Regardless of what stage in life you might be in, budgeting is an important aspect of every financial plan. There are many budgeting apps and online budgeting tools on the market today. It can be hard to know which ones you should try, what the benefits of paying for one are, or if you should try to utilize a free tool that works well.

After my wife and I moved to Omaha we needed to start a new family budget that made sense for our new lifestyle. After much research, my wife decided to try YNAB and she loved it. We tried different budget plan tools before YNAB including Mint and Level Money. With both of them we noticed they struggled to keep our accounts synced all the time. There would be errors or the accounts would need maintenance of some sort. We found this extremely frustrating.

We also did not appreciate all of the notifications that we received. Yes, I know we could have turned them off, but when you get so many a week, you start to ignore them.

In our family, my wife handles the monthly budget since she handles grocery shopping and plans outings with our two daughters. It was an easy transition to have her start paying the bills. Most of them you can set up auto pay. After some time trying to budget via the classic excel sheet she decided to try YNAB and she has never turned back. When I started playing around in it, I realized what a great tool it is and how the cost is definitely worth it (only $50/year).

The app gives us the ability to look up information on any device, works efficiently without problems, and allows customization.

YNAB is very flexible. You can revisit and revise your budget based on your monthly plans. Whether it is travel, eating out, birthday gifts, celebrations, or Christmas. It also tracks your saving goals. We are more likely to reach our savings goals when we’re reminded of them and we can clearly see what we’re aiming for.

YNAB is not just an income and expense tracker (which is what Mint ended up being for me since the budgeting tool was so cumbersome) but it is an easily adaptable budget to help you optimize your income to live a better lifestyle today and help you save for tomorrow.

My ultimate goal as a financial advisor is to help young families and individuals achieve a happier and more fulfilling life with our team at True Measure. YNAB is a tool that has helped us do that in my family and I know other young adults that it has helped as well. Whatever tool you want to use is great but make sure you’re actually using it and it’s not just a reminder of how much money you spent this month, that’s not budgeting it’s tracking.

 

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image of Steven LaFleurSteven LaFleur grew up in Rapid City, SD and after high school went to college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he majored in finance and met his wife Kelly. After college graduation in 2013, he worked for the family business for three years but eventually, Steven decided it was time to pursue a passion of his in helping people and their finances. Steven is now a financial advisor at True Measure Wealth Management in Omaha, NE. Steven and his wife Kelly have two daughters who keep them busy at all times of the day. Steven enjoys skiing in the mountains and also biking and golfing during the non-snowy months.