All opinions in this post are my own and based on my experience; this is not a sponsored post. That said, I believe YNAB is a great tool, so I have partnered with them to bring this special offer to Centsibly Rich readers.
A month ago, I received a powerful email from a reader. His lifelong struggles with “unconscious spending” had affected every facet of his life, including his relationships. He couldn’t fathom a “budget” helping him in any way but, on the advice of a trusted friend, he signed up for You Need a Budget (YNAB). The YNAB system completely transformed his life, financially and otherwise. Though he admits it was difficult to start the process of getting control of his finances, he reports a new, profound sense of freedom and control in his life.
Needless to say, this reader’s email grabbed my attention.
I’ve since heard from others how YNAB helped them gain control of their money. You may have read Linda’s Debt Free Story about how her and her husband started using YNAB and continue to use it faithfully to keep control over their finances.
Even though I wasn’t sure it could help me, I decided to start using YNAB myself. I had never previously used a “budget”, per se, because categories with spending restrictions just don’t work for me (just like diets!). So, needless to say, I was a bit hesitant about YNAB.
When I started using the system, I realized it isn’t a strict budget at all. It’s about tracking your spending, expenses, and income, and living within your means. YNAB is also flexible and can be tailored to your needs. So, though it has the word “budget” in it’s title, YNAB is actually more of a system for managing your money than it is a budget.
Who needs YNAB?
Anyone who needs to get their finances under control and stop living paycheck to paycheck will benefit from the YNAB system. After putting in the initial set-up time and then following through on regular updates on spending, expenses, and income, it will help you gain control over your money.
YNAB will only work for those willing to put forth the time and effort to get it started and maintain it. If you aren’t ready to take action and follow through on getting your financial ducks in a row, it won’t work for you (but, then, neither will anything else). For those of you ready to take action, but just aren’t sure where to start, YNAB provides the system and guidance for getting you started. Plus, if you are willing to put in some time and effort, you will be amazed at the results.
And it’s not just for those just getting started. I’ve been tracking my spending for more than a decade and feel like I have a good handle on my finances. Yet, YNAB is working and has really kicked in the accountability factor for me. Anyone who wants to have a system in place that accounts for every dollar going in and out of your life can benefit.
- Provides online classes, tutorials, a blog and so much more
- Makes linking accounts easy
- Helps you start living on last month’s income (no more paycheck to paycheck)
- Keeps you accountable
- Requires you to pay attention to your finances on a regular basis
- Allows you to set goals for larger expenses and break them down into manageable, monthly chunks
- Is flexible (there are no set limits on categories, you can move money from one category to another)
- Getting started can be a bit confusing and time consuming (use the tutorials!)
- You have to use and maintain it on a fairly regular basis (not necessarily a bad thing, though)
- It costs a minimal fee (but they say you’ll save an average of $200 the first month)
Centsibly Rich readers can use this link to sign up for 3 months of YNAB for FREE!
Check out how it works on this video
My take on YNAB
In my opinion, YNAB is a fantastic personal finance tool that works, as long as you put in the time and effort. It’s a great way to break the paycheck to paycheck cycle and gain control over the money coming into and going out of your life.
For me, there was a bit of a learning curve to getting started. I made the mistake of not watching the videos and going through all of the tutorials at the very beginning. Now that I have went through a few tutorials and used the system about twice a week for over a month, I’m starting to really get the hang of it.
I do think you have to give YNAB more than a month to get a handle on how it works. You have to put in the time and effort to learn how to use it and get everything set up. But once you do that, and update it on a regular basis, it could literally change your life.
YNAB offers a free 34 day trial and the cost is $5/month or $50/year (but you can get 3 months free through this link). Remember they say you will get that much and more back if you continue to use the system regularly.