Our Favorite Budget Management Tool
Image by Bohman
My wonderful hubby, Ryan, is as busy as he can be, working on our new business, Resound School of Music. Nonetheless, he agreed to write this short review post of our favorite budgeting software, You Need a Budget, which keeps us in line each and every month.
Since he’s the the one that runs a mean budget around here, I’m going to let him tell you all about it…
Some of you may remember my past review of YNAB (short for “You Need A Budget”), a personal budgeting software created for the those of us who are not Chartered Accounts.
The folks at YNAB have just release a new version, YNAB 3, and have kindly sent us a copy for review. Although YNAB does have some great features, I’m not going to give you a feature by feature breakdown. You can find that here, if you’re interested.
Instead, I’m going to tell you why I like YNAB so much. Although it is a software, it is first a system for sound financial management and faithful resource stewardship. It is based on four rules for personal management, and cannot be operated outside of these rules. These rules are:
Rule #1 – Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck (A process for living off of last month’s income)
Rule #2 – Give Every Dollar a Job (In other words, have a plan for where all of your money goes – even if it’s just into savings)
Rule #3 – Save for a Rainy Day (Basically saving in advance for large expenditures so that they don’t throw you off when they happen).
Rule #4 – Roll with the Punches (Don’t let your failures and mistakes dictate your future. Get up and keep going.)
In a sense, when you use YNAB you immerse yourself in an environment where good financial management principles are continuously being reinforced. It takes some of the fantastic principles that Dave Ramsey and others talk about, and gives the user the tools to put them into practice.
Even though this blog has very little to do with Financial Management (Stephanie’s note: but lots about frugality, which is so related!), we’ve promoted YNAB since the beginning because it’s the software we used to implement what we learned from Dave Ramsey, get out of debt and save enough money to start our own business in 2 years.
The folks at YNAB have made a special offer to readers of this blog for 10% off a purchase of YNAB software, which you can take advantage of by clicking on this link.
In the spirit of full disclosure, we are a YNAB affiliate and we do receive a commission for any sales that come through this site. That said, we only affiliate ourselves with products that we love. If you’d like to buy YNAB, and like this blog enough to support it, please purchase it through the links in this post. Otherwise, you can visit YNAB directly at www.ynab.com.
We’ve used and loved Money Map software from Crown Financial Concepts – a friend recommended it to us. Haven’t shopped for others out there yet so this is good information. Thanks!
.-= Kimarie´s last blog ..Back to School! =-.
We have always used Quicken and it has served us well. My husband has it all set up very similar to what YNAB does. I doubt my husband will switch programs mid-year, but I think it’s need how YNAB has the same features as Quicken but does it from a perspective of stewardship instead of just balancing your checkbook. That’s neat!
After reading your post a long time ago we got YNAB too and love it!
Now I need an honest opinion…is YNAB 3 much different in what it does? Is it worth the upgrade do you think?
.-= Suzanne´s last blog ..Quilt Gifted =-.
I started using YNAB after reading your review here. I love it! I had used Quicken, as well as MS Money in the past and mush prefer YNAB. I recently upgraded to YNAB 3 because the new version is compatible with Macs.
.-= Cindy @ Country Living Mom´s last blog ..Spring is Coming! =-.
We use Quicken, but I’m always interested in new budget tools. Thanks for the post.
We tried YNAB, but eventually abandoned it. DH didnt like how if you didnt have a month’s income to begin with you couldnt adjust the program to not show you always in the red. Plus he didnt like that you couldnt format it to be on a biweekly rather than monthly schedule. It just didnt work for us, but I am glad it works for you!
We started using YNAB along time ago, upon your recommendation here. To be honest, we don’t really like it. At all. But I think that is because we have always budgeted and saved and pay off our mortgage as quickly as possible. We find it a very limited program and not too user friendly. Also, as much as the principle of always spending a month behind seems good, it doesn’t really work with how we get paid and pay off our mortgage (we often get paid in lump sums.) So for someone who has never budgeted this is probably a good purchase. But for someone who is already a budgeter, it may not work as well as they would like for them.
.-= Alisa´s last blog ..Quilt Gifted =-.
We use Quicken as well, but I incorporate the Dave Ramsey style into it. I keep the balance at zero, and have money portioned out for tithe, rent, food, etc. Each dollar set aside is Tagged, so when you look at all the set aside money its exactly what I see online in my bank account.
I also use the tags for things like trips or our upcoming move. When its all said and done I’ll be able to look up everything tagged Moving Expense and see how much it actually cost!
Is it weird I get excited about things like that?
.-= Kait Palmer´s last blog ..Condensing =-.
After your first review of YNAB a while back, it stayed in my head until my dhwas looking for something new. So about 9 months ago we started using it and he loves it! It’s working well for us!
.-= mom24´s last blog ..Baby Book Entry for Lincoln =-.
I looked into it when I heard the first review, but my husband didn’t like the way it worked, and he does the budget balancing. So we didn’t try it. We did try to use Quicken, but there was some issue they couldn’t fix so we got our money back. Then we just used Excel on the computer, but something happened that made my husband switch to good old paper and pen in a binder, and its working great for us!
I’m glad that the YNAB works well for you.
We’re big fans of Dave Ramsey – we went through his Financial Peace University program and it was life-changing. We don’t use any specific software, but my guy is a numbers man, so it’s pretty easy for him to do it on his own. Anybody looking to get on top of their financial situation (instead of feeling like it’s the other way around!) should definitely look into Dave Ramsey.
My husband and I are slowly but surely getting out of debt and are spending more wisely, but I worry that when we get back on track, we’ll need something to keep us in a budget, even when we have more money to spend. I will check out YNAB. Thanks for the information on it!
.-= Angela´s last blog ..Our Chinese Adoption =-.
We used to use Crown Financial/Money Matters, but started having computer compatibility problems. We switched to YNAB a little over 2 years ago & like it for the most part. I especially like how it teaches people to stop living paycheck to paycheck.