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.
- 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.
- Can I split transactions?
- Can I run simple and easy to read reports on past spending?
- 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.