You Need A Budget!

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I hate the word “budget.” I hate guidelines and limits. I like to be able to spend the money I earn any way I want, save some, and live life carefree. BUT, that is pretty irresponsible. I don’t care how much money one makes, you should always have a budget. I’ve decided to start being a little smarter with my money and turn 2016 into a conservative and slightly frugal year. I’ll never be able to cut out my extra expenses completely, but I can DEFINITELY cut some of them out. I decided to make some solutions to go along with my spending issues. I need to get out of the mindset that I can buy whatever I want, because having more money than items is the ideal situation.

I have an accountant that runs all of my business expenses and taxes, and he’s pretty pricy. Now, if I were to add my personal finances onto his workload, he’d charge me a ton. There is an App/Website called YNAB (You Need A Budget) (with companion apps for Android and iOS) that acts as your personal accountant and it’s pretty awesome. They teach “four rules” that completely change the way you think about your money.

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The Four Rules: Help you stop living paycheck to paycheck, get out of debt and save more money faster.

Give Every Dollar A Job
Rule One- Give every dollar a job.
Rule Two- Embrace your true expenses.
Rule Three- Roll with the punches.
Rule Four- Age your money.

I need to remember that a “budget” is not a restriction. It’s about having control over your money and putting the important things on the top of the priority list and cutting out the not-so-imporant things.

YNAB definitely teaches you how to live differently. They will help you get out of debt and live the life you want. I love that they have guides, videos, and daily online classes to educate us on the importance of budgeting and how to get to our financial goals.

I connected my bank account with the YNAB app and plugged in my expenses. Keeping track of my expenses is something I rarely do and that is NOT ok. I was also inspired after watching their guides to create a game plan on cutting out some expenses.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 8.09.37 AMExpenses I need to cut out & the solution.

Decor Splurges: I have an obsession with decor stores. I love buying chairs, rugs, pillows, throw blankets and more. I need to start doing more DIY projects for my home decor. It will cut my cost on decor and also give me more blog content!
Coffee/Juice Drinks: This is a no-brainer. I spend more money on coffees, juices, lattes, and unnecessary drinks way too much. I need to start using my at-home coffee maker, my Nespresso machine, my blender, and juicer. Now, I won’t give this up COMPLETELY as it makes me happy, but I’ll most certainly cut back on those expenses. Luckily I have six Starbucks gift cards and a Dean & Deluca gift card to use up.
The Clothing: Ever since I started my boutique, I’ve cut back on a lot of shopping. I love wearing my own collection, but every-so-often I’ll hit up the outlets and buy clothing. I can’t say no to sales! I’ve decided to start having closet sales before buying any new clothes. I will make sure to get rid of something before adding something new.
Grocery Shopping: This kills me. I’m out of town a lot or never at my own place so a lot of my groceries go to waste. This has been a recent issue. I need to start making grocery lists to stick to, shopping in bulk, and freezing any groceries I do not use. I also need to stay home more.
Brunches & Restaurants: This has been a big one. I don’t know why, but for the past year and a half, I’ve eaten out more than ever. I know I live in one of the best Cities to dine out in, but I need to keep it down to twice a week.

Some Things I’ve Been Good At:

-Every month for the past five years, I have put $500 into a savings account that I do not touch.
-I got rid of cable. I replaced it with Hulu & Netflix. I can’t watch all of my favorite shows on the internet anyways!
-I keep all my lights and electronics off before leaving. If I’m not in a room, then nothing is on in that room. I use a heated blanket and mini heater to keep my electric bill down. I also shut my blinds in the summer to keep it cool. My electric bill was only $39.00 last month. That is incredibly low!

^Now, I’d like that list to grow and I’m excited for YNAB to help me.

Making money a responsibility is hard when you’re in your twenties. All of your friends are going out on the weekends, sometimes you feel like you need to keep up with their expenses like buying new cars, new homes, or new clothing. Also, you may be making more than you were five years ago and it’s nice to be able to spend the money how you want before big responsibilities take place. It’s nice to have an app (that won’t judge you) to keep you in line. You can also customize your budget at anytime.

YNAB is giving the first 50 readers a 3 month free trial to YNAB! I highly recommend trying it out. Click here to test it out!

  1. Do you follow a budget? 
  2. What are items you could cut out of your expenses? 
  3. Are you saving for anything special?
this is a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.

Comments

  • Jennifer

    Would love to hear an update about budgeting and finances now that you are in a house and it is a new year! 🙂

    Reply to Jennifer
  • Jen D

    I love YNAB! Thanks for posting this Tara so your readers can learn about it too. I’ve told so many friends about it and they all love it too. I honestly don’t know how I lived without it for the prior 24 years of my life. I have been using it for about a year now and paid off my car, socked away a 6 month emergency fund, am maxing out my retirement accounts and also saving for a house down payment. It feels great to know where your money is going and be able to control it. It’s so much easier to say no to the little things when you can really see the big picture!

    Reply to Jen D
  • Meg

    Good for you with your don’t-touch-savings account!!! You are brave for disclosing the amount – people can be so rude, geez. I just moved cities and so switched from a career in TV marketing (something I know lots about naturally because duh – TV is amazing) to finance marketing (I knew nothing – I was the definition of ‘fake it til you make it’). One of the biggest things I learned was how to save smarter. Hopefully you don’t mind me passing this along 🙂

    You should look into getting an advisor for your savings (or maybe you have one and everyone saying you have $30K are grossly underestimating you ;). An advisor can invest that money in something that will grow with compound interest, so your money will be making you money (this is also how advisors get paid – up front fees are scams). You should meet with more than one person before deciding – pick someone you like and feel comfortable with. Goodluck!

    And to answer you questions, I am a hypocrite because I DON’T follow a budget (but I do set aside money from every paycheque). I am terrible about spending when it comes to food, drinks, and clothes! I love them all so much! I am saving for a house with my husband; I have a goldendoodle too and she needs a back yard!! Speaking of, Grumples posts are my favourite 🙂

    Reply to Meg
  • Cassie Tran

    Wow, this looks like such a useful website and budget accounter! I have to try this when I start college and set up my budgets!

    Reply to Cassie Tran
  • Katy

    Love this!

    Reply to Katy
  • Devon

    Signing up now! Thank you TL!

    Reply to Devon
  • Sarah C.

    How do you save 500 a month? That is pretty amazing and was just wondering how that is possible with your rent, electric,..etc. Perhaps you could write a post. With it being the new year and taxes coming up I think most of US are trying to save. Thanks for all ypyour posts

    Reply to Sarah C.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Being able to save $500 a month really depends on how much you make/budget each month. You just have to find an amount you can afford to save and put it away. Even if you’re just putting away $200.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Brooklyn

    I definitely need to focus on budgets more this year. I have so much that I need to buy and save up for. Thanks for showing me this app!
    http://Www.justbeingbrooklyn.com

    Reply to Brooklyn
  • Emily

    This inspired me to get on my budget (and update mine)! I use mint.com thought. It’s awesome and FREE! I spent all afternoon crunching the numbers. Thanks for the inspiration! This is something I really needed to do since I have to cut back my hours this semester due to my conflicting class schedule.

    Reply to Emily
  • Kaitlynn Marie

    Bookmarking for sure! I am so weird about my finances. I can spend hours figuring out exactly how much money I will be taking home, how it needs to be spent, and then completely fail at saving any of the money left over! Ugh. I need to work on this, for sure! Thanks so much for the awesome post 🙂

    -Kaitlynn

    Reply to Kaitlynn Marie
  • Katie Lynn Pote

    I will be the first to admit that I am awful at following a budget. My main reason is because I am obsessed with clothes shopping. However, whenever I buy something new like a new hoodie I will get rid of an old one. That way I don’t get bombarded with clothes. I normally donate my clothes or sell them to a repeat retailer. Last time I got rid of like five pairs of old American Eagle jeans and they gave me $85.

    There are a few things I can cut out easily and that would be eating out and clothes shopping. I go to the gym a lot too but luckily my husband is military so the on base gym is free. (:

    My dream has to been to go to Italy ever since I was six. So I want to start saving so my husband and I can go to Italy for our five year wedding anniversary which is in three years.

    Reply to Katie Lynn Pote
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That is such a good idea. I need to let go of my old clothes. Eating and Clothing are my weaknesses too! Although, I did pretty well this week. We only went out twice…

      Italy would be a great thing to save up for!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Nicole

    I love this! I follow a loose budget… I rely on Mint (and have for years) to catalog all of my expenses/loan payments/savings… I don’t use it regularly to make sure I’m sticking to my grocery budget, etc. because I’ve been doing it for so long BUT it is SO helpful before I make big life decisions. For example, before I bought my new car a couple of years ago, I used my Mint account to look at my spending in each category and help me determine what I could actually afford as a car payment each month. That helped me make sure I wasn’t buying a car I couldn’t afford.

    I’ve also gotten in the habit of paying off my credit card every month. I make multiple payments (at least every 2 weeks, if not each week) to make sure I’m never carrying interest. Basically, I use it like a charge card.

    I’m going to try and get into the habit of putting away savings every single paycheck, before the money goes to anything else… instead of just saving whatever is left over every month.

    Good for you for getting in control of your budget! Spending on experiences and being content that you can afford emergencies is such a better feeling (for me, at least) than having a new outfit for every event or Starbucks every day.

    Reply to Nicole
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You are so on top of your finances! SO inspiring.

      I think it’s great to pay off credit cards and pay on them twice a month!

      Putting away the money is such a great idea. I would LOVE to spend that extra on stuff, but it’s so much more rewarding to see that account go up. I think of that as a “bill” and force myself to put it away.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sara

    That is an awesome app!

    Reply to Sara
  • Megan

    1. My husband and I follow a budget very well. It’s always kept us out of trouble when things happen.

    2. I am addicted to Chik-Fil-A and Starbucks! I am very impulsive when it comes to food but when it comes to something that I might actually need (like new workout clothes, my yoga pants look very sad! Anybody know a great deal for plus size workout clothes?)

    3. I’ve been saving up for a while, for what? I’m not sure. Part of it is for the 5K’s that I want to do this year. I want to do one per quarter this year and I’m already signed up for the Gritty Goddess in Galveston this year! I’m so excited!

    Reply to Megan
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That is smart of you guys. Nick is such a budgeter, so he has me on the budget train now.

      I’ve actually NEVER eaten at Chik-Fil-A (other than their diet lemonade), Zaxbys, or Popeyes! People think I’m nuts! Seriously check out EBAY! I get a lot of workout clothes there and used jeans that are pretty new! People grow out of jeans all the time and I love it! I actually just score new american eagle jeans that were never worn for $9.99 today.

      Good luck on that 5K!! I’ll do some when it gets warmer out!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Megan

    1.

    Reply to Megan
  • Heather @ Polyglot Jot

    My husband and I are saving all we can and putting it toward paying off our student loans. It can be so hard like you said especially as a younger adult. BUT i know it will be worth it in the end. thanks for sharing about this app ive never heard of this one! Cant wait to check it out!

    Reply to Heather @ Polyglot Jot
  • Jen

    1. I took a financial class about 3 years ago and it was based around the same concept of telling your money what to do and giving each dollar a job. It was extremely helpful but I still have tons of student loans to get through. Thankfully every month i get a litle closer! At this point i don’t even think about the budget- it’s engraved in my lifestyle just as is healthy eating and exercising.

    2. I eat sushi once a week. That could go- but it probably won’t lol. If i know i have a shopping trip planned or an evening out, then i might skip it. But I prefer to work it into my weekly food budget 🙂

    3. Saving up for a house and traveling, possibly a 2nd wedding anniversary cruise for me and my husband!

    Reply to Jen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I had never heard of that concept but now I love it. It’s genius. I’m hoping it can get engraved into my mind!

      Once a week won’t kill ya 🙂

      Those are great things to save up for, especially that cruise!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kylie McGraw

    First real job, first year living on my own, first year trying to balance my bank account with real expenses and I need to figure out a budget so badly! I’m getting better about saving, but the “extras” are way too easy. I want to move from my current apartment so that I can save more next year. 🙂

    Reply to Kylie McGraw
  • Carley @ Optimistic Health

    You’re right- knowing where your money is going no matter how much you make is always wise! I budgeted before I got married 4 years ago and from there my husband manages all our finances and invests and allocates accordingly- thank goodness because investing does not come naturally to me and stresses me out!

    Our biggest expense is groceries by far! I don’t see it as a problem though because your health is an investment! I’ve seen people in their fifties and even younger have to come in to the hospital for many things that could have been prevented by diet and it ends up costing them millions because it either kills them early or puts them out of a job.

    Reply to Carley @ Optimistic Health
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yeah, I’m hoping I learn to enjoy it or can have someone do it for me! lol

      You’re so right about that! Health starts with what you feed your body! & It’ll cost more in medical bills than grocery bills.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Heather

    Awesome post Tara! Being better with my money is my 2016 resolution too! I spend so much on groceries and house decor too. I started using the app, Mint. While it isn’t as involved as the one you have posted about, it is still eye opening for me. It shows money in vs money out each month, which has already changed how I spend my money. I felt the same as you did before, it’s my money and I’m going to spend it how I want because it makes me happy. This is something I definitely need to work on still. Thank you so much for posting about this, it makes me want to work on it even more!

    Reply to Heather
  • Kelsey

    I’m right there with you! I’m an accountant and I still hate thinking about my personal budget. (So my husband keeps track of it 🙂 )I’m trying to DIY more home décor stuff as well but I have to be careful with that too because sometimes it ends up cheaper if I would have bought it! And I’m trying to cut back on all my Caribou and Starbucks purchases. Oops! Thanks for sharing your ideas and solutions!

    Reply to Kelsey
    • Taralynn McNitt

      lol I usually think accountants have the best bank accounts and are so organized. I agree and think the DIY can get pricier! You just have to figure out what you can do with the leftover material. Caribous and Starbucks are my loves and it’s like breaking up with them! ALTHOUGH, the nespresso has taken it’s place!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jenny

    I really enjoy working with budgets and tracking expenses. Money can be scary! I used to just spend whatever I made and not think about it (oh to be an early twenty-something…) but as one of my resolutions a few years ago was to set some financial goals (paying down loans, building savings) and to do weekly financial check ins. Every weekend I gave myself 30 minutes to drink coffee and check all of our accounts and document the progress toward goals. This year my goal is to build upon that good habit by setting budgets, which I think will help make my money go farther and help me accomplish bigger financial goals!

    Reply to Jenny
  • Hillary

    Okay, not going to lie, after reading this blog post you’ve inspired me to get back on track with my budgeting. I used to be so good at it, and then eventually it all started to slip away and I would spend ridiculous money on ridiculous things, though I have always made sure that all of my bills are paid before I spend any money on anything else.

    1. I used to follow a budget, and I still do, to a point, but since my student loans are going to be kicking me in the face here next month I have to get back on one ASAP!!! Especially with the savings portion of it.

    2. I could probably, and easily, cut out my petty expenses, such as getting my nails done, but that’s going to be tough since it’s only about $20 a month and that’s my little bit of “Me” time. I should probably also cut back on my workout clothes shopping habit.

    3. As of current the only thing I would have been saving for was for the car I wanted, but my boyfriend surprised me and worked it all out so I could trade my car in and get the one I’ve been wanting for a while. The only other thing would be my future wedding, since my boyfriend and I have already discussed it all and we know we will get married, but the cost of everything is going to be on us, so I’m trying to start saving for that over the next couple years, as well as just having a cushion in my savings account would be nice.

    Reply to Hillary
    • Taralynn McNitt

      After looking over their website and seeing what I spend each month…yikes. That was motivation enough, especially after Christmas!

      1. Yeah, the savings is my big thing too! I want to put away $700 instead of $500 from now on and stop spending the extra on crap!

      2. They have awesome workout clothes on Ebay actually! I usually shop there 🙂 It’s a lot cheaper and could save you some. Doing your nails once month or so is a treat yourself thing:) I’m pretty nail lazy and wish I wasn’t. My nails always look like crap lol

      3. That was so sweet of him:) Planning ahead for your wedding will save you a ton! You’ll have more time to find the best deals instead of rush decisions.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ashley Andrews

    This is actually been something about lately! I know I have been way to careless, and not having a budget/spending plan is part of the issue. Being a college student, I really can’t afford to NOT be more money concious!
    One of my biggest expenses is eating out! My friend and I are amateur foodies so we like to go to new places and try new dishes, or just enjoy delicious food made by others!
    Travel is something I fell in love with a few years ago after going to Europe. The same friend mentioned above and I have great plans for a two week road trip after graduation in May that I am currently saving for. My best friend is also in South Korea teaching English for the next five years so visiting her is also something I need to start saving and planning for!

    Reply to Ashley Andrews
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I think eating out is the hardest part!! I’m with you on that. Charlotte has turned me into a foodie. I think travel is a great thing to save up for!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Shannen

    I started budgeting last year, and it has changed my life! But I wrote everything down in a notebook – it is not easy! Keeping track of my spending has become more difficult. I’ve been looking for a new system or tool to help me balance my budget. YNAB seems like it is a very simple, well designed budgeting tool. I can’t wait to start using it!

    Reply to Shannen
  • Lindsey

    I need to save up for a new car so thank you for this! I’m excited.

    Reply to Lindsey
  • Andrea @ Chasing Strength

    I went back to following a budget when I was laid off from my job a few months ago. Being frugal is a must now with my meager income. But surprisingly it hasn’t been that bad, just by monitoring my expenses very carefully I cut down in a lot of areas without having to try to hard. I think that seeing on paper how much I was spending eating out makes me now think twice about it. Also being at home during the day affords me the time to cook meals where as before I was gone for 11+ hours and coming home exhausted.

    Reply to Andrea @ Chasing Strength
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I don’t think it’s that bad either. Once I leave a store and successfully stopped myself from buying something that I wanted rather than needed I feel pretty accomplished! You’re right! Seeing it on paper is so much more eye-opening.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Bailey

    My husband and I have used YNAB for the past yeah and a half maybe? It’s a great tool. We also put in our budget besides the regular stuff for fun money for each of us to go spend how ever we please. That way we don’t feel like we are restricting ourselves. We are saving for a new car and house down payment.

    Reply to Bailey
  • Jacqueline

    Clearly I should have been a blogger instead of getting a BS in Counseling Psych. I don’t even have $30,000 in savings

    Reply to Jacqueline
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yeah, but you have more than 30,000 in a degree and will do amazing in your career field once you catch up! A BS is worth more. You go girl!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    1. I have tried and tried again to budget! But I love shopping, eating, and everything that has to do with money! I’m currently trying to figure out a way that works for me. I’m a pen and paper type of person, so that’s what I’ve been going with, and I haven’t been able to find an app that works for me. So I’m hoping this will do the trick! I’ve already signed up for my trial. I’m super excited! Because Lord knows I need help haha

    2. I’m the same when it comes to home decor. I just graduated college in May, got a full time job, and now I have a brand new apartment as of November! We were forced to live in the dorms all four years, so I have hardly anything of my own! And I LOVE decorating and everything that comes with it… except for the high credit card bill :'( So that’s one thing that I need to work on cutting out!

    3. As of right now, I’m just trying to save up for my savings account! I’d like to save as much money as possible, because I’m always thinking ahead about the future! If not that, I want to save up for a trip to Brussels to visit a friend that lives there. I love traveling!

    Have a great day!

    Reply to Jennifer
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You sound A LOT like me! My boyfriend has me sticking to my budget lol I like that I can customize the app.

      I feeeeel ya girl! I love that cozy decor 🙂 I just paid off my credit card yesterday after doing my budget and it felt good!

      You should definitely do both!:) put some in your savings and some in your travel fund!
      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessica

    Thank you for sharing this! I’ve been doing pretty well managing my money, but now it’s time for me to budget and save more. I’m not a fan of budgets either, but I’m excited to try out YNAB! And it’s only $5 a month after the trial which is awesome…I was expecting a lot more.

    1. I don’t follow a budget, but I do sit down and look at my incoming/outgoing money and schedule bills about twice a month.

    2. I’ve honestly cut out so much from my expenses, but I think it’s time to reevaluate the things I’m subscribed to. I love the Ipsy bag subscription, but I could be putting that $10 somewhere else.

    3. Currently, I am saving to pay off a huge chunk of my credit card debt. Once I can do that (I’m thinking I can soon!), I will be saving to buy a house.

    Reply to Jessica
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It’s a lot cheaper than an accountant!

      1. I do that as well!
      2. Subscriptions definitely add up!
      3. That is a great thing to save up for!!:)

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessie @ The Acquired Sass

    1. I set a budget a year or two ago & always came in well below it. I guess I should set a new one, with lower $$$ in each category, but I haven’t yet. I use Mint app to help me do this.
    2. I cut out cable a few months back, but I really don’t do much extra spending. The occasional date night dinner. But that’s typically once a month or so. We cook at home so often.
    3. I’m saving for travel & in the long term a super early retirement full of travel. I’m traveling as much as I can now. But I have plans to be done working by the time I’m 50 so I can buy an RV & go wherever I please.

    Glad you’re taking control of your $$$. If eating out brings you joy, then eat out! Don’t cut it out of your budget, just realize you may have to save in other area to make the #’s work. No matter how much $ you have it’s always nice to know where it’s going rather than wonder where it went.

    Reply to Jessie @ The Acquired Sass
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I need to follow in your footsteps and cut back my spending. We have a date night planned with the family tomorrow but I’m regretting it. I just want to stay home and watch movies! lol

      I love that you’re planning for the long run!

      & you’re right! You have to enjoy life 🙂 I’ll cutback on a lot, but enjoy life as well! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Melissa FitzGerald

    Thank you for posting this! I’ve needed something like this for a while. I used to use Mint, but just wasn’t completely happy with it.

    1. I kind of do, but I need to be much better about it. I make sure that I have enough to pay my rent, medical bills, and utilities, but then I tend to be very frivolous with how I spend what’s left.

    2. I could definitely cut back on going out. I was really good about cooking and eating at home earlier this year, but then my work/school schedule got insane, and eating out is just so convenient! I also fall into the trap of just grabbing “a drink” with friends far too often–it’s never just one drink, and even if it was, they’re so expensive!

    3. I’m not saving up for anything in particular–I just want to make sure I have something saved up, since anything can happen at any time, and I’m not going to be able to rely on my parents to help me forever.

    Reply to Melissa FitzGerald
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I’ve heard of that one! I never tried it.

      Same here! The drinks turn to meals for me and its always pricy by the end of it.

      You’re absolutely right! My dad has always been a saver! saver! saver! When we wanted a car, he made us buy it. When we wanted to go somewhere, he made us earn it. He made us get jobs at fifteen to pay for everything. I’m proud to say my parents never paid for my school, my cars, or anything I own. (other than christmas gifts) but i’d rather eat 1000000 cherry tomatoes than ask my parents for money. I’m glad he did that to us though!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Morgan L.

        “1000000 cherry tomatoes” gave me a good laugh. Haha! I feel the same way. There’s something about having to work hard young that makes you hate asking for things.

        Reply to Morgan L.
  • Phyllis

    So you have 30,000 in a savings account but can’t afford school?

    Reply to Phyllis
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I can afford school as I’m currently paying for it out of pocket lol

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Jodi

        That was a rude question, buuut…you did post a while back “Unfortunately I have to pay out of state for the first year, so the boutique is what’s going to help me pay for college.” AND, “I filed my FASFA thinking I’d get a lot of help…”

        So I can see where someone might get confused: why would you need financial aid or boutique sales to pay for college if you have ~$30K in the bank?

        Reply to Jodi
        • Taralynn McNitt

          Being able to get grants and money for college without touching my savings would be awesome and that is why I made that statement. I like to see my savings go up instead of down and so that means I’m trying to pay for college out of pocket without touching my savings. If I could have gotten extra money for school that would have been great. Now, I pay out of pocket with my income. I just want to continue to pay for school without digging into my savings that is all.

          Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Katarina from Estonia

    Hi Taralynn! Am so happy you posted this. My goal for this year is to save money and i have made budget. My goal is to pay back my homeloan faster. And i did use too mutch money for take away cafe and eating out. Have cut them out for 2 months now and happy to see the results. Please keep posting about saving tips 🙂

    Reply to Katarina from Estonia
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Nice! I’m a little late on the start, but it’s a great New Year’s Res.

      Nice job on making the little changes! I’m hoping I can be strong and do the same 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jenn

    I LOVE this app! I’ve been using it for 7 months now. I started with the free trial and bought the classic version. I did fresh start in January so I’d get a true idea of certain expenses I don’t account for like medical bills or how much I spend on clothes for my kid. I also love that I can update on the app when I am at the grocery store or Target. Not sure what I can cut out this year but we’ll see. I’m really looking forward to seeing how we do throughout the year because I’m dorky. We aren’t saving for anything special, I just want to build our savings and regrow our emergency fund.

    Reply to Jenn
  • Kelsey

    1.Do you follow a budget?
    Welllllll…. Kinda lol I have been doing a little bit better.

    2.What are items you could cut out of your expenses?
    Buying clothes :/ or like you said buying food that just goes to waste. I need to just strictly stick to my shopping list. We don’t eat out alot so that isn’t the issue thankfully.

    3.Are you saving for anything special?
    We are currently saving for a cruise in September 🙂 and I am also putting up $20.00 up every paycheck for christmas.. I did it last year too and it helped ALOT.

    Reply to Kelsey
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You’re doing something so there is that 🙂

      Yeah, eating out becomes a habit!

      That is smart to budget for christmas and a cruise sounds so fun!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kay

    Hi Tara! I have been wanting to try YNAB for a while. I tried clicking on the link, but it says 34 free days. How do I get the 3 months?

    Thanks!!

    Reply to Kay
  • Megan J

    This website is VERY cool! Great article.

    Reply to Megan J
  • Marissa

    I love YNAB. I’ve been using it for just over a year. I haven’t tried the new online version because I love the older version. Regardless it has changed how I spend & save.

    Reply to Marissa
  • Amanda

    Love this post!!! Our last years resolution was to be debt free. So we followed the Dave Ramsay plan and we did it! School is paid for and my car! Now we are just saving for a house! I love that you are spreading the word on creating a budget. So important!

    Reply to Amanda
  • Meghan

    1. I had to learn to budget while I was in grad school and now that I am working, with the help of my budgeting skills, I’ve been able to pay off a lot of debt in a very short time. It’s a great feeling when you know your finances are in order. You are so right to think about it as money versus things–which do you want more of?

    2. I could definitely cut back on dining and drinking out–save the money and the calories!!!

    3. Thanks to my budgeting skills, I am well prepared to save for my two 2016 goals: traveling more and buying a house!

    Reply to Meghan
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You’re right and nice job paying off those debts. Luckily I’ve been good with staying out of debt, but I’ll be happy when I have my car payed off. I’ve been doubling payments. AGREE WITH YOUR #2

      Those are two GREAT things to save up for!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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