I studied business in school and even went through Financial Peace University, but let me tell you one thing – I am terrible with money. In part, I think it’s due to the fact that I never owned my own car, didn’t have a job til I was in college, and never actually lived completely on my own before I got married. I understand my upbringing completely, but hindsight is just that, hindsight.
I listed to Jesse Mecham’s You Need A Budget and found some great advice in it. Mecham’s YNAB software takes the money you currently have in your bank account and assigns it a task. Each dollar has a job to do.
I had two absolute favorite strategies with Mecham’s system.
- Set your priorities. We all know paying off debt is a priority, so are the regularly occurring bills. But Mecham adds ‘Fun’ to the priority list as well. Let’s think about this for a minute. Why do most budgets fail? Because we do not allow ‘fun’ to be brought to the table. We allow ourselves to be tied down to the budget with no wriggle room. And we ultimately fail. But adding fun things into the budget allows us to have a quality of life and we are willing to stick to the budget. And your priorities can change from month to month. Simply allocate funds from one budget section to another if you need to change. Simple. Easy. Practical.
- Age you money. This is a concept along the lines of ‘the dollar you spend today is the dollar you earned last month.’ It’s building your bank account and knowing where that money is going. For example, I have already received enough money in my paychecks this month to cover all my bills. My paycheck for this week will be allocated to my student loans next month. It’s setting yourself up to be multiple paychecks ahead of your expenses.
I got a lot of great ideas from YNAB, it will definitely be a book that I will purchase hard copy so I can refer to it often.
You Need a Budget by Jesse Mecham receives 4 stars.
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