In a nutshell: By diligently applying four simple rules, you can move from being at the mercy of money to being a master of money.
In 2004, Jesse and Julie Mecham were twenty-year-old newlyweds trying to make ends meet. They lived in the 300-square-foot basement of a sixty-year-old home. He was pursuing a master's degree in accounting, while she was finishing a bachelor's degree in social work. Plus, they were planning for their fist child.
The Mechams felt flat broke.
But because Jesse was (and still is) a self-proclaimed “numbers nerd”, he decided to create a spreadsheet to budget for every day of the year. The couple steadfastly stuck to their budget, and something surprising happened. Despite their meager circumstances, they no longer felt desperate about money. They paid their bills and still had a little left over for a couple of date nights each month.
Later, while brainstorming ways to earn extra money, Jesse wondered if other people would be interested in his budgeting method, which involved four simple rules. He started teaching others these rules and sharing his spreadsheet. In time, that spreadsheet morphed into a piece of software called You Need a Budget [my review].
Today, You Need a Budget is one of the most highly-regarded personal finance apps available. (Seriously. Everyone who uses it seems to love it. Its users are die-hards.)
In his recent book — also called You Need a Budget, naturally — Mecham shares the method that has helped him (and thousands of others) overcome financial anxiety. Let's take a quick look at the YNAB method. [Read more…]