This post is sponsored by YNAB.
Friends!! You know from two of my previous posts that I am a total YNAB (You Need A Budget) freak. Ever since trying out the budgeting program back in March of 2016, it has completely changed my life. I check in with my budget daily (sometimes more than once a day), and it has made me very intentional with my spending and savings goals. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it! (Probably go back to complicated spreadsheets – shudder!) This is a product that I truly and wholeheartedly believe in, and I want you all to try it out!
Imagine my squeal when I found out that the founder of YNAB, Jesse Mecham, has written a book that goes into detail on all the why, what, and how questions of budgeting. You Need A Budget: The Proven System for Breaking the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle, Getting Out of Debt, and Living the Life You Want is currently available for pre-order and comes out next week, on December 26. The YNAB team sent me an advance copy of the book to read and share on the blog.
Whether you’ve never budgeted or you’ve been using YNAB for years like me, this book will fire you up! It’s based upon YNAB’s four principles, but includes so much more too.
1) Give every dollar a job.
2) Embrace your true expenses.
3) Roll with the punches.
4) Age your money.
Mecham says “Think of a budget as a lifestyle-design blueprint.” Whether you are living paycheck to paycheck and not sure how you’ll pay for groceries, or if you just started a fancy new job and want to know you are reaching your long-term goals so you can have the confidence to buy the designer shoes you want now, YNAB’s program will work for you. It can help you get out of debt, save for a house, plan for retirement, and prepare for unexpected costs.
As I was reading the book and reflecting on my “lifestyle-design blueprint,” I started to realize how similar personal finance and healthy living are. Let me explain:
Budgeting and healthy living are a lifestyle, not a quick fix.
Just like you can’t go on a diet for one week, lose 5 pounds, and then go back to your old ways – budgeting isn’t something you can do for a month and then expect it to last. You have to be mindful and intentional about both your money and your health on a regular basis.
Flexibility is key.
As with health, there will be days when you feel like running 5 miles and days when you don’t have time to squeeze a workout in. There will be days when you eat green vegetables at every meal and days when you overeat. You have to be flexible and kind to yourself. Similarly, just as YNAB’s third rule states, you have to ‘roll with the punches’ when you overspend at Target or eat out a few too many times in one month. Taking money from less important categories to cover the overage is a normal part of budgeting.
There are many pillars to budgeting and health.
Diet, exercise, sleep, stress reduction – healthy living isn’t just one of these, it’s all of them. You can’t just do one and feel your best. Similarly, personal finance spans many categories: fixed expenses, variable needs, wants, true expenses, saving for the future, unexpected bills, etc. You can’t just budget in one of these categories, you need to be prepared for them all.
Knowledge is power.
The more you know about yourself, the better off you will be. Spending money and the health choices we make every day are both often emotional decisions. By taking a close look at our habits and reflecting upon them, we can best prepare ourselves for the future. Knowing what you spent on green juice (or sugary lattes) last month can help you tweak your budget for the next. Having a budget where you give every dollar a job actually gives you permission to spend your money on the things you want.
You don’t need to be perfect.
We are all going to eat cake for breakfast sometimes or drink too much on a holiday. No one is perfect. Similarly, we all overspend from time to time or impulse buy all.the.things. at Target (guilty!). Every step you take towards being intentional with your money (and your health) will snowball you into the right direction and good decisions will come more naturally in time. So, take the first step towards a healthier life – for your body and your wallet this year – and you will thank yourself later.
I am giving away a free copy of the YNAB to one of you! Comment below with a budget tip you use (or perhaps one you want to implement in 2018!). The winner has been notified! Congrats to Debra.
Thanks to YNAB for sponsoring this post.