Personal Finance Resources

Personal Finance Software
  • You Need a Budget (YNAB).  This is the financial software that I use.  The software is not just another budgeting tool — it is built around a particular philosophy of life and money.  For example, there is a belief within the YNAB community that every dollar you earn should have a job… it should be “invested” in a way that will help you work toward your purpose in life.
  • Every Dollar is a newer software program built around similar principles as YNAB.  I tried it out for a few days myself.  It’s another good option.

I have tried many other software solutions (Mint, Quicken, Personal Capital, etc.), but when it comes to tracking the personal budget and learning to manage your finances in a healthy way, I only recommend the above programs.  Here are my rules of thumb for evaluating financial software.

  1. When tracking budgeted categories, does the software “count down” toward zero each month or “count up” toward my budget?  As insignificant as it sounds, there is a huge psychological and philosophical difference between the two.  Look for software that “counts down” toward zero.
  2. Can I split transactions?
  3. Can I run simple and easy to read reports on past spending?
  4. Is the software efficient and simple enough that I will enjoy using it most of the time?
Coaching & Classes
  • YNAB’s free classes are more than just “how-to’s” of personal finance, but focus on changing the way you think about money.  YNAB is more than just a budgeting solution; it’s a way of thinking about your resources.
  • Financial Peace University is an effective 9-week program covering all the basics of financial literacy.  Much of the content is from a spiritual perspective, and like the YNAB approach, it also focuses on changing your perspective and your habits, not just delivering information and “how-to’s”.
  • The Dave Ramsey network is a good resources for finding a financial coach.