"You Need a Budget" (YNAB) is the budgeting software I chose to use for my personal budgeting needs, which I did so for a number of reasons as detailed in this review.
YNAB's motto is to "Gain Total Control of Your Money" and to "Stop living paycheck to paycheck, get out of debt, and save money faster...." Find out more about this budgeting software in this full review of You Need a Budget.
The Four Rule Method of Budgeting Success
The four budgeting rules of You Need a Budget are:
- Give every dollar a job.
- Save for a rainy day.
- Roll with the punches.
- Stop living paycheck to paycheck.
Budgeting Software Made by a Latter-day Saint
YNAB is perfect for budgeting tithing, fast offerings, and other donations, as well as planning for your food storage, saving for a mission, college, and retirement.
YNAB even comes setup to budget your tithing under the "Charity" category. Here's a picture of the screen shot showing the tithing category. My husband and I were able to easily add a Fast Offering category as well as other categories that fit our personal needs.
When I asked, here's what Jesse had to say about budgeting from an LDS perspective:
"I was born and raised LDS, and was taught that it's important to see money more as a stewardship situation than the fact that it's MY money. So budgeting is actually just making sure that we're good stewards with what we've been given."Being a good steward over the finances and blessings we've been given is an excellent point and successful budgeting is the way to make sure we're on the right path to taking care of our needs, our family's needs, and helping others meet their needs.
Learning and Using You Need a Budget
My husband and I attend the online course which only took an hour (including questions from ourselves and the other "students"). Starting fresh with YNAB has been a great blessing as we've started to follow the four method rules of budgeting. You Need a Budget is easy to learn and use and is hundreds of miles above the basic Excel spreadsheet we've been using for years- we won't be going back to that old clunker of a system.
- Setup and follow the four budgeting rules
- Import bank transactions
- Plan for irregular bills throughout the year and easily pay them
- Automatically record regular transactions
- Split transactions into multiple categories
- Jot down notes to remember upcoming events you need to budget for
- View a variety of reports regarding your budgeting and spending habits
- Search for past transactions with a specific criteria
- Export your data in a snap
- Download the Mobile app and enter transactions on the fly
- Never pay for future updates (note: future upgrades do cost but customers are not forced to purchase a new version.)
The mobile app is pretty sweet too. It's easy to use and is perfect for checking your budget while you're out and about. You can even check a specific budgeting category and enter a purchase you just made while leaving the store.
Now What? The Bottom Line
Do you like what you've read? If so, visit YNAB's website and check out You Need a Budget for yourself. Not sure if YNAB is the right budgeting software for you? First check out the financial software guide's review of YNAB as well as all the reviews from other site visitors like you. They rated it the Best Windows Personal Financial Software and Tax Software of 2011. Feel free to compare YNAB with the reviews of other budgeting programs to find the budgeting software that's right for you.
You Need a Budget has been more than perfect for our needs. Following the four budgeting rules has made all the difference between being run by our money vs managing our money so it doesn't keep running away from us. I highly recommend You Need a Budget as an invaluable tool for budgeting and achieving financial freedom.