Update 2/6/2014: Clicking on the links in this article will give you a discount on the YNAB budgeting software.

It's one thing to find a good budget or debt reduction spreadsheet. It's a whole different matter to find the motivation and determination to stick to your budget. The free budget templates we provide are great resources, but as you start keeping track of your expenses and managing your finances from week-to-week or month-to-month, you are going to want a more advanced and more efficient tool. YouNeedABudget has developed just the thing.

YNAB Budget Software Screenshot
A screenshot from YNAB showing how to set up a budget.

I've followed the progress of YNAB from the get-go, when Jesse Mecham contacted me years ago to get some feedback on his simple spreadsheet program. We were both in college at the time and budgeting was (and still is) extremely important. Since then, he has continued to improve YNAB and it is now one of the best budgeting tools available, especially if you want to track your expenses and continue to budget month after month.

Instead of just selling a tool and making you fend for yourself, he gives very simple step-by-step instructions and provides strong motivational articles, as well as an amazing e-Book, The YNAB Way, which comes with the purchase. That's what we all need - a tool to help us change our lives, along with the encouragement and motivation to make the change.

Example of a Split Transaction in YNAB
An example of entering a split transaction in YNAB.

With the creation of YNAB 3, YouNeedABudget.com has reached out to the non-Excel world. With YNAB, you can:

  • Import transactions from your Bank
  • Schedule recurring payments
  • Split transactions easily across multiple categories
  • Automatically generate reports

... basically, all the things missing from most budget spreadsheets.

What I like best about the YNAB way is all of the help and support that they provide on their site in the form of blog articles and a very active support forum. What a great concept!

If you are serious about getting your feet back under you, follow the YNAB Way.

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Jon Wittwer
Vertex42 LLC