You Need a Budget by Jesse Mecham popularly known as YNAB provides a simple concept but effective technique to handle our money problems . This technique presented by author may or may not work for you but it is worth paying attention to.
Most of us are afraid of numbers hence we shy away from creating monthly/ yearly budget. The author has very simplified this concept with four powerful rules that you can easily implement. The author provides this YNAB software. Though I have not used it but I liked these rules stated by the author.
The author states that what exactly is a Budget ?
“It’s What do I want my money to do for me?”
The four Rules are-
• Rule One: Give Every Dollar a Job
Give Every Dollar a Job sounds simple enough, and it is. It is nothing but assigning what exactly this dollar will be used for.
• Rule Two: Embrace Your True Expenses
Many people are unable to come to the terms that they spend so much on unnecessary items such as clothing, shoes, purses, electronic gadgets etc. The author has made it clear that one should accept whatever our true Expenses are.
• Rule Three: Roll with the Punches
Roll with the Punches is all about adjusting your budget to allow for whatever comes your way. Because your budget is a plan that reflects your life, and like life, plans (and budgets) change.
This is the most unique feature of YNAB. Mostly people hate budget because they think it is kind of like diet or starvation for them and they will be restricted way too much to enjoy their life. The YNAB system provides relief from such belief by making the budget flexible enough to accommodate changes in our life as and when they appear so that we do not feel we are deprived of something in our life.
The author has given us the mantra for getting away with any kind of shame or blame for changing the Budget which is
“Changing my budget is not failing. Changing my budget is not failing.”
• Rule Four: Age Your Money
This rule is particularly useful for people not having regular income or paycheck or those people who are currently living paycheck to paycheck lifestyle. Many such people feel that they cannot automate their savings or investments as you do not know when will the next time you will be paid. So for such people the author has stated that Age Your Money gets you to that point where you don’t need your next paycheck.
It means that you should save your earlier month salary and use it to pay all your Bills. In this way you will always have certainty that you will have money to pay all your Bills.
The author feels that why people fail at the Budgeting or taking care of our finances is that our Problem is
“When you don’t have the clarity to see how you’re doing, you can’t see the simple changes that would make things a whole lot better.”
The author says that most of the people are afraid to improve their finances because
“When You Don’t Know Where You Stand, You Don’t Know What You’re Capable Of”
The author strongly advocates the YNAB concept and confidently states that ”
“Thirty minutes should be plenty of time to recap the prior month and set a plan for the one ahead. You’ll get better at this the more you do it.”
After reading the book I feel that the above four rules are worth implementing to improve our financial life. If you are more interested in understanding the four rules then you can go for reading the book otherwise you can skip reading the book.