What are the words that come to mind when you hear the word budget? Are they negative or positive? Does talking about money make you uncomfortable? I’ll be honest two years ago this conversation would have completely stressed me out and left me feeling like a failure. I always thought I was “bad” at managing finances and so I just never worked that hard at it. Then I got pregnant and things got REAL. I made it my mission to get my personal and business finances in order. That’s where You Need A Budget (YNAB) came in. It’s an incredible software (many of you shared it with me last year) that helps you build a budget that works with your lifestyle. It’s not about being restrictive it’s about making your money work for you. You can try it for 34 days free (no credit card required).
Having control over your finances is incredibly empowering, and on a personal level has made my life a lot less stressful. YNAB has given me such a strong grasp on my entire financial picture and helps me plan for the future on my own terms. Things like childcare, house projects, travel (maybe some day in the future?), pet emergencies, saving and investing all have a place in my budget. YNAB is about prioritizing the things that matter most to you (and of course this can always change).
What’s great about YNAB is their Four Rules for budgeting:
- Give Every Dollar a Job – Know exactly how you want to spend the money you have.
- Embrace Your True Expenses – Figure out exactly what you spend and break down big expenses (like car insurance for example) into monthly expenses so there’s no surprises.
- Roll With the Punches – Accept that things may change, and so can your budget.
- Age Your Money – Aim to reach the point of using the money you earned last month to pay this month’s expenses. Have peace of mind that you have the money to pay your bills ahead of time.
My AHA Moment
One of the aha moments for me when creating my budget was realizing I could be putting more money into my IRA. When I laid out all of my monthly expenses and set aside some money into my savings buckets (travel, pets, house projects) I noticed I could be contributing more to my retirement account, and if the money isn’t there I won’t spend it! My financial advisor said it would make a MASSIVE difference in my retirement account over time.
I’ve also been able to plan better for house projects and get a better grasp on exactly how much we are spending on them. Building the addition in the RI house was the most we’ve ever spent on a project and even though we did most of the work ourselves, materials and contractor expenses add up. I wanted a clearer picture and better plan for how to spend money on projects and renovation. Budgeting specifically with this in mind gives me that information in an easy format. It’s also really helpful that I can import my bank account info, credit cards and investment accounts all in one place (you do not have to do this you have the option to input manually as well).
Whatever your goals around money are for 2021 (or maybe you don’t have any-that’s ok too), YNAB is an amazing tool to help make your money work for you. Whether it’s get out of debt, put money in an emergency fund, save for a big trip, or get a better understanding of your finances, budgeting doesn’t have to suck. In fact, it can be incredibly liberating. Fun fact, on average, new budgeters save more than $600 by month two and $6,000 in their first year! Try YNAB for 34 days free (no credit card required).
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