Monday, January 8, 2018

You Need A Budget

Every year people make resolutions and often times, improving their finances is one of the top ones we hear. But how many of those people actually improve their finances? Make the hard decisions and lifestyle changes that got you into the mess in the first place?

Almost none.

You Need A Budget - Jesse Mecham
A guide based on the tenets of the award-winning financial platform, "You Need a Budget," argues that a well-planned budget does not involve deprivation and counsels readers on how to prioritize financial goals, reduce stress through strategic cash flow allocations and meet the challenges of unplanned expenses.
As a graduate of the Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, I can tell you that this is almost identical. Sure, there are a couple of differences and the steps are condensed, but it's almost the same thing. Not a bad thing if you aren't real religious (Dave's program is really God centered and that might not be your gig.). This is like the short cut to Dave's program, so in theory, that would make it easier.

Every dollar has a job is a line you read throughout the book and it's exactly what Dave says, instead of flitting your money away, give every single dollar coming in a very specific job in your budget. Is it going towards existing debt? Your savings account? Maybe one of your month to month bills? It's not saying you can't have a fun money fund, but you don't actually have fun money until your debt is gone, your month to month bills are under control, and you have something in your savings. Not many people want to hear that and telling people no, you can't do this because you can't afford it isn't a popular thing to do as they clutch their credit card.

What sets this apart from Dave is that Jesse Mecham talks about how to get your kids on board and teach them to look at budgeting in their lives. Maybe they get birthday money, allowance, mow lawns in the summer, at some point they will have money and it's easier to teach good money practices now than it is trying to reverse several years of bad practice later on. He ends the book with parting words but also a whole section dedicated to those times you feel like giving up and charging all of the things. It's a great motivational piece with practical tips on making a realistic budget we can all maintain.

I'm giving this one a solid 4/5 stars because it's practical and good for beginners and those of us in the practice of using a monthly budget already.


San said...

I haven't read the book, but I've been using YNAB (software) for more than 3 years and really love it.

Is the book just a more in-depth rehashing of what you can find on the website?

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Getting kids on board with budgeting is really important and also really challenging. Sounds like this book has some great tips for doing that!

Thanks for being a part of the tour!