You need a budget logo
Source: YNAB Press kit

In March I stumbled over a programm called "You need a budget" (YNAB).

YNAB is awesome! I think it is time for a short review now.

Why a budget?

Money always made me feel uncomfortable and a little bit out of control.I earn a ton of money - but at the end of the month it was (mostly) gone.

I lived from paycheck to paycheck with only small buffers in place. Kind of stupid if you think about it.

I decided to grow up financially a few times now and failed - but with YNAB it seems to finally work.

What is YNAB?

YNAB is a Personal Budgeting Software for Mac OS, Windows, Android and iOS.

YNAB comes with a great method and training courses that get you started.

The method

  1. Whenever you receive a paycheck, you give every dollar a job. You put your money into categories like "Groceries", "Books", "Hosting".

  2. You save for rainy days. These "rainy days" for me include (christmas, vacations, a broken washing machine). For some of them you do not know when they will happen but you can still budget money for them. When the next expensive cruise has to be paid I will happily pay the money , without any anciety or stress.

  3. Whenever your plan does not work - for example you spent more in the "Groceries" category - you just adjust your budget and take money out of other categories. No guild required.

  4. You live on last month's income. If something bad happens you have at least one month buffer. A great feeling.

It's great

A budget looks like this
Source: YNAB Press kit

I had some reservations when I first saw YNAB's price tag. But after using it and taking the courses I believe that it is worth every penny!

Since I have to enter each and every transaction into YNAB (a few minutes of work every day) - I became really aware of all my spendings.

I canceled many recurring subscriptions last month (that I did not really use). I also stopped eating out every lunch and I do not compulsively buy random gadgets when I have money on my bank account.

I rather budget for a new guitar and my next vacation.

I finally grew up financially and it feels like I got a (big) raise.

With the budget in place I have no anciety about the future. I could live of half of my income or even less if I had to. It's a skill that I should have learned long ago.