Tag Archives: budget software

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. šŸ™‚ 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. šŸ™‚ 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,Ā  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 lovingĀ it, too. The tell-tale sign that YNAB’s working for them is that several of them have gotten theirĀ 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! šŸ™‚ Even better, click here to purchase YNAB and get $6 off your purchase.

Happy 2013!

Our newly discovered, knocks-our-socks-off budget App (You Need A Budget)

25 Sep
And now, readers, a guest post from my hubby. Enjoy!
The long and winding road of managing personal finances has finally ended for the Mosleys. We have long searched for a financial software that was:
  • simple,
  • not overly time consumingĀ 
  • accessible to both spouses
  • Mac friendly (not required but a plus.)
We tried excel spreadsheets (achieved none of these goals), Quickbooks (not accessible to both spouses and sometimes time consuming) and a few terrible solutions on the Apple App Store (not naming names to avoid defamation lawsuits).
Then we found YNAB (You Need a Budget) for the second time. I tried it about a year ago when it was in version 3, and it left much to be desired. Enter YNAB 4. It is the perfect solution for us. Here are a few reasons:
  1. Simple, user-friendly interface. The desktop and iPhone app versions are clean, easy to use and easy to understand.
  2. Introduces a simple and flexible approach to budgeting. YNAB is similar to the Envelope System without the envelopes and with more flexibility. The software does a great job of implementing this budgeting approach.
  3. Provides confidence and accuracy by keeping track of vendor, bank account and budget account for all charges. Many of the Envelope System solutions available are too simple. They keep track of the vendor and budget account, but they do not keep track of bank accounts. So, it is difficult to know if all charges and expenses have been entered into the software. By keeping track of the vendor, bank account and budget account, YNAB makes it easy to know if all expenses have been entered. Therefore, confidence in the accuracy of the numbers on the screen.
  4. Syncs with multiple devices including Mac, PC, iPhone, iPod touch and several others. There are several accounting programs that will allow me to manage my finances well. The problem? My wife needs to know numerous times a day how much we have available to spend in a particular category. With YNAB, she has instant access on her wireless device at all times. Also, she can enter her expenses as she makes them.
  5. Allows downloads from bank. Are you likely to forget to enter an expense? It is always difficult to enter this manually. With YNAB you do not have to enter them. You can download your data from your bank. Also, YNAB has an excellent ability to recognize and match charges that have already been manually entered.
  6. Has helpful training and support. New systems of budgeting and new software require training. YNAB does it well with online video tutorials.
  7. Free trials for desktop client and apps. It takes about a month to see the YNAB process work. I am guessing that is why they offer a 34-day free trial. It is easy to setup and offers full functionality. They also offer free versions of the iPhone app, but it is not as developed as the paid version. Do not judge the app until you see the paid version.

This list above contains the positives about its functionality. Here are our favorite things about YNAB after using it:

  • We have access to our budget 24/7.
  • When we open YNAB on my iPhone or my wife’s iPod Touch, we have confidence in the amounts of money that we see on the screen. If it’s been spent, it’s in YNAB. We can confidently check the amount of money left in a budget item, say Eating Out, and decide if we have enough money to eat with friends after a soccer game.
  • YNAB has helped us discover areas in our budget where we can save more money! This has occurred without any increases in our income.

So, if you need a budget, you should try You Need a Budget!

–> Click here to purchase and get a $6 coupon off the paid version.