This is a re-write of a post I authored back in 2017. Our situation has changed enough since I first wrote about budgeting that I didn’t feel like it was useful anymore as-is.

The job, house, wife, kids, dog, car and beer drinking all caught up with me a couple years ago. We were spending more than we were making, forcing us to budget for the first time. Previously, we were lucky to have enough for our lifestyle, but overtime, we were having troubles paying down the debt and money started to become an uncomfortable part of life.

I had finally gone in search of the problem. Spending was high, unexpected expenses kept popping up, and I noticed we were house poor since Abby left her job to raise the kids.

We tried a few different methods. Mint, a notebook, an online spreadsheet, but none of them really seem to stick.

What did seem to work for us was You Need A Budget (YNAB).

I was not particularly excited about spending money to track money and it was hard to get Abby on board at first but it has stuck and I think it works great.

  • The cost actually makes us use it.
  • The phone apps keep the budget handy and up to date.
  • It is really easy to move money around to account for the unexpected.
  • The videos and support articles all drill the method into your head so you know exactly what to do when the next paycheck comes.
  • It actually feels like a game to me which has kept my interest.

We aren’t all of a sudden rich because of it, but I feel like we are more in control of our money and a little less surprised/worried when unexpected expenses pop up. We plan to stick with it and highly recommend it.