It's a common refrain in times of crisis. We must do something. But inaction is, in fact, always an option. Many times, especially when it comes to finances, it is a great option! Jesse reminds us that, in light of current economic conditions, it's perfectly OK to do nothing. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
There's something growing at the Mecham household... and it's in the backyard! Jesse confesses he spent a good portion of his paternity leave preparing a garden with a handful of chicks, fruit trees, and a garden full of asparagus, cantaloupes, and other goodies. As always, while exercising his green thumb Jesse was thinking about budgeting. Immediate gratification is rare in the natural world. Nearly everything worth having takes time, effort, and care to grow and develop. Chicks need to be f...more
After receiving several questions about what to do with windfall money during times of economic uncertainty (like these), Jesse tackles the topic in today’s episode. As always, but especially true nowadays, cash is king! Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Freshly returned from paternity leave, Jesse discusses how YNAB has handled the coronavirus pandemic as a company. As always, his focus and the company's focus has been on giving the best budgeting advice they can. Additionally, the YNAB team has written articles exploring how people can weather the financial storm in the wake of COVID-19. You can read the blog entries here: https://www.youneedabudget.com/blog/ Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse examines how the recent panic buying of food, home goods, and other staples highlights the intrinsic value of certain things that we take for granted. When demand for historically safe assets like bonds and gold falls, yet demand for household goods like flour and toilet paper soar, it shines some light on the practical value of things. In short, you can eat flour, but you can't eat a bar of gold! In the future, Jesse encourages us to consider saving not only for future expenses and ret...more
Jesse muses on the impact the coronavirus will ultimately have on people and their habits. When society reopens, will people return to their previous habits? Or will they grow, having spent their time in isolation examining themselves and their priorities, their Rule Zero? Jesse hopes that people do use this time to reflect, to re-examine their life and rediscover their priorities, and, most importantly, write down the wisdom that comes from that process! Sign up for a free 34-day trial of Y...more
Last week Jesse discussed the importance of Rule #1, giving every dollar a job. Rule one is always important, but in uncertain times like these it takes on renewed significance. Jesse has often talked about the rule before the rule, though, the so-called Rule Zero. Rule Zero is understanding what's important to you, why you're bothering to give your dollars a job in the first place. At the end of the day, to what end are you budgeting? What's the purpose? In the wake of the pandemic and econ...more
With the world at a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is certain. We’ve never budgeted at a time like this! Jesse offers some comforting words in this time of crisis, and reminds us to follow Rule #1: Give Every Dollar A Job. Never stop budgeting. Even if it’s only a week ahead, a day ahead, staying engaged and continually planning will give you the best chance to survive financially in these times, and, eventually, thrive. Budgeting is one area of our lives that we can contro...more
At YNAB there is a document called the Vision Doc, which spells out the “commander’s intent” for the company, how to behave and act on the company’s behalf. Employees must make many decisions on a day to day basis, but with a clear commander’s intent they have the freedom to make those smaller decisions while adhering to the company’s greater goal. It’s useful to develop the same commander’s intent for your budget. With a clear goal and aim for the budget, it becomes easier to make those small...more
Jesse reads an excerpt from the book The End of Average by Todd Rose. In the late 1940's the Air Force had a dangerous problem on its hands -- aircraft of all kinds were malfunctioning and crashing at alarming rates. The Air Force brought in scientist Lt Gilbert S Daniels to diagnose the problem. Daniels discovered that the Air Force had designed cockpits based on thousands of physical measurements taken from its ranks of pilots, then averaged. Daniels ascertained that despite the rigor and br...more
We often talk about the budget as if it’s a noun. Is it “in the budget”? Did you check the budget? When you treat the budget as a noun it takes on a rigid, inflexible quality, like the budget is set on stone tablets. But what if we thought about “budget” as a verb? As an action, an activity, budgeting becomes a process, a thing which can change and evolve with each iteration. Jesse discusses the importance of budgeting and not just setting a “budget.” Thanks to Hannah who shared this revelat...more
Money is made to spend. We all want something, and that something usually costs money. Some of the “wants” are fleeting desires, spurred by mood or peer pressure or perhaps just a whim. Other “wants” are genuine desires and items or experiences that actually add value to your life. Whichever it is, Jesse argues that you should wait. Wait before you buy anything, even the genuine wants. For one thing, waiting helps you parse out the genuine from the ephemeral. Jesse keeps a running list of wa...more
There's a cliche in TV and film whenever something bad happens in a crowd of people, inevitably someone in the crowd shouts "why doesn't someone do something!" This is usually the cue for the superhero to enter stage right. We hear this sentiment all the time, not just in bad cinema, but in real life. Anytime a problem reaches a level of widespread concern -- whether it's a local neighborhood issue or a national one -- something must be done about it. Some problems have no easy answers, and we...more
They are prepared for emergencies, for setbacks, for unexpected life changes. In fact emergencies don’t seem to happen as often to them. YNAB’ers are a lucky set, it seems, but maybe there’s more to the truth than a roll of the dice. Survivorship bias is a logical fallacy in which you focus on a group of people or things that made it past a selection process, without considering those that failed. This bias can lead to a number of erroneous conclusions. In finance, survivorship bias occurs whe...more
In episode 411, Jesse decried the ubiquity of credit cards and the fact that they enjoy a number of benefits that plain old debit cards do not... at the risk of getting yourself in debt. Since then, he's learned of a few strategies for managing fraud risk with debit cards. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com Also, go to https://www.youneedabudget.com/bootcamp/ to sign up for the YNAB Debt Bootcamp!
Jesse admits he's got an itch to scratch. He likes to invest gamble in the stock market from time to time, using an app that allows him to trade at the swipe of a finger. At least he's honest -- it's gambling with fun money, not investing. And that's the key. It's money he can afford to lose, and it's not much. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com Also, go to https://www.youneedabudget.com/bootcamp/ to sign up for the YNAB Debt Bootcamp!
Wealth is not a dirty word. After all, wealth can allow us to do many interesting and fulfilling things with our lives. At the very least, it provides options, opening up the range of possibilities before us. Simply put, wealth can allow us to live the life we want to live. The only problem is that the accumulation of wealth is often followed by increasing expenses. Some of these are obvious -- a bigger, newer house usually costs more than a smaller, older one -- while others are insidious. A ...more
Save money for known future expenses, or pay down debt? It's a challenge many people face while trying to eliminate their debt. It's a conundrum too -- you could take your savings and pay down debt now, or hold onto to those savings for the new tires you know your car needs next month, or the Christmas gifts you want to buy for the family. If you do that, though, the debt balance stays the same while you continue to pay interest... Jesse argues that optionality is the key here. Obeying rule #2...more
Jesse reflects on a Senate bill -- now signed into law as the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act -- which will require a greater amount of employers to offer 401(k) plans to employees. The new law also makes it easier for annuities to be included in 401(k) offerings by easing the fiduciary rules around fees and expense ratios. 401k) plans are excellent vehicles for saving for retirement because they allow employees to put away a lot of money every year -- up to ...more
For better or worse (probably worse), credit cards are a major part of our financial world now. Cash is becoming less and less convenient to use every year, and debit cards continue to lack the same level of fraud protection that credit cards enjoy. This isn't coincidence either. Jesse attended a "payments trends" conference in 2019, where the main topic was how to make payments easier, to remove as much friction as possible from the process of buying things. Why? Simply put, when you spend mo...more
It's time to blow it all up! Every January, Jesse takes time with his family to "blow up" his budget and all the assumptions that drive it. He takes a fresh look at the dollars in the budget, and starts to question everything. Need to set aside $400 for a new set of tires in March? That's a responsible Rule #2 line of thinking. But the burndown is your chance to think deeper... do we even need a car? Could we sell it and ride our bikes to work instead? This is your time to think big, re-eval...more
If you made it through the last few weeks, you know why Jesse hates debt and why you should too! Start the New Year by putting those feelings into action. Jesse has created a "debt bootcamp" for YNAB users to help you get serious about getting rid of your debt for good. Best of all, it's FREE for all YNAB software subscribers. The Debt Bootcamp will be an intense, 8-week challenge to get rid of as much debt as possible. The camp will be run through a private Facebook group where you can stay...more
The corporations are playing a game, and you can't win. So opt out and stop playing the game! In the part 4 of the "Why I Hate Debt" miniseries, Jesse explains how behind every credit card is a clever system of points, travel miles, and other "free" rewards designed to keep you spending and in debt. Credit cards are a very profitable industry. Would banks and finance companies be giving away rewards if they weren't making a profit from it? Of course not! They've got the data, they've studied t...more
Jesse hates debt, and you should too! In Part 3 of anti-debt miniseries, Jesse argues that debt is not just a drain on our cash flow and creativity, it also restricts our future opportunities! The burden of debt keeps us from realizing our full potential in many ways -- starting a business, taking a lower paying job for more fulfilling work, moving to a new state or country -- often in the early phases of life when we are most energetic and open to growth. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of ...more
In Part 2 of the Why I Hate Debt miniseries, Jesse explains why debt is a non-negotiable for him, and why is should be for you too. At 22 years old, trying to finish his Masters degree and expecting his first child, Jesse found himself caught between two non-negotiables: 1.) Living without debt, and 2.) Allowing his wife to quit work to focus on raising their child. The problem? They didn’t have enough money to last until Jesse started working his new job after graduation, even living a very f...more
Jesse hates debt, and you should too. Debt service constricts our cash flow, limits out ability to do other things like savings and investing, and generally introduces more stress into our lives. In this first part of a mini-series on debt, Jesse makes a case for living completely debt-free. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Some of you may be thinking, YNAB sounds great, but what if I don't get a regular paycheck? How am I supposed to budget with that? Well, first off, you definitely need a budget! Planning to fund your expenses in future months becomes more critical the more variable your income is. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse is thinking about launching a separate podcast to discuss small business, internet marketing, and how you can use YNAB to manage your business cash flow, and he wants to know what you think! Would you be interested in a business-focused podcast? What kind of topics would you like to hear about? Email Jesse at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your thoughts! Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse asks the most important question about your reasons for getting out of debt, saving money, and achieving your financial goals. Why? Why do you do it? What's the reason behind the goals? If you could write a mission statement for your life, what would it say? Answering the simple question "Why?" might be the most important thing you do after you complete the blocking and tackling of paying off debt and building an emergency fund. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabu...more
"FI" is an acronym that has steadily grown in popularity over the last decade, though the concept is much older than that. It stands for financial independence -- some people call it early retirement (the longer acronym FIRE stands for financial independence, retire early) -- but the idea is simple. Live below your means, drastically increase your savings rate and accumulate enough wealth to "retire" or perhaps better said, until you can do what you want to do. Time and savings rate are the ke...more
It's common to set milestones for paying down debt. They're usually big, round numbers like $500, $1k, $5k, $10k. At the end of the day though, the goals are arbitrary. It's just a number, a stepping stone, toward the greater goal. So if the day to day grind of fiscal responsibility is getting to you, change your milestones! Maybe it's $749, or $362.54. It's all arbitrary, right? Have fun with the game, and make it work for you. Set a new milestone -- whatever you like -- and celebrate when yo...more
How do you order your categories? What's on top? What's on bottom? And how did you decide that? Categories are easy to order once you understand your priorities. Rent, utilities, food -- these are non-negotiable. You can and should, however, drill down into the details of each category and ask yourself whether you could live without some of the expenses in that category. You need utilities to live, clearly, but if pushed, what would you keep and what would you cut? Could you live without inter...more
Why do we become desensitized to the upticks in price of just about everything? Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
"We could spend less if we wanted to." Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
New feature alert: two factor authentication Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Everyone is getting into the lending money game. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse discusses payroll advance apps. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse discusses payroll advances in relation to age of money. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse goes back to basics and breaks down YNAB's Rule Four: Age Your Money Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse goes back to basics and breaks down YNAB's Rule Three: Roll With The Punches Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse goes back to basics and breaks down YNAB's Rule Two: Embrace Your True Expenses Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse goes back to basics and breaks down YNAB's Rule One: Give Every Dollar A Job. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
How do we curb the immediacy bias with DIY? Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
How many dollars are you sending to your retirement fund? Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse reviews the automated investing app, Acorns. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
The rock solid measure of whether or not you're succeeding Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse takes issue with a phrase we use when it comes to spending money on children. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse interview's authors and married couple Kristy Shen, Bryce Leung about their book—available today—Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck, or Trust Fund Required. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
One simple question—should you start your budget over? Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
A follow up to episode 331, Sacreligious Budgeting. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Data and the ideal budget. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
A follow up to episode to 365 on manually entering transactions. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
How is a budget like strength training? Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
There are two sides to every slice of cheese. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Simple benchmarks for budgeting progress Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
A road trip, a Tesla and a story about Mr. Money Mustache Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse interview's author Ramit Sethi about the update of his 10 year old book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Ladies and gentlemen, as we start this episode, please make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Stand up for your nonnegotiables. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Tips for getting over the hurdle of learning to budget. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
A simple look at the approach to investing vs budgeting Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
The upside to renting. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
How is a budget like swearing? Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
We're introducing a new service! Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
A message for the budgeting nerds Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com Check out our book! - www.ynab.com/book
Jonathan and Miranda were college sweethearts with $52k in student loans. This is the story of how they paid it all off in just 21 months … and started their family.
A message for the free spirit budgeter Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
A little behind the scenes at YNAB and Jesse asks listeners a favor Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
When Tanya and her husband became parents for the first time, suddenly their financial priorities clicked into place—and, within just 12 months, they’d paid off $31,000 of debt so that they could truly enjoy life with their new son.
Taking another stab at entering transactions one at a time the old fashioned way. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Stash some cash Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Siobhan came to YNAB looking for a solution to her debt—$60k+ in student loans and $16k+ in credit card debt. Flash forward, and she’s on track to pay the last $30k off by next year. What a difference a couple of years can make!
This is a tinfoil PSA ... perhaps Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Day-old money is stressful! Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Erin thought that she’d never be able to retire, much less do it comfortably on half of the amount than she previously thought ... but then she found YNAB.
How is a budget like a college football game? Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
How is a budget like a visit from the in-laws? Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
How is a budget like a clock? Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse gets back to basic budgeting talk with a discussion on priorities. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Chelsea and her husband had the wedding of their dreams in Hawaii ... then reality hit. They were $215,000 in debt! Find out how they teamed up to fix their finances.
Some advice on annual goals. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
This is a story of $9 salads and a $12,000 C-Section—and it’s proof that you can fix five-figure debt by paying attention to the little things. It all adds up
A technique to get those resolutions and goals to stick. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Is there an opportunity this season for you to try something briefly unsustainable to reach a goal? Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
December is a very busy month. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse interviews Dr. Ryan Law, professor of financial counseling at Utah Valley University. They discuss student loan debt. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Breaking news: take a news break. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Buy, buy, buy and find out why. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse encourages you to try a writing exercise this holiday. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Pay yourself first ... and forever Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
A simpler approach to big goals Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
The problem with forecasting money you don't have yet. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Subscriptions, subscriptions, subscriptions. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
There can be more to a purchase than the price tag Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
What if you never had to buy another toaster again? Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Buy it once, never replace it and why. Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
It's time for a, "Manual Intervention." Sign up for a free 34-day trial at www.youneedabudget.com
Sometimes the slog is real, the motivation is waning and you are grinding. What do you do in those situations to keep your head above water?
Are credit cards a budget breaker?
YNAB has a new API
Do you fear you've missed out on budgeting? Sign up for a free 34-day trial at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse talks with Mike Michalowicz, author of Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself—a book about how to stop sacrificing family, friendships and freedom for the sake of your business. Available Today
Budgeting is spending; nothing more, nothing less. Sign up for a free 34-day trial at www.youneedabudget.com
How about a vacation from budgeting? Sign up for a free 34-day trial at www.youneedabudget.com
We're taking a break to produce season 2 of Debt Stories. In the meantime check in every Monday for the YNAB Podcast. You can also catch up on any episodes you may have missed and please share with a friend. Thank you. https://www.youneedabudget.com/debt-podcast/
It's ok if you and your partner don't think about money the same way Sign up for a free 34-day trial at www.youneedabudget.com
She used to buy every gadget that crossed her path. Now, her cousin calls her “the Queen of Cheap.”—learn how Jennifer paid off all of her student loans and most of her credit card debt, and purchased her very first home in Chicago proper. Find more information at http://ynab.com/debt-podcast
Obligations remain despite life-changing circumstances.
This family of four lives in Downsville, Utah. When her husband lost his accounting job, they turned to the credit card. When they hit a $15,000 balance, she discovered YNAB ... Find more information at http://ynab.com/debt-podcast
Jesse expounds on his stance of not paying for his children's college education
This family of four in Marietta, Georgia, had racked up $263,000 of debt—a number that used to keep Brittany awake at night (and that was before the job losses). Still, they made it work. Find more information at http://ynab.com/debt-podcast
Some things get better when they experience shock
He and his wife paid off $30,000 of debt in three years. It was all about choices—find out whether they picked air conditioning or Amazon Prime. Find more information at http://ynab.com/debt-podcast
Jesse discusses a conversation he has with a friend about whether or not they should pay off their house.
He’s a pastor, and she’s a stay-at-home mom. With five kids and $30,000 in debt, stress levels were high. Find out how a spice jar solved their money problems. Find more information at http://ynab.com/debt-podcast
Eating out can have a big impact on your budget. Are we spending too much on restaurants and takeout?
Find out how an IT business analyst from Kenton, Michigan, realized that it was cheaper to quit his job! Find more information at http://ynab.com/debt-podcast
An unconventional experiment to deal with a clothing category
Angela’s family slowly sipped their way through to-go coffees until they’d reached a staggering $85,000 in debt. Just kidding, they bought a house and a pink Toyota, too. Find out how they paid it all off.
The emergency fund that's gathering dust.
Why do we have people only budget what they have? Even in the surest of sure employment situations?
A plea for blind trusts for the everyman.
Everyone has a cabin. Shouldn't I? And other silly questions that are hard to answer.
A mini-report one one of my New Year's resolutions, and what I've learned being blindly obedient.
What's the purpose of that fridge? Knife? Car? Bike? Boat? House? A stroll and ramble through this question of joy and material things.
An interview with Ms. Frugalwoods. (I LOVED this book!)
Which items have you purchased that have created buyer's remorselessness.
Sometimes you just have to let it go.
Just don't walk past zero into debt. Get comfortable with zero.
The biggest news we've ever shared.
Stop optimizing and be content with pace.
What you learn from the junior partner in "The Greatest Showman"
A little story about a man and his boat. And an investment banker.
A little experiment to amass a lot of money.
How you define means makes all the difference.
The biggest non-negotiable expense ever. And you're probably ignoring it.
Amazing what a little perspective shift gives you. Where do you get your perspective shifted?
A call to get organized, simplify, and reduce the financial cruft in your life.
Inspired by my favorite personal finance book, "The Richest Man in Babylon"
That's right. If you're average (and you are), then you have a spending problem--not an income problem.
This is a PSA to remind you that taxes are your life's single biggest expense.
Maybe that "pipe dream" goal isn't so far off afterall.
My favorite time of year is January. New year, new you.
Merry Christmas! That is all.
What are your roots, and how to strengthen them in times of stress
Keeping the holidays merry--within limits.
A Series of conversations with the real-life success stories featured in Jesse's new book, You Need A Budget—The Book, now available for pre-order!
Settle in fast, because it's expensive not to.
Set Some Rules. Have Fun. (And take advantage of our Black Friday deal --this year only!)
For the spontaneous people.
Experiences over material things. Coming at you from New York.
At what point should you stop tracking cash?
Is there a point where you no longer really need a budget?
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...does your budget look like it as well?
Do you suffer from lifestyle creep? I do.
When's a good time to start budgeting? Or start building any new habit?
Is there such a good thing as good debt? Yes. Though it also can become bad if you aren't careful.
Maybe if we just didn't treat student loan as a viable option for paying for college...
How to protect your identity without paying for an expensive monitoring service.
Millennial Money advice is the same as every generation's money advice.
I'm scared and excited to live in New York for a while.
Routines were made to be broken.
Where I discuss our new mobile apps, and why.
Different partners may have different levels of budget materiality. What it is, and how to navigate it.
Everyone should be taking a clarity break.
We're programmed to amass, hoard, acquire. What do you do to combat that?
The launch of YNAB's new 80/20 guide, "The Debt Consolidation Myth"
Our epic failure to be less granular, and how I'm getting back to it with our own personal budget.
Sometimes starting something as a beginner again is just what you need for reinvigorating the budget.
Can too much of a good thing become a bad thing?
What are we doing when we water the sidewalk, but when we're really talking about budgeting?
What do weeds and budgeting have in common? Everything.
A discussion of the book "What Doesn't Kill Us" and why I'm now taking ice cold showers.
Saving up so you can live it up.
An Interview with an author of a book that changed my life and is required reading for the entire YNAB team. Every year.
It turns out when you peel back the priorities onion, the core of it a lot of times is an experience, not an item.
Julie set herself a goal for 2017.
Is it possible to just settle in with your stuff and avoid some of the churn involved in repeat purchasing?
All I wasn't is a toaster I can pass on to my children.
When you're buying something, you're also tacking a bunch of todos on to your list.
When you're buying something, you're buying so much more.
In getting a reluctant partner on board with budgeting, you've got to play the long game.
There's one reason why people quit budgeting (and most anything else).
With budgeting, the key might be to start over.
Merry Christmas! I hope it was financially boring, but in every other way an exciting, restful, introspective time.
A look back at 2016 (our craziest year ever). A look forward to 2017. At least the first quarter.
How the age of your money becomes even more important when your income has a wild side.
Rule Two times two (or three, or four) when it comes to a variable income.
A question for the eternities: Can I afford this?
Why does variable income make budgeting so tough? Because we're budgeting wrong.
It's your money (read: life), so march to your own drum.
If the balance in your account has morphed into its own priority, do a bit of a sanity check.
A special podcast, because reports are here.
Your budget is your deferential butler. Don't you agree, sir?
We have workshops! You should give one a shot.
How do you accomplish anything? Be thoughtful about what you want, and intentional about how to get it.
My irrational reaction to not having my own car for 24 hours. What are yours?
Here's the #1 reason to pay cash for your next house.
Stops, Starts, and Struggles. Be patient with yourself as you learn the YNAB Way.
Blank slating in life, and in budgeting, can be super insightful.
I've outsourced my fitness and nutrition. What about money?
Making a number less confusing.
An look inside the YNAB team.
It really is a simple path. And J L Collins knows how to navigate it.
Carve out time to do "Deep Work" so you can clearly understand your priorities.
One of the richest men in the history of the world was a bookkeeper. Mic drop.
YNAB CCO, Todd Curtis, and I talk about couples and money, and why we recommend joining forces.
YNAB CCO, Todd Curtis, and I discuss an argument for (and solid research backing) the idea of simplifying.
YNAB Chief Customer Officer, Todd Curtis, and I discuss focusing on long term goals by looking at the here and now.
A report on our "Cash is King" budget where I talk about the ups and downs experienced so far.
What kind of identity do you have wrapped up in your car? Just something to think about.
The budget should force a "revisiting" of priorities without necessarily having your hand forced externally.
Why saving for its own sake can be dangerous.
The end all be all strategy for paying down your debt.
Steps to take before you take steps to pay down your debt.
I talk with evidence-based investing advisor Matt Hall about, you guessed it, investing.
The ultimate experience as it relates to "Save up for it."
What if I dramatically reduce our categories so we hit our goals, classify all online purchases as "online" and use cash for everything else?
The New YNAB is three months old. How is it going? A bit behind the scenes.
A question that goes a bit deeper than just giving every dollar a job.
An interview with NYT bestselling author Ron Lieber about how to not raise spoiled kids...
Is the ideal budget just four categories?
Why do businesses always end up morphing into finance companies?
Where we talk about students and their debt, and "swipe technology."
Rule Four reloaded.
Rule Three reloaded.
Rule Two reloaded.
Rule One reloaded.
The "minimum viable product" strategy as it relates to software.
There's a new feature in our latest version of the YNAB software, and we think you'll love it!
Christmas bills got you down? Make next Christmas better!
Sometimes, things just have to change.
An exciting announcement from Jesse Mecham!
A new take on a classic Christmas story.
Don't worry. You've been saving up for this!
YNABer Question: How do I switch banks with YNAB?
Hey Procrastinators, I have the perfect system for you.
Have a budget bucket list.
Mint: Post-Mortem. YNAB: Minority Report
Save something, try just a dollar or two...
It's healthy and interesting to question all of your finances at least once a year. Here's why.
That student loan disbursement came in? You're not rich. You're broke.
It's not about automating or not, it's about eliminating tedium, and increasing awareness.
If you could only have one report, what would it be?
Every once in a while, the budget needs good shave. A fresh start, if you will.
An Interview with Amy Jones, creator of the awesome Map Your Progress.
Where Julie and I broadcast our budget meeting (unedited) to the world. Take from it what you can, if anything.
Why saving without a purpose isn't really saving at all. You know you've done this.
Should you go crazy with your debt? Save some money? Both?
What should be the order of prioritization once the necessities are taken care of?
The past is in the past, but it still affects the future. Dealing with financial scar tissue.
The budget lets you let go of so much cognitive overhead. Free yourself from decision fatigue.
The point of having money is to spend it. Also, an attorney joke that takes most of the time.
High-ticket items deaden your sensitivity to spending amounts you would otherwise weigh carefully. Proceed with caution!
Unless your hobby is credit card shenanigans, pick just one (maybe two) credit cards and call it good.
Question your financial scar tissue. Are all of those accounts still (really) necessary?
We want active engagement. Simplicity promotes that, which is why we like it.
When it comes to lasting, positive financial change, don't do what I did.
It's that time of year for you to do a quick pause and evaluation. It'll do you good.
Windfall schmindfall. Just fall back on Rule One.
How much should you save? And would it be possible to not beat yourself up so much?
When budgeting with a partner... Rule 3 can be tricky. How do you deal with overspending together?
How do you view financial goals? What if you saw them more as guesses?
When budgeting with a partner... establish a workflow, ownership, simplification, etc.
It's a therapy session folks! Gettingn down to the WHY behind money will bring you absolute clarity. It's Rule One.
When budgeting with a partner... have a regular budgeting meeting. Make it fun.
When budgeting with a partner.... have some individual space. You need some fun money.
When budgeting with a partner... keep it simple. You merged your lives—merge your finances.
When budgeting with a partner.... be clear about what you bring to the table. All of it. Debts, habits, passions, etc.
A shoutout to a classic that everybody should read.
A look back, with an anniversary four months late.
Then budgeting is even more important.
The 2015 holiday season is now upon us.
Don't fritter away the temporary savings of low gas prices!
The new year is a great time to hit that Reset Button. One category at a time.
"They're digging in the wrong place."
A lesson on focus.
The biggest rainy day you have is when you retire. Old-timer. ;)
There are Four Rules to YNAB's Method, but One Rule to rule them all.
The Android app looks great! It's available by the end of the day today for a free update.
The longer you use YNAB and follow the method, the fewer emergencies you have.
Keeping your head up, when progress seems to be more backward than forward.
Viewing money for what it represents seems to lend itself to a pretty healthy outlook on life.
Facing the right direction brings peace. With pace playing second fiddle.
Frugality, for its own sake, is really, really boring.
Living within your means frees up cash for saving or getting out of debt, but it is so much more than just that.
Sometimes you've cut all you can cut, and it's time to increase the size of your shovel.
You have permission to keep it simple. Challenging assumptions.
The one thing we don't talk about regarding debt, is that it kills scarcity. Scarcity helps you.
After a little YNABer feedback, I've decided to revise and extend my remarks on debt…focusing on good debt versus bad debt.
We talk a lot about priorities. here's my view on getting out of debt, as your single priority.
It's that age-old habit of humanity where we judge others quickly, but rarely examine our own insane behaviors.
YNAB for iPad is here. It's great. It's free.
If something is really complicating YNAB for you, maybe stop doing that thing?
Look to optimize, and simplify.
A promise to Julie, and some advice for business owners (and everyone).
There's no shame in it. If you've quit YNAB, get started again. We've made the restart easy.
I may be pulling YNAB out of the equation for our kids and their money.
A financial lesson learned in the Arizona summer heat, while picking blackberries for my dad, when I was ten.
A few thoughts on forecasting, scarcity, and clarity.
When you're in emergency mode, suddenly every purchase is justifiable. How do you avoid this flawed thinking?
I want to make some changes to how I spend my time. You can guess where this is going.
Announcing a new "division" of YNAB, designed specifically for small business owners.
The title says it all. If you don't want to change it, maybe you don't need to track it.
Create more than you consume, and develop a bias toward action.
Beware the tendency to not scrutinize your credit card point purchases.
Totally off-topic, but maybe till'll resonate with you. How I manage my To Dos.
When something financially unexpected happens, we all ask ourselves this same question. It's often seen as a negative, but let's turn that on its head.
We spent a week at Disneyland, and I learned a few things about questioning our assumptions.
YNAB's Notes feature is as flexible as your imagination. Let it run wild!
Perhaps generosity benefits the giver in ways not previously considered.
How to you change the status quo? Adopt an extreme behavior for a while, and let it teach you (in surprising ways) some new money lessons.
Sometimes in your excitement to start budgeting, you take the whole "categorization" thing a bit too far. No?
Are you guilty of binging before you crack down? With dieting or budgeting, it's just not healthy
We discuss the opportunity cost of having a fat checking account because you're following the YNAB Way.
If you're running a business with YNAB, should you have it as a separate budget, or part of the same file?
Luckily, budgeting has nothing to do with the olympics. Take another run as often as you want.
The key, is to break it down.
YNAB has a great dollar-for-dollar value proposition, but the intangibles of budgeting are even better.
Winning financially is simple. You just need a pen, a paper, and a plan.
I think I save for its own sake, assuming there's something inherently good about saving "more," regardless of the fact that more remains undefined. Maybe I should relax.
YNAB had a banner year (thank you for telling your friends and family!). 2014 shall be the year of the status quo.
Since Julie took over the budget, things are green. Christmas is no different. We've been saving all year for it. It's exactly how you too, can have yourself a merry little Christmas.
This "loophole" isn't a loophole at all. It's actually a plain Jane tax planning strategy that can be employed by almost anyone, with even the most boring of tax returns. You can contact Casey directly at email@example.com.
I've brought back my tax adviser, Casey Murdock, for another podcast. He should be your adviser too. We discuss the fringe world of tax credit and deduction phaseouts. You can contact Casey directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inspired by Mark's blog post over on the blog, we discuss the very true (albeit depressing) principle that once you finance something, everything else you purchase is also "financed."
I reminisce, and then look forward.
A discussion on how I use YNAB to manage our real estate investing.
This is awesome. Having Julie "own" the budget has been just short of revolutionary.
I've handed the Budgetingi Reins over to my wife, Julie. She'll do a better job, and our relationship will be even better for it. Here what lead up to this, and why it's going to be awesome.
An interview with my favorite personal finance blogger, Mr. Money Mustache. He retired at 30 years old, and he and his wife and son live a luxurious life on just under $30,000 per year. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PODCAST YOU WILL LISTEN TO THIS YEAR. :)
An interview with Jeff Rose, CFP and author of Soldier of Finance. You can snag a chance for a free copy by going to http://goodfinancialcents.com/ynabbook
My thoughts on cellphones, not just smartphones, and how we're being sold a bill of goods that's costing us money, and decreasing quality of life. And yes, I'm going for "dramatic" here.
Mark's blog post from a while back spurred this commentary. My thoughts on financial priorities regarding the big picture, longer-term stuff.
With your budget, especially for those just starting, just show up. Keep it simple, do what you're told, and…just show up.
Sometimes creation trumps consumption purely for its own sake; where you're satisfied on a personal level, even though the math doesn't work.
Sometimes the best way to start thinking about making extra income is to think small. Really small. Don't let visions of grandeur slow you down.
There are a few ways to apply Rule Two (Save for a Rainy Day) to your wildly fluctuating income situation. This also applies if you happen to receive windfalls, but are otherwise on a fairly steady income.
Your budget will never be perfect, because you're dealing with imperfect variables (people, external events, and bad data).
The key is to give them a taste of how good it feels to save up and pay for something. Positive, achievable, and life-changing.
(Holiday spending target - current category balance) / six months remaining = your monthly contributions for the rest of 2013.
There are three secrets to budgeting successfully on even the wildest of variable incomes. Here they are.
If you just decide things are great, maybe a monthly budget is a bit too frequent…how long would you last before the lack of frequency/familiarity left you sinking back into your old ways?
YNAB's (very successful) headline on the homepage sends the message of "control," but most people say they don't like budgets because they feel controlled. Which is it?
How old is the last dollar you spent?
This is a quick riff on how you could (quite easily) handle accounts receivable in YNAB.
This should probably just be a replay of my interview with Leo from ZenHabits.net. The key to money (and probably everything else in life) is to be happy in the moment.
The pathway to wealth is paved with patience.
Your "Miscellaneous" category is a black box of spending. Is that spending a reflection of your values? Or are you being lazy? And should you care anyway? We discuss :)
This is the end of that debate.
Having the choice to create a taxable event (or avoid one) is extremely powerful when it comes to minimizing your life's single biggest expense.
It involved a company that made karaoke machines. I got lucky.
I take a few minutes to explain how we use YNAB with the kids. We have five kids, so there's proof that it scales.
Anyone can keep pace when the treadmill is level, you're not carrying any extra weight, and the speed is slow. But what happens when Big Events change that? What drove you to the point where you thought, "We need a budget!?"
What causes discontent with money? What influences how you spend your money, what you value, and whether you're truly happy?
I interview my favorite Behavior Designer of all time, BJ Fogg of the Standford Persuasive Technology Lab. BJ and I discuss key principles for creating lasting, positive behavior change in your life. You'll love this.
Savings without purpose is savings frittered away. Make sure you're saving with purpose!
An interview with my tax advisor, and the author of Tax Insight, Casey Murdock. He's a tax genius, and he saved me 20k in taxes a few years ago. Case closed!
I get to interview a fellow man-cave enthusiast and personal finance blogger who writes one of my favorite money blogs: BudgetsAreSexy.com. Of course I'd like it.
More about our car purchase from December. Now that the dust has settled, here's what's really freaking me out.
If you're getting the big goals taken care of, nothing else really matters.
I'm pleased to announce the launch of "YNAB Works!" A Home Study Guide+DVD Video package for schools, clients, kids of awesome parents, employees…basically anyone you care about :)
Instead of takling about how we budget, which is just how I teach, and nothing special. I wanted to discuss everything else financial, how and why I do the things I do, and let you then draw your own conclusion. I'm no expert on this, butit may give you some ideas.
Are you finances managed with the future in mind? Where YOU could sleep through anything?
I have two rules when it comes to buying a car. Don't buy new, and don't finance it. Broke both of those.
When you're in a job you don't like, there's friction, because you're not spending your time doing something you love. When your money's misbehaving, there's friction. Because your money isn't doing things you love.
My interview with Joe Mihalic, who paid off $90,000 of debt in 7 months, because he got intense, got focused, and made it happen. You can catch Joe's book on Amazon (for $2.99) called Destroy Student Debt - a Combat Guide to Freedom.
What will your holiday season look like 13 months from now? And why am I making you think about it?!
I'm throwing down here. Not really. Did a major, MAJOR closet cleaning, and it feels GREAT!
In this interview, I speak with Linda I (psuedonym), a Debtor's Anonymous participant. The program deserves a serious look if you, or someone you know, has a serious debt addiction.
It turns out that protecting yourself from Identity Theft doesn't mean you have to give up Facebook (whew), or stop shopping online (whew, love me some Amazon Prime). I interview Robert Siciliano, an ID Theft Expert, and he basically put me at ease on the whole situation.
My little brother got his wings from the Air Force this weekend, and on the tour, I got to see an air traffic control room. Guess what it reminded me of?
If you're like most (and you probably are), you're driving too much car. Consider how it just might be keeping you from the financial goals you REALLY care about.
This is epicly long. My first goal with YNAB was to make our $350 rent. And now in 2011 we were Utah's 9th fastest growing company. Who…woulda…thought.
I love what Jon Stein's doing over at Betterment. If you're afraid of investing, you should listen to this. If you want to be lazy about your investing, you should listen to this.
If I ever start another company, it will be to make a toaster so well-built, you'll pass it on to your grandkids. Has the "cheaper is better" skewed our instincts that used to follow the law of the harvest?
What's your retirement savings rate? Have you started saving for retirement? What aspects of your retirement nest egg are actually in your control?
Todd was a panelist at FinCon12, where the topic was the new retirement. I was impressed by Todd's analytical approach, and approachableness (is that a word?) on the topic. He also managed to find financial freedom by age 35. And by "find", I mean work his tail off to get there.
I LOVED doing this interview! Leo really helped me think through priorities, gaining clarity, and determining what matters. I'm more zen-like because of it :)
The study says $70,000 and it's gotten me thinking about downsizing. Not the house really, just in general. Though nothing's off the chopping block just yet.
You're not really saving money. You're simply acknowledging future expenses.
I interivew Jill Pollack, an organization expert, and host of "Consumed", a one-hour de-cluttering/life-changing TV show for HGTV Canada. She shares some great tips on finding some breathing room with your stuff!
As part of the #LifeAware Life Insurance Movement, I bring on special guest, Jeff Rose, Cerftified Financial Planner, founder of Alliance Wealth Management, and blogger at GoodFinancialCents.com.
You may make "good money", but you don't feel like you're getting ahead. You just don't think you're gaining any traction. You may not have a good grasp on your True Expenses.
I set out to have Dan talk about pursuing your passion, and it ended up turning a bit into my own personal coaching session! Dan Miller is a best-selling author, speaker, and career coach. We discuss careers, goals, passions, and more.
If you carry a credit card balance from month to month, your credit cards should be destroyed. If you're operating by YNAB's 4 Rules, Credit Cards offer some advantages.
I interview Joe, a motivational speaker that was motivated to change his finances for the better. He's also started using YNAB in a very unique way -- and it has nothing to do with money!
I'm no marriage counselor, but I do sell for a living, and I think you have to sell your Spouse on budgeting.
There's always lots of talk about your "nest egg" in retirement…and lots of sexy-sounding words when it comes to investing (ETF! Diversification!) but the most important number is the one that's never talked about.
In the wake of an eventful, learning-filled, stressful launch of YNAB 4…what IS YNAB?
New software is great (and YNAB 4 really is great), but the software isn't the reason YNAB works.
I returned from a 50-mile backpacking trip in a fairly remote area of Utah. Of course every single thing I experienced can be tied back to budgeting. Because budgeting is awesome.
Bill has been using YNAB for three years, along with Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover method. They're debt free, and are working to pay down their mortgage as fast as possible.
Prepping for a 50-mile hike is a lot like the monthly budget meeting. This topic is oozing metaphors.
Kind of hesitant to share this, because up until now I haven't made it public. But what the heck. The key for me paying my home off before I turned 30 was incessant focus, and long hair.
Will has been using YNAB for about five months and, since he only had nice things to say about it, I thought he made a great success story ;)
More things change, the more they stay the same. Banks want you to borrow money--badly. And there are some interesting developments in the Personal Finance Management (PFM) space to help you do just that. Here's a heads up.
What's the harm in starting over? What are some good reasons to hit the 'reset' button, and when should you keep on truckin'?
What does it mean to fail at budgeting? It, frankly, doesn't mean much of anything.
A rambling discussion of accounts, categories, cash, and just trying to do everything you can to simplify your budget process, while still deriving all of the benefit it provides.
When backpacking, you don't eat all of your food the first day. When you receive a paycheck, you don't spend all of your money the first day either. Also, handling a wildly variable income.
This church out of Idaho has been using YNAB as part of their bible study groups -- for SIX YEARS. I have a long conversation with them about how it's helped them, what they'd like to see improved, and tacos.
When it rains, it pours, right? Sometimes that's our own doing (and demise). Financially speaking, of course.
If you're not operating in reality, you don't know what you want. If you don't knowo what you want, you won't get it.
Can YNAB serve your business just as well? Well, YNAB's serving YNAB well.
Your budget has a boiling point. Dial it back a few notches so you can stick to your budget for the long haul.
I talk with Mason (who created our podcast bump music) about how his finances are now rockin' with YNAB.
Five minutes trying to convince you that adjusting your budget is not only correct, it's a best practice.
Are you too poor to budget? Absolutely not!
The debt snowball is tried and true, but what's the debt snowflake? It's more effective than it sounds :)
Automation is a two-edged sword. Used wisely, it will revolutionize your finances. Used poorly, it will do nothing for you (it may even hurt you, in a financial way).
Taxes are your life's single biggest expense. Cozy up with the tax code and minimize as if your financial life depended on it!
A YNAB success story interview with Brian from Portland. We wax philosophical about present you, and future you (Rules One & Two), and Brian talks about his transition from Quicken.
Baker and his wife had an epiphany the night their daughter was born. With the answer to one simple question, they found freedom. This will get you thinking!
"Simple ways to stop doing dumb things with money" is the tagline of Carl's book, "The Behavior Gap". Stop doing dumb things when it comes to investing? I'll take one of those please!
Erin Lowell, YNAB's head of Education, jumps onto the program to introduce our new New Year's Crash Course. One more way to help you get this money thing done RIGHT.
I discuss some of the whys behind our 12/2011 site redesign.
I interview Sheridan from Orange County, California. She's now been using YNAB for 2.5 years, and won't be going back to Quicken any time soon!
I relate my experience with BJ Fogg's 3 Tiny Habits program, and how that ties in so beautifully to budgeting--specifically staying on top of recording your transactions.
A few words on Christmas, why January's so important to your Christmas spending, and weak reports. Also, a hat tip to the best report of all.
One of the more embarrassing moments of my teenage years taught me a great lesson about budgeting, breathing, and the crushing effects of five pounds.
An interview with Brian from Massachusetts, a freelance video editor, that now feels content--even with a large drop in income.
Lavish spending. Your budgeting indulgence. No judgement here, as long as it's purposeful and done with total awareness.
The basics of Rule Two (Save for a Rainy Day), and then how you combine Rules One and Two to begin making VERY good financial decisions. This episode will answer the question you may have asked yourself, "I make enough. Why aren't I getting ahead?"
Wait, I thought we were budgeting. What's all this talk about goals, mini-goals, and habits? Yeah, you're not budgeting. You're becoming an unbelievably effective goal setter/reacher.
70% of people live paycheck to paycheck, but did you know the interesting part of that statistic that isn't often quoted? It will surprise you, and perhaps spur you on to decide that $1000 is the new $0. Rule Four, "Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck" is discussed as it relates to doing hard things :)