You Need a Budget

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  1. Give every dollar a job "Instead of deciding to buy something based on the big (or small) pile of money in your checking account balance, you'll decide based on a category balance."
  2. Save for a rainy day "If you don't plan for high-expense months, you'll be in a world of hurt. This forces you to look at the larger, less-frequent expenses (car insurance, life insurance, Christmas, school tuition, VACATIONS) and break them down into monthly, manageable amounts."
  3. Roll with the punches If you overspend in a budget category for the month, that amount is deducted from next month's money. "You're borrowing from yourself. YNAB just makes sure you pay yourself back before starting the next month."
  4. Stop living paycheck to paycheck "Save enough money to go an entire month without touching your regular income. Then the next month, spend last month's income while earning this month's income."

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