You Need A Budget (YNAB)

Travis Hornsby is passionate about student debt, especially helping people with lots of it find smart, effective pathways to pay it off. After a career as a bond trader, he turned his attention to building a service to help college graduates with large student debt loads navigate their way through the maze of repayment options, forgiveness programs, and tax complications that come with student loans. Travis and his company, Student Loan Planner, have consulted with thousands of students on over $1.4 billion of student debt, helping them create a repayment plan that takes full advantage of all the programs out there.

 

You can learn more about Travis and his work at The Student Loan Planner website. He also hosts a podcast by the same name:

https://www.studentloanplanner.com

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/student-loan-planner/id1446453497?mt=2&ls=1

 

Direct download: 514_Travis_Hornsby_Student_Loan_Planner.mp3
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Jesse interviewed every employee at YNAB, asking them about a wide range of topics -- how they heard about YNAB, what they are working on in their roles, and their money struggles and successes. Today, you'll hear from a selection of YNAB employees discussing their debt struggles, how they came into debt, and how they have used the Four Rules to pay it off.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 513_BTS_Debt.mp3
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Jesse invites the author behind one of his favorite books, Atomic Habits, to join the podcast and talk about what he learned about setting good habits, breaking bad ones, and developing environments and systems conducive to productive habits. As James says, the things you do and accomplish in life are essentially lagged indicators of your habits. So building good habits slowly, methodically, and thoughtfully can result in big rewards down the road.

 

James Clear

https://jamesclear.com

 

Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results

https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habits

 

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 512_James_Clear_Atomic_Habits.mp3
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Are you a college student, or about to go to college? It's an exciting time of your life, but it can also be a very expensive time of your life too. It's possible to keep your spending under control, and have a lot of fun, but you're going to need a budget.

 

College students -- you can get a whole FREE YEAR of YNAB here. Sign up, take some of the free classes, and give yourself the gift of learning how to budget and take control of your financial life.

https://www.youneedabudget.com/college/

Direct download: 511_Dear_College_Student.mp3
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Artist and tax professional Hannah Cole has a burning passion -- seeing art get made. And one thing she hates to see is artists being held back by money problems. After establishing herself as an artist in exhibitions in New York City, Hannah landed a job working for a design agency. There she learned she had a talent for communicating with both the creatives and management, helping each side understand deadlines, budgets, and resources needed to complete projects. Hannah went on to become a tax professional and open a tax service specializing in helping artists, creatives, and freelancers.

 

In addition to a full suite of tax services, Hannah's company offers money workshops to explain business, finance, and tax terms in clear language and help freelancers develop strategies for managing their money. She has also created a free, colorful guide for understanding how tax deductions work. You can find out more about Hannah, her company, and resources on their website:

https://www.sunlighttax.com

 

Free tax deductions guide:

https://www.sunlighttax.com/deductionsguide

Direct download: 510_Hannah_Cole_Art_and_Taxes.mp3
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Veteran YNAB'ers have a saying for what happens when you follow the four rules, budget, and have no money left over. They call it being "YNAB broke," and it's a badge of honor!

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 509_Broke_and_Winning.mp3
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EDITOR'S NOTE: At 28:15 David states that generally you cannot take out money from a ROTH to pay for college without paying a penalty. David later pointed out, however, that you may take out up to $10k without penalty to pay for qualifying higher education expenses.

 

David Stackpole, wealth manager and Certified Financial Analyst (among other titles), joins the podcast to discuss his strategy for paying for the ever-growing cost of college. David points out that college tuition has increased nearly 1,400% since the 1970's, which amounts to a 6.4% annual inflation rate. With costs rising so dramatically and so steadily, many parents find it difficult to save enough for their children's college education. David has a unique strategy for dealing with this problem, however.

 

David recently published a paper outlining his approach in the University of Louisville's Journal of Student Financial Aid, which you can find here: 

https://ir.library.louisville.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1701&context=jsfa

Direct download: 508_David_Stackpole_Paying_for_College.mp3
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In today's money story, Carol Kissinger tells her story of discovering YNAB after moving from America to Berlin. She had never been good with money, was indebted to her parents for years, and frequently argued with her husband about money. Moving to Berlin put new stress on her bank account, until she discovered YNAB. The Four Rules helped her put a simple framework around money and clarify what it was she was spending on.

 

As it turns out, impulse purchasing was a recurring theme in Carol's budget. She and her husband would see money in the bank account after pay day and start buying things... without first reserving money for rent, utilities, and the various unplanned expenses that inevitably come up during the year. With an ADHD diagnosis, Carol found it particularly difficult to stop impulse purchasing without having a solid plan of what to do with her money after pay day. YNAB provided a framework for her to budget her dollars and give them jobs before they got spent. She found initially she had to "roll with the punches" frequently as she would forget about irregular expenses, but as she made it through the first several months of budgeting it became easier to predict those and her budget became more stable.

 

Most importantly, Carol discovered in the process of budgeting with YNAB that some of her long-held preconceptions were really just not true. She believed for a long time she was simply bad at money, and nothing would change that -- it was just a part of who she was. After paying off every dollar of debt to her parents and building an emergency fund, she could no longer say that about herself, and her personal narrative changed. She wasn't just not bad at money anymore, she was good with money. This transformation has extended outside her budget too. Carol and her husband were always very messy housekeepers, she says, to the point where they didn't want to have company over. After going through the budgeting transformation with YNAB, they now have a much cleaner home!

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: EP09_MoneyStories_Carol_Kisinger.mp3
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Personal finance journalist, news anchor, Certified Financial Planner, and now author, Bobbi Rebell explains what it means to be a "financial grownup." The essential part of being grown-up with your finances is realizing that it's no one else's responsibility to make a budget, put money in your retirement account, or educate yourself about financial terms and concepts. It's all up to you! Luckily, there is a wealth of easily accessible information that you can learn from, including Bobbi's own podcast.

 

You can find out more about Bobbi, her new book "How to Be a Financial Grownup, her podcast, and her "Grownup Gear" on her website:

https://www.bobbirebell.com

Direct download: 506_Bobbi_Rebell_Financial_Grownup.mp3
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After receiving shocking financial news that credit card spending in 2021 is up over 20% compared to 2019, Jesse asks the question: are you still budgeting out there?

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 505_Uh_Are_You_Still__Budgeting.mp3
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Jesse chats with two people that are passionate about personal finance and share a common trait: they are high income earners. YNAB doesn't often talk about people earning high incomes, but contrary to popular belief, earning a lot of money does NOT mean you don't need to budget!

 

As Ivan Smirnov and Daniel Chen attest, high incomes often come with high cost of living areas, where housing costs can run well into the 7 figures for homes or multiple thousands for rent. High income can also come with lifestyle inflation, as well as debt from post-graduate student loans and professional programs. Both of these things (and much more) can be managed with an effective budget, and Ivan and Daniel share their tips in keeping their costs under control and managing their investments using YNAB.

 

Ivan Smirnov is a software engineer at Google, and he loves to share his personal finance journey and YNAB power tips with friends and co-workers. He writes occasionally for a couple blogs:

https://ivansmirnov.name

https://ivans.io

 

Daniel Chen is a former Big 4 accountant, personal finance entrepreneur, and currently the Head of Business Development at a personal finance educational startup Brightside. You can find Daniel on twitter:

https://twitter.com/chenthusiast?lang=en

 

 

YNAB for Good: https://www.youneedabudget.com/good/

 

Direct download: EP08_Money_Stories_Ivan_Daniel_Budgeting_High_Income.mp3
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After years of experimenting with his budget and budgeting process, Jesse decided to do the unthinkable in 2020. He went an entire year *without* a budget!

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 503_Years_of_Experiments.mp3
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Jean Chatzky, long-time personal finance writer and correspondent for The Today Show, CNN, MSNBC and other high-profile shows, joins the podcast to discuss the unique issues women face in their financial lives. She has recently written a book about her research and experience working with women on improving their financial security, and she runs a website dedicated to educating and coaching women in financial matters called Her Money.

 

Jean's book -- Women with Money

https://womenwithmoneybook.com

 

Her Money Podcast

https://hermoney.com

 

Direct download: 502_Jean_Chatzky.mp3
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Jesse offers six tips for newlyweds learning to manage their money as a couple for the first time.

 

Check out the YNAB blog for more!

https://www.youneedabudget.com/money-lessons-i-wish-i-had-learned-when-i-was-25/

Direct download: 501_Money_for_Newlyweds.mp3
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Jesse celebrates -- can you believe it?! -- the 500th episode of the You Need a Budget podcast. Nearly 10 years ago, Jesse started this podcast as an experiment. Over the years the mics have been upgraded, the acoustics have gotten better, but the message has remained the same: follow the Four Rules, and make your dollars work for you and your priorities.

 

Jesse reminds us that, much like doing the podcast, budgeting is mostly just doing the work, day in and day out. Budget is a verb, an activity that you do every day, and simply showing up and continuing to do it over time yields big results.

 

YNAB the company is still growing, and so is the podcast. Jesse and his longtime friend and corporate finance expert Mark Butler have launched a new show for small businesses called Beginning Balance. Download and subscribe here!

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/beginning-balance/id1569423517

Direct download: 500_Well_Here_We_Are.mp3
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Jesse interviews Steve Colon, CEO of Bottom Line, an organization that helps students of color navigate the complex, time-consuming, and high stakes college admissions process. Bottom Line doesn't stop with admissions, either. Through their unique DEAL rubric, they help each student set a plan to graduate within six years, with no more than $31k debt, and find high quality jobs. Along the way they meet regularly with students, to provide a network of support and ensure students can meet their goals and graduate on time.

 

Bottom Line has recently partnered with YNAB to provide students with financial education to manage both their tuition and student life costs as well as their personal finances during and after school.

 

You can find out more about Steve and the Bottom Line organization here:

https://www.bottomline.org

Direct download: 499_Steve_Colon_Bottom_Line.mp3
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Today Jesse gives a sneak peak at a new show launching on the YNAB podcast network -- Beginning Balance. Together with his friend and business mentor Mark Butler, a virtual CFO and business expert, they explore the financial issues of small businesses and how to solve them. This is the first episode of Beginning Balance, which will begin airing weekly on Fridays.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 498_Introducing_Beginning_Balance.mp3
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Jesse chats with Chanel Reynolds, author of What Matters Most and founder of the Get Your Shit Together website, dedicated to helping people navigate the confusing, difficult, and emotional aspects of end-of-life planning. In 2009 Chanel's husband was killed in a road cycling accident, and she found herself, very suddenly, a widow, a single parent, and overwhelmed dealing with the many medical, legal, and family issues that death brings with it.

 

Today Chanel helps others plan for the what-ifs and eventualities of life, and encourages people to start having conversations with their spouses, parents, and other loved ones about what they want when it comes to their end-of-life. Although these can be difficult conversations -- and people often avoid them for that reason -- she recommends to start by focusing on the love, and how you want your loved ones to feel, and what quality of life means to them. From there, you can visualize what end of life might look like and start the basic planning steps: having an emergency fund, documenting your digital accounts and passwords, preparing a will, and power of attorney for medical decisions.

 

You can learn more about Chanel, her book, and her work here:

https://getyourshittogether.org

 

Direct download: 497_Chanel_Reynolds.mp3
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Today Jesse is sharing an interview he did with Jaclyn Johnson of the Work Party podcast for her Budget Broadcast Series. Jesse talks about the early days of YNAB, how to get serious with your side hustles, and explains the Four Rules to a new audience.

 

You can find more from WorkParty, including the original interview, here:

https://dearmedia.com/shows/work-party/

Direct download: 496_WorkParty_REBROADCAST.mp3
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Jesse chats with Sami Womack, who paid off nearly half a million dollars of debt after hitting financial rock bottom during the birth of her first child. Stuck in a different city on business travel, her husband almost missed a flight home to be at the birth... because they had maxed out all their credit cards, and the last minute ticket was $800.

 

Sami and her husband had made most of the financial mistakes you could make. They were behind on all of their bills, including mortgage payments and property taxes. They had three properties -- their home, a rental home, and a piece of land Sami intended to build a business on but could not secure financing -- but were facing foreclosure on them. They were eating out frequently, and spending lots of money on food.

 

The added stress of children brought them to a financial breaking point, at which point Sami started googling for help. She found YNAB, and began budgeting her current dollars, instead of her future dollars, for the first time. It took a major lifestyle adjustment, and the sale of their land and rental property, but the Womack's managed to pay off their debt.

 

Sami now helps others pay off debt and reach their financial goals with personalized coaching and budgeting plans at:

https://www.asunnysideuplife.com

 

She also hosts A Sunny Side Up Life Podcast: https://www.asunnysideuplife.com/podcast

 

 

Direct download: 495_Sami_Womack.mp3
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Former NFL athlete, husband, father, and coach -- a man of many identities you might say -- Anthony Trucks joins the podcast to talk about how what's holding you back from reaching your goals might just be an identity problem. Anthony runs a coaching program call Make Shift Happen where he helps people to make consistent action toward their goals in 90 days.

 

Making an identity "shift" is a key part of the process, visualizing yourself as the kind of person that does the things needed to have success in business, family, or other areas in life not because those are things you ought to do, but because they are simply a part of you. The Rock doesn't fight himself to go to the gym and workout, he does it because he loves it. Physical fitness is part of his identity. Anthony challenges us to think about what identity we want, and to start viewing ourselves as that. Then action can follow.

 

You can find Anthony, his coaching services, and his speaking engagements at:

https://anthonytrucks.com

 

 

Direct download: 494_Anthony_Trucks.mp3
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Jesse does NOT like payment plans, and neither should you!

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 493_Installment_Plans_and_Future_You.mp3
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In today's episode of Money Stories, Jesse chats with Abbie Shepherd, a clinical psychologist who recently earned her PhD and is working her first real job after her long journey in higher education. Most people understand that earning a PhD takes a lot of academic rigor, but few realize that it is very taxing on the budget as well. In addition to incurring student debt during the multi-year PhD process (usually preceded by a Masters degree and Bachelors degree, for which you may incur debt as well), it's difficult to work and earn money along the way.

 

In Abbie's case she typically worked for minimum wage when she could during her demanding PhD program. Meanwhile, her husband worked as a pastor, which is a lower earning field. Needless to say, money was tight during those years, but Abbie and her husband kept a clear head and long term vision. Abbie knew that a PhD would give her the most flexibility in her work -- she could work as a clinician, or teach, or both -- so they kept their expenses as low as possible while she was in school. They knew they would incur student debt for her coursework, but they worked hard to keep it to a minimum and not use student debt to fund their living expenses, like rent and food. Likewise, they limited their consumer spending, avoiding the pitfall of running up large credit card bills. By focusing on the long-term benefits of her PhD and having a strategy to minimize unnecessary debt (while being mentally OK with incurring necessary student debt), Abbie was able to ease some of the stress of her financial position as well. Nevertheless, Abbie came out of school with six figured student loan debt that she is eager to tackle.

 

As a self-described enneagram type 1, Abbie admits budgeting and planning around money comes naturally to her, but YNAB has made an impact as well. Abbie discovered YNAB just a couple months ago, but it was the concept of aging her money and rolling with the punches which drew her in. The flexibility of the software was a bonus. Abbie is a responsible credit card user, paying off her balance in full each month, and she enjoys the rewards and points she earns in the process. She likes that the YNAB software can easily help her track expenses on the credit alongside her bank account.

 

Abbie has created an Instagram account to report on her debt paydown and budgeting tricks. You can follow her there @budget_crush.

 

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: EP07_Money_Stories_Abbie_Shepherd.mp3
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Jesse chats with marketer and entrepreneur Noah Kagan, former Director of Marketing at Mint, former Facebook employee, and currently the owner of AppSumo, a daily deals website which offers entrepreneurs discounted software from top software companies. In a sprawling conversation, they touch on the critical importance of taking action on your ideas in business, determining why you want money in the first place, setting one-year gameplans, and more.

 

AppSumo

https://appsumo.com

 

Noah Kagan on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/crxnamja

 

Be sure to subscribe and post a comment for a chance to win an iPad!

 

Direct download: 491_Noah_Kagan.mp3
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Assets? Liabilities? Balance sheet? FBI's? What does it all mean? Jesse helps you understand some of the basic financial terms that come up often in YNAB, as well as some YNAB-specific lingo related to the software and the budgeting process.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 490_YNAB_Vocabulary.mp3
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Jesse walks through some hidden features of the YNAB software you probably didn't even know existed!

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 489_YNAB_Features_You_Didnt_Know_Existed.mp3
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While there's no way to prepare for being a parent without actually becoming a parent, you can prepare financially for the experience. Chelsea Brennan shares some tips on how to do this, and what kind of difficult conversations you need to have with your spouse and family as part of the process.

 

After a successful career as an equity analyst and hedge fund portfolio manager on Wall Street, Chelsea became a mom and followed a new passion in life -- helping other moms be more financially stable and reduce their money stress. Today she runs a website and podcast dedicated to this mission called Smart Money Mamas, with resources for helping moms define their values, have important conversations, and take steps toward securing their financial future.

 

Smart Money Mamas website: https://smartmoneymamas.com

Smart Money Mamas Podcast: https://smartmoneymamas.com/podcast/

 

Direct download: 488_Chelsea_Brennan_Smart_Money_Mamas.mp3
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At YNAB your data is exactly that -- YOUR data. Financial data is personal and sensitive, and as Jesse explains, YNAB does not and will not touch that!

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 487_YNAB_and_Privacy.mp3
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Jesse chats with productivity master Jeff Sanders, host of the 5AM Miracle podcast. As the title of his podcast suggests, Jeff loves to wake up early, but he doesn't necessarily think you should. Instead, Jeff focuses on setting clear boundaries around your work time, family time, and personal development time (especially physical fitness).

 

Especially in the remote working arrangements that are increasingly common today, it's important to separate the home office from the kitchen, living room, and bedroom. Too often the proximity of the home office lures remote workers into working all day, with no clear lines between work time and personal time. This leads to lower productivity, more stress, more burnout, and more tension in relationships. In his podcast and his productivity coaching work, Jeff shows how you can set better boundaries around work and personal life and live life with more intention.

 

You can find Jeff at his website: https://www.jeffsanders.com

 

5AM Miracle Podcast: https://www.jeffsanders.com/podcast/

 

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 486_Jeff_Sanders_5AM_Miracle.mp3
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In today's money story, Jesse chats with Erika, a 32 year old married woman who found herself struggling in the deep end of credit card debt. Until YNAB, Erika always managed her money with her bank statements -- if there was enough for her current outflows, good! There wasn't much of a plan or cushion for surprises, however.

 

Shortly after getting married Erika began to feel trapped in her debt payments, which had become burdensome due to the credit card debt she and her husband had racked up for their wedding. After some close calls where she questioned their ability to even pay the rent, Erika discovered YNAB and began to make changes.

 

While she and her husband are still climbing out of the hole, they've made a big dent in their debt load and have created a solid plan for aging their money, acknowledging their true expenses, and rolling with the punches.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: EP06_MoneyStories_Erika.mp3
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Jesse chats with author Mary Marantz about her book Dirt, the story of her life journey growing up in poor, rural West Virginia to eventually attending Yale Law. Mary grew up with a strong, hard working father who instilled in her a vigorous work ethic and a love for her hometown. However, her working class roots cast a shadow of doubt over how high she could climb in the world, and how qualified she could feel amongst those from different, more economically priveleged backgrounds. Dirt is the story of Mary reckoning with the good and bad of her upbringing, and how it shaped her into the woman she is today.

 

How does this relate to money? Money is all about feelings, and often our upbringing instills deeply seated ideas about how to earn and spend money that are hard to shake as adults. Mary's story is a powerful reminder that doing the work to better understand yourself, your history, and your place in the world prepares you to make lasting changes to your decision making around money.

 

Dirt by Mary Marantz

https://marymarantz.com/dirt

 

Mary Marantz on Instagram

@marymarantz

Direct download: 484_Mary_Marantz_Dirt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MDT

Student loan payments have been frozen for several months due to COVID-19, but that doesn't mean your budget has to be frozen. Jesse strategizes ways for you to address student loans during the grace period.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 483_Student_Loans_Are_Frozen_But_You_Are_Not.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:10pm MDT

Jesse chats with Laura Vanderkam and Sarah Hart-Unger, two time management experts and the hosts of the Best of Both Worlds Podcast, a show all about balancing busy lives and careers.  Sarah is a pediatric endocrinologist while Laura is a writer (and author of I Know How She Does It), and both of them are also busy mothers. While they approach the challenges of time management with different strategies, they are both experts in making things fit in a busy life without getting burned out.

 

Sarah and Laura point out that the things you spend your time on -- the things you say yes or no to -- are ultimately a reflection of your values. If something doesn't fit in your priorities, you simply won't do it. Sounds familiar, eh? Money, or rather the things you spend money on, is also a reflection of your values, as Jesse has argued on previous shows. So, the first step in wrangling your time management problem is to take a hard look at the things you value and see if the things you are spending your time on actually align with those values.

 

Secondly, Laura reminds us that everyone has the same amount of time in a week to get things done, to relax, to pursue hobbies. 168 hours every week, in fact. Unlike money, this resource is equally distributed to all, and we cannot change the amount of time we have. So, being mindful of how you spend your weeks not in days, but in hours, can be a useful exercise. Do you have a hobby that you wished you spent more time on? A stack of books you wish you could finally read? Start tracking your time, and you might be surprised to find a spare hour or two that you were previously wasting on mindless tasks (or social media). Like spare change, these hours can slip between the cushions of the weekdays and weekends.

 

Best of Both Worlds Podcast

https://theshubox.com/best-of-both-worlds

 

Laura Vanderkam

https://lauravanderkam.com

 

Best Laid Plans Podcast with Sarah Hart-Unger

https://theshubox.com/best-laid-plans-podcast

 

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 482_Laura_Vanderkam_Sarah_Hart-Unger_Time_Mgmt.mp3
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Whether it's because of changing careers, preparing for a child, or some other life event, you and your partner may need to downsize from two incomes to one. This has a major impact to your budget! But, with some planning, you can make a smooth transition. The easiest way, Jesse says, is to live on a single income before actually losing the second income. With a little help from YNAB, you can practice this and ensure that when the second income goes away, you know how to make your dollars stretch without stress.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: YNAB_481_-_How_to_Go_From_Two_Incomes_to_One_master_v1.mp3
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New York Times columnist and bestselling author Ron Lieber joins the podcast for a frank discussion about the ever rising cost of college and whether it's even a good idea for young people today. Evaluating the true cost of college, as it turns out, is essentially a budgeting exercise. There's the sticker price for tuition and room and board, but the real analysis lies in examining the hidden costs, as well as the hidden benefits. Ron Lieber helps us break those down and demystify the college problem.

 

Ron Lieber

https://ronlieber.com

 

The Price You Pay for College

https://ronlieber.com/books/the-price-you-pay-for-college/

 

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 480_Ron_Lieber_What_Does_College_Really_Cost.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MDT

Buying a house is a stressful experience, especially in the current market where low supply and high demand have pushed prices up and up. Naturally, house shoppers worry about overpaying for a house, or whether they've overpaid for a house they've already bought. We'd all like to perfectly time the market and buy at the lowest possible point, but it's very difficult to do.

 

Jesse reminds house shoppers to check in with their reasons for owning a house before they worry. Is your house a real estate investment that you are buying with an exit strategy? Then purchase price is very important, and you should be worried about overpaying!

 

But are you buying a house to be your home? In that case, it's not an investment, it's the place where you live, and the purchase price only matters insofar as it fits your budget. If you value the lifestyle that a house offers, and that house fits your budget, then don't sweat whether you have overpaid or not. You are giving your house dollars the job of securing housing that fits your needs.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 479_How_to_Time_a_Home_Purchase.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MDT

What does budgeting have to do with nutrition? A lot, actually, explains Kali Langevin, a nutritionist and Registered Dietitian who has spent 16 years working with athletes in United States Soccer Federation. Kali is also a long time YNAB user, and joins the podcast to explain how the Four Rules can be applied to nutrition. Much like Jesse encourages people to be mindful of their spending habits -- giving dollars jobs that accomplish the things that you value -- Kali encourages people to be mindful of their eating habits, being intentional with meal times and the rituals around food.

 

Kali on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kalilangevin

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 478_Kali_Langevin_Nutrition.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MDT

This week's Money Story comes from the vivacious Diania Merriam, founder of the EconoMe Conference which brings together speakers in the FIRE movement (Financial Independence, Retire Early). After finding herself working for a decent salary in NYC but falling deeper into debt, Diania decided to pull her head out of the financial sand and figure out where her finances stood. Around the same time, a friend introduced her to the Mr. Money Mustache blog and the concept of FIRE.

 

Armed with these tools, she started cutting her expenses and aggressively paying off debt. Eventually, Diania managed to stash away 60% of her income, and pay off $30k of debt. Ever the life of the party, Diania attributes part of her success to realizing that her happiness lies in connecting with friends and shared experiences, not necessarily in spending money in exclusive clubs. After paying off her debt, she was also able to pursue her dream of hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

 

Today Diania has reached CoastFI, having already saved enough to retire in the future at the standard age of 65 but still working, albeit at a more relaxed pace. Financial independence has allowed her to pursue more fulfilling work (like the EconoMe Conference) and engage in new adventures. This, she explains, is the real American Dream.

 

Optimal Finance Daily Podcast: https://oldpodcast.com/optimal-finance-daily-podcast/

EconoMe Conference: https://economeconference.com

 

 

Direct download: 477_Money_Stories_EP05_Diania_Merriam_v2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MDT

Jesse chats with Geoff Woods, President of ProduKtive, the training company behind the bestselling book The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. After leaving a high-stress and ultimately unfulfilling job in medical device sales, Geoff set out to surround himself with successful mentors. Eventually Geoff found Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, and immersed himself in their philosophy of the "one thing," that is, the concept of relentlessly pursuing the single most impactful thing you can do in your day, and arranging your schedule to accomplish that thing first.

 

Geoff describes the one thing as a stack of dominoes. Accomplishing the one thing you can do first -- "can" is the operative word here, this task must be small and easily achievable today -- topples the first domino in the chain, which topples the next, and the next, and so forth. Most people never do the work to identify this one thing, however, and get stuck spending lots of time toppling individual dominoes without ever setting off this chain reaction.

 

The connection to budgeting is clear. Before you give every dollar a job, you need to know what it is your budget needs to do for you -- what you value, what you are trying to optimize for. Once you've identified this, you can assign your dollars jobs.

 

The ONE Thing Podcast: https://www.the1thing.com/podcasts/

The ONE Thing book: https://www.amazon.com/ONE-Thing-Surprisingly-Extraordinary-Results-ebook/dp/B00C1BHQXK/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3HGDLQ2QU6QJP&dchild=1&keywords=the+one+thing+keller&qid=1615904686&sprefix=the+one+thing+ke%2Caps%2C245&sr=8-1

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

 

Direct download: 476_Geoff_Woods_The_One_Thing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MDT

Jesse attempts to give some advice on purchasing a car... before admitting that he has no advice to give! Well, maybe a bit of advice. Jesse reminds us that optimizing your budget involves optimizing for YOUR needs and wants. Jesse chooses to lease a Tesla to drive around in, because he wanted to have as little headaches with car maintenance as possible. That's important to him today, but ten years ago his needs and wants were totally different, and thus the things he chose to optimize his budget for were too.

 

So this episode is not about how to buy the most cost-effective used car, or how to get a good deal on a new car, or anything like that. It's about examining your own needs and shaping your budget around them.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 475_Optimizing_Your_Car_Purchase_Not_Really.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MDT

Bestselling author Ian Morgan Cron introduces the Enneagram, a personality typing system which identifies nine different personality types, their motivations, strengths, and weaknesses. As Ian explains, understanding your enneagram can help you better understand your motivations for why you want to do the things you do, which has direct implications in budgeting. Understanding the motivations and perspectives of others, especially those with polar differences in personality, can help you mitigate conflict and reach compromise in your family relationships and in the workplace.

 

Ian Morgan Cron is a psychotherapist, Episcopal priest, and an accomplished author. His book The Road Back to You champions the Enneagram for people that seek to better "know thyself."

 

https://ianmorgancron.com

Direct download: 474_Ian_Morgan_Cron_Enneagram.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MDT

Jesse reminds us that the ideal budget... is the budget which helps you achieve your goals and values. And those goals and values can, and will, change over time!

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 473_Heres_the_Ideal_Budget.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MDT

Robert Leonard has been a uniquely driven person since a young age. Eyeing the professional ranks of motocross at age 14 (the minimum age to turn pro was 16), he competed all over the country. When his father discouraged his going pro, Robert started working various jobs and reading about investing. By the time he graduated college, he had already purchased his first piece of real estate and began "house hacking" -- leasing spare rooms to roommates to generate cash flow to cover the mortgage.

 

Over the years Robert has continued to house hack, selling properties and rolling the profits into the next investment. He now owns a portfolio of rental properties. On the side, he also invests in individual stocks as a value investor, and enjoys the process of digging through company financials and earnings to find undervalued companies to buy and hold.

 

Robert is also passionate about teaching other people how to get started with investing in both real estate and the stock market, and he hosts two podcasts on the topic. Check the links below to follow Robert, learn more about his philosophy, and his podcasts!

 

Robert on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/therobertleonard/

 

Real Estate 101 Podcast: https://www.theinvestorspodcast.com/real-estate-101/

 

Millenial Investing Podcast: https://www.theinvestorspodcast.com/millennial-investing/

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 472_Robert_Leonard.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Sita Thomas is a woman of many talents, and many careers, having worked jobs ranging from massage therapy to data analytics. She has been using YNAB for over 8 years to help her reach her goals, including going back to school and making a career change, taking time off work to care for a terminally ill family member, and removing the day to day stresses of money from her life.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: EP04_MoneyStories_Sita_Thomas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse chats with professional coach and business strategist Kelsey Murphy about how she left a high profile -- yet unsatisfying -- corporate job to travel the world with her husband. During their travels Kelsey realized she had a gift for coaching and helping others put their visions and dreams into practice. Today she runs a successful coaching business doing just that.

 

Kelsey puts a lot of emphasis on her client's values, examining them through a very practical lens. What would you like to see or do first thing when you wake up in the morning? What kind of space do you imagine yourself working in? These are a couple of the questions Kelsey might ask. Once you understand your values in clear, tangible terms, then you can focus your attention on the important tasks that will bring you closer to your vision.

 

Learn more about Kelsey:

https://www.kelseymurphy.com/careerandlifecoaching

 

Whisky & Work Podcast:

https://www.kelseymurphy.com/podcast

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 470_Kelsey_Murphy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse answers your questions about small business in Q&A format.  You can send Jesse your questions and comments at: podcast@youneedabudget.com

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 469_Small_Business_QA_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse chats with Amir Salihefendic, CEO of Doist, the company behind the popular productivity tool Todoist. Between running a company and being a father, Amir has a very busy life. He explains how he keeps everything moving smoothly, including the importance of managing your energy throughout the day, not just your schedule.

 

https://todoist.com

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 468_Amir_How_to_Have_the_Most_Productive_Year.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse chats with YNAB's manager of support hiring, Emma Rolls, about what it takes to get hired at YNAB, what type of person fits in with the company culture, and Emma's personal experience learning about YNAB and getting hired.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 467_How_to_Get_a_Job_at_YNAB_Emma_Rolls.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse identifies four common traits in people who don't stress about money.

  1. They have a cadence for checking their money. These people  regularly check-in with their budget and watch their money. It's not a panicky, reactionary review but a planned part of their week or month.
  2. They have regular conversations with themselves and/or significant others about money. These conversations are not highly charged, hostile engagements, but calm, rational discussions about what is going on day-to-day. Often these conversations aren't about money per se, but rather the things that the money is going towards. In that sense, the conversations are more about whether or not spending is happening in accordance with their values and goals.
  3. They have clarity about their priorities, values, and goals. They give their money a job, and know why they are spending.
  4. They have plenty of cash on hand. 

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 466_Four_Traits_of_People_Who_Arent_Stressed__About_Money.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Writer and entrepreneur Corbett Barr joins the podcast to discuss digital mindfulness, the pitfalls of social media and endless digital content, and his own quest to find peace as a digital creative.

https://corbettbarr.com

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 465_Corbett_Barr.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse interviews strength coach, former pro Strongman, and founder of Barbell Logic Online Coaching, Matt Reynolds, about the many analogs between strength training and budgeting.

 

Matt relates the Four Rules to the basic tenets of effective strength training -- consistency, small increases in weight each workout that add up to big results over time, and focusing on the  things that will give you the greatest bang for your buck. Matt relates strength training to a "physical 401(k)," where the work that you do today to build you fitness and health can be drawn on later in life when the inevitabilities of aging and life events happen. Strong people are more resilient and more useful, especially in old age!

 

Matt's company, Barbell Logic Online Coaching, offers customized strength, conditioning, and nutrition coaching to individuals,  pairing each trainee with their own highly trained Barbell Logic coach.

 

If you're interested in trying out Barbell Logic Online Coaching, you can get the first month totally free when you sign up. And, YNAB listeners can get an additional $10/mo off their future months. Sign up here:

https://store.barbell-logic.com/ynab/

 

 

Take the 34-day challenge:

https://www.youneedabudget.com/34dayreset/

 

Direct download: 464_Matt_Reynolds_Barbell_Logic_Online_Coaching.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

If you've been doing the 34-Day Reset, you're in full sprint mode right now. And it might be tough! But the beauty of the reset is that it's just 34 days, and affords you some space to reflect on whether your money is working for you and helping you achieve your goals and values.

 

So stick with it, finish strong, and bask in the extra money you will have saved. You're almost there!

 

Take the challenge:

https://www.youneedabudget.com/34dayreset/

Direct download: 463_Sprinting_Is_Hard_But__Payoff_Is_Sweet.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse interviews Katie about her journey after college to Hawaii, where she went through a tough breakup and financially tenuous times. She persevered through those hard times, discovered YNAB (actually re-discovered, having first encountered YNAB in college) and began to get her budget back on track in a notoriously expensive state. The hard work paid off; Katie met her husband and was able to have a dream wedding in Hawaii, and the couple now enjoy a rich life... paid in cash!

 

Katie is quick to point out that she hasn't always made the financially optimal choice, but she is intentional about everything she does. She and her husband decided to hold off paying down their student loans in order to finance their wedding, for example. Katie has set aside money to buy her husband a new computer, and they leave room in their budget for their favorite hobbies and pursuits -- for Katie, her side business coaching women in personal finance and helping them avoid traps like MLM schemes; for her husband, collecting and competing in  the Magic the Gathering card game.

 

While this approach may result in paying down debt slower, and not maximizing savings, it's a sustainable approach for them. As Katie reminds us, personal finance is personal!

 

Are you ready to take the challenge? https://www.youneedabudget.com/34dayreset/

Direct download: EP03_MoneyStories_Katie_v2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse offers three ways to stop spending money and kickstart your savings:

  1. Designate a "no spend" day. Pick a day of the week where you will deliberately spend NO money, and dutifully stick to that. Be realistic! If you usually have a date night on Friday, then pick another day. Maybe's it's a Tuesday, maybe it's a Sunday, but it should work with your schedule.
  2. Treat your savings as a purchase. In other words, change your mindset about what spending is. Instead of buying a good or service, treat your saving as "buying investments" or "buying back your debt." Some people turn buying small numbers of shares in an index fund into a game, where their investment brings them pleasure just like buying a coffee or a croissant at the local coffee shop.
  3. Identify your triggers. Pay attention when you have an impulse to buy something. Does it happen in certain places? Certain websites or forums? Perhaps on your way home from work? Find your spending "triggers," and work on ways to avoid them. Take a different route home, block or limit your access to certain websites... things you can do to help you avoid the impulse in the first place.

 

Are you ready for a financial reset?

https://www.youneedabudget.com/34dayreset/

Direct download: 462_3_Ways_to_Curb_Your_Money_Spending_Problem.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse talks with YNAB'er Liz about her recent conversion to the YNAB software, which she discovered through the social media network Tik Tok. In just six months with YNAB, Liz has already reversed her financial situation, paid off debt, and created financial  security for her family.

 

Are you ready to take the challenge? https://www.youneedabudget.com/34dayreset/

Direct download: EP02_MoneyStories_Liz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Just like weight loss, there are some people who manage to pay off their debt through a burst of willpower and concerted effort... only to fall into debt again, usually slowly. Jesse points out that often this is a failure to follow Rule Two (Embracing Your True Expenses), and discusses how you can prevent slipping into old habits in the New Year.

 

Are you ready for a financial reset?

https://www.youneedabudget.com/34dayreset/

Direct download: 461_This_Is_Why_You_Cant_Get_Out_of_Debt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

YNAB is bringing back the Debt Stories... but this time we're calling it "Money Stories." In this series, Jesse interviews YNAB users about their incredible stories using YNAB to pay off debt, plan for life, build their savings, and more.

 

In this episode, Jesse interviews 34-year old nurse Trish. Though very hard working and driven to succeed, Trish found herself in $50,000 of debt despite working multiple jobs. Her unusual work arrangement meant that she went long periods of time between paychecks -- sometimes receiving multiple paychecks at once, months apart -- during which time she began relying on credit cards to ensure she had enough money to cover emergencies and unexpected expenses.

 

The credit card balance continued to climb, however, and, when combined with her car note and student loans, the monthly payments began eating up a large portion of her cashflow. Fed up, Trish decided to make some changes.

 

Focusing her energy and work ethic on her money, Trish decided to make drastic moves to pay down her debt for good. She began by selling nearly everything she could in her flat on Facebook, netting nearly $3,000. In addition to her two or three regular jobs (besides nursing, she teaches at a university and works as a technician for a pottery studio), she took small jobs whenever she could: transcribing, dog walking, etc. It was an intense experience, and she knew she could not sustain it long term, but harnessing her energy in these bursts jumpstarted her savings.

 

Are you ready to take the challenge? https://www.youneedabudget.com/34dayreset/

 

Direct download: EP01_MoneyStories_Trish.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse issues a New Years' challenge for YNAB'ers. For the next 34 days, abide by just three rules: 

  1. Write down every single thing you spend money on. You can do this in YNAB, or on a sheet of paper, but it must include every penny spent!
  2. Purchase ONLY essentials. Essential means you must have it to live.
  3. Do not eat out, or order take-in from restaurants. No restaurant spending, full stop. It's only 34 days, you can do it!

YNAB's data and experience has shown that people often find hundreds, even a thousand, extra dollars in their budget by doing these three things. In particular, eating out has proven to be the number one most common drain on the budget.

Remember, this is only for a short time! It's a small amount of hardship to endure, that can provide a major boost your savings and financial health to start the New Year.

 

Start the reset today: https://www.youneedabudget.com/34dayreset/

Direct download: 460_34-Day_Challenge.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse reflects on budgeting for the Christmas season. While YNAB is all for getting your savings in order so that you can cash flow your Christmas spending without going into debt, the holiday season is about much more than presents. Recalling his childhood, Jesse can't actually remember much about the gifts he received. What he does remember is the time he spent with family, and the memories he made with them.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 459_Remembering_What_We_Remember.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse interviews his friend and realtor Terry Bickmore about Terry's introduction to YNAB and how it helped transform his business and personal life. Terry offers some advice for first-time homebuyers, based on YNAB's Four Rules.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 458_Terry_Bickmore_Advice_for__Homebuyers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse reflects on learning to relax about spending money, especially on the "black box" line items -- unspecified purchases from Amazon that don't fit neatly into any other category, or purchases that he simply doesn't want to look up and re-categorize. Part of learning to relax about these expenditures is realizing that as long as you are achieving your primary goals -- funding an emergency fund, saving for retirement, saving for a house perhaps -- then it doesn't really matter what happens to the rest of your money. It's another way of looking at the big picture.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 457_Big_Goals_the_End_rebroadcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 456_Tackling_Fear.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 455_YNAB_GPTW_TaylorBrownCTO.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 454_Ramit_Sethi_Interview.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 453_Self-Care_and_Compassion_Robyn_Conley_Downs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 452_Contribution_Margin_to_Cover_Lifes_Overhead.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 451_You_Are_Building_Wealth.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 450_Just_Settle_In.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 449_Never_Spend_Your_Emergency_Fund_Again.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 448_Are_You_Just_Not_Smart_With_Money.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 447_Lifestyle_Creep.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 446_Mindfulness_and_Money.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 445_Progress_Purchases.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 444_The_Reluctant_Partner_Misread.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 443_Books_Ive_Read_Business.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

 

Direct download: 442_Books_Ive_Read_The_General_Shelf.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 441_Meet_Naseema_Nurse_on_FIRE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 440_The_Rule_Three_Esacpe_Hatch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 439_COVID_Conquerors.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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.

Direct download: 438_YNAB_for_Good.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

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

Direct download: 437_The_Environment_That_Shapes_You.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse discusses James Clear's "laws" of how people make lasting changes to their behaviors and how they might apply to the YNAB'er looking to improve their budgeting habits.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 436_Four_Laws_of_Behavior_Change.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

In the third installment of the atomic budgeting series, in which Jesse applies the principles in James Clear's book Atomic Habits to budgeting and personal finance, Jesse discusses the concept of becoming the person who has the traits you wish to have.

 

Typically when we think of making personal change, we set goals and then a process to achieve that goal. Yet, once we achieve the goal (if we do), does the change we made to achieve it continue on? Are the new habits long-lasting, or do we revert to our old ways? Too often, the latter proves true!

 

As Clear says, "every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become." If you want to become a person who is smart with money, who is rarely stressed with financial concerns, and budgets with ease... then you must start identifying yourself as that type of person. Then prove it with your actions.

 

If you're a weightlifter, you lift weights. If you're a writer, you write. You cannot be the person you claim to be without doing the things that type of person does. Budgeting is no different!

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 435_Becoming_Not_Achieving.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse continues with part two of the Atomic Budgeting series, applying the concepts in James Clear's Atomic Habits to budgeting and the pursuit of financial freedom.

 

One of the key concepts in Clear's book is focusing on building effective systems for achieving your goals, rather than on the goal itself. Goals are great things, but without a logical, replicable, and flexible system, you are unlikely to consistently achieve your goals. 

 

YNAB's Four Rules comprise a simple, flexible, and replicable system for achieving the goal of freeing up financial resources to handle unexpected events and do more of the things you want to do in life. The Four Rules don't ask you to come up with a solid number of dollars to save each month, or a percentage; rather, they ask you to follow certain processes (like giving every dollar a job) that ultimately help you achieve the goal of saving money. By staying process-focused rather than goal or number focused, YNAB allows you "roll with the punches" and adjust as your life circumstances change and unexpected expenses arise.

 

So whether it's budgeting, improving your fitness, reading books, or something else, the next time you set a goal focus your attention on your system for achieving that goal, and learn to love the process!

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 434_Atomic_Budgeting_Systems_Not_Goals.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse has become a fan of James Clear's Atomic Habits, in which Clear explains how small changes to your habits can build up to big changes in your life. Naturally, Jesse saw how atomic habits could work for budgeting too.

 

So for the next few weeks, Jesse will be covering several aspects of "atomic budgeting," starting with the power of compounding interest.

 

Atomic Habits by James Clear:

https://www.amazon.com/Atomic-Habits-James-Clear-audiobook/dp/B07RFSSYBH/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=atomic+habits&qid=1592096296&sr=8-2

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 433_Atomic_Budgeting_Compound_Interest.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse and the YNAB team are excited to announce a new service: financial wellness for businesses and their employees! For any company, big or small, YNAB will educate your employees on the most important yet often overlooked aspect of financial wellbeing… budgeting of course.

 

Financially stress-free employees are good employees. They are empowered, they have freedom to be creative in their life, and they are more productive as a result.

 

This is a FREE service for the business. You can find out more by going to:

 

https://www.youneedabudget.com/wellness/

Direct download: 432_Financial_Wellness_by_YNAB.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

The attentive gardener notices the small things. The way plants grow, flourish, and wither on a daily basis. He knows that weeds are easily dispatched when pulled daily. The gardener plays a long game, but sees each move in detail. 

 

Budgeting is no different. The attentive budgeter notices small things, finds small efficiencies there, because she checks in often. She knows that it's easier to correct course when her budget is moving in the wrong direction, because she watches carefully and often. The daily reconciliation becomes a joy, not a chore.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 431_Daily_Reconciliation_and_Gardening.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

It's a common refrain in times of crisis. We must do something. But inaction is, in fact, always an option. Many times, especially when it comes to finances, it is a great option! Jesse reminds us that, in light of current economic conditions, it's perfectly OK to do nothing.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 430_Doing_Nothing_Is_Something.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

There's something growing at the Mecham household... and it's in the backyard! Jesse confesses he spent a good portion of his paternity leave preparing a garden with a handful of chicks, fruit trees, and a garden full of asparagus, cantaloupes, and other goodies.

 

As always, while exercising his green thumb Jesse was thinking about budgeting. Immediate gratification is rare in the natural world. Nearly everything worth having takes time, effort, and care to grow and develop. Chicks need to be fed and kept safe and healthy before they can grow into egg-laying hens. Fruit trees take years before they bear their first fruits. Yet these things, once harvested, can be so much more satisfying than, say, a generic carton of eggs at the store.

 

Budgeting is no exception to the rules of Nature. Good things come to those who wait, and steward their money well. But the good things are worth it.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 429_Chicken_Fruit_Trees_and_Trellises.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

After receiving several questions about what to do with windfall money during times of economic uncertainty (like these), Jesse tackles the topic in today’s episode. As always, but especially true nowadays, cash is king!

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 428_Windfalls_and_Uncertainty.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Freshly returned from paternity leave, Jesse discusses how YNAB has handled the coronavirus pandemic as a company. As always, his focus and the company's focus has been on giving the best budgeting advice they can.

 

Additionally, the YNAB team has written articles exploring how people can weather the financial storm in the wake of COVID-19. You can read the blog entries here:

https://www.youneedabudget.com/blog/

 

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 427_YNAB_and_COVID-19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse examines how the recent panic buying of food, home goods, and other staples highlights the intrinsic value of certain things that we take for granted. When demand for historically safe assets like bonds and gold falls, yet demand for household goods like flour and toilet paper soar, it shines some light on the practical value of things. In short,  you can eat flour, but you can't eat a bar of gold!

 

In the future, Jesse encourages us to consider saving not only for future expenses and retirement, but also for some staples and basic goods for unexpected times.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 426_Chasing_Value.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse muses on the impact the coronavirus will ultimately have on people and their habits. When society reopens, will people return to their previous habits? Or will they grow, having spent their time in isolation examining themselves and their priorities, their Rule Zero?

 

Jesse hopes that people do use this time to reflect, to re-examine their life and rediscover their priorities, and, most importantly, write down the wisdom that comes from that process!

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 425_Write_That_Gem_Down.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Last week Jesse discussed the importance of Rule #1, giving every dollar a job. Rule one is always important, but in uncertain times like these it takes on renewed significance. Jesse has often talked about the rule before the rule, though, the so-called Rule Zero.

 

Rule Zero is understanding what's important to you, why you're bothering to give your dollars a job in the first place. At the end of the day, to what end are you budgeting? What's the purpose?

 

In the wake of the pandemic and economic woes gripping the country, consider whether the answer to Rule Zero has become clearer to you. Perhaps in these times you can find not only the resolve to budget like you've never budgeted before, but also to clarify why you're budgeting in the first place.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 424_Rule_Zero_Morphs_Before_Your_Very_Eyes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

With the world at a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is certain. We’ve never budgeted at a time like this!

 

Jesse offers some comforting words in this time of crisis, and reminds us to follow Rule #1: Give Every Dollar A Job. Never stop budgeting. Even if it’s only a week ahead, a day ahead, staying engaged and continually planning will give you the best chance to survive financially in these times, and, eventually, thrive. Budgeting is one area of our lives that we can control, in the midst of so many things we cannot.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 423_Youve_Never_Budgeted_At_A_Time_Like_This.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

At YNAB there is a document called the Vision Doc, which spells out the “commander’s intent” for the company, how to behave and act on the company’s behalf. Employees must make many decisions on a day to day basis, but with a clear commander’s intent they have the freedom to make those smaller decisions while adhering to the company’s greater goal.

 

It’s useful to develop the same commander’s intent for your budget. With a clear goal and aim for the budget, it becomes easier to make those small, day to day money decisions that, as we know, can add up to big dollars over the course of a year!

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 422_The_Commanders_Intent.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Jesse reads an excerpt from the book The End of Average by Todd Rose. In the late 1940's the Air Force had a dangerous problem on its hands -- aircraft of all kinds were malfunctioning and crashing at alarming rates. The Air Force brought in scientist  Lt Gilbert S Daniels to diagnose the problem. Daniels discovered that the Air Force had designed cockpits based on thousands of physical measurements taken from its ranks of pilots, then averaged. Daniels ascertained that despite the rigor and breadth of the measurements, not a single active pilot in the Air Force actually matched up with all the averages. In short, the Air Force had designed their planes around an average pilot that didn't actually exist, causing pilots to have trouble controlling their planes.

 

We can take a lesson from Lt. Daniels discovery when it comes to our budgets. It's tempting to come up with an average for each line item, and compare your budget to someone else's or perhaps even a regional or national "average." Designing your budget around averages may not actually fit your life, and, going back to Episode 420, may leave your budget rigid and inflexible.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

Direct download: 421_Dont_Be_Average.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

We often talk about the budget as if it’s a noun. Is it “in the budget”? Did you check the budget? When you treat the budget as a noun it takes on a rigid, inflexible quality, like the budget is set on stone tablets.

 

But what if we thought about “budget” as a verb? As an action, an activity, budgeting becomes a process, a thing which can change and evolve with each iteration.

 

Jesse discusses the importance of budgeting and not just setting a “budget.” Thanks to Hannah who shared this revelation in her video My 5 YNAB Beginner Mistakes on the YNAB YouTube Channel.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

 

Direct download: 420_Budget_No_Budget.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

Money is made to spend. We all want something, and that something usually costs money. Some of the “wants” are fleeting desires, spurred by mood or peer pressure or perhaps just a whim. Other “wants” are genuine desires and items or experiences that actually add value to your life.

 

Whichever it is, Jesse argues that you should wait. Wait before you buy anything, even the genuine wants. For one thing, waiting helps you parse out the genuine from the ephemeral.

 

Jesse keeps a running list of wants on his phone. If he wants something, he adds it to the list rather than buying it right away. If he still wants it when he checks the list again later, he buys it. Many times, however, he will find things on the list that he hasn’t thought about in a while, and that he really doesn’t want. So the list can act as a simple filter and a sanity check for purchases.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

 

Also, go to https://www.youneedabudget.com/bootcamp/ to sign up for the YNAB Debt Bootcamp!

Direct download: 419_Wait.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT

There's a cliche in TV and film whenever something bad happens in a crowd of people, inevitably someone in the crowd shouts "why doesn't someone do something!" This is usually the cue for the superhero to enter stage right. We hear this sentiment all the time, not just in bad cinema, but in real life. Anytime a problem reaches a level of widespread concern -- whether it's a local neighborhood issue or a national one -- something must be done about it.

 

Some problems have no easy answers, and we often forget that inaction is a valid response. The same goes for our budgets! Not every budget problem can be solved right now. Sometimes you don't have the right information, or enough of it, to fix every issue in your budget. That's OK. Sometimes your budget is working just fine, and there's no reason to tinker with it. That's OK too. Don't fix it if it ain't broke!

 

Whatever your situation, remember doing nothing is still doing something.

 

Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at www.youneedabudget.com

 

Also, go to https://www.youneedabudget.com/bootcamp/ to sign up for the YNAB Debt Bootcamp!

 

Direct download: 418_Doing_Nothing_Is_Something.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm MDT