I have been getting on a soap box a lot lately, and thought I would take a moment to put my words into a blog post. This will be a long post, but I have so much passion for this right now that I have to write it down.
I am terrible with money. I live well, but like most people, at the end of the month, the money is gone and I don’t know where it went.
My wife and I have been saying to each other that we need a budget. She or I would take the first step to start an excel document, load up a bunch of numbers, and then pretend we never saw it. Because we would get so overwhelmed, it just never got completed or looked at.
That is… until I found YNAB. Something in this program made the whole idea of managing money click for me. I don’t know why, or how, it just did. They have fantastic videos on their approach, and do it in a very personable manner.
Of course, you will still not have any money at the end of the month (at first), but I think if you stick with it… that will change.
So my challenge to you. If you are someone that knows me well enough (mostly family), and you want to try You Need A Budget, start your free trial now. You have 35 days to use it. If at the end of 35 days, you are convinced that this is for you, but you truly can not afford the $60, I will buy it for you. (Disclaimer: I have the right to turn down any request for any reason) 😀
Keep your categories simple. Track your major expenses, and if you have a bad habit you want to quit, create a category just for that. Track what you are spending and then make an honest assessment. You will be amazed that when you start budgeting and realize that to pay for that habit, you have to knowingly remove money from savings, that you may just want to stop that habit anyway.
And I like the idea of paying yourself first. Start with a small percentage, say 5%. When you get your check, let’s say it’s $100, first things first, put $5 into your savings category. Yes, you may need to use that, but do it anyway. Then when you are budgeting the rest of your money, you will have to knowingly take the money from that savings line, and put it somewhere else. Again, it’s that act of doing this that makes you aware of your money.