Life By Kristen

Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it. – Little Women

Book Review: You Need a Budget

Synopsis:

Discover four simple rules to help you stop living paycheck to paycheck, get out of debt, and save more money faster! The You Need A Budget (YNAB) Method has helped tens of thousands of people to turn their financial lives around. It can certainly help you! Whether you’re looking to right an apparently sinking ship, or you just want to implement a system that will require less time “managing” your money, YNAB will most definitely work for you

My review: 4 stars.

I’ve seen the You Need a Budget system (YNAB) on various financial blogs before, but I’m a classic paper and pen gal when it comes to organizing life, and that includes budget, so I’ve never looked into the software that Jesse Mecham developed. I liked this book because it goes in-depth with real life examples of the 4 tenets of the YNAB system:

  1. Give every dollar a job
  2. Embrace true expenses
  3. Roll with the punches
  4. Age your money

A lot of these things I already do, especially #1 and #3. I am a saver and planner by nature and I think my budget reflects that. I keep a pretty tight system- I bring lunch everyday, I contribute to my 401k, but some in savings, have eliminated credit card debt. But what I like about Mecham’s system is that he sees money not just as a numbers system to be conquered, but that the money has to reflect priorities for life. Essentially, we should all ask ourselves: what do I want my money to do for me?

For me, I want to live debt-free. I want to have enough dollars to cover my expenses so that I can live a meaningful life doing work that is fulfilling and challenging, without having to worry about my bottom line and bills every month. This book made me realize I need to be more on top of where the actual dollars are going and pay attention to that. For example, I looked through my spending after reading the book and realized that 2017 had way too much shopping in it.

I really appreciated Mecham’s chapter on budgeting as a couple. Q and I have very different methods for managing our money, especially since Q is almost entirely a cash only guy. It’s taken us awhile to get our act together as a couple financially and to find a system that works for us. Mecham suggests monthly budget dates to go over spending and priorities. I think this is something I’ll try with us, though we’re pretty open about money and spending after 5 years together.

I’d definitely recommend this book if you’re trying to move forward with financial goals and figuring out a system that works well for you and your family. I appreciate that Mecham and the book isn’t a big advertisement for his software ( which has a free trial period, but after there is a usage fee), and that he uses the book as an opportunity to educate about the principles of budgeting in an easy to understand and useable way. I think there are so many complicated budgeting ideas out there it can often feel like you need to be an economist to understand them, but Mecham’s approach makes sense to even the most mathematically challenged like me!

Buy the book!

 

As part of the TLC Book Tour for this book, I was provided an advanced copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

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5 thoughts on “Book Review: You Need a Budget

  1. I LOVE YNAB. I have been using the system for over three years (funny, I am in the process of writing an updated review).

    I just heard about the book and was wondering if it was worth reading (as I am already using the system), but it sounds like there are some interesting chapters (e.g. the one about budgeting as a couple). I handle most of our finances and the budgeting, but J is also more of a cash person than I am (I just try to maximize the payback on my credit cards where I can ;)), so that might be an interesting chapter.

  2. I think I need to check out this book. I do NOT know how to budget, & I’m now 33 years old… it’s time to get my shit in order.

  3. I love the YNAB app and have also just heard they released a book. I haven’t picked up the book yet because I use the system online and have read a lot of their blogs. I wasn’t sure if it was worth it. I think in general the system is amazing for helping people get on the right financial track!

  4. Pingback: Jesse Mecham, author of You Need a Budget, on tour January/February 2018 | TLC Book Tours

  5. I’ve cobbled together my own budgeting tools but never tired working with an app. It sounds like this is exactly what I need in my life!

    Thanks for being a part of this tour!

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