YNAB

Jon and I have been using Mint.com for a few years now and it has been helpful, but a few months ago we decided to try out a new budgeting tool. One of Jon’s friends told him about YNAB so we decided to try it out.

It is definitely a little more detailed than Mint and requires some getting used to. You basically budget out all the money you get every month, so even if it goes into savings it still gets budgeted out. Then you have various categories that your assign budgets too. So for spending Jon and I each have a category, there is a kids category, a home category and a gifts category. We also have an eating out budget and a grocery/household budget. Every time we make a purchase we enter it into YNAB and assign it to the correct category.

At first it was hard.

It was hard to get into the habit of entering in every single thing and it was hard to stay within each budget. But we have been using it since September and now we love it. Jon and I have both talked about how it is actually more freeing then limiting. For example, I tend to not buy things to decorate our house because I feel like I already spend too much money at Target or wherever. But now we have a specific house budget. So there is money already allotted for that purpose. If I want to buy new throw pillows or curtains I can, without worrying about over spending.

It is also nice to be able to track our spending down to a pretty detailed level as well as working on saving up in certain categories. For example, we allot a certain amount per month in gifts and some months we spend it, but others we don’t. We are hoping to have enough by Christmas to just be able to buy gifts straight from that category.

All in all, it has been really great for our spending habits (or I guess I should say my spending habits since Jon is much more of a saver than I am).

What about you, any budgeting tools you like?

-Lauren-

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