Wednesday, January 6, 2010

YNAB (YouNeedABudget) Giveaway



When it comes down to it, budgeting, like dieting or working out, takes discipline and a measure of personal determination; there are no secrets. But a good system helps tremendously.

That's what YNAB has been for our family -- an excellent system. We're fairly disciplined and organized people and it has made a significant difference in our financial management.

I like it because:

* It's intuitive, efficient and easy to use.
* It has helped us accelerate the achievement of our financial goals.
* It has helped us significantly improve our communication about money
* It syncs with our bank & credit card statements for easy spending reconciliation and tracking.
* The methodology behind it is sound, no nonsense. (Four rules - you can check them out on the website.)
* The technical support/customer service is fantastic.

Soooo, we're excited to be giving away one copy of YNAB 3 - the latest (MAC compatible!) version of the software. To enter, leave a comment. Double entries given if you include in your comment budget-related issues you'd like to see discussed at Bloom in the future. Winner will be announced Friday morning.

And if it's not your lucky day, but you'd really like to give YNAB a try, you're still lucky because YNAB is offering Bloom readers a 15% discount on all purchases made through Saturday. Just enter "bloom" at checkout. Very cool.

79 comments:

cwillcox said...

So excited about this giveaway! My husband is about to quit his great paying job and head to law school this fall. We're super excited but also nervous about living on my income with a baby and a house payment, etc. This would be a fantastic tool to make that transition 100x's easier! Thanks!!

Stefani M. said...

A great step up from the excel spreadsheets I have to make myself, I'm sure. :) (Please, let me win. Please, let me win. I put down keeping a consistent budget as one of my goals last night at Enrichment. LOL)

james and bess said...

looks like a great tool! i'd like to see info about how to trim costs while still eating healthy, looking stylish, etc. :) thanks!!

bess

Sandi said...

I would like to trim expenses so that we are able to include more charity giving in our budget.

Rachael said...

Oh, I was hoping you'd be giving away YNAB software ever since I saw the first post!

And for a double entry comment, I'd love to see a post at Bloom on budgeting and allocating funds for college savings and retirement. Maybe a Friday Forum? I'd love to get ideas of what other people are doing in these areas.

jeanine said...

I'm so excited about this giveaway! I used to be so good at keeping a budget but in the last two years (since I was called as YW president and my life became that much more busy) I have fallen by the wayside. We save more money than ever but I'd like to get back into keeping track of everything. It feels so overwhelming to start again though. Any suggestions of how to pick up where I left off?

Sally said...

Very cool. We could definitely use an upgrade from our cash envelopes.

sarahandmatt said...

I would love that software! Also, as far as topics go, why not talk a little about budgeting when your spouse has lost their job or when you are temporarily tighter than usual. Sometimes the budget you used to have just doesn't apply.

sarah jewett clarke said...

This is great! I was just browsing the YNAB website this morning.

I would like to see a discussion on how to plan for having children and how that impacts a couple's finances.

Annie Atkin Rasmussen said...

Please, please pick me! If I win, I'll name my next child Bloom. Or maybe Ynab. (Or maybe not. Would you settle for my next gerbil?)

bendersae said...

I've been looking for a better tool than Quicken to track my budget. I've been using Quicken for years and I know where all my money is and how much I have, but I'm not good at planning where it's going.

Michelle said...

I could really use this software.

We are looking at buying our first home and our daughter will be heading to college this fall and we have no college savings so we are going to be living on a really tight budget.

I would love to see how to budget the above items along with still being able to travel and enjoy life with my husband.

Trina said...

I'm not entering, because I already own the software, but just wanted to say that I wish I had bought it YEARS ago! I've only had it for a little over a month, and it has already saved me at least what I paid for it, if not double. I love, love, love it!

Tiff said...

this would be sweet. i need it.

Jessica said...

This new software will really help my husband and I out. He is currently going to school to be a RN and we are limited on money. Having this software would really help me to have a steadier budget every month.

Abbie said...

Oh, I would love this!

Okay, so something I kinda want to talk about is - we moved to a super expensive place. I've had to totally rewire how I think about spending money because everything is at least twice as much here. I get so anxious when I check out at the grocery store. And we lost our income! AHHH!!

So, being at peace on a student budget when everything is so expensive and knowing that one day we will make money again and being okay with going into massive amounts of debt we're accumulating. But being okay with it because we're investing in our future. (Unless something insane happens with health care reform and then we're homeless when we're done:)

Make sense? Typing this with a baby on lap:).

Rachel said...

Great giveaway. I need some direction in the budget area...

Kim Cannon said...

We really need something to help with our budgeting. I would love to see something about ways to save when it comes to buying groceries and still eat healthy.

LJ said...

sounds like an awesome tool that would help me out a great deal! like others, i'd love to hear tips on eating well (organic, whole foods, etc) on a budget. food is one area where i just don't want to skimp, but organic options are always so much more expensive.

danielle said...

I am so glad they are finally making this for a mac!

I'd like to hear more about the really basics of budgeting, and how to budget when you are maybe out of the student phase and into the have a grownup job phase.

Megh said...

This software has been on my wishlist for a while (should have been budgeting money to buy it with...)


I would love to get some additional insights on the "miscellaneous category". It seems like every month, we are slammed with something totally unexpected. Any good ideas on staying in control of financial surprises?

Sarah R. said...

This looks like it would be a great way to kick start the new year!

~linds said...

This seems so much better than the spreadsheets I made years ago. We really need a budget make over!

I could use tips on spending. Also, planning filling, yummy meals on a budget.

Jesslyn said...

Still loving the budget week!

For my double entry - I'd like to see entertainment and allowance budgets discussed more. That's one area we have trouble using well in our budget. We either set aside the money and then aren't sure what to do with it, or sometimes guilt ourselves for spending it frivolously. And my husband and I don't currently give ourselves allowances to spend as we like but decided we'd maybe like to try it after it was mentioned the other day.

Jen said...

Ooh, sign me up!

And I'd love to see a discussion about planning and budgeting for "acceptable" debt: a mortgage, student loans, that kind of thing.

families are forever said...

Budgeting has helped us achieve many of our goals, but since we have obtained them. I have slacked off my budgeting, i need new goals and a new program would be great!
Budgeting topics: motivational quotes, taxes, savings, interest, money gained through early loan pay offs, etc...
I close with a quote I like ...."I do not believe the Lord will give us his full blessing for paying 10% if we are foolish with 90%."

Vicky said...

This sounds great! I would like some ideas for figuring out how to budget for the unexpected. Not just emergencies and repairs, but the birthday present we forgot we had to buy and the sudden trip we need to take. Maybe that's really not so hard, but we seem to always have things come up that we didn't adequately plan for.

Heather said...

We start off on a budget but then by the middle of the month it is out the door. Please let me win!

Daron and Jamee said...

We are keeping our fingers crossed, and thanks for the motivation!!

Melissa said...

This is a great give away! Thank you!

I would love to know how one can possibly account for every penny? This blows my mind. Perhaps I'm budgeting ahead and not based on the past months salary as you discussed already. I get overwhelmed by the parts my brain can't figure out--the unknowns. The last time I tried to budget, I had so many categories. And I still forgot to add some! Maybe trial and error is my answer. I need to do something. Thanks!

Stacy said...

this would be so helpful! thanks for the chance!

Heather said...

How lovely! We have quicken but I am not consistent with using it. But I need to get on the horn since we are starting medical school soon and our finances will be wonky and skimpy! So, how about a post on budgeting during super lean times, esp after a nice surplus of comfy steady income.

Carrie said...

I've never won anything, and therefore rarely enter giveaways, but 'accelerating the achievement' of our financial goals is something I'd REALLY like to see happen!

My budget related issue I'd like to see discussed... medical spending. How do I plan for it? It seems like stuff always comes up. Last year we had a flex spending account, but we our pledge for the year was probably about 2000 dollars less than we were billed. Am I suppose to just assume that we will have unexpected surgeries? Is there a rule of thumb for medical expenses for size of family? Quite honestly, I'm tired of the extra money going to pay medical bills. Vacation money, money for that Crate and Barrel duvet, or even eating out money has gone to drs and hospitals this year. I wanna know what I can do to make this NOT happen again next year. We don't earn a ton, and we certainly don't have much extra. HELP!

Tyler said...

My family could use this

For a double entry-
How do you cut spending when you feel like you already live frugally? We never eat out, we don't have an entertainment budget, we buy clothes for the kids on clearance, we don't have many subscription services. I guess my question is what is reasonable to live without?

Jonesy said...

Budget? What's that?

mauigleaux said...

Ooh! I love to budget; maybe it is the idea of focused control of our income. But, alas my husband is not much of a budget-oriented fellow. I will going back to the work force soon, maybe offering alittle more flex with spending!! This would be a wonderful tool for our household. Thank you for exploring the budget world with us!!
aloha, m

Jonesy said...

How do you effectively budget self-employment income that is VERY irregular???

Katrina said...

We totally need this. We are lame budgeters.

I'd love to hear from someone who knows the best way to eat healthy on a budget. I'm always looking for more tips to get healthy, fresh food at the best price.

marymary said...

I would love to try this software! Although I would say we've never been irresponsible with our money, I'd benefit from you sharing very specific suggestions. I understand all the principles of budgeting, but any specific "Do this"-type examples would be most helpful.

Melissa said...

What a great giveaway!
I'd like to see post on how to build a 3 month emergency reserve. I recently heard that now days it's more like a 6-9 month reserve that you should have.
How much cash should we keep in our house for emergencies? (As in ATM's are down, can't access a bank and the money you have is all you have. Extreme I know. I'm all about worst case scenarios. LOL! But serious.)

Bethany said...

Yay! What a fun (and practical) giveaway. For a bonus entry, I would like to know more about retirement and college savings options.

p.s. The budget posts are great. Such an important skill to master. Being more frugal and mindful of our household's money is my main goal for 2010.

Shan said...

great giveaway!!

i would like to see budgeting on a variable income as my husband and i are both self employed :)

Crapos said...

I'm up for trying a new system!

And I would love to hear how all-ready frugal households find even more ways to save. I always get excited to read articles on how to find money by cutting down but then I am disappointed when I am already doing everything on the list!

Diana said...

Would love this!

For a second entry topic, I would love to see a topic about budgeting for financial independence..I've seen reference to this topic before but not recently.

Thank you!

jess said...

man oh man could we use this... we usually wing it, and that doesn't always go over well. i mean, we're still alive, but in 5 years of marriage have NEVER taken a real vacation that we paid for. sad!
and ideas? i would love ideas on easy things to cut out of the budget altogether or replace. Sort of like an "eat this not that" concept, but financially. make any sense? probably not, but oh well.
thanks for the chance at a win!

Rosalee said...

I could totally use this.
For a double entry: I would love to see a post/forum about the envelope system. When we've done it, we've loved it1

Trestle Design said...

thanks bloom! this is great. (this is emily, btw.)

Megan said...

I don't think my comments will help anyone else out there, but I am currently in a position where I don't have to budget out money for meals, but will have to do it eventually and don't even know where to begin. Help in that area would be awesome-and one day, i want to live in a house. At the moment, we have not near enough money to start buying one, but guidance along those lines are always intriguing.

Allison said...

Count me in!

Let's discuss healthy options for coupon moms, I started doing coupons with the rest of utah last year. Although I've saved bundles, I need to figure out how to do it and stay healthy. Thanks!!!

Mary said...

Oh boy we need this...i guess i should say I need it. my hubby is amazing with budgeting ITs me that has the problem. This year I'm gettin serious! So thank you thank you for these posts and all your posts for that matter. i love you ladies and i'm so inspired each time i read bloom!

Thoughts: how to help your children understand the value of money

Mary Saline said...

This is sooo what we need! This is one of my top goals this year!! Hope I win!!!

Sparklebot said...

I'd like to see info on how to tackle major credit card debt. I wanna win!

Spiresfam said...

I tried for this when you did the giveaway on your blog Em and i am sad to sad that we still haven't made family budgeting a major priority in our lives and we NEED this especially when we are going to be finally making a proper income as soon as Mark graduates this April. Oh and for a second chance at winning...... I would LOVE to see you have a discussion on budget grocery shopping. And some tips on some healthy cheap "must haves" for meals.

Danielle said...

Very neat giveaway! We too have had an excel sheet budget in the past, but it would be way cool to have a program that could monitor our trends and such. Thanks for the opportunity!

Erin said...

As non-budgeters, this software could be just what our family needs.
I'd like to see posts on budgeting with children. As a semi-new mom, I've found that it is really hard to know what -and when- to budget for baby. I imagine that continues as they age. :) Thanks!

Karen said...

I would love to win this and START budgeting. We aren't so good at that part! And...something I would love to discuss: what to do with your kid's money (when to set up an account, what kind of an account, etc)! :)

Jen Frame said...

This totally fits with my New Years Resolution!

I would love to learn how start investing some of my savings (retirement, stocks, etc).

JulieN said...

After checking out the YNAB website I think this would be an awesome tool. I am a bookkeeper for a fairly large consulting firm, can manage their budget great but I guess by the time I get to mine I have run out of gas.

Mark, Jenny and Sweet G said...

i would LOVE to win this! i would also love to see bloom discuss some of the "want" issues that come up (like, say, a pedicure once in a while or maybe the constant pregnancy craving i have for an orange dream machine jamba juice!) and how they fit into the "needs" of life.

Alicia said...

So excited for this giveaway! I really need to be better at budgeting.

I would like to see how to maintain a healthy diet on a slim budget.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I would like to have a walk through or a play by play of what your budgeting looks like, Em. I don't have a system in place for day-to-day maintenance of my budget. (For example, "Sat down with husband and talked about monthly needs. 20 minutes" or "Reviewed bank statements. 10 minutes") Thanks!

Rachel Mae said...

Oh, this is just what I'd need. I'd like a discussion of how to identify not-so-obvious areas to cut spending for people who already live quite frugally.

Rae's Corner said...

Pick me PUHLEAAAASE!

I'm anxious to do something hands on and different with our budget...I love Dave Ramsey but haven't been able to really work his worksheets into our life...I would love a software system that can really "wam bam thank you ma'am" my budget!

oh please oh please oh please!

annie said...

I'd love to win this! We've recently gone from two incomes to one and are trying to adjust to the new budget. Maybe this would help!

Sufoot said...

Being childless with 2 jobs I think we forget that we have to budget...because maybe someday we WON'T be childless with only ONE job. So...yes, please.

Also, more short term budgeting tips - how to budget for one week, one month. I say - let's budget! And it maybe lasts a day or so....because the goals are too broad. So - short term budgeting tips, please!

Sabra said...

We use Excel currently, just our own system, but would love to use something like this!

I would like more info on variable income budgeting.

Linds said...

If it's simpler to use tha Quicken then I'm sold!

I worry a lot about our long-term expenses. Not just retirement but buying cars for our children (or do I let them pay for it themselves?),weddings,missions, etc.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I don't really budget. We've managed to pay off most debt and plan on paying off the rest of my van loan with some of our tax money. We will only have the house debt then, but we don't save. Budgets seem so overwhelming to me. With 4 kids it's overdue and this software looks like it's pretty easy to use:)
Double entries? Would love for you to talk about college saving and 529's.
Thanks for having such a refreshing lesson on something none of us like to admit we need :)
Tennille

rich said...

My wife would love to win this (she handles the money in our house.)

We have never had debt--not for cars or school or anything. My wife is super frugal but we don't know anything about "being smart" with our money--investing, etc. That might be an interesting topic of conversation.

Ginger said...

I love this. I'm getting tired of using excel spreadsheets! Please pick me!

Honey said...

Would LOVE this!

Loved the posts on budgeting. Thanks!

Kate said...

Great posts Em! Use YNAB and love it. It's keeping us on track for our very big financial goals this year!

Alecia said...

My husband has us using Quicken and I have been spending so much valuable time trying to figure out how to utilize it so we can see the big picture and plan for the future. We definitely don't understand how to make it work for us and need something more user friendly. I'm hoping this program allows you to factor in goals within your current budget and not just what you have or don't have.

***I would LOVE to see a post on two topics.

1. When there's no room for FUN in you FUNd.

2. How to involve kids and teens in creating and maintaining a budget. (Not just presentation, but a fun way to keep everyone informed of what's going on, maybe something visual).

The Lindsey Ladies said...

I really really need some help in the budgeting department.... I rarely even know the amount in my banking account...

Nikki Douglas said...

Great giveaway! This does look like great software. For those who can't afford it, though, there is a free service that's pretty great online. It's at www.mint.com. It automatically downloads and updates your accounts once you enter them in and can access almost all bank, credit union, and loan accounts. It even updates your property value if you enter that in for it to track to comparables in your area! But the downsides are it can't handle cash transactions easily and the major issue is if it can't find your bank then it obviously won't help you. But it might help some of you.

I would like to hear what other people do with their receipts...do they keep them? If so, all receipts or just some? And what do you do with them to keep them organized? I'd also like to hear more ideas on how to approach talking about finances so it doesn't become confrontational.
Thank you!

Jordan said...

Pick me!!

Mrs. Olsen said...

We could really use this!

Jessica said...

I would love to try out this software. I have read good reviews on it.

As far as suggestions, maybe suggestions for sticking to your budget, and what to do to get back on track when you don't or slip up.

Brian and Jackie said...

Oops, I hope you are not on Eastern time and that this comment is not too late. I am excited about YNAB, which I do need one. Our budget is tight, but I would still like to have a little fun every once in a while. My dad once told me to put a little money in an entertainment fund and a little in a savings. But how much? How do I know what a reasonable amount is to put in entertainment??