Finance Friday – Budgeting Software Part 3 (Final Part!)

Hi Everyone!  Today we share the experience of a friend and co-worker with budgeting over the years –  She’s a pharmacist, or a Snarkicist as we affectionately call her. She compares her experience with YNAB and which we discussed in a previous post, to review click here.  🙂  Lastly today, we will review another popular budgeting program, Quicken, and why we still choose YNAB.

I started with YNAB just about a year ago when I felt my finances were really out of control. I knew I was making plenty of money as a pharmacist (I am lucky enough to have a great full time job and another part-time gig), but I didn’t have much in savings and still had a ton of student loan debt. I knew it was time for a change. I had tried using Mint in the past, and had gotten nowhere and still didn’t have any idea where all my money was going. A friend (SnarkyDoc) recommended I try YNAB to get a handle on where all my cash was going.

I will admit I was worried YNAB was going to ruin all my fun. I am a single lady who likes to do lots of fun single lady things – like trips to Mexico with my friends and eat out several nights a week. I thought I’d give YNAB a three month trial and if I was miserable, I’d quit. The first month was a bit rough – I just had no idea how much money I spent on things! Looking back, this seems crazy, but at the time I couldn’t have told you if I spend $60 or $600 a month on groceries. I spent some time looking through my credit card and bank statements reminding myself what I spend money on and set my YNAB budget.

Long story short after a short 3 months on YNAB, I had DOUBLED my savings and had a plan to pay off my student loans in six months. I don’t know where all my money was going before YNAB, but I know I haven’t once felt like I’ve missed out on any fun since I’ve started. I budget for trips now, and realized I have just as much fun on girls’ nights in as I do on girls’ nights out. The YNAB rules have changed how I think about money.  Now, when I hang out with my friends it means more to me because I made it a priority and budgeted for it at the beginning of the month.  When I’m out for dinner, drinks, and/or trips I can enjoy it with a clear conscience and really be present rather than worrying about the cost of things in the back of my mind.

With YNAB I have control of my finances. The sense of safety and freedom that brings is priceless.  You should give it a try. Why? Because it’s free for 34 days, so really, you have nothing to lose. Check it out here.

For those of you that haven’t experienced the electronic behemoth that is Quicken, Quicken is financial software that does a lot. It can pull transactions from your bank account into the software (encrypted), help you categorize those transactions, remember your prior categorizes and even pay bills. Also, they bought so they have all the pretty graphs and data that Mint has.

It wasn’t for me.

There were a couple of reasons why. First, it was just overkill. I didn’t need to pay my bills through software (I have most things on auto-pay). I didn’t like the fact that I had to upgrade the software every few years. At the time, they didn’t have any cloud based back-up which, for me, was a big deal because my computers had an odd habit of falling apart at the least convenient time. Basically Quicken was like one of those super nice cappuccino machines you buy that gets dusty on your kitchen counter because all you really want to drink each day is coffee.

Hopefully these last three Finance Friday posts on Budgeting Software have inspired you to consider getting yourself on a budget and try YNAB.  It’s free.  It’s easy to use.  It simplifies life.  It gives peace of mind.  Give it a shot, free for three months, like seriously free…. There’s no request for a credit card.  Click here to learn more.   Have a great weekend everyone!

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