How to get started with YNAB (+ free get started guide)

How to get started with YNAB (+ free get started guide)

In December, I mentioned that I was trying out YNAB (You Need a Budget), an alternative to Mint. I've been a Mint user for about 7 years and it served its purpose well for a time. But that changed in recent years once we weren't so pressed to achieve immediate financial goals, such as when we paid off our house in less than 2 years.

Well.... I've made the leap. YNAB is proving to give much greater insight into the current state of our spending affairs. You can read more about what I've learned by switching to YNAB over on their blog. For now, the best budget software...

Read More

Breaking bad budget habits (+ free worksheet!)

Breaking bad budget habits (+ free worksheet!)

Red. Glaring, bright red.  That's where we ended up on one of our spending categories in our budget for the end of the year.  Yes, dear reader, I'm confessing that I don't keep to my budget perfectly!  And with the start of a new year, one of my New Year's Goals is to not be in the red at the end of this year. 

My husband is a PhD student and what do PhD students need and want a lot of?

Read More

Make Mint work for you: 4 hacks you can use now (and did someone say bonus?!)

Make Mint work for you: 4 hacks you can use now (and did someone say bonus?!)

“SO WHICH BUDGETING TOOL SHOULD I USE?”

I get asked this question a lot by clients who are new to active money management. They want to know what the best app or system is for setting and managing a budget. The truth is that it really doesn’t matter which one you use as long as a) it doesn’t stink and does the job it’s supposed to do and b) you actually use it.  

For me, I’ve been a long-time Mint user*, a free platform that has over 10 million users. I think I started my account with them in 2009, before they were acquired by Intuit, the publisher of Quicken and TurboTax. I’ve watched the platform evolve over time, and they’ve done a good job of ensuring the core functionality of helping you create and monitor a budget functions well, especially since it’s a free platform.

So while I’ve been happy with the tool for some time, it’s only because I have had nearly 6 years of experience with it to make it work well for me. Here are 4 hacks to make it work well for you, now. (Click through and read to the bottom to see how you can get a free resource and 2 bonus hacks!)

Read More

Managing risk with insurance. Part 1

Managing risk with insurance. Part 1

Risk management.  A lot of what it takes to be financially successful comes not only from making a lot of money, but also from managing the risks associated with different types of investments as well as risks that are just a part of life itself.

Managing risks that come with investments often comes down to diversification of assets, gaining knowledge about investments, and even having a good...

Read More