Happy New Year: Do You Need a Budget?

1 Jan

YNAB_logoHappy New Year! I love a new year for many reasons, but one of my favorite reasons is that it’s a new opportunity to restart. Each year I start off with new ideas, goals to aim for, achieve. As the year progresses, those goals become realized…or not. Either way, when a new year approaches, I appreciate the opportunity to evaluate the previous year and think through ways to simplify and streamline my life. This system of evaluation leaves no stone unturned in my life; I enjoy thinking through changes and new ideas for my personal life, the realm of our home-cooking & keeping house, my family, homeschool, finances, etc.

With 2013, there will be no huge changes, though, to one realm of our life–the family budget. Thankfully, for our family, we discovered a new, FABULOUS budgeting software, You Need a Budget, back in the Fall. My husband and I discussed and determined a budget while engaged 11 years ago and implemented that budget months later when we were married. Living on a budget was not a new concept for us. However, we had always struggled with the best way to stay “in the know” about the status of our budget spending from day-to-day. We used the envelope system, in theory, through the budget software that was on our home computer. Our “envelopes” and allotted money were on the computer rather than in our wallets. The only problem for me was that I didn’t know how much was in each budget item at any point in the day. If I was making a big shopping trip, I would check the computer before leaving home, but I wasn’t always able to do that. I tried to explain that to my sweet, accountant-major husband, and he loved the power of the Accounting/Budget Software we were using on our computer. So, we “bee-bopped” along for 10 years of marriage, always agreeing on our budget, but neither of us loving the inability to check out budget numbers when away from our home computer. However, our introduction to You Need a Budget (YNAB) has changed all of that!

At any moment of any day, my husband can whip out his fancy-pants IPhone 5 and check the YNAB App to see the status of our budget. Me, with my broken-screen IPod Touch (not-so-fancy-pants) well, I can also access the YNAB App over any WiFi connection to check the numbers. I LOVE THAT! I love the boundaries and freedom of a budget, so having YNAB at the touch of my fingers is glorious. We control our money; our money doesn’t control us.

So, if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to create and implement a budget, I would encourage you to look into YNAB. My husband wrote a lengthy, in-depth guest post back in September with his favorite things about YNAB. You can read the post here. As for me, (cue Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music, my favorite movie), these are a few of my favorite things about YNAB:

1) Access 24/7 for me and my husband–We can access our budget, expenditures any moment of any day on his Iphone and my Ipod Touch. I’m in Target, wanting to buy a cute new sweater. Is it in the budget, I ask? Hmmm…let me check YNAB. After checking my “mad money” line item in our budget, I can quickly determine if I can buy it or not. It’s that easy. 🙂 No smartphone? The desktop version for your computer is just as marvelous!

2) Real-time updates–If my husband is out for lunch a picks up a few things for me at the grocery store, when he enters the receipt into YNAB, it immediately shows up in YNAB for both of us. That was one of my biggest struggles when we had the high-powered Account Software on our home computer, the lag time in charges could be 24-48 hours. Thus, what we saw on the computer screen wasn’t always the actual numbers. YNAB updates immediately.

3) It’s easy to use–My accountant-major husband understood our high-powered Accounting Software that we’d used in our previous decade of marriage. Me, not so much. My budgeting system was a spiral notebook and pencil prior to marriage. Before YNAB, I never felt like I had a full grasp of how we were doing on our budget as we rolled on through life. YNAB has changed all of that for me, us.

4) My husband loves his Iphone, so he’s all over YNAB–Getting my sweet husband to update our budget on our high-powered Accounting Software was not always easy. It was usually a task that he did once a week. So, the other 6 days of the week, I was clueless as to how much money was left in each category. Since my husband uses his Iphone so much throughout the day, he checks YNAB multiple times daily. He’s a little OCD anyway…and so those tendencies are coming out with YNAB with no complaints from me. 🙂 YNAB has given him more motivation, desire to know (sometimes every 30 minutes, ha!) what’s going on with our money. I LOVE THAT! We are communicating more about our finances, financial goals daily. Thank you, YNAB!

5) We have YNAB disciples,  making more YNAB disciples–We’ve shared with several friends about YNAB, and they’ve started using it. I love hearing how much they are loving it, too. The tell-tale sign that YNAB’s working for them is that several of them have gotten their friends and families switched over to YNAB. The proof’s in the pudding; it works.

So, start 2013 out with a bang, set yourself up on a budget with YNAB. You’ll be glad that you did! 🙂 Even better, click here to purchase YNAB and get $6 off your purchase.

Happy 2013!

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5 Responses to “Happy New Year: Do You Need a Budget?”

  1. Jesse Mecham January 4, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    Hi Suzanne, thanks so much for writing about YNAB and spreading the word! I love that your husband is now fully engaged in the receipt-entering aspect of it 🙂 His OCD-ness is fantastic!

    • Suzanne Shares January 6, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

      Thanks for your comment! Thank you most of all for creating YNAB! WE LOVE IT! It’s such a blessing to be able to share about this FABULOUS budget software with my readers! To say that we’re YNAB fans would be, well, an understatement! 🙂 I appreciate you taking the time to stop by my blog and comment! Please keep the wonderfully practical, helpful, amazing YNAB brilliance coming! Blessings to you!

  2. Janna McGregor January 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    We are going to do this. Thanks for sharing. You posted about it a while back and honestly, i forgot. So, this is perfect timing. The envelope system did not work for us. We have tried things like Quickbooks, etc. The live aspect of this program seems attractive and I hope it works. We do pretty well overall, but this will help us fine tune and have better communication. Thanks girl! Hope you are well. Love ya.

    • Suzanne Shares January 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

      YAY! so glad you guys are going to try it! WE LOVE IT! it’s been such a blessing to our family! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the live aspect of YNAB; I hope you will, too. There are GREAT resources on the “Support” section of their website: http://www.youneedabudget.com/support Also, my husband has really enjoyed the YNAB Podcasts via Itunes. He said that the first several ones are geared towards setting up YNAB and were very helpful to him. Enjoy! 🙂 Hope that you guys are well!!! 🙂 Miss seeing you! 🙂 much love!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pampered Chef Favorite #6-Apple Peeler, Corer, Slicer « Suzanne Shares - January 22, 2013

    […] So, I called up my neighbor and Pampered Chef consultant and asked to borrow hers! She graciously let me, so I was in business. I made apple and pear sauce for days on end. (Yes, it can be used on pears, too!) It freezes beautifully and because several of our breakfast recipes (including this one!) call for apple sauce, I have used every package that I froze. The pear sauce that I made and froze lasted our family for 4 months! Isn’t that amazing?!?! I haven’t had to buy applesauce at the store for FOUR MONTHS. I feel so very Martha Stewart and Ma Ingalls (well, probably, only like Ma!) making my own pear sauce. I never would’ve attempted this had it not been for Aimee’s Pampered Chef Corer/Peeler/Slicer. Thank you Pampered Chef for helping me save lots of $$ in our “grocery” line item of our budget. […]

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