Published: Tuesday, Dec. 10 2013 8:00 a.m. MST
I love budgeting and I love You Need a Budget software. It feels the opposite
of restrictive. It took all the guilt away from spending money on vacations or
other fun stuff because I have budgeted for it after I budgeted for all the
important stuff (rent, food, insurance, savings, etc.)
My wife and I have been using an Excel spreadsheet based on Dave Ramsey's
budgeting advice since 1999. We are just beginning to experiment with Mint and I
may try You Need a Budget and review it.Here are a few questions for
people reading the story: What type of budget do you use? If you are not using a
budget, why not?
If you need something to start with. Email accounts (google, Microsoft) include
their cloud drive applications. You don't need to list account #s and so
on. Just use the simple spreadsheet app to at least track your expenses. I keep
a record in a simple microsoft database which I tie to an Excel spreadsheet for
easy summarizing and pretty formatting that my wife can understand. Freedom through budgeting. I'm a believer.
Our family has started implementing the Jars System for budgeting. We have had
to adapt it to our situation, but it has freed us up immensely! We are no longer
scraping by each month and we have money in several savings accounts. I never
thought we could do it until we dedicated ourselves to actually practicing it. I
think that's the way it is with any system you may choose.
I have been on You Need A Budget for about 6 months. For me it is like the Dave
Ramsey envelope method, except that you do not have to go to the bank to get
cash. I can even use my credit card for internet transactions without worry.
It has helped me remove the items I was spending money on that I did not care
about, thus freeing more money for things that I do care about.
To me, it isn't the method used that matters, it is self-discipline. If you
decide you are only going to spend money on that which is truly important, and
skip impulse buying, frivolous purchases and credit card buying because you
don't have the cash now, you can do much better than having spread sheets,
lists, etc. However, for a family to make it work, both parents have to be
working toward the same goals, and often that is a tough thing work out. Bottom
line, self-control is the lesson of life.
Just use cash. When you don't have any money you will know it first hand.
The only easy to use consumer financial program is, I hate to say it becasue it
is barely as easy to use as Microsoft Money was, but the Quicken home and/or
office version is the only real comprehensive and adjustable program on the
market. Quicken can be integrated with all bank accounts in any bank and
information can be stored independently or using bank secure website.Banks offer assistance to setup and use this program. The Quicken customer
service is outsourced to India so they useless for bank and customer setups.
Most banks and retailers offers training to integrate this program with your
accounts and takes a lot of commitment, patience, to financial independence
married or single.Internet bill pay and money transfers make life
stress free and you don't have to grant access to your accounts for
payments. Any retail transaction is doable with Quicken on international or
local purchases. You control who, what, when, and where you money is going. Spread sheets are complicated and takes a lot of algebraic math skills
most millennial's with a college education don't have. Ignorance is
against the law and that includes personal finances.
@ Nan BW - for me it is a combination of having self-discipline and then
creating a method that works for your family. For 20 years I used
Quicken, which is more accounting, not Budgeting. About 6 months ago I was
introduced to YNAB - It is my method, or tool of choice.No tool will
work without self-discipline, and self-discipline without the proper tools is
bound to fail.
Trust is earned. The more experience you get the easier it becomes. You have to
be honest, don't brake the trust. Your as good as you think. The experience
of being dishearted is hard to forget.
I use YNAB (you need a budget) for budgeting and planning Think looking
forward.and I use Quicken for tracking and and accounting, think looking back
and preparing tax returns.Love YNAB, allows my wife a much more
involved role in budgeting since quicken was too overwhelming.Great
feature of YNAB is you can create multiple budgets, I created one for Christmas,
a major event, and am beginning one for an upcoming vacation. Holidays is one
line item on my main budget, but about 20 categories on my Christmas budget.I absolutely agree that YNAB is empowering, before budgeting always felt
oppersive and depressing, YNAB makes it almost like a game, a challenge. It
really is empowering.BTW, you don't even need to buy the
software, the site teaches a method which can be executed using paper and pencil
or spreadsheet, the software just makes it easier.Sorry if this
sounds like an infomercial, but I like it that much.
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