I mentioned yesterday how I started to manage all those mushrooms by the use of a budget and that that helped me get a focus on what I doing. It initially started with a spreadsheet that acted as a yearly overview, eventually progressing to being complimented by the use of computer program then lately the incorporation of tablet apps.
After managing my personal finances in this manner for some years. I stumbled upon a system called You Need a Budget (known and pronounced as YNAB) by happen-chance. I wasn’t looking to change my approach in controlling the finances – I was doing fine, just fine! I only found it because I was looking for a new software solution after my previous system stopped syncing correctly between devices and was randomly losing data.
I tried the YNAB free 34 day trial. Yes you do get a whole month to see how it works! And that is as in the full works, unlimited transactions and/or accounts, all totally free. I am not going to repeat the YNAB 4 Rule Methodology here, but it’s safe to say that once I got my head round their system and fully embraced their zero budget logic it was an epiphany; opening my eyes to all that I had been doing wrong for all these years. There is also a great community over on their forums with many people who are more than happy to help, whatever the question. They also provide free webinars that cover a whole host of topics (with chances of winning a free copy of YNAB – which I didn’t know about until after purchasing my version!).
Anyway, I digress… gone were the shackles of my old system. My monthly reconciliation used to take me at least 2 hours! 2 hours every month just to balance the books. That was crazy. YNAB showed me a way to have flexibility and how it was possible to move mushrooms around to meet any emergency. I now had a clear way of forecasting my disposable income and I can have funds set aside for those unanticipated financial problems. It almost seemed like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
I have been an avid user of YNAB now since June 2013. I like to think I am very competent in the system but even I, some 18+ months later, still get surprised by the power of this methodology.
Thanks to the YNAB way of life not only can I clearly see where my problems lay, I have also been able to amass some spare mushrooms to sit there in our “family pot” but through the concept of accumulated interest they can still grow me even more mushrooms! And yes, this is whilst I’m still chasing down that large debt.
I could go on, like a born-again Evangelical, about YNAB. But I fear that this post is way too long already and I don’t want to bore the pants off you. All I will say in finishing is that if you are serious about wanting to tackle your personal financial woes then give YNAB a try. What have you got to lose? I promise you won’t regret it and you will sign up for the paid version well before your free trial comes to an end. I know because I did! And when you do sign up for the full version click here to get $6 knocked off the full price.*
* For the purpose of clarity I am in no way sponsored or paid directly by the developers of YNAB. I just love the product! This link is a referral code whereby you get $6 knocked off and I get given $6 for sending you their way!