To The 1,713 People Who …

by Ron Haynes

Last year that’s how many people checked out the budget software links I posted on The Wisdom Journal. Unfortunately, they all went to Mvelopes or Quicken. Those are two good financial software tools, but I don’t think they rank nearly as well as You Need A Budget (YNAB).

Why am I so excited about YNAB?

This is the only budgeting software I’ve run across that has a plan as part of it’s core to help you get out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. That’s right. By following along and doing your budget the YNAB way, you’ll begin to live on LAST month’s income, not THIS month’s income.

Why is living on last month’s income so significant?

It gives you an income buffer. If your best friend unexpectedly comes into town and wants to go out for dinner, it won’t bust your spending plan to do so because you’ll have a buffer – living on last month’s income allows that.  The buffer money comes from any cash that you save or don’t spend and YNAB helps you do that too.

The Four Rules of YNAB

  1. Stop living paycheck-to-paycheck
  2. Give every dollar a job
  3. Save for a rainy day
  4. Roll with the punches

You probably understand the first three rules, they’re self explanatory, but that last rule, “Roll with the punches,” is what really motivates so many people to use YNAB. Budgets aren’t meant to be written in stone. Sometimes you DO have friends drop in from out of town, sometimes you DO need to buy a new pair of work shoes, sometimes you DO have to fly out of town to a funeral. Surprises happen, and when they do, most people who are already struggling to live within a budget just give up, or fall woefully behind. YNAB helps you get over those challenges in an intuitive, simple, and effective way.

YNAB doesn’t encourage you to give up saving for an emergency fund. No, you still fund your savings for emergencies and at the same time, all those little leaks that previously went unnoticed are plainly visible. Money you know about can be re-captured – and that is the beauty of YNAB.

You can try out their software FREE for 7 days and should you decide to buy, for a limited time, the great people at YNAB are giving readers of The Wisdom Journal a 10 percent discount if they use the coupon code “wisdom” at checkout. Additionally, I am giving away one copy of their software out of my own pocket to a randomly selected reader of this blog. All you have to do is leave a comment on one of my posts about this fantastic budgeting software (including the post you’re currently reading). Include a topic you’d like me to write about in the future and I’ll register your name for two entries! The drawing will be help February 1st!

Go ahead, leave a comment – what have you got to lose?

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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I’m hoping if I win this budgeting software, it will show both dh and I where the little squirrels are stealing from. (quick trips to 7-11 for ice cream and bottled water) It’s not fun to say – oh hey, we can’t save money since you just spent $6 on nothing) It sure adds up! I’d like to see you write about men switching careers in their late 40s, early 50s. Thank you!


You need a BB gun for those squirrels! Haha!
Great idea for a topic. It might make my boss nervous though — that’s MY demographic!


I’ve tried the trial and I love it. Awesome piece of software!

I’d like to read about how college students can improve their finances/save money.

Thanks. :)


Glad to hear it. The great thing about the folks at YNAB is that if you have already bought their software and you’re the winner in the drawing, they will REFUND your money. You really can’t lose!


Great looking software. I have been using MS Money for while, but need something more. Maybe I can give this a try. Also, I recently found out how much people really spend on month to month (rent to own) items compared to actually purchasing things, and it is helping their credit. Some co-workers are currently doing this and when you add it up, I hate to say what it costs. May do some comparisons, pay as you go phone to plans, rent to own, buying a house or renting, monthly insurance or plans.


It’s really simple and intuitive. YNAB isn’t for people with complicated investment portfolios but for the average person like me, it is fantastic.

Mr. Pilgrim

I’m looking for that magic program to get me saving, could this be it? Saving has always been a hassle for me. Something always wipes me out when I get a little saved. I will take a look at this.


If you’ll put something away on a regular basis, AND NOT TELL ANYONE ELSE, saving money becomes a lot easier. Drop me an email and I can send you a link to the ING online savings account. When you open one with at least $250, they will give you an additional $25 to get started (full disclosure: they also send me $10).

Ken T

Purchased the software in December, great tool, got my wife on board too. Easy way to track our spending gave all our dollars a ‘job’ and already have found some extra, or left over money.
Need a copy for our single daughter who now lives on her own.

How about ideas or options for paying down your mortgage while already in retirement.
Thanks for all the great info.


I need all the help I can get


I love your blog and would love to have this software!

Griff (Financial Freedom 5G Team)

yea, I’d love to check out the software. thanks for the opportunity.


I’m currently banging my head against the wall trying to do my first real budget. Every time I think I’ve completed it – another “incidental” expense pops in my mind and I must reconfigure the dang thing…I’m checking it out.


I’d love to try YNAB! :-) I would like to see an article about transitioning from paycheck to paycheck to not


Count me in.
I’d like to see something on what to do after your budget is in place.

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