I’m really excited to share with you how we have overcome some of the stumbling blocks of budgeting and why switching from Mint to YNAB has totally transformed our budgeting!
Since 2007 we have used Mint.com to track our spending and budget. We have all of our financial accounts connected to Mint (checking accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts, credit cards, student loans). Each time we log into Mint, Mint logs into all of our accounts to bring us the current balances and transactions.
You can set a budget with Mint by clicking on the budget tab. For each category, you set a spending amount. Each time you log in to Mint you’ll want to take a look at your transactions to check the categories Mint has assigned each transaction to. Sometimes Mint does a good job of guessing, but it often gets the category wrong . In order for your budget to be useful, you must categorize each transaction. You can split transactions between multiple categories if you need to.
Problems with our Mint budget
While I like the convenience of having all of the info from various accounts all in one place, Mint isn’t really a budgeting tool. Mint is fine for seeing where your money went, but not a really good way of telling it where to go, which is what a budget should do. Here are a few of the specific problems we had with our Mint budget.
1- Income and Spending in Mint aren’t connected.
Obviously income and spending are two vital parts of a budget. In Mint they are separate and distinct rather than integrated. The only time they come together is on the right side of the budget screen where Mint subtracts what you’ve earned so far with what you’ve spent so far. It is a record of the past, rather than a plan for the future like a budget should be.
2- Mint doesn’t work well for zero-based budgeting.
We wanted to have all of our money going somewhere so that we could make sure we were paying the maximum on our debt. Since Mint doesn’t give us a good way to account for being over-budget in one category and under-budget in another category, it’s pretty hard to make sure each of your dollars have a place to go.
3- There is no good way to account for going over-budget.
The budget bar graph gave us an idea of how much we had spent already in each category that month and how much more we had left to spend, but it did not offer much if we went over budget. There is no consequence for going over, except that the entire bar for that category turns red. That might be useful if it added some information, but there is no visual indication of whether you’re one dollar or a hundred dollars over.
4- We like using credit cards, but they were complicating our budget.
We use credit cards for convenience, rewards, and protection. We always pay our credit card off each month, so getting into more debt isn’t an issue. The problem was that it was hard to know how much we could pay on our debt. We wanted to pay the maximum possible.
Using credit cards with a traditional budget means you are actually spending next month’s income since bills lag a month behind. This was driving me crazy! Since our bills came the month after the purchases, our monthly income and spending never matched up.
I especially noticed the way credit cards complicate budgets when I started making monthly progress reports on our debt payoff (here’s one where I try to explain this frustrating phenomenon). This made knowing how much to pay toward our debt hard. We would take what looked like excess in our checking account and put it toward debt, but the next month we would have a credit card that required the bulk of a paycheck. Argh!
I first heard about YNAB (You Need a Budget) randomly on twitter, then again in the foreword to an awesome tax book I was reading. I was curious so I looked into it. I am frugal and on a tight budget since we have a serious debt payoff goal, so I did a lot of research before making the decision to buy it. I have not regretted it one bit!
YNAB (pronounced “why-nab”) is more than just a budgeting tool, it’s a a philosophy and method for managing your money. When I read the statistic on their website that says by following YNAB’s 4 Rules, on average you’ll have a $200 turnaround in one month, I was very skeptical. I thought, “sure, for people who don’t know how to manage their money maybe, but it won’t really affect our budget like that.” I was wrong
I was really hoping that YNAB would solve our budgeting frustrations and allow us to pay the maximum possible on our student loan debt. I am happy to report that it is doing this and more!
What I’m loving about YNAB
There are lots of things I love about YNAB, but to keep this post from getting out of control, I’ll focus on just the things that solved the three problems I mentioned above.
1. Income and Spending in YNAB are inseparable!
In YNAB you only budget money you have, not how much money you plan to have. This is a major shift from traditional budgeting where you budget the income you plan to get that month. The goal is to be able to live on last month’s income.
If you have a month’s worth of income at your disposal, then you can start living on last month’s income right away. If you don’t, then you can start a savings goal to help you get to that point. You can still benefit greatly from using YNAB even before you are able to live on last month’s income.
2. YNAB is all about zero-based budgeting
The first of the four YNAB rules is “Give every dollar a job.” Our budget tells us where we plan to spend our money. We budget the entire month at once since we are living on last month’s income. We make spending decisions based on our budget categories, rather than the balance of our checking account. If there is money remaining in a category at the end of the month, we put that amount toward debt!
If you are just starting, you will budget only the money you have to work with now. Each time you get paid, you can tell each of those dollars where you want them to go. You’ll start budgeting for the most important or urgent things first.
If you have a specific goal, you can put your end-of-month excess toward that savings or debt payoff goal. Otherwise, the excess will just carry over into next month’s “available to budget” balance and you’ll have a chance to assign it a new job.
UPDATE: I have since written a whole post about zero-based budgeting with YNAB!
3. Accounting for going “over-budget” is easy with YNAB
At any point in the month, we can easily see how much money we have remaining in each category. When a purchase or expense comes up that isn’t accounted for in the budget, the money needs to come from somewhere else in the budget (or we can decide against the purchase). Going over in one category means that money has to come from another category. We just subtract it out of the money we had allocated to another category, then spend according to the budget.
By “spending according to the budget” I don’t mean that you have to spend the exact amount that you allocated on the 1st of the month. Spending according to the budget just means that you adjust the budget (money allocated in categories) when you need to, so that you are never spending more than the money earmarked for the current month. Remember your checking account will have a month of cushion, since it will be gathering the money you are earning this month that will be used for next month. Don’t let your high checking account balance throw you off. Just spend according to the budget.
If you have given up on budgeting because you never stick to the arbitrary numbers you set at the beginning of the month, the YNAB method will help you see that you are not a budgeting failure. You just need a budget that is flexible. YNAB software makes budget flexibility a cinch.
4. YNAB handles credit cards with ease
With YNAB you account for the spending when you spend the money (not when the bill comes). You log the transaction when it happens (the phone app makes this simple). When you use a credit card, your budget considers the money as gone even though it’s just hanging out in the bank waiting for your credit card bill to come. It doesn’t matter that you won’t take money from your account and send it to the credit card company until next month. For our purposes it’s gone when we make the transaction.
I wrote a whole post on how we use credit cards with YNAB. Once you learn how to handle credit cards in YNAB, it is simple and probably the safest way to responsibly use credit cards!
See for yourself!
There’s so much I could say about YNAB, but instead of going on and on about how wonderful it is, I’ll just encourage you to go check it out! You can download a free trial. Since YNAB is different than the traditional budgeting methods, it’s really important to take advantage of the online classes and training materials. Their free resources are available to everyone. There is a little bit of a learning curve, but it’s well worth the investment.
YNAB dropped the budgeting 1 month ahead features, it’s one of the reasons I switched to Mint. Also, YNAB’s account download system is broken most of the time, forcing me to spend hours manually entering transactions.
YNAB 4 was a great application, but the nYNAB app is broken by removed features and unreliable transaction downloads. It still does several things better then Mint, such as Zero sum budgeting , but I decided that it was worth it to trade that feature to regain hours of my life back buy using Mint.
YNAB dropped the “budgeting one month ahead” “feature” because that’s not how you’re supposed to budget / account for things. Current income for current expenses, with a savings account, is the way people should be taught to budget — and the old YNAB was teaching people otherwise. A slew of us who have worked as financial / budgeting educators (myself included) were thrilled when YNAB finally moved away from this “theory” — it works for beginners, but becomes horrifically lacking when you move on to more complex budgeting, especially budgeting across months (e.g., for large annual expenses). It didn’t train you to think about savings and your larger financial picture in a healthy way.
I use GoodBudget, which is another good budgeting tool.
Don Pettinger says
I have just spent the last 4 hours setting up a YNAB account. I have been a mint user for five years and tested EveryDollar basic / plus. YNAB has GREAT guest service / Mint basically none. YNAB is fun to look at / Mint boring. YNAB no ads / Mint tons. With that being said YNAB is a toy compared to Mint. YNAB is a great tool if you are just starting out trying to do a budget have few if any assets. If you own a home, IRA , 401k the tracking is VERY POOR. There is noting automatic about YNAB and these accounts. I was so wishing for YNAB to be more powerful because of the GREAT guest service and nice interface. But since I really want to track all of my assets in one place Mint is the place… I will just have to deal with the adds at least Mint is free…
This. YNAB is a crutch for those just starting to budget, but (especially the older version) taught really bad habits / thinking that are hard to break, especially around how to think about savings and building assets…
Lauren Fruge says
We just switched too! WE are still in month 1 and honestly I cannot wait to put together next month’s budget. It is so empowering! And we are good savers with our only debt being out mortgage, but this makes the saving feel very specific and real rather than 10+ savings accounts like I used to have. Thanks for sharing your story! I look forward to reading more of your blog.
Regarding reports, the only report you really need is “actual expense versus my budgeted expense”. This is one report that YNAB is sadly missing. YNAB shows this on the table at the home screen but you will not find a chart or report showing how your doing compared to your budget. That is what keeps me from seriously considering this application for my budgeting needs.
Hi Jack! This is actually the crux of what YNAB is and does. YNAB shows you what you have budgeted for a category (first column) what you have spent (second column) and what is remaining. The whole program/spreadsheet itself IS this report.
If you’re consulting your category balances before spending, you won’t let the actual money spent ever exceed the amount of money allocated. Of course you are always free to move money around between categories as your priorities change throughout the month. You can see what I mean in a few of my other posts:
Budgeting Every Penny
Working Your Budget
How We Budget
Hi Stephanie! I saw this blog post months ago on Pinterest and I was so intrigued, because of my own frustrations trying to “budget” with accounting software. I spent some time on their website, watched their videos, took some webinars, and downloaded the free trial. I fell head over heels in LOVE with YNAB, and I get ridiculously excited about it. We’ve been using it since November, and it has made a tremendous impact on our finances. We also use credit cards for their rewards and pay the balance off every month, so I loved that this tool would function like an envelope system, but with the rewards and convenience of all the payment methods that I love to use, and the mobile app too. It only took us a month to eliminate our “credit card float”, and now we are working on building our first buffer to live on last month’s income. I LOVE that I don’t have to check my checking account balance before the credit card payment goes through–the money’s already sitting there. OK, preaching to the choir now, but I am just SO EXCITED about YNAB. Thanks for all your posts and your encouragement to live within your means that is so counter-cultural these days.
When my boyfriend and I moved in together we started using ynab. He had it before I came along but never got past a month. We started using in religiously in November ..15th to be exact and we saved over 900$ not to mention paid off his credit card debt. I do get aggravated because he’s so proud he has almost turned into a money Hitler but knowing my bills are paid is so worth it
What an awesome success story Dana! Thanks for sharing your YNAB experience! 🙂
Does YNAB have monthly fees or is it just the one time purchase price? $54 with your promo code.
There is no monthly fee, just the one-time purchase price. 🙂
My husband and I use YNAB and we love it! I’m a big fan of their philosophy. It lets us be super particular about how we spend our money! This is a great intro post about it.
I’m glad you’re loving YNAB too Laura!
I’m trying the free trial based on your recommendation but I forgot to click on your referral button. I just went to the website. If I choose to buy the software, is there a code to use so you get the referral? Thanks!
Hi Kate, if you choose to buy, you can just go through this link https://www.sixfiguresunder.com/ynab and it will take you to the purchase page and give you $6 off. I hope you love it as much as we do!
I agree wholeheartedly with favoring YNAB over Mint. I used YNAB and switched to Mint b/c the way it accounts for activity automatically in all of my accounts seemed like it would be helpful. On the contrary, I became lazy and stopped following and tracking my budget and expenditures manually. A string of overdraft fees later, I’ve abandoned Mint and I’m back on YNAB. I’m going to re-study materials because I’m about to embark on a career change with school full time . I expect to take student loans, but I will follow the YNAB way to reduce and eliminate current and upcoming new debt. YNAB accepts and welcomes backsliders!
Thanks for sharing your experience Meg! The manual entry really does keep you on top of what’s happening with your money. Way to go getting back on track before life takes a big change! Best of luck!
I just signed up for the student version of the program…thank you so much for that little tidbit 😉 I do have a question though…how am I supposed to get to a point where I am living off of last months income, when I barely have 2 nickels to rub together as it is…I know that there a bunch of great tutorials (literally signed up 10 min ago so haven’t viewed them yet) is there one that helps with moving into that point where you are a month ahead?
Start with “Getting Started with YNAB.” They talk about it in there. Basically, you start setting aside a little each month until you have a month’s worth of expenses. Once you start living on a budget (YNAB-styled) you will be able to save faster than you think right now. You can also jump-start your fund with a tax return, bonus, gift money, etc.
When you get to the point that you have saved a month’s worth of expenses, you will use that fund (the month’s worth of expenses that you saved up) to live on for the next month. Meanwhile, all the new income that comes in will go toward the next month. And it continues like that!
Best of luck Shannon! 🙂
Debra Schramm says
Is the fee a one time expense or does is it an annual expense?
Hi Debra! It’s a one-time expense.
How well do you think YNAB would work for someone with varying paychecks? I work an hourly job so sometimes I make more or less money from week to week. I’ve been using Mint for about a year and it’s great but you’re right that it doesn’t necessarily work perfectly so I’m interested in checking out YNAB if it would be helpful in my situation.
YNAB is actually perfect for people with varying income. The way the methodology works is that you only spend money you HAVE right now (not like other budgeting programs/ideas where you budget what you EXPECT to have). You will prioritize your bills and pay them as you get the money. You will budget each paycheck as it comes. It will prevent you from spending more than you earn and help you maximize what you pay in debt or for your savings goals.
Eventually you will get to the point where you “live on last month’s income.” You will have a month’s worth of living expenses/income saved up to start. Then all the paychecks you get in June, for example, will go toward the money you will use in July. This is where we’re at right now. On the 1st of the month, we know exactly how much we have available to budget and spend. It doesn’t matter if the money in June was irregular or steady. What is important is that it is money you already HAVE, not what you expect to have.
Hope that helps Shelley. You can check out the methodology and free training materials and online classes to get a more complete picture of the software in action!
Deborah Troop says
I attempted YNAB when we retired and decided we would be full-time RV’rs. It was too complicated for me and I did not stick with it. Now I am a widow on a very fixed income and wonder if the product might have more instructions than the one we bought several Yeats ago.
I don’t know what it was like years ago, but now there are tons of support and instruction materials. There are several hour-long free online classes that you can watch or download, that really help. I think it’s a great system, especially on a fixed income. The videos are free and very helpful, even if you don’t purchase YNAB.
Amanda (Moming About) says
Thanks for sharing this because you shared that YNAB is free for college students, which I am. WOO HOO!
See, there is a bright side to still being in school! 🙂
I recently discovered your blog from pinterest, and I was drawn to this post because I had similar challenges with mint.com and ended up deleting my account and using pen, paper, and calculator to manage our budget.
At first I was skeptical, but I checked out YNAB and I’m in love! The free year for college students sweetened the deal, too. Thank you so much for sharing!!
Hooray Maggie! I was a little leery to spend money too. I signed up for the 9-day email course and watched 3 of the hour-long online classes and got the free trial before I decided to pay for YNAB. By then I could see that YNAB would save us money, only I didn’t realize how much it would transform our budgeting life. It’s even better than I thought it was going to be!
Thanks for this little write-up! I’ve heard about YNAB, but already have my own budget I made up. Lately I’ve been getting a little frustrated with it, so I may bite the bullet and give YNAB a try as the fiance and I join our funds.
I can’t say enough good things about YNAB Katy. It has transformed our budget and debt repayment!
Daniela @ Put A Bird On It says
Congrats! You were featured at Link’n Blogs. Come see your feature and link up again!
Put A Bird On It
Ooo thanks! 🙂
Carie Spence says
I have been using Mint for awhile now too and thought the same thing, it isn’t helping us budget at all. I will have to check out Ynab. Glad I saw it on the Link’n Blogs!
You’ll love it Carie! Thanks for stopping by!
Really interesting! I will have to give this a try. Stopping by from Link ‘n Blogs! Have a great rest of the week!
Thanks for stopping by Emily!
Thanks for the great review. I love that ynab has an app, I can’t be bothered entering receipts into my PC every night so I always get behind with my spend tracking. I’ll download the trial and use your code if I go ahead and purchase. Great blog, by the way.
Thanks Emma. I don’t have a smart phone, so I do enter everything on my computer, but my friends who use the app LOVE it. They just enter the receipts in as they are walking out of the store.
It does look like an interesting site. I’m just always a little hesitant to put all my financial info in one place. The hackers are crazy these days. Plus there’s this little rebel inside my head that always wants to break the rules and just do my own thing. I’ll have to give it some thought. Thanks for the info. #SITSSharefest
It’s good to be careful Adrian. On Mint, you are putting your financial details out there. YNAB is on your own computer (not web-based), so you have no more risk than you do of hackers getting the Excel spreadsheet stored on your computer’s desktop.
I think I might check this out. I’m constantly looking for new ways to help budget. It’s a new thing I started in 2014. I’m stopping by from SITS & I hope you’ve had a great weekend.
I can’t recommend it highly enough. I haven’t found anything else that has helped our budget like YNAB.
Thank you so much for introducing me to this! I will definitely be looking more into it.
We love it so much that I want to tell everyone about it 🙂
LeAllyson Meyer says
I also stumbled on your site today via the SITS Saturday Links. This is such a neat site. I never heard of YNAB before. Not sure if I want to use it since we did dig out of debt, but now we are on SS and I have a side income through my online shop. Anyhow, I will be following your website.
Hi LeAllyson! I’m glad you’re out of debt!! YNAB is great at any stage of finances, debt just happens to be what we’re working on right now 🙂 Thanks for dropping by!
Daidri | Thee Getaway Gal says
I’m thrilled I stumbled on your site today via the SITS Saturday Link Share. Great info in here and you’ve definitely made me curious enough to give the YNAB trial a try. I also am a bit hesitant with paying for a tool that should be helping you save $ but respect that those who created should get paid for their expertise as well. If it saves me time and $ than it’s probably $ well spent.
Trust me, Daidri, I know what you mean! I am extremely frugal, so I am always hesitant to pay for things that I could do without or improvise myself. I can confidently say that buying YNAB was definitely money well-spent!
Take a look at the training material and classes. Even if you don’t buy the software, the philosophy and method can help anyone manage their money.
Raquel @ Organized Island says
Sounds like a great system! We use Excel to track and always spend less than we make coming in. It is the only way to get a good financial base. Thanks for sharing about YNAB. Stopping by from SITS.
Spending less that you make really is essential! The bigger you can make the gap between what you make a spend and what you make, the more you’ll have to put toward your financial future!
Rachel G says
That’s awesome that you found a tool that works so well for you guys!! I’ve always just gone old-school with an account book and calculator–I do like being able to see everything coming in and going out and being able to account for all of it!
Thanks. We are thrilled too! There’s nothing wrong with old school as long as it’s working!
I tried YNAB a few years ago. While I liked it, at the time I found it difficult to use with our irregular income, along with my hubby driving over-the-road. I went back to pen and paper! I have since devised a better way of budgeting my hubbies expenses, so I may revisit YNAB again. Thanks for the write up! I also enjoyed reading your journey so far with getting out of debt. Very inspiring.
Once you get to the point where you are “living on last month’s income” YNAB works wonderfully for irregular income. At the beginning of the month you will know exactly how much money you have to deal with (because you earned it last month and didn’t touch it). You will have a month buffer built-in. I think there is an online free class that talks about irregular income too.
How would you create and manage a 1 month buffer with Mint? I’m considering doubling my budget amounts this month to add an extra month to each category. Then next month I would return them to their normal amounts, but perhaps there is a better way.
It really isn’t very hard; I don’t understand what this “living off last month’s income” fuss is.
If you want the one month cushion, move it to a savings account. Your one month cushion should never be about your income. Living off current income isn’t a problem if you have the buffer as savings, which is the “right” way to think about it (“right” in the accounting sense).
If you have a month’s income saved up, put it somewhere. Or keep it in your bank account. The brilliant thing about good budgeting tools is that you should only need to look at your bank account balance a couple of times a year. This is the brilliant thing about Mint, which IMHO is about 10x better than YNAB, or Quicken, which is yet better than either but a pain to use because it runs as local software (with YNAB, your bank account balance suddenly becomes important because your dollars need a “job,” which anybody with real budgeting experience will tell you is a naive way of thinking about things).
I’ve heard about YNAB before, but wasn’t exactly sure how it was better than other tools (like Mint). Thanks so much for pointing out the ways that it’s helped you out!
The method really is a different way to manage your money. You only budget the money you actually have instead of money you plan to get. It will put an end to the paycheck-to-paycheck mentality. When you are “living on last month’s income” you know exactly how much you have to spend/save that month. It’s amazing how much peace and less anxiety it brings.
I’m so embarrassed to admit this — but we don’t have a budget, but need one desperately. I was looking at Power Wallet? Are you familiar with it?
I am forwarding this post to my husband, glad to hear you like YNAB. If we decide to go with it I’ll use your code! Thanks, and stopping by from SITS!
Hi Kristen, I don’t know about Power Wallet. YNAB has really wonderful educational live classes that are free. Even if you don’t decide to buy YNAB, the method is really great and will definitely help you get your finances in order!
I’ve been using Mint and just trying to make the best of it, but I will take your advise and look into YNAB. I do love that Mint is free and has a mobile app though.
Mint is useful for tracking your spending to see where your money goes, which is especially important when you’re just starting out with budgeting and trying to get a feel for where your money goes.
YNAB has a mobile app too!
Great information! I’ve been hearing a lot about YNAB so this was a great read to understand it better!
Hi Jayleen! We really love YNAB– both the software and the method! I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from it 🙂
Retired by 40 says
I have been a die-hard Mint.com user since High School, but recently have become frustrated with is for many of the reasons mentioned above. It sounds great, but I am really hesitant to pay for budgeting software when I could do it all in excel….
I am a DIY girl myself. Before I buy anything it seems, I go through a little script in my head that says “Could I do this myself for less? How could I get this cheaper,” so I totally hear you!
For me, the $54 is well worth the time it would take me to create an Excel spreadsheet that could reliably do all the things that YNAB can do. I suggest doing the free trial to see what it’s like!
Jessi Fearon (@TheBudgetMama) says
I agree 100% on why Mint is not a great budgeting tool! I’ve used it before but I still prefer the pen to paper method. 🙂 And I love YNAB! Thank you for sharing.
Visiting from ABFOL.
Thanks for dropping by Jessi! Funny, it wasn’t until we started going hardcore on paying off my husband’s law school loans that I realized that Mint wasn’t being an effective budgeting tool for us. It works fine for other things, like tracking spending, but it’s not good for budgeting. I’m glad we realized it now (rather than later) because not only is it helping us pay off debt faster, but it will help us save for a house and retirement faster once we’re done with this debt.
I’ve heard a lot of great things about YNAB! I don’t have it simply because
we use Quicken already and are satisfied with its budgeting function. I might go and just check it out one of these days just for fun though.
Definitely check it out sometime when you have time to learn the method as well. The online classes are really helpful and will help you make the most of your 34 day free trial.
I love YNAB! I use it as well but made my own Excel version! The website looks so much fancier/ fun to work around with though – love the reports! Downloading the free trial now, maybe I can learn a tip or two to integrate to my own Excel budget(:
Awesome Maria. It really is fun to use, though it’s funny to say that about budgeting software. The method really makes a difference for us!
This makes me want to try YNAB. Unfortunately I have had terrible experience with digital budgets in the past due to a fluctuating income. This actually sounds like it could help with that.
Do you know if you can put in income daily? I am a tipped employee so I bring home cash everyday and deposit it in to the bank daily. I was wondering if it allows for daily income?
Yes, you can put in income daily, or as often as you like. YNAB works very well with variable income, which is one thing I really love. My husband’s income is the same every month, but mine varies.
It is especially great when you get to the point where you are “living on last month’s income.” You will know on the first day of the month exactly how much money you have to work with that month because it’s what you earned (and set aside) last month. It can really take the anxiety our of a variable income.
You can sign up for the 9-day intro emails and and watch some of the online courses to get a better idea of how it will work in your situation.
I just signed up for the 32 day free trial, watched all of the tutorials, and set up my budget. I’ve decided I love it already. I’ve been dabbling on it for about 1.5 hours, and I know I will change things around on occasion or when I see something I’ve missed.
Going down to one income has really tightened the purse strings around here, but I feel like this will help us tremendously. Luckily we are already a month ahead in our income so YNAB was very helpful/insightful. I’ve just showed the hubs how it works and he seems to be onboard. Now Im excited 🙂
That’s great CeCee! I’m glad you’re loving it! That’s awesome that you’re already a month ahead on your income! Hooray! 🙂
Here is a direct link for the online classes. There are at least 5 of them and they are one hour each.
Beth @ Goodness Gracious Living says
Thanks Stephanie! You are my budgeting guru! I will check it out for sure, but is it made for dummies, because I really don’t know the first thing about making a budget work.
You make me smile Beth 🙂
They have AMAZING free online classes that will walk you through it step by step. Sign up for a class and after the live class (even if you miss it) you will get links to download the other classes (or you can attend live sessions). Our bandwidth out here in the boonies is limited, so that worked best for me (my husband downloaded the classes at work).
Stephanie, thank you so much for such a glowing writeup! I appreciate you helping us spread the YNAB word 🙂
It’s my pleasure! And this is only the beginning of what I love about YNAB…
I’ve been using YNAB since 2009 and I cannot imagine life without it. I use a very old version that is just a glorified excell spreadsheet, but it has enabled my husband and I to pay down tens of thousands of dollars of debt and still be able to live on one income while I stay home with our young children. Zero budgeting is key to paying down debt IMHO and living on last’s month’s income means never having to worry about not having the money for bills (and fun stuff)!
That’s great that you’ve been enjoying YNAB for so long and that it’s helped you pay off so much debt! We have YNAB 4– it’s a lot fancier than a Excel spreadsheet now 🙂