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You Need A Budget (YNAB)
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You Need A Budget (YNAB)

Author: Jesse Mecham

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A weekly dose of just the right medicine to help you get out of debt, save more money, and beat the paycheck to paycheck cycle.
483 Episodes
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Tackling Fear

Tackling Fear

2020-11-3007:141

The end of the year is nigh, and 2020 has been one of the most stressful in recent memory. Jesse offers some advice for those dealing with fear and anxiety during these times.   During times of fear and uncertainty, Jesse draws on Stephen R. Covey's seminal book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The first habit is to be proactive and take responsibility for your reactions to events. To that end, Covey asks readers to consider their circle of influence -- What do you control? Where do you not have control? Drawing a very clear picture of your circle of influence, and defining what you don't control, can help with realizing what things you ought to be fear and what things are outside your influence, and thus should be outside your concern (or at least unworthy of spending mental bandwidth on). When people start budgeting, they often can't control what they make, but they can control some of things they spend on. So focusing on spending, giving their money a job, and following the four steps brings their attention to concrete, actionable things within their circle of influence.   Secondly, Jesse recommends learning more about the things you are fearful of. What information could you gather about a topic that would help you better understand it? If you are fearful about money, how about understanding how much you have in your checking account right now? Then take another step. What does that money need to do between now and the next time you get paid? Gathering data points and information about the things causing you fear and anxiety can help make them seem more manageable.   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse and Taylor Brown, YNAB's Chief Technology Officer, celebrate the company being named Fortune's #1 Best Place to Work in Small Business in 2020. Jesse and Taylor take a walk down memory lane, reminiscing about the very early days of YNAB and how they much they've grown since, both as a company and as leaders within the business. The moniker "best place to work" doesn't just happen, but rather is a consequence of Jesse and Taylor's work in defining their company and employee values and consistently acting on those principles over the years.   Of course winning this honor is due to the work of everyone at YNAB, especially the operations team (lead by COO Chance Gurr) whose responsibility is making sure YNAB is a rewarding place to work. So, Jesse and Taylor wish to thank everyone at YNAB for their hard work and for embodying the company's values every day.   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse sits down with acclaimed finance writer and entrepreneur Ramit Sethi for a long chat about the mindset of financial success, how to think like an entrepreneur, and why the most important question about personal finance you need to be able to answer is... "Why?".   Ramit is the author of the 2009 New York Times Best Seller, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, and the founder of Earnable, a community of entrepreneurs in which he coaches people how to think like entrepreneurs, develop viable business ventures, and market effectively to grow their business.   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse interviews wellness expert, educator, and entrepreneur Robyn Conley Downs about applying her strategies for wellness to making lasting change in budgeting.   You can find Robyn here: Real Food Whole Life: https://realfoodwholelife.com/about/ IG: @realfoodwholelife   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
In the world of cost accounting, there's a concept known as contribution margin. Basically, it's how much you make on a product or service after you consider how much it cost to make that thing. The formula is revenue less the variable costs that go into making the product. Contribution margin is an important metric for businesses because it tells you whether you are making a profit on the things you sell. After all, it would do no good to sell a bunch of t-shirts for $18 a piece, if each of them costs you $20 to make!   Now, Jesse asks, what if we apply this concept to our life? We have jobs that earn us revenue. What do they cost to do? Time, obviously, but perhaps also driving/commuting, stress? The point is, the things that earn us money have a non-zero cost associated with them, and it's wise to keep track of that cost and make sure, at the end of the day, that we are using our time in a profitable manner.   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
You Are Building WEALTH

You Are Building WEALTH

2020-10-2604:111

It's not a dirty word, so let's say it together -- wealth! At YNAB, we often use the words "save money," and it's a more approachable concept, something that seems achievable in the short term. Wealth can seem like such a far-off concept sometimes. But at the end of the day, that's what we're all trying to do, is to build wealth that will allow us to do more of what we want to do in life.   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Just Settle In

Just Settle In

2020-10-1905:04

While canning tomatoes from a bumper crop, Jesse realized the process was going to take a looooooong time. His wife advised him, simply, to "just settle in." Anything that yields great results in the future takes both upfront effort and perseverance. Whether it's gardening, putting up vegetables for the winter, or budgeting, you have to settle in.   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse lays out a strategy for managing unknown expenses without continually dipping into your emergency fund. Traditional budgeting advice tells you to create an emergency fund for dealing with unforeseen expenses, but often people end up using their emergency funds for irregular, but foreseeable expenses -- things like new tires, new cars, A/C repair, etc. They don't happen regularly, maybe only every several years, but if you look into the future you know they are coming.   For YNAB'ers that are following Rule #2, Embracing Your True Expenses, these aren't true emergencies, and they are already covered in the budget. In the rare event of a true emergency that catches you off guard, Jesse recommends that rather than spending money out of your global emergency fund, set up a new category for that expense. Maybe it's a house repair that you had never encountered before. Make a new category for that type of repair, and start a new sinking fund for it like you do for other Rule #2 expenses.   Over time, this strategy will give you useful data about your true expenses, so that you can be more prepared for next time.   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Jesse tackles the defeatist attitude some people develop that they are just no good with money. As they say, comparison is the thief of joy, and we should add, it's very misleading when it comes to money! Watching what other people do with their money isn't particularly helpful or relevant to your own situation. Bottom line, being smart with your money simply means knowing what you want your money to do, and allowing it do that for you. This is something anyone can do!   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Lifestyle Creep?

Lifestyle Creep?

2020-09-2803:59

Recently someone asked Jesse about his thoughts on preventing lifestyle creep, a major supposed gremlin of budgeting. Jesse doesn't even like the question, and discusses why worrying about lifestyle creep is looking at budgeting in the wrong light.   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Recently Jesse received an email from a woman who claimed YNAB was really a program about mindfulness... just using money and budgeting as the entry point. So Jesse invited this woman onto the podcast to talk about the connection between mindfulness, meditation, and money. Welcome to Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau, a mindfulness expert, yoga instructor, and filmmaker currently residing in Madison, WI where she runs The Studio.   The Studio: https://www.thestudiomadison.com/about-us-2/   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
Progress Purchases

Progress Purchases

2020-09-1404:02

Let's face it, it feels good to buy things. That's not necessarily a bad thing, either. Spending on hobbies or other things that bring you value -- maybe a date with your partner -- makes you feel good for a good reason.   However, from time to time we need to check the rationale behind our purchases. Maybe you intend to start a new exercise regime, so you buy new shoes and clothes and perhaps a new journal as well to document your progress. But have you actually started the program yet?   Often simply purchasing something related to your goals can make you feel like you've made progress.... when, unfortunately, that's not really the case! Jesse calls these "progress purchases," and warns you to watch out for them!   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
We're all familiar with the situation. A person reads a book, learns a new skill, or discovers a method, and gets REALLY INTO IT. Brimming with enthusiasm, they share it with their partner and try to get them involved, only to be met by reluctance and intransigence. The reluctant partner is a common trope, even when it comes budgeting!   The idea that your partner is dragging their feet because they don't share your goals about budgeting and personal finance, however, is a false one. In Jesse's and the YNAB team's experience, the reluctant partner is often simply overwhelmed. They usually want to share the goals and aspirations of their partner, and share in the process of attaining them, but the speed and intensity of the habit changes may be too much.   So if you're just getting into YNAB, break it gently to your partner. Talk about your goals, get on the same page about your finances, then start talking about the process of getting there. Small steps are the key to change!   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
By popular request, Jesse flips through his office bookshelves and discusses the books he's read recently... and, well, some that he hasn't but is getting around to!   This week he covers books in the “business” category, ranging from marketing, advertising, management theory, team building, and customer service. Many of these books have had an influence on the way YNAB operates and its success.   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
By popular request, Jesse scans though his office bookshelf and discusses the books he's read recently... and, well, some that he hasn't but is getting around to!   This week he covers books in the "general" category, basically anything that isn't specifically about business. Next week he will cover the books on his business shelf.   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com  
Jesse interviews a YNAB'er, nurse practitioner Naseema, about how she used YNAB and the four rules to pay off an extraordinary $200k of debt in just under two years, all while going through some tough life transitions.   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
YNAB'er Elizabeth wrote into the podcast asking for clarification of Rule Three -- can you use it too often?   Simply put, If you aren't reaching your goals, Jesse says, you're misusing Rule Three. If you aren't saving the money you thing you should be saving, then Rule Three has become an escape hatch for your budget, instead of an empowering tool.   Scarcity is a powerful motivator for budgeting. Embracing the fact that you have limited dollars, and that you cannot rob from your future self to pay unexpected expenses today, means you will have to become comfortable saying "no."   If you'd like to write into the show, email Jesse your questions at podcast@youneedabudget.com.   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
COVID Conquerors

COVID Conquerors

2020-08-0307:04

With everything that has transpired this year, we could all use some positive news. Today Jesse highlights a couple of positive stories from YNAB users who have managed to save money and stabilize their financial situation despite job loss and salary cuts due to COVID.   Follow the four rules, and things will get better. Budgeting isn't the end-all-be-all, it's not the solution for everything, but it will help you make your financial situation better. Budgeting simply works!   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
YNAB for Good

YNAB for Good

2020-07-2704:22

In light of the terrible events that have transpired in 2020, YNAB is launching a new initiative to help those in need. YNAB is partnering with non-profit organizations that work with marginalized communities on personal financial and financial resource issues. YNAB is offering licenses for its software for free to these non-profits, so those in need can benefit from YNAB's powerful budgeting tools.   If you work for a non-profit or know of one who could benefit from this program, visit https://www.youneedabudget.com/good for more details and how to sign up for the program.
Jesse wraps up the Atomic Budgeting series, based on the ideas in James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, with a look into how our environment shapes our decision making.   The world is awash in advertisements — billboards, store displays, TV, YouTube, etc — which aim to subtly influence us to buy products and services. It’s hard to avoid them, especially when you spend time in areas or websites where targeted ads can pique your interests and potentially cause you to buy things you otherwise wouldn’t have sought out. Even our social groups can influence our purchasing decisions. Whether your friends and neighbors are conspicuous spenders or frugal, their collective habits will become the normal behavior in your social circle.   So the last step in “atomic budgeting” is to be aware of your environment, and choose your friends and social circles wisely.   “Join a community where the normal behavior is the behavior you want.”   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com
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Comments (24)

Miss T

TY TY As a Scorpio, I'm intense about finances, so yes, I can overwhelm a partner, if there are shared finances are at play. I attempted that methodology mentioned before in various ways I attempted creatively as well as asking how can & what can we do to create less overwhelm for them in managing finances. I work hard & believe in playing harder. So I don't desire a high debt ratio to interfere with my leisure. If so & it can't or won't be rectified. Now, I would have to exit the relationship because it spills over to every other area of the relationship. That is difficult to do if a person doesn't have a healthy relationship with money & was taught scarcity/poverty mentality around finances. It was a mindset that I quickly had to release as a child because I instinctively knew that I would have to rely solely on myself financially. So I personally wouldn't date a person again before we established a healthy basic basis for finances. This is what I would attribute to a very high risk for infidelity. OVERWHELM. so it would be an uphill battle quickly sinking into sinking sand & high debt (return on investment)ROI. #Self Worth #Self Care #Self Love

Sep 8th
Reply

Candice Mcrae

Great information about getting your finances in check.

Dec 31st
Reply

Kenya Britt

What is the name of the app she used for tracking?

Aug 20th
Reply

Raina B

Thank you so much for this episode! I rent and love the flexibility and ease of renting, at least right now. That is a hard concept for others to grasp, this podcast helps me feel so much better about my decision.

Apr 17th
Reply

Jill Mayer

$1000 like Dave Ramsey or buffers for true expenses

Nov 21st
Reply

Jill Mayer

Adam Carro

Nov 20th
Reply

Jill Mayer

start by not taking about money. talk about priorities

Nov 14th
Reply

Jill Mayer

Your money or your life by joe Dominguez

Nov 14th
Reply

Jill Mayer

find blog. find books

Nov 10th
Reply

Jonathan Schenk

It's easy to get too far into being overly critical about miscellaneous purchases, but if you're hitting your goals it shouldn't matter.

Nov 5th
Reply

Jill Mayer

resources jesse likes

Nov 4th
Reply

Jill Mayer

notes

Nov 4th
Reply

Jill Mayer

Fixed expenses and not being too granular

Nov 4th
Reply

Jill Mayer

casey

Nov 3rd
Reply

Jill Mayer

casey

Nov 3rd
Reply

Jill Mayer

find early version of this ppdcast transcript

Nov 2nd
Reply

Jill Mayer

tax advisor

Oct 28th
Reply

Austin Peek

Awesome podcast, long-time listener, first time commenter! If anyone is interested in how Jesse started YNAB 😮, we interviewed him on Ep 17 of Millionaire Interviews... Keep up the awesome work, Jessman!!! 👍

Jul 10th
Reply

Lakota Myers

I went to a community college and state college. My only loan debt was in my first semester, when I went to a private college. I paid that off by getting an Americorps position. I qualified for Pell and state grants and sometimes skipped a semester. Excellent advice. Now I have teenagers and tell them the same.

Jul 6th
Reply

Thomas Vaughan

my free trial just ran out I didn't make the most of it. I regret that but I did sit down with the wife n hash out talks of starting a budget so thanks mandatory orientation should accompany the app

May 17th
Reply
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