San Francisco, California

You Need a Budget

For the past couple of days I’ve been using You Need A Budget, a web app that’s designed around a rather simple premise: every dollar you earn should have a job, whether that’s paying for dumb stuff like video games, or paying off student debt, or buying coffee or food.

That simple premise makes an enormous difference to me though.

With a quick scan I can finally see where my money is going over the next couple of months without it feeling like a stress-induced nightmare. Each bucket or category gives me an idea of whether I’m paying off my debts or whether I’m going out too much. And I know this sounds silly but that simple act of giving every dollar a job suddenly changes my whole relationship with money. Because of that I’ve already held off on buying things that I might otherwise have thought screw it, this is just a few bucks, why not?

Not only that but I love the way that the folks over at YNAB write. Their emails give you advice about finance stuff and how to use the app but unlike almost every other bit of marketing copy out there it’s always insightful and interesting to read. There’s no junk at all and that always makes me respect a company if the writing isn’t riddled with sound bites or catch phrases.

Thanks to Kelly Sutton for the constant stream of recommendations that finally led to me checking out YNAB. I would highly recommend that you sign up, too.