When you are expecting a baby, it is hard to deny that there are some big financial obligations coming up.
From medical bills, diapers, car seats and so much more.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed and underprepared.
This is why you will love YNAB (which stands for You Need a Budget) so much. It is a tool that can help you to manage your money and be prepared for these and other expenses.
In this weeks podcast episode I will share why YNAB – is my favorite money management tool and how it can help you.
It is from my parenting podcast – Finding Joy in the Journey
I have been in charge of the money…
From the beginning of my marriage, I have been in charge of the money, and I used to use Quicken and would dutifully fill in what we had spent each month and go over it with Rob.
I enjoyed doing this, but it was hard to get ahead and save as much as we were wanting to.
And sometimes we would get a big “unexpected” bill, like another baby. Which really in some ways I knew it was coming, but I didn’t have a way to track or prepare for it in Quicken.
Around 10 years ago, I discovered YNAB.
When I learned about their 4 rules, I knew it was the tool for me.
Then as I started using the program, I not only enjoyed paying bills more, but also it was easier to communicate with Rob about what our money was doing and by budgeting together we were able to make progress financially.
I tell my friends and family about it, so I am happy to tell you about it today.
Let me start with the 4 rules.
Give every dollar a job.
When you get money in, decide what you want the money to do. Money is a neutral thing; it is a piece of paper or a number in an account. When you give that money a job, then you take this neutral thing and put it to work for yourself. You plan on what you need it to do and then allow it to do its job!
Embrace Your True Expenses
Now, the job you assign it to may not get used for 6 months, but the money is waiting patiently until you need it. For example, you know you need a car seat in 6 months when the baby comes. You can start setting that money aside and won’t be tempted to use it for something else, because you know it has a job already.
Roll with the Punches
Sometimes unexpected things come up. Maybe you get a car seat at your baby shower! Woo hoo! Now you can move the money you budgeted for the car seat over into your diaper budget!
Or maybe you thought you were getting a crib from a friend, but they unexpectedly get pregant and now you have to buy one. So find a budget category with some extra money and shift it to the crib budget.
Age Your Money
As you start living these rules, you start living on the money you earned last month. No more living paycheck to paycheck!
As you are more intentional with how you spend your money, you spend less than you earn, and the age of your money grows!
You have so much less stress, because you can put bills on autopay, and you can plan ahead for other costs… like college???
You might be thinking, those sound like nice rules, but how to I apply them?
This is why you will love using YNAB! It is a software you can use on your computer, and it is an App, and they talk to each other, because it is web based. If you do something on your app, it will be there on your computer too.
YNAB is set up to help you seamlessly implement these rules. You create a budget and they have so many tools inside the program that help you to figure out and adjust things. Like setting the target of needing $300 by your guess date for the carseat. It can help you see how much to put into that category and then will remind you each month to do assign those dollars there.
Also because it is on your phone, when you are out shopping, you can easily see if you have enough money in a category to get what you want to buy.
YNAB has free classes and superb customer support. When I changed over from YNAB 4 to the new version there were a few bumps in the road, but they helped me every step of the way.
What else do I love about it?
It is easy to pull in your bank statements and reconcile your accounts.
The best part, you are not just pulling in information and seeing where your money has gone. You are planning ahead and choosing where you want your money to go.
When you pull information in, it is so easy to see how much you have left in each budget category!
The reports are a fun way to see where your money is actually going.
It is so easy to adjust and change things. You feel like you are in control of your budget, it isn’t in control of you.
Give YNAB a try for free!
If you have any money stress in your life and know getting ahold of your money will help you to find more joy in your journey – go check out YNAB at ynab.com and try the free 34 day trial.
I know that as you use this program and apply the 4 rules, it can help you be more prepared for your upcoming birth and your baby arriving. That will help you to enjoy the process so much more.