YNAB Promo- Try It Free for 34 Days

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This is an exclusive promotion only for Investor Junkie readers. With this discount, you get the first 34 days free with YNAB (otherwise known as You Need A Budget).

No coupon code, promo code, or referral is needed to get in on this promotion with YNAB, just click on the link below.

For those not familiar, YNAB is an online budgeting app similar in some ways to Mint. However, there's one big difference: YNAB uses the envelope system, otherwise known as zero-based budgeting.

Since YNAB is online, you can easily sync with your mobile device. The service now includes the ability to download your transactions from your financial institutions, saving you hours of hassle.

YNAB is built on three basic rules to help you live within your means, get out of debt, save money, and stop living paycheck to paycheck.

Rule #1 — Give Every Dollar a Job

This rule holds that each dollar in your budget should be allocated to a certain purpose. The idea is to remove unrestricted spending and to impose discipline, order, and purpose in your spending.

Rule #2 — Embrace Your True Expenses

The overriding philosophy is to smooth out your budget by taking large, less frequent expenses and allocating funds to pay them on a monthly basis. This can include budgeting money for insurance premiums, vacations, major holidays and birthday expenses. The idea is that if you continually budget for these expenses, you’ll have greater control of your cash flow and not find yourself broke in certain high-expense months. Predictability, which is another of the basic YNAB philosophies, is a real stress buster.

Rule #3 — Roll With the Punches

This rule makes it clear events will crop up in life that will take you off your financial game. You will overspend in certain categories in certain months. But it also shows you how to just roll with it when that happens. You make changes and adjustments as necessary, moving money from one category to another, then keep going forward. You anticipate disruptions but never let them get you off track on a long-term basis.

More details about YNAB can be found in our review and comparison to Mint.

Larry Ludwig

Larry Ludwig was the founder and editor in chief of Investor Junkie. He graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor of science in computers and a minor in business. Back in the ’90s, I helped create some of the first financial websites for firms like Chase, T. Rowe Price, and ING Bank, and later went on to work for Nomura Securities. He’s had a passion for investing since he was 20 years old and has owned multiple businesses for over 20 years. He currently resides in Long Island, New York, with his wife and three children.

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