What better way to start the new year than with an annual budget review? Reviewing your budget is a relatively quick and simple exercise that will pay dividends throughout the year in saved time, effort, and frustration. I use YNAB (You Need a Budget) to map out my spending and saving plans and consider it a valuable and integral part of my money management system. While the process I outline below makes regular mention of the YNAB software, you can apply the same steps to whatever budgeting … [Read more...] about How to Conduct an Annual Budget Review (and Why You Should)
Budgeting & Planning
Why YNAB? A Detailed Breakdown of YNAB’s Unique Layered Approach to Budgeting
YNAB (pronounced Y-nab) is a popular budgeting software application. It has a loyal following, myself included. And for good reason. What makes YNAB (it's an acronym for You Need A Budget) so unique and why it stands so distinctly apart from other budgeting apps and spreadsheets is its combination of three vital budgeting concepts. I don't mean features. Features come and go. The YNAB development team has added and removed lots of features over the years in the software's progression from a … [Read more...] about Why YNAB? A Detailed Breakdown of YNAB’s Unique Layered Approach to Budgeting
New Tires – Are you ready?
Listen up, fellow budgeters. As you know, I’m all about being financially prepared for the irregular expenses in life. One of the many expenses I point out when discussing irregular expenses (those that don’t happen monthly but do occur on a regular and somewhat predictable schedule) is tires. Yup, new tires for your vehicle(s). My family owns two Subarus. We love them. We’re Subaru devotees. But being a Subaru owner means being prepared to replace four tires all at the same time. Unlike … [Read more...] about New Tires – Are you ready?
K.I.S.S. Your Categories
It can be tempting to go overboard when creating YNAB budget categories. After all, the impetus behind a budget is usually a desire to rein in spending. Or at least figure out where all of our money is going, right? Who wouldn’t be curious to know how much is being spent each month on shampoo or pet chew toys? I encourage my clients to resist the temptation to get too granular with their categories. The time and effort required to break receipts into multiple categories can be a … [Read more...] about K.I.S.S. Your Categories
Four Principles of Finance Wellness
I have a little slideshow I use when I teach a class. It provides the students/audience with something to look at other than me. On the very first slide are my Four Basic Principles of Personal Finance: Spend less than you earn.Understand and identify your needs vs wants.Practice delayed gratification.Let. Money. Sit. At first glance, these rules are ridiculously basic. Simple, even. Laughably simple? Yes. But each one has multiple layers of complexity … [Read more...] about Four Principles of Finance Wellness