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EP14 Money Stories: How Mackenzie Uses YNAB to Navigate College, Study Abroad, and Multiple Currencies

You Need A Budget (YNAB)

Release Date: 02/28/2022

Ask Jesse: So You Just Started Your First Real Job... show art Ask Jesse: So You Just Started Your First Real Job...

You Need A Budget (YNAB)

A listener writes Jesse to ask what he should do with his first real job and first real paycheck -- pay off debt, or start investing? This is a popular question with a few answers, and in Jesse's mind, the answers are all valid! What matters most is where you picture your life five years from now, whether you are happy with that picture, and whether your current trajectory is going to get you there.   Some people get a lot of satisfaction from having a big nest egg, even while carrying debt. Others prize the freedom they feel from not having debt more than the size of their investment...

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That Magical Moment (When You Really Want Something) show art That Magical Moment (When You Really Want Something)

You Need A Budget (YNAB)

There's a moment that happens when you run across something you really want -- it's like an itch that wants you to whip out the credit card and scratch it! In these moments, we're probably not very clear on our priorities and Rule One, so Jesse reminds us that the budget is the thing that helps us answer the question: can I afford this? Am I going to be OK after I buy this? And the budget answers those questions for you by bringing clarity to your priorities and the jobs you have assigned to your dollars.   Got a question for Jesse? Send him an email:   Sign up for a free 34-day...

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Ask Jesse: Kids, Allowances, and Cringey Purchases show art Ask Jesse: Kids, Allowances, and Cringey Purchases

You Need A Budget (YNAB)

Hillary writes into the show to ask: when you started giving an allowance to your kids, what things did they buy that made you cringe? Hillary is starting the YNAB allowance strategy for her kids, aged 16, 15, and 12, and is wondering how to teach them to spend the money responsibly. Jesse offers his experiences with his own kids, and some of the money lessons he has watched them learn in their own life.   Want to ask Jesse a question? Send him an email at:   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

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Budgeting for the Nomadic Life show art Budgeting for the Nomadic Life

You Need A Budget (YNAB)

Jesse chats with a number of YNAB employees who are living, or working towards living, a "nomadic" life -- living and working across the US in a variety of places throughout the year. While this type of lifestyle can create some amazing freedoms (Megan, for instance, arranges her work schedule so that she can spend her mornings skiing during the winter), it also requires a lot of careful planning! That's where YNAB comes in.   Maintaining a trailer, motorhome, or RV and handling the costs of living in new places involves lots of planning around true expenses and rolling with the punches....

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Ask Jesse: What's the Deal with Whole Life Insurance? show art Ask Jesse: What's the Deal with Whole Life Insurance?

You Need A Budget (YNAB)

A listener writes into the show to ask about whole life insurance and whether it's worth it for a young couple in their 30's. As always, it depends!  Whole life policies typically come with big fees, which of course insurance companies and salesmen like. Jesse points out that the policies can work for some people in high marginal tax brackets, however the tax savings must be carefully weighed against the earnings you could have made by simply investing in low-cost, diversified index funds and sidestepping the high fees of whole life policies.   Send Jesse an email at:   Sign up...

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Debt and Pay Later Plans: An Independence Day Rant show art Debt and Pay Later Plans: An Independence Day Rant

You Need A Budget (YNAB)

Happy Fourth of July to the American YNAB'ers out there!   Following Apple's recent announcement of their "Apple Pay Later" plan, in which customers can split the cost of purchases over multiple installments using Apple Pay, Jesse rants about the state of financing among successful companies. As he has noted before, nearly all successful companies eventually become finance companies, and Apple is no exception.   Buy now, pay later (BNPL) plans may be good for Apple's bottom line, but they are bad news for consumers. Research has discovered that people tend to buy 40% more with BNPL...

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What If Your Coworkers Weren't Stressed About Money? show art What If Your Coworkers Weren't Stressed About Money?

You Need A Budget (YNAB)

It's no surprise, but employees carry their money stress into work with them. And that stress not only affects their performance at work, it affects their happiness and, by extension, increases turnover.    Jesse shares results from a survey of over 3,000 YNAB'ers in the US who work full-time jobs in a variety of age ranges and income levels. YNAB found that only 24% of YNAB users experienced financial distress over the past two years of pandemic-fueled chaos -- pretty amazing compared to a broader survey of American workers by PWC which reported 63% experiencing financial distress....

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Ask Jesse: How Do You Move On... From Budgeting? show art Ask Jesse: How Do You Move On... From Budgeting?

You Need A Budget (YNAB)

Britney writes into the show to ask, as a long time fan and follower of various personal finance resources, what should she do now that her family's budget is pretty much dialed in? How can she avoid constantly looking at the app to check that the budget is still working?   Jesse reminds us that budgeting should, eventually, become boring for everyone. It may not be the goal, but it's at least a hallmark of a succesful budgeting practice! After that, maybe it's time to find a new hobby...   Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Taleb   Send Jesse an email at: ...

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Mid-Year Check In: Are You Still Clear On Things? show art Mid-Year Check In: Are You Still Clear On Things?

You Need A Budget (YNAB)

It's right about the mid-point of the year... how's your budget doing? Are you still clear on your priorities, and what jobs your dollars should be doing for you? If you've found yourself Rule Three'ing everything and rolling with the punches month after month, perhaps it is time to revisit your goals, reevaluate your priorities, and revise your budget accordingly.   Send Jesse an email at:   Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

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Ask Jesse: What Do I Do With My Investments Now? show art Ask Jesse: What Do I Do With My Investments Now?

You Need A Budget (YNAB)

A listener writes into the show -- what should she do with her investments in this market? Each week she is seeing the value of her portfolio go down, and she is losing as much value as what she puts in each month. Ouch! Jesse reminds us not to panic, and to go back to your written investment plan (you have one of those, right?).   Why are you investing in the first place? What is your time horizon? Do you think the economy will grow in the (long-term) future? If yes -- and this has been historically true over a long time horizon -- then a broad market index will also grow over the long...

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International student of mystery Mackenzie is financially wise beyond her years... all thanks to YNAB and embracing the four rules while a young college student. Since discovering YNAB Mackenzie has traveled throughout Europe, and has come up with some unique strategies for managing her budget in a variety of currencies: the British pound, the euro, and US dollars. She's also learned some lessons about careful budgeting living in some of the most expensive cities in the world, like London.

 

The most important thing for college students, she says, is to just get started with YNAB. Try just tracking your expenses for a month, and get some data about your spending habits. Then you can get a realistic picture of what a college budget should look like. You're always going to spend more on food than you think, she says, so your budget should reflect that. Secondly, be prepared to roll with the punches and go with the flow. Things change a lot from freshman to senior year -- work/study opportunities open up, off-campus housing becomes available, you might want a car -- and you can expect your budget will too.  Learn to be OK with not having a perfect budget, and know that you will only get better at it over time.

 

 

College students can use YNAB for a year FOR FREE. You just need to provide proof of enrollment. Check the link below for more details:

https://www.youneedabudget.com/college/