I’ve always been money-conscious, but didn’t start budgeting until my mid-twenties. It wasn’t until I wanted to grow my savings, save for a home and a wedding that I sought alternatives and discovered You Need a Budget (YNAB). The YNAB Method resonated with me, and I started giving every dollar a “job” and tracking my true expenses more effectively. YNAB operates like a digital envelope system, allowing customization of categories and targets for all expenses, including “true” expenses. It enabled me to plan for holiday gifts and unexpected costs, giving me peace of mind and flexibility within my budget.
I have a Type-A, über-organized personality, so YNAB appeals to me, but it also helped me and my partner save up for a home down payment and wedding funds, without feeling financially stretched. It was just one of the factors that contributed to our success, and it’s important to note that budgeting alone does not solve all financial issues. Still, it’s a great habit to build over time. While I’m happy to pay for YNAB, there are less expensive tools and manual options, like the envelope system and zero-based budgeting, available for those who prefer not to pay for a subscription. Online communities and YouTube channels like Taylor Budgets and Budget Treasures provide inspiration for getting started.