no longer living paycheck to paycheck. At the start of each month, we have enough money sitting in our checking account to cover all our expenses for the month. We also, for the first time in a while, were able to pay for all of Christmas without charging stuff to credit cards.

Can't say enough good things about it.

KevB
01-14-2013, 04:01 PM
Do you find it a hassle to enter all of your transactions, instead of sync'ing via your bank like Mint.com? I'm concerned that my wife or I will lose focus, not enter for several days and then let it slip away.

Buck
01-14-2013, 06:06 PM
I want to do this, but it seems very pricey.

The Rick
01-14-2013, 06:12 PM
Do you find it a hassle to enter all of your transactions, instead of sync'ing via your bank like Mint.com? I'm concerned that my wife or I will lose focus, not enter for several days and then let it slip away.

Well, you can download/import transactions, but I just enter them. They've got iPhone and Android apps for entering stuff on-the-go which I use a lot. Everything syncs via Dropbox. The nice thing about the mobile apps is that they use GPS and will remember stuff.

For example, I go to the gas station and put gas in the car. Before I leave, I pull up the mobile app and enter the amount, the name of the gas station, and mark it with our budget category for gas. Then the next time I go to that same gas station, when I pull up the mobile app, it knows (via GPS) that I'm at that same gas station so it will automatically fill in the name of the gas station and the budget category. I just have to enter the amount. Takes just a couple of seconds. The same holds true for the grocery store, etc. Really convenient.

Really though, even entering stuff in the software on the computer is easy enough in my opinion. I guess we don't have a LOT of transactions, probably no more than 3-5 per day on average, but it really doesn't take me a lot of time. My wife doesn't enter anything at all. She's more of the free spirit. :) But she's liked the results with our money situation though, so she's really good at getting receipts for everything and giving them to me to enter. :)

The Rick
01-14-2013, 06:14 PM
I want to do this, but it seems very pricey.

Yeah, I was hesitant at first too, but it paid for itself after the first month with the money we saved. They do have a 30 day trial to give you a chance to see if you like it or not.

KevB
01-14-2013, 09:21 PM
How long to set up if you already have a budget documented in Excel? Trying to decide if I could knock it out on a weeknight or have to wait until the weekend.

Buck
01-14-2013, 09:25 PM
Here's a question. What if you don't know how much to budget towards something?

For instance, starting in February, I'll be the owner of a cat...I don't know what the repeat monthly cost of the cat nor the surprise (vet) costs of the cat are.

How do you go about something like that?

Buck
01-14-2013, 09:37 PM
As a matter of fact, a whole lot is changing for me Feb 1st, including the cat. I'm moving to a new place, paying more rent, etc....I'm not sure if I should start now, or wait until after then.

jspchief
01-14-2013, 09:43 PM
I want to do this, but it seems very pricey.

How much is it?

The Rick
01-14-2013, 10:22 PM
How much is it?
The software costs $60.

The Rick
01-14-2013, 10:26 PM
How long to set up if you already have a budget documented in Excel? Trying to decide if I could knock it out on a weeknight or have to wait until the weekend.

I would think it would be super easy if you already have something set up in Excel. It's a pretty similar concept. When I started using it, I had something set up in a Google spreadsheet and I think I knocked it out on a weeknight.

There are a lot of great howto's and videos here:

http://www.youneedabudget.com/support

I've also done a few of the free, live webinars which were pretty helpful. You can find info about them here:

http://www.youneedabudget.com/support/training-and-education

The Rick
01-14-2013, 10:39 PM
Here's a question. What if you don't know how much to budget towards something?

For instance, starting in February, I'll be the owner of a cat...I don't know what the repeat monthly cost of the cat nor the surprise (vet) costs of the cat are.

How do you go about something like that?

As a matter of fact, a whole lot is changing for me Feb 1st, including the cat. I'm moving to a new place, paying more rent, etc....I'm not sure if I should start now, or wait until after then.

I'd recommend checking out some of the links I posted above, particularly this methodology:

http://www.youneedabudget.com/method

I'm certainly no expert on the software or even budgeting in general, but part of their mantra is to "give every dollar a job", and then "roll with the punches".

One of the things they say is that often times, someone will do a budget and then when it doesn't go exactly as planned, they get discouraged and give up. They teach you how to adjust and the software makes it really easy to do and keep track of everything. Here's the specific info on "rolling with the punches":

http://www.youneedabudget.com/method/rule-three

I think in your case, with the cat thing, you just make your best guess and adjust if necessary. As time goes on, you'll get a better idea of what the "cat budget category" should be each month and the software will help you determine that.

I've done that with some categories. I wasn't quite sure how much to budget for, so I just made my best guess. Then, if I needed more, I adjusted and transferred money from one category to another. If I didn't need as much, I transferred money out and added it somewhere else instead. I'm still doing this today...I think it's an ongoing process. Don't worry though if it sounds hard...it's not.

When you start is up to you, but I personally believe there's no time better than the present. They make it easy to get started. You don't have to wait until payday or anything, it's all based on how much money you have right now. You can start giving those dollars "jobs" right away.

Good luck! I'll keep trying to answer any questions as best I can!

Buck
01-14-2013, 10:40 PM
Okay, I just downloaded it and am trying it out and I'm already liking it.

The Rick
03-28-2013, 08:11 AM
Sorry to keep pimping this wonderful piece of software, but for those of you who were interested in it before, the companion iOS and Android apps are now free:

http://www.youneedabudget.com/blog/2013/ynab-mobile-apps-are-now-free/

ArrowheadHawk
03-28-2013, 08:23 AM
I've been using it for several months now and love it.

Dicky McElephant
03-28-2013, 10:44 AM
Do you have to input all of your purchases or can you link it to your account and import them all?

The Rick
03-28-2013, 11:10 AM
Do you have to input all of your purchases or can you link it to your account and import them all?
You can import transactions from .OFX, .QFX, .QIF, or .CSV files, which most banks support.

http://www.youneedabudget.com/support/article/how-to-import-transactions

Dicky McElephant
03-28-2013, 12:50 PM
I was going to try it out but I forgot that I downloaded it before and never got around to using it.....so now they won't give me another free trial.

The Rick
03-28-2013, 03:08 PM
I was going to try it out but I forgot that I downloaded it before and never got around to using it.....so now they won't give me another free trial.

I can't remember how the free trial worked. Maybe download again with a different email address?

Dicky McElephant
03-28-2013, 03:10 PM
I can't remember how the free trial worked. Maybe download again with a different email address?

I originally installed it on my work computer. I'll just install it when I get home today.

KCFalcon59
08-27-2013, 06:23 PM
Steam has YNAB (http://store.steampowered.com/app/227320/) for $14.99 through the 29th for anyone interested. Regularly around $60.

The Rick
08-27-2013, 09:03 PM
Steam has YNAB (http://store.steampowered.com/app/227320/) for $14.99 through the 29th for anyone interested. Regularly around $60.
Wow...great deal!

mnchiefsguy
08-29-2013, 02:39 AM
Steam has YNAB (http://store.steampowered.com/app/227320/) for $14.99 through the 29th for anyone interested. Regularly around $60.

Rep for posting. Went ahead and took the plunge for that price.

Buck
11-24-2013, 09:28 PM
I'm going all in on this to help me get out of debt. Going to live by the budget completely from now on.