As a follow up to me being a bad millennial, I wanted to share my experience with You Need a Budget. I feel so strongly about this app that I think it’s important to have yet anther positive review out there for it.
When Travis and I realized that we wanted to get our finances in order, we looked at multiple options to help us budget. The biggest factor that pushed us toward YNAB was my cousin telling us about how much she liked it. We signed up for the free trial the next day, and I started attending the classes as soon as I could with my schedule.
The first thing that I noticed was that there’s a learning curve.
While any budgeting app will be helpful to keep your purchases fresh in your mind, The more frequently/often that you use YNAB, the better it will be long term. Saving up your purchases and logging them in bulk at the end of the month won’t be as helpful as logging them daily or weekly. Once you realize the benefits of logging your purchases regularly, you really start to see the benefits.
Which brings me to the next thing that I realized, budgeting with two people is hard.
When Travis and I first started budgeting we had different ideas about what would constitute a “Long-Term Goal” and what would be an “everyday expense”. Coming to an agreement took a bit of time and some compromise from both of us. The good thing was that we were both able to agree on our major savings goals and what our priorities were as far as paying off debts. Once we agreed on categories, there’s the issue of making sure that the register is updated regularly. No matter what, that has to come down to both people involved. This is an ongoing thing that needs to be done. I recommend logging purchases as you make them, or at the VERY least, weekly when you update the budget.
Realization number 3: A budget needs to be flexible and worked on regularly.
I mentioned in my last post that we have an unexpected amount that we owe to taxes (think thousands, not hundreds ugh). But aside from the initial panic of owing money, we know that we’ll be okay and can redistribute our finances and budget as needed. When we had some emergency pet or car troubles, we know that we’ll be fine and that everything will be okay. But it takes work and discussion and a certain amount of flexibility. I’m not always good with the flexibility (have I mentioned I’m a control freak?), but I’m getting better at it and know that it’s better to be flexible than to go in to debt for an emergency situation.
Bottom line, YNAB has changed our life. Our relationship has improved, we no longer fight about money, and we have a certain level of security. We’ve increased our net worth by 5x in a year, and we know that emergency situations happen and are preparing for them. I would spend hundreds on YNAB, and I highly recommend everyone else try it. Give it a full month before deciding for or against it.