You Need A Budget (YNAB)

By Jesse Mecham

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 Feb 25, 2019


A weekly dose of just the right medicine to help you get out of debt, save more money, and beat the paycheck to paycheck cycle.

Episode Date
Building Passive Income through Real Estate with Dustin Heiner

Jesse chats with Dustin Heiner, a real estate investor who quit his job five years ago after building a passive income stream sufficient enough to live on. Dustin received a wake up call several years ago when he was laid off from what he thought was a stable government job when his department lost funding. Although he was able to find a new position in a different department, he vowed to never be in that position again, so he put his energy into building a sustainable business out of real estate.


Dustin argues that most people have real estate investing backwards -- they look for good properties, buy one, then try to figure out how to make a business out of it. He works the opposite way, building systems and an operating model for the business -- how he will find tenants, how he will contract with property managers, how he will finance the property purchase, etc -- before buying a single property. Once the business is worked out, he can buy as many properties as he likes and slot them into his inventory. At the end of the day, the property is not the business, he says, it's inventory for the business!


Dustin has started a website and coaching service to help others learn to invest in real estate and build passive income streams. You can find him at:



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Sep 22, 2021
Investing 101 with Matthew: Terms You Need to Know

School is in session! Jesse teamed up with Matthew Amster-Burton (who you have heard on the Behind the Scenes series), a YNAB team member and former financial advisor, to create a short series demystifying the world of investing. For the first day of class, they cover some of the basic investing terms you will encounter.


YNAB is all about helping you save more money, but eventually some of that money has to go to work for you and earn a return. The return that your saved money can earn over time makes a huge difference in how much money you have in retirement. Armed with a little knowledge, you can start investing in your future you!


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Sep 20, 2021
You Might Be a Budget Nerd If...

It's time to play a little game. Jesse and a couple YNAB team members gather to play "you might be a budget nerd if...." See if you can call yourself an official budget nerd!


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Sep 15, 2021
Financial Order of Operations

Do you pay off debt first, or invest for retirement while paying it off slower? Or do you build an emergency fund first? How much? There are a number of tradeoffs when it comes to paying off debt, saving, and investing, and Jesse reminds us that there is no prescription! Everyone's budget is personal, and will depend on their goals, values, and emotional response to the budgeting process.


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Sep 13, 2021
The Financial Pressures of The Sandwich Generation with Jennifer Owens

With the Baby Boomer generation rapidly aging into retirement, more and more Generation X and older Millennials face some tough financial questions: how do you financial support parents that need medical care, or long-term assistance, but cannot afford it? Should you support kids after college by allowing them to live at home while they get their financial feet under them? Should you save for your own retirement first, or help your parents/kids first?


Jennifer Owens calls this conundrum the "sandwich generation," people facing financial pressure from supporting both parents and children at the same time. While she does not have any hard and fast answers to these questions -- it's a complex problem, with many factors to consider -- she does believe that talking about the problem and sharing the challenges helps people know they aren't alone.


Jennifer has written extensively about the sandwich generation, and she is also working with a new app called Firstly which helps families manage supporting their children and parents as they navigate different stages of life.



Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Sep 08, 2021
Behind the Scenes: A Random Chat with the YNAB Team

As you might have noticed by now, the team at YNAB is diverse, eclectic, and full of passionate people with a wide range of interests. It is no surprise, then, that in the course of conducting these Behind the Scenes interviews, Jesse discovered a ton of interesting and, well, random things about the employees of YNAB!


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Sep 06, 2021
How to Talk to Your Kids About Money with Anne-Lyse Wealth

Talking about money isn't easy for adults, so it's no surprise that many adults struggle with how to talk about money with their kids. Stephanie Anne-Lyse Wealth, or just Anne-Lyse as she goes by in her publications, has some ideas for introducing children to the concept of money, saving, investments, and debt.


Anne-Lyse is the author of Dream of Legacy, a book about building not just individual wealth but generational wealth. She also hosts The Dreamers Podcast where she interviews successful entrepreneurs about their journey building businesses and wealth. You can find these resources and more at:



Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Sep 01, 2021
Behind the Scenes: Personal Finance Tips from the YNAB Team

In today's installment of Behind the Scenes, YNAB team members share their insights about personal finance, whether it's overcoming the fear and confusion of investing, learning to push yourself to achieve things you never thought you could, or better understanding our conditioning around money and success.


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Aug 30, 2021
Back to School, Back to Budgeting

It's that time of the year again, when summer is winding down and children are starting the new school year. As seasons go, starting the new school year is a time of new schedules and new challenges. It's also a great time to rethink the budget, or simply get back in touch with the budget.


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Aug 25, 2021
Behind the Scenes: The YNAB Team Shares Their Very Best Budgeting Advice

Today Jesse asks the team at YNAB to share their top pieces of advice for new YNAB users... besides, you know, that you need a budget.


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Aug 23, 2021
Meet the Man with All the Hacks! Chris Hutchins

Life hacker, optimizer, product director at Wealthfront... he wears many hats, but his passion is the same -- upgrading life without spending a fortune! In today's episode, Jesse chats with Chris Hutchins, who shares a handful of his seemingly endless number of life hacks. Whether it's saving money on travel, getting a few more dollars out of your car lease, or negotiating for coupons, Chris has a hack for just about everything.


You can follow Chris and learn many more hacks on his podcast, All the Hacks:



Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Aug 18, 2021
Behind the Scenes: Working at YNAB

In today's installment of Behind the Scenes, Jesse asks employees why they applied for a position at YNAB, what the interview process is like, and whether the company has lived up to its reputation as the best small business place to work at (no, really, that's what Fortune said, for the second year running!). YNAB gets a lot of applications, and the hiring process is fiercely competitive, but those who have made it share their thoughts and experiences.


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Aug 16, 2021
EP10 Money Stories: How Tristan Pursued His Art Dreams and Paid off $80k of Student Debt

In today's Money Story, Jesse chats with a YNAB employee, the gifted artist and animator Tristan Henry-Wilson, whose work YNAB users may have seen on the YNAB website and the YNAB Youtube channel, among others. Tristan may be an exceptionally talented artist, but he didn't come into his art career easily. After receiving some unexpected financial aid, he attended Ringling College of Art and Design and earned a degree in illustration.


Tristan had a difficult time landing paying gigs in the art world, and began working a long series of odd jobs to pay rent, eat food, and, most importantly, make payments on his $80k of student loads, which a family friend had co-signed for him. After years of grinding, building his portfolio, learning how to interview, and networking into better jobs, Tristan found salaried work in New York City, and was finally able to throw serious money at his debt. At this point, the balance had grown to about $150k, but he was undeterred. With each pay increase, Tristan put more money into the debt, eventually paying it off in full after about 15 years.


Tristan's determination and perseverance was largely responsible for his success, but he also credits YNAB for helping him get smart about managing his money and finding security and peace in his financial situation.


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Aug 11, 2021
Behind the Scenes: Budgeting with a Partner

Experienced YNAB'ers understand that budgeting is an active, ongoing process that requires frequently engagement with your budget. Ideally, both partners in a relationship are fully engaged in the budget, but the budgeting process can take many forms. In today's Behind the Scenes episode, Jesse chats with YNAB employees about budgeting with a partner, and the many ways couples learn to navigate the routine.


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Aug 09, 2021
Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk: Money and End-of-Life Care with Cameron Huddleston

Award winning author and personal finance journalist Cameron Huddleston joins the show to discuss the uncomfortable realities of managing parents' finances through end of life care and after their death. From wills, power of attorney documents, to simply knowing where your parents have all their bank accounts, Cameron offers some practical advice on what things you need to look out for when helping your older family members manage their finances.


Of course, personal finance is a, well, personal thing for many people, and parents may be reluctant to share the details of their money. Cameron offers some tips for breaking the ice on money conversations, and how to approach parents and loved ones respectfully.


You can find more about Cameron Huddleston and her book, Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk, at her website:


Carefull app:


Aug 04, 2021
Behind the Scenes: What's The Budget Done for You Lately?

Jesse interviewed every employee at YNAB, asking them about a wide range of topics -- how they heard about YNAB, what they are working on in their roles, and their money struggles and successes. In today's Behind the Scenes episode, YNAB insiders answer the question: what's the budget doing for you lately?


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Aug 02, 2021
Meet Your Guide to the Student Loan Jungle: Travis Hornsby (Student Loan Planner)

Travis Hornsby is passionate about student debt, especially helping people with lots of it find smart, effective pathways to pay it off. After a career as a bond trader, he turned his attention to building a service to help college graduates with large student debt loads navigate their way through the maze of repayment options, forgiveness programs, and tax complications that come with student loans. Travis and his company, Student Loan Planner, have consulted with thousands of students on over $1.4 billion of student debt, helping them create a repayment plan that takes full advantage of all the programs out there.


You can learn more about Travis and his work at The Student Loan Planner website. He also hosts a podcast by the same name:


Jul 28, 2021
Behind the Scenes: YNAB Employees Tell Their Debt Stories

Jesse interviewed every employee at YNAB, asking them about a wide range of topics -- how they heard about YNAB, what they are working on in their roles, and their money struggles and successes. Today, you'll hear from a selection of YNAB employees discussing their debt struggles, how they came into debt, and how they have used the Four Rules to pay it off.


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Jul 26, 2021
James Clear: Building Good Habits and Breaking Bad Ones

Jesse invites the author behind one of his favorite books, Atomic Habits, to join the podcast and talk about what he learned about setting good habits, breaking bad ones, and developing environments and systems conducive to productive habits. As James says, the things you do and accomplish in life are essentially lagged indicators of your habits. So building good habits slowly, methodically, and thoughtfully can result in big rewards down the road.


James Clear


Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results



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Jul 21, 2021
Dear College Student

Are you a college student, or about to go to college? It's an exciting time of your life, but it can also be a very expensive time of your life too. It's possible to keep your spending under control, and have a lot of fun, but you're going to need a budget.


College students -- you can get a whole FREE YEAR of YNAB here. Sign up, take some of the free classes, and give yourself the gift of learning how to budget and take control of your financial life.

Jul 19, 2021
Hannah Cole: Simplifying Taxes for Artists and Creative Professionals

Artist and tax professional Hannah Cole has a burning passion -- seeing art get made. And one thing she hates to see is artists being held back by money problems. After establishing herself as an artist in exhibitions in New York City, Hannah landed a job working for a design agency. There she learned she had a talent for communicating with both the creatives and management, helping each side understand deadlines, budgets, and resources needed to complete projects. Hannah went on to become a tax professional and open a tax service specializing in helping artists, creatives, and freelancers.


In addition to a full suite of tax services, Hannah's company offers money workshops to explain business, finance, and tax terms in clear language and help freelancers develop strategies for managing their money. She has also created a free, colorful guide for understanding how tax deductions work. You can find out more about Hannah, her company, and resources on their website:


Free tax deductions guide:

Jul 14, 2021
You're Broke and Winning

Veteran YNAB'ers have a saying for what happens when you follow the four rules, budget, and have no money left over. They call it being "YNAB broke," and it's a badge of honor!


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Jul 12, 2021
A New Way to Pay for College? David Stackpole's Unique Strategy

EDITOR'S NOTE: At 28:15 David states that generally you cannot take out money from a ROTH to pay for college without paying a penalty. David later pointed out, however, that you may take out up to $10k without penalty to pay for qualifying higher education expenses.


David Stackpole, wealth manager and Certified Financial Analyst (among other titles), joins the podcast to discuss his strategy for paying for the ever-growing cost of college. David points out that college tuition has increased nearly 1,400% since the 1970's, which amounts to a 6.4% annual inflation rate. With costs rising so dramatically and so steadily, many parents find it difficult to save enough for their children's college education. David has a unique strategy for dealing with this problem, however.


David recently published a paper outlining his approach in the University of Louisville's Journal of Student Financial Aid, which you can find here:

Jul 07, 2021
EP09 Money Stories: Carol Kissinger Was "Bad At Money," Until She Found YNAB

In today's money story, Carol Kissinger tells her story of discovering YNAB after moving from America to Berlin. She had never been good with money, was indebted to her parents for years, and frequently argued with her husband about money. Moving to Berlin put new stress on her bank account, until she discovered YNAB. The Four Rules helped her put a simple framework around money and clarify what it was she was spending on.


As it turns out, impulse purchasing was a recurring theme in Carol's budget. She and her husband would see money in the bank account after pay day and start buying things... without first reserving money for rent, utilities, and the various unplanned expenses that inevitably come up during the year. With an ADHD diagnosis, Carol found it particularly difficult to stop impulse purchasing without having a solid plan of what to do with her money after pay day. YNAB provided a framework for her to budget her dollars and give them jobs before they got spent. She found initially she had to "roll with the punches" frequently as she would forget about irregular expenses, but as she made it through the first several months of budgeting it became easier to predict those and her budget became more stable.


Most importantly, Carol discovered in the process of budgeting with YNAB that some of her long-held preconceptions were really just not true. She believed for a long time she was simply bad at money, and nothing would change that -- it was just a part of who she was. After paying off every dollar of debt to her parents and building an emergency fund, she could no longer say that about herself, and her personal narrative changed. She wasn't just not bad at money anymore, she was good with money. This transformation has extended outside her budget too. Carol and her husband were always very messy housekeepers, she says, to the point where they didn't want to have company over. After going through the budgeting transformation with YNAB, they now have a much cleaner home!


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Jul 05, 2021
How to Be a Financial Grownup with Bobbi Rebell

Personal finance journalist, news anchor, Certified Financial Planner, and now author, Bobbi Rebell explains what it means to be a "financial grownup." The essential part of being grown-up with your finances is realizing that it's no one else's responsibility to make a budget, put money in your retirement account, or educate yourself about financial terms and concepts. It's all up to you! Luckily, there is a wealth of easily accessible information that you can learn from, including Bobbi's own podcast.


You can find out more about Bobbi, her new book "How to Be a Financial Grownup, her podcast, and her "Grownup Gear" on her website:

Jun 30, 2021
Uh, Are You Still Budgeting?

After receiving shocking financial news that credit card spending in 2021 is up over 20% compared to 2019, Jesse asks the question: are you still budgeting out there?


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Jun 28, 2021
EP08 Money Stories: Ivan & Daniel Budget for the High Income Earner

Jesse chats with two people that are passionate about personal finance and share a common trait: they are high income earners. YNAB doesn't often talk about people earning high incomes, but contrary to popular belief, earning a lot of money does NOT mean you don't need to budget!


As Ivan Smirnov and Daniel Chen attest, high incomes often come with high cost of living areas, where housing costs can run well into the 7 figures for homes or multiple thousands for rent. High income can also come with lifestyle inflation, as well as debt from post-graduate student loans and professional programs. Both of these things (and much more) can be managed with an effective budget, and Ivan and Daniel share their tips in keeping their costs under control and managing their investments using YNAB.


Ivan Smirnov is a software engineer at Google, and he loves to share his personal finance journey and YNAB power tips with friends and co-workers. He writes occasionally for a couple blogs:


Daniel Chen is a former Big 4 accountant, personal finance entrepreneur, and currently the Head of Business Development at a personal finance educational startup Brightside. You can find Daniel on twitter:



YNAB for Good:


Jun 23, 2021
After Years of Experiments, Jesse Does the Unthinkable

After years of experimenting with his budget and budgeting process, Jesse decided to do the unthinkable in 2020. He went an entire year *without* a budget!


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Jun 21, 2021
Jean Chatzky: Helping Women Find Security in Money

Jean Chatzky, long-time personal finance writer and correspondent for The Today Show, CNN, MSNBC and other high-profile shows, joins the podcast to discuss the unique issues women face in their financial lives. She has recently written a book about her research and experience working with women on improving their financial security, and she runs a website dedicated to educating and coaching women in financial matters called Her Money.


Jean's book -- Women with Money


Her Money Podcast


Jun 16, 2021
6 Money Lessons for Newlyweds

Jesse offers six tips for newlyweds learning to manage their money as a couple for the first time.


Check out the YNAB blog for more!

Jun 14, 2021
Well, Here We Are...

Jesse celebrates -- can you believe it?! -- the 500th episode of the You Need a Budget podcast. Nearly 10 years ago, Jesse started this podcast as an experiment. Over the years the mics have been upgraded, the acoustics have gotten better, but the message has remained the same: follow the Four Rules, and make your dollars work for you and your priorities.


Jesse reminds us that, much like doing the podcast, budgeting is mostly just doing the work, day in and day out. Budget is a verb, an activity that you do every day, and simply showing up and continuing to do it over time yields big results.


YNAB the company is still growing, and so is the podcast. Jesse and his longtime friend and corporate finance expert Mark Butler have launched a new show for small businesses called Beginning Balance. Download and subscribe here!

Jun 09, 2021
Closing the College Gap: Steve Colon (CEO, Bottom Line)

Jesse interviews Steve Colon, CEO of Bottom Line, an organization that helps students of color navigate the complex, time-consuming, and high stakes college admissions process. Bottom Line doesn't stop with admissions, either. Through their unique DEAL rubric, they help each student set a plan to graduate within six years, with no more than $31k debt, and find high quality jobs. Along the way they meet regularly with students, to provide a network of support and ensure students can meet their goals and graduate on time.


Bottom Line has recently partnered with YNAB to provide students with financial education to manage both their tuition and student life costs as well as their personal finances during and after school.


You can find out more about Steve and the Bottom Line organization here:

Jun 07, 2021
Introducing Beginning Balance: A Show About Small Business

Today Jesse gives a sneak peak at a new show launching on the YNAB podcast network -- Beginning Balance. Together with his friend and business mentor Mark Butler, a virtual CFO and business expert, they explore the financial issues of small businesses and how to solve them. This is the first episode of Beginning Balance, which will begin airing weekly on Fridays.


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Jun 02, 2021
Get Your S*** Together: End of Life Planning with Chanel Reynolds

Jesse chats with Chanel Reynolds, author of What Matters Most and founder of the Get Your Shit Together website, dedicated to helping people navigate the confusing, difficult, and emotional aspects of end-of-life planning. In 2009 Chanel's husband was killed in a road cycling accident, and she found herself, very suddenly, a widow, a single parent, and overwhelmed dealing with the many medical, legal, and family issues that death brings with it.


Today Chanel helps others plan for the what-ifs and eventualities of life, and encourages people to start having conversations with their spouses, parents, and other loved ones about what they want when it comes to their end-of-life. Although these can be difficult conversations -- and people often avoid them for that reason -- she recommends to start by focusing on the love, and how you want your loved ones to feel, and what quality of life means to them. From there, you can visualize what end of life might look like and start the basic planning steps: having an emergency fund, documenting your digital accounts and passwords, preparing a will, and power of attorney for medical decisions.


You can learn more about Chanel, her book, and her work here:


May 31, 2021
Rebroadcast -- Work Party: Take Control of Your Finances and Cultivate Confidence Around Money with Jesse Mecham

Today Jesse is sharing an interview he did with Jaclyn Johnson of the Work Party podcast for her Budget Broadcast Series. Jesse talks about the early days of YNAB, how to get serious with your side hustles, and explains the Four Rules to a new audience.


You can find more from WorkParty, including the original interview, here:

May 26, 2021
Meet the Woman Who Paid Off $490k in Debt: Sami Womack

Jesse chats with Sami Womack, who paid off nearly half a million dollars of debt after hitting financial rock bottom during the birth of her first child. Stuck in a different city on business travel, her husband almost missed a flight home to be at the birth... because they had maxed out all their credit cards, and the last minute ticket was $800.


Sami and her husband had made most of the financial mistakes you could make. They were behind on all of their bills, including mortgage payments and property taxes. They had three properties -- their home, a rental home, and a piece of land Sami intended to build a business on but could not secure financing -- but were facing foreclosure on them. They were eating out frequently, and spending lots of money on food.


The added stress of children brought them to a financial breaking point, at which point Sami started googling for help. She found YNAB, and began budgeting her current dollars, instead of her future dollars, for the first time. It took a major lifestyle adjustment, and the sale of their land and rental property, but the Womack's managed to pay off their debt.


Sami now helps others pay off debt and reach their financial goals with personalized coaching and budgeting plans at:


She also hosts A Sunny Side Up Life Podcast:



May 24, 2021
Identity Crisis? How About Identity Shift with Anthony Trucks

Former NFL athlete, husband, father, and coach -- a man of many identities you might say -- Anthony Trucks joins the podcast to talk about how what's holding you back from reaching your goals might just be an identity problem. Anthony runs a coaching program call Make Shift Happen where he helps people to make consistent action toward their goals in 90 days.


Making an identity "shift" is a key part of the process, visualizing yourself as the kind of person that does the things needed to have success in business, family, or other areas in life not because those are things you ought to do, but because they are simply a part of you. The Rock doesn't fight himself to go to the gym and workout, he does it because he loves it. Physical fitness is part of his identity. Anthony challenges us to think about what identity we want, and to start viewing ourselves as that. Then action can follow.


You can find Anthony, his coaching services, and his speaking engagements at:



May 19, 2021
Installment Plans and Future You

Jesse does NOT like payment plans, and neither should you!


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May 17, 2021
EP07 Money Stories: Student Debt? No Problem. Staying Positive During Debt Paydown with Abbie Shepherd

In today's episode of Money Stories, Jesse chats with Abbie Shepherd, a clinical psychologist who recently earned her PhD and is working her first real job after her long journey in higher education. Most people understand that earning a PhD takes a lot of academic rigor, but few realize that it is very taxing on the budget as well. In addition to incurring student debt during the multi-year PhD process (usually preceded by a Masters degree and Bachelors degree, for which you may incur debt as well), it's difficult to work and earn money along the way.


In Abbie's case she typically worked for minimum wage when she could during her demanding PhD program. Meanwhile, her husband worked as a pastor, which is a lower earning field. Needless to say, money was tight during those years, but Abbie and her husband kept a clear head and long term vision. Abbie knew that a PhD would give her the most flexibility in her work -- she could work as a clinician, or teach, or both -- so they kept their expenses as low as possible while she was in school. They knew they would incur student debt for her coursework, but they worked hard to keep it to a minimum and not use student debt to fund their living expenses, like rent and food. Likewise, they limited their consumer spending, avoiding the pitfall of running up large credit card bills. By focusing on the long-term benefits of her PhD and having a strategy to minimize unnecessary debt (while being mentally OK with incurring necessary student debt), Abbie was able to ease some of the stress of her financial position as well. Nevertheless, Abbie came out of school with six figured student loan debt that she is eager to tackle.


As a self-described enneagram type 1, Abbie admits budgeting and planning around money comes naturally to her, but YNAB has made an impact as well. Abbie discovered YNAB just a couple months ago, but it was the concept of aging her money and rolling with the punches which drew her in. The flexibility of the software was a bonus. Abbie is a responsible credit card user, paying off her balance in full each month, and she enjoys the rewards and points she earns in the process. She likes that the YNAB software can easily help her track expenses on the credit alongside her bank account.


Abbie has created an Instagram account to report on her debt paydown and budgeting tricks. You can follow her there @budget_crush.



Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

May 12, 2021
Taking Action on Your Ideas with Noah Kagan

Jesse chats with marketer and entrepreneur Noah Kagan, former Director of Marketing at Mint, former Facebook employee, and currently the owner of AppSumo, a daily deals website which offers entrepreneurs discounted software from top software companies. In a sprawling conversation, they touch on the critical importance of taking action on your ideas in business, determining why you want money in the first place, setting one-year gameplans, and more.




Noah Kagan on YouTube


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May 10, 2021
YNAB and the Vocabulary of Finance

Assets? Liabilities? Balance sheet? FBI's? What does it all mean? Jesse helps you understand some of the basic financial terms that come up often in YNAB, as well as some YNAB-specific lingo related to the software and the budgeting process.


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May 05, 2021
YNAB Features You Didn't Know Existed

Jesse walks through some hidden features of the YNAB software you probably didn't even know existed!


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May 03, 2021
Budgeting for a Baby with Chelsea Brennan (Smart Money Mamas)

While there's no way to prepare for being a parent without actually becoming a parent, you can prepare financially for the experience. Chelsea Brennan shares some tips on how to do this, and what kind of difficult conversations you need to have with your spouse and family as part of the process.


After a successful career as an equity analyst and hedge fund portfolio manager on Wall Street, Chelsea became a mom and followed a new passion in life -- helping other moms be more financially stable and reduce their money stress. Today she runs a website and podcast dedicated to this mission called Smart Money Mamas, with resources for helping moms define their values, have important conversations, and take steps toward securing their financial future.


Smart Money Mamas website:

Smart Money Mamas Podcast:


Apr 28, 2021
YNAB and Privacy

At YNAB your data is exactly that -- YOUR data. Financial data is personal and sensitive, and as Jesse explains, YNAB does not and will not touch that!


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Apr 26, 2021
Set Boundaries, Get More Done with Jeff Sanders (5AM Miracle Podcast)

Jesse chats with productivity master Jeff Sanders, host of the 5AM Miracle podcast. As the title of his podcast suggests, Jeff loves to wake up early, but he doesn't necessarily think you should. Instead, Jeff focuses on setting clear boundaries around your work time, family time, and personal development time (especially physical fitness).


Especially in the remote working arrangements that are increasingly common today, it's important to separate the home office from the kitchen, living room, and bedroom. Too often the proximity of the home office lures remote workers into working all day, with no clear lines between work time and personal time. This leads to lower productivity, more stress, more burnout, and more tension in relationships. In his podcast and his productivity coaching work, Jeff shows how you can set better boundaries around work and personal life and live life with more intention.


You can find Jeff at his website:


5AM Miracle Podcast:



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Apr 21, 2021
EP06 Money Stories: How YNAB Saved Erika from Drowning In Debt

In today's money story, Jesse chats with Erika, a 32 year old married woman who found herself struggling in the deep end of credit card debt. Until YNAB, Erika always managed her money with her bank statements -- if there was enough for her current outflows, good! There wasn't much of a plan or cushion for surprises, however.


Shortly after getting married Erika began to feel trapped in her debt payments, which had become burdensome due to the credit card debt she and her husband had racked up for their wedding. After some close calls where she questioned their ability to even pay the rent, Erika discovered YNAB and began to make changes.


While she and her husband are still climbing out of the hole, they've made a big dent in their debt load and have created a solid plan for aging their money, acknowledging their true expenses, and rolling with the punches.


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Apr 19, 2021
Own the Muddy Parts of Your Story with Mary Marantz

Jesse chats with author Mary Marantz about her book Dirt, the story of her life journey growing up in poor, rural West Virginia to eventually attending Yale Law. Mary grew up with a strong, hard working father who instilled in her a vigorous work ethic and a love for her hometown. However, her working class roots cast a shadow of doubt over how high she could climb in the world, and how qualified she could feel amongst those from different, more economically priveleged backgrounds. Dirt is the story of Mary reckoning with the good and bad of her upbringing, and how it shaped her into the woman she is today.


How does this relate to money? Money is all about feelings, and often our upbringing instills deeply seated ideas about how to earn and spend money that are hard to shake as adults. Mary's story is a powerful reminder that doing the work to better understand yourself, your history, and your place in the world prepares you to make lasting changes to your decision making around money.


Dirt by Mary Marantz


Mary Marantz on Instagram


Apr 14, 2021
Student Loans Are Frozen, But You Are Not

Student loan payments have been frozen for several months due to COVID-19, but that doesn't mean your budget has to be frozen. Jesse strategizes ways for you to address student loans during the grace period.


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Apr 12, 2021
How Does She Do It? Managing Time in a Busy Life | Laura Vanderkam & Sarah Hart-Unger

Jesse chats with Laura Vanderkam and Sarah Hart-Unger, two time management experts and the hosts of the Best of Both Worlds Podcast, a show all about balancing busy lives and careers.  Sarah is a pediatric endocrinologist while Laura is a writer (and author of I Know How She Does It), and both of them are also busy mothers. While they approach the challenges of time management with different strategies, they are both experts in making things fit in a busy life without getting burned out.


Sarah and Laura point out that the things you spend your time on -- the things you say yes or no to -- are ultimately a reflection of your values. If something doesn't fit in your priorities, you simply won't do it. Sounds familiar, eh? Money, or rather the things you spend money on, is also a reflection of your values, as Jesse has argued on previous shows. So, the first step in wrangling your time management problem is to take a hard look at the things you value and see if the things you are spending your time on actually align with those values.


Secondly, Laura reminds us that everyone has the same amount of time in a week to get things done, to relax, to pursue hobbies. 168 hours every week, in fact. Unlike money, this resource is equally distributed to all, and we cannot change the amount of time we have. So, being mindful of how you spend your weeks not in days, but in hours, can be a useful exercise. Do you have a hobby that you wished you spent more time on? A stack of books you wish you could finally read? Start tracking your time, and you might be surprised to find a spare hour or two that you were previously wasting on mindless tasks (or social media). Like spare change, these hours can slip between the cushions of the weekdays and weekends.


Best of Both Worlds Podcast


Laura Vanderkam


Best Laid Plans Podcast with Sarah Hart-Unger



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Apr 07, 2021
How to Go From Two Incomes to One

Whether it's because of changing careers, preparing for a child, or some other life event, you and your partner may need to downsize from two incomes to one. This has a major impact to your budget! But, with some planning, you can make a smooth transition. The easiest way, Jesse says, is to live on a single income before actually losing the second income. With a little help from YNAB, you can practice this and ensure that when the second income goes away, you know how to make your dollars stretch without stress.


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Apr 05, 2021
What Does College Really Cost? Ron Lieber Explains

New York Times columnist and bestselling author Ron Lieber joins the podcast for a frank discussion about the ever rising cost of college and whether it's even a good idea for young people today. Evaluating the true cost of college, as it turns out, is essentially a budgeting exercise. There's the sticker price for tuition and room and board, but the real analysis lies in examining the hidden costs, as well as the hidden benefits. Ron Lieber helps us break those down and demystify the college problem.


Ron Lieber


The Price You Pay for College



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Mar 31, 2021
How to Time a Home Purchase

Buying a house is a stressful experience, especially in the current market where low supply and high demand have pushed prices up and up. Naturally, house shoppers worry about overpaying for a house, or whether they've overpaid for a house they've already bought. We'd all like to perfectly time the market and buy at the lowest possible point, but it's very difficult to do.


Jesse reminds house shoppers to check in with their reasons for owning a house before they worry. Is your house a real estate investment that you are buying with an exit strategy? Then purchase price is very important, and you should be worried about overpaying!


But are you buying a house to be your home? In that case, it's not an investment, it's the place where you live, and the purchase price only matters insofar as it fits your budget. If you value the lifestyle that a house offers, and that house fits your budget, then don't sweat whether you have overpaid or not. You are giving your house dollars the job of securing housing that fits your needs.


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Mar 29, 2021
Budgeting and... Nutrition? How The Four Rules Can Improve Your Eating Habits with Kali Langevin

What does budgeting have to do with nutrition? A lot, actually, explains Kali Langevin, a nutritionist and Registered Dietitian who has spent 16 years working with athletes in United States Soccer Federation. Kali is also a long time YNAB user, and joins the podcast to explain how the Four Rules can be applied to nutrition. Much like Jesse encourages people to be mindful of their spending habits -- giving dollars jobs that accomplish the things that you value -- Kali encourages people to be mindful of their eating habits, being intentional with meal times and the rituals around food.


Kali on LinkedIn:


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Mar 24, 2021
EP05 Money Stories: From $30k Debt to "CoastFI" with Diania Merriam

This week's Money Story comes from the vivacious Diania Merriam, founder of the EconoMe Conference which brings together speakers in the FIRE movement (Financial Independence, Retire Early). After finding herself working for a decent salary in NYC but falling deeper into debt, Diania decided to pull her head out of the financial sand and figure out where her finances stood. Around the same time, a friend introduced her to the Mr. Money Mustache blog and the concept of FIRE.


Armed with these tools, she started cutting her expenses and aggressively paying off debt. Eventually, Diania managed to stash away 60% of her income, and pay off $30k of debt. Ever the life of the party, Diania attributes part of her success to realizing that her happiness lies in connecting with friends and shared experiences, not necessarily in spending money in exclusive clubs. After paying off her debt, she was also able to pursue her dream of hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.


Today Diania has reached CoastFI, having already saved enough to retire in the future at the standard age of 65 but still working, albeit at a more relaxed pace. Financial independence has allowed her to pursue more fulfilling work (like the EconoMe Conference) and engage in new adventures. This, she explains, is the real American Dream.


Optimal Finance Daily Podcast:

EconoMe Conference:



Mar 22, 2021
The ONE Thing Keeping You from Reaching Your Goals with Geoff Woods

Jesse chats with Geoff Woods, President of ProduKtive, the training company behind the bestselling book The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. After leaving a high-stress and ultimately unfulfilling job in medical device sales, Geoff set out to surround himself with successful mentors. Eventually Geoff found Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, and immersed himself in their philosophy of the "one thing," that is, the concept of relentlessly pursuing the single most impactful thing you can do in your day, and arranging your schedule to accomplish that thing first.


Geoff describes the one thing as a stack of dominoes. Accomplishing the one thing you can do first -- "can" is the operative word here, this task must be small and easily achievable today -- topples the first domino in the chain, which topples the next, and the next, and so forth. Most people never do the work to identify this one thing, however, and get stuck spending lots of time toppling individual dominoes without ever setting off this chain reaction.


The connection to budgeting is clear. Before you give every dollar a job, you need to know what it is your budget needs to do for you -- what you value, what you are trying to optimize for. Once you've identified this, you can assign your dollars jobs.


The ONE Thing Podcast:

The ONE Thing book:


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Mar 17, 2021
Optimizing Your Car Budget... Not Really

Jesse attempts to give some advice on purchasing a car... before admitting that he has no advice to give! Well, maybe a bit of advice. Jesse reminds us that optimizing your budget involves optimizing for YOUR needs and wants. Jesse chooses to lease a Tesla to drive around in, because he wanted to have as little headaches with car maintenance as possible. That's important to him today, but ten years ago his needs and wants were totally different, and thus the things he chose to optimize his budget for were too.


So this episode is not about how to buy the most cost-effective used car, or how to get a good deal on a new car, or anything like that. It's about examining your own needs and shaping your budget around them.


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Mar 15, 2021
Know Your Enneagram, Know Yourself with Ian Morgan Cron

Bestselling author Ian Morgan Cron introduces the Enneagram, a personality typing system which identifies nine different personality types, their motivations, strengths, and weaknesses. As Ian explains, understanding your enneagram can help you better understand your motivations for why you want to do the things you do, which has direct implications in budgeting. Understanding the motivations and perspectives of others, especially those with polar differences in personality, can help you mitigate conflict and reach compromise in your family relationships and in the workplace.


Ian Morgan Cron is a psychotherapist, Episcopal priest, and an accomplished author. His book The Road Back to You champions the Enneagram for people that seek to better "know thyself."

Mar 10, 2021
Here's the Ideal Budget

Jesse reminds us that the ideal budget... is the budget which helps you achieve your goals and values. And those goals and values can, and will, change over time!


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Mar 08, 2021
House Hacking, Individual Stock Picking, & More with Investor Robert Leonard

Robert Leonard has been a uniquely driven person since a young age. Eyeing the professional ranks of motocross at age 14 (the minimum age to turn pro was 16), he competed all over the country. When his father discouraged his going pro, Robert started working various jobs and reading about investing. By the time he graduated college, he had already purchased his first piece of real estate and began "house hacking" -- leasing spare rooms to roommates to generate cash flow to cover the mortgage.


Over the years Robert has continued to house hack, selling properties and rolling the profits into the next investment. He now owns a portfolio of rental properties. On the side, he also invests in individual stocks as a value investor, and enjoys the process of digging through company financials and earnings to find undervalued companies to buy and hold.


Robert is also passionate about teaching other people how to get started with investing in both real estate and the stock market, and he hosts two podcasts on the topic. Check the links below to follow Robert, learn more about his philosophy, and his podcasts!


Robert on Instagram:


Real Estate 101 Podcast:


Millenial Investing Podcast:


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Mar 03, 2021
EP04 Money Stories: How YNAB Brought Sita Peace of Mind... and Peace in Life

Sita Thomas is a woman of many talents, and many careers, having worked jobs ranging from massage therapy to data analytics. She has been using YNAB for over 8 years to help her reach her goals, including going back to school and making a career change, taking time off work to care for a terminally ill family member, and removing the day to day stresses of money from her life.


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Mar 01, 2021
How to Find Passion in Your Work with Kelsey Murphy

Jesse chats with professional coach and business strategist Kelsey Murphy about how she left a high profile -- yet unsatisfying -- corporate job to travel the world with her husband. During their travels Kelsey realized she had a gift for coaching and helping others put their visions and dreams into practice. Today she runs a successful coaching business doing just that.


Kelsey puts a lot of emphasis on her client's values, examining them through a very practical lens. What would you like to see or do first thing when you wake up in the morning? What kind of space do you imagine yourself working in? These are a couple of the questions Kelsey might ask. Once you understand your values in clear, tangible terms, then you can focus your attention on the important tasks that will bring you closer to your vision.


Learn more about Kelsey:


Whisky & Work Podcast:


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Feb 24, 2021
Jesse Answers Your Questions: Small Business Q&A #1

Jesse answers your questions about small business in Q&A format.  You can send Jesse your questions and comments at:


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Feb 22, 2021
How to Have the Most Productive Year Ever with Amir Salihefendic (Doist)

Jesse chats with Amir Salihefendic, CEO of Doist, the company behind the popular productivity tool Todoist. Between running a company and being a father, Amir has a very busy life. He explains how he keeps everything moving smoothly, including the importance of managing your energy throughout the day, not just your schedule.


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Feb 17, 2021
How to Get a Job at YNAB with Emma Rolls

Jesse chats with YNAB's manager of support hiring, Emma Rolls, about what it takes to get hired at YNAB, what type of person fits in with the company culture, and Emma's personal experience learning about YNAB and getting hired.


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Feb 15, 2021
Four Common Traits of People Who Aren't Stressed About Money

Jesse identifies four common traits in people who don't stress about money.

  1. They have a cadence for checking their money. These people  regularly check-in with their budget and watch their money. It's not a panicky, reactionary review but a planned part of their week or month.
  2. They have regular conversations with themselves and/or significant others about money. These conversations are not highly charged, hostile engagements, but calm, rational discussions about what is going on day-to-day. Often these conversations aren't about money per se, but rather the things that the money is going towards. In that sense, the conversations are more about whether or not spending is happening in accordance with their values and goals.
  3. They have clarity about their priorities, values, and goals. They give their money a job, and know why they are spending.
  4. They have plenty of cash on hand. 


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Feb 08, 2021
Budgeting Your Technology with Corbett Barr

Writer and entrepreneur Corbett Barr joins the podcast to discuss digital mindfulness, the pitfalls of social media and endless digital content, and his own quest to find peace as a digital creative.


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Feb 01, 2021
What Does Strength Have to Do with Budgeting? Matt Reynolds (Barbell Logic Online Coaching)

Jesse interviews strength coach, former pro Strongman, and founder of Barbell Logic Online Coaching, Matt Reynolds, about the many analogs between strength training and budgeting.


Matt relates the Four Rules to the basic tenets of effective strength training -- consistency, small increases in weight each workout that add up to big results over time, and focusing on the  things that will give you the greatest bang for your buck. Matt relates strength training to a "physical 401(k)," where the work that you do today to build you fitness and health can be drawn on later in life when the inevitabilities of aging and life events happen. Strong people are more resilient and more useful, especially in old age!


Matt's company, Barbell Logic Online Coaching, offers customized strength, conditioning, and nutrition coaching to individuals,  pairing each trainee with their own highly trained Barbell Logic coach.


If you're interested in trying out Barbell Logic Online Coaching, you can get the first month totally free when you sign up. And, YNAB listeners can get an additional $10/mo off their future months. Sign up here:



Take the 34-day challenge:


Jan 25, 2021
Sprinting Is Hard, But the Payoff Is Sweet

If you've been doing the 34-Day Reset, you're in full sprint mode right now. And it might be tough! But the beauty of the reset is that it's just 34 days, and affords you some space to reflect on whether your money is working for you and helping you achieve your goals and values.


So stick with it, finish strong, and bask in the extra money you will have saved. You're almost there!


Take the challenge:

Jan 18, 2021
EP03 Money Stories: Katie Is Living the Hawaiian Dream... On a Budget

Jesse interviews Katie about her journey after college to Hawaii, where she went through a tough breakup and financially tenuous times. She persevered through those hard times, discovered YNAB (actually re-discovered, having first encountered YNAB in college) and began to get her budget back on track in a notoriously expensive state. The hard work paid off; Katie met her husband and was able to have a dream wedding in Hawaii, and the couple now enjoy a rich life... paid in cash!


Katie is quick to point out that she hasn't always made the financially optimal choice, but she is intentional about everything she does. She and her husband decided to hold off paying down their student loans in order to finance their wedding, for example. Katie has set aside money to buy her husband a new computer, and they leave room in their budget for their favorite hobbies and pursuits -- for Katie, her side business coaching women in personal finance and helping them avoid traps like MLM schemes; for her husband, collecting and competing in  the Magic the Gathering card game.


While this approach may result in paying down debt slower, and not maximizing savings, it's a sustainable approach for them. As Katie reminds us, personal finance is personal!


Are you ready to take the challenge?

Jan 14, 2021
3 Ways to Curb Your Money Spending Problem

Jesse offers three ways to stop spending money and kickstart your savings:

  1. Designate a "no spend" day. Pick a day of the week where you will deliberately spend NO money, and dutifully stick to that. Be realistic! If you usually have a date night on Friday, then pick another day. Maybe's it's a Tuesday, maybe it's a Sunday, but it should work with your schedule.
  2. Treat your savings as a purchase. In other words, change your mindset about what spending is. Instead of buying a good or service, treat your saving as "buying investments" or "buying back your debt." Some people turn buying small numbers of shares in an index fund into a game, where their investment brings them pleasure just like buying a coffee or a croissant at the local coffee shop.
  3. Identify your triggers. Pay attention when you have an impulse to buy something. Does it happen in certain places? Certain websites or forums? Perhaps on your way home from work? Find your spending "triggers," and work on ways to avoid them. Take a different route home, block or limit your access to certain websites... things you can do to help you avoid the impulse in the first place.


Are you ready for a financial reset?

Jan 11, 2021
EP02 Money Stories: Liz Finds Financial Freedom through Tik Tok

Jesse talks with YNAB'er Liz about her recent conversion to the YNAB software, which she discovered through the social media network Tik Tok. In just six months with YNAB, Liz has already reversed her financial situation, paid off debt, and created financial  security for her family.


Are you ready to take the challenge?

Jan 07, 2021
This Is Why You Can't Get Out of Debt

Just like weight loss, there are some people who manage to pay off their debt through a burst of willpower and concerted effort... only to fall into debt again, usually slowly. Jesse points out that often this is a failure to follow Rule Two (Embracing Your True Expenses), and discusses how you can prevent slipping into old habits in the New Year.


Are you ready for a financial reset?

Jan 04, 2021
EP01 Money Stories: Trish Answers - How Far Would You Go to Pay Off Debt?

YNAB is bringing back the Debt Stories... but this time we're calling it "Money Stories." In this series, Jesse interviews YNAB users about their incredible stories using YNAB to pay off debt, plan for life, build their savings, and more.


In this episode, Jesse interviews 34-year old nurse Trish. Though very hard working and driven to succeed, Trish found herself in $50,000 of debt despite working multiple jobs. Her unusual work arrangement meant that she went long periods of time between paychecks -- sometimes receiving multiple paychecks at once, months apart -- during which time she began relying on credit cards to ensure she had enough money to cover emergencies and unexpected expenses.


The credit card balance continued to climb, however, and, when combined with her car note and student loans, the monthly payments began eating up a large portion of her cashflow. Fed up, Trish decided to make some changes.


Focusing her energy and work ethic on her money, Trish decided to make drastic moves to pay down her debt for good. She began by selling nearly everything she could in her flat on Facebook, netting nearly $3,000. In addition to her two or three regular jobs (besides nursing, she teaches at a university and works as a technician for a pottery studio), she took small jobs whenever she could: transcribing, dog walking, etc. It was an intense experience, and she knew she could not sustain it long term, but harnessing her energy in these bursts jumpstarted her savings.


Are you ready to take the challenge?


Dec 31, 2020
Join Me In a 34-Day Reset

Jesse issues a New Years' challenge for YNAB'ers. For the next 34 days, abide by just three rules: 

  1. Write down every single thing you spend money on. You can do this in YNAB, or on a sheet of paper, but it must include every penny spent!
  2. Purchase ONLY essentials. Essential means you must have it to live.
  3. Do not eat out, or order take-in from restaurants. No restaurant spending, full stop. It's only 34 days, you can do it!

YNAB's data and experience has shown that people often find hundreds, even a thousand, extra dollars in their budget by doing these three things. In particular, eating out has proven to be the number one most common drain on the budget.

Remember, this is only for a short time! It's a small amount of hardship to endure, that can provide a major boost your savings and financial health to start the New Year.


Start the reset today:

Dec 28, 2020
Remembering What We Remember

Jesse reflects on budgeting for the Christmas season. While YNAB is all for getting your savings in order so that you can cash flow your Christmas spending without going into debt, the holiday season is about much more than presents. Recalling his childhood, Jesse can't actually remember much about the gifts he received. What he does remember is the time he spent with family, and the memories he made with them.


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Dec 21, 2020
Terry Bickmore: Advice for the First-Time Homebuyer

Jesse interviews his friend and realtor Terry Bickmore about Terry's introduction to YNAB and how it helped transform his business and personal life. Terry offers some advice for first-time homebuyers, based on YNAB's Four Rules.


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Dec 14, 2020
Big Goals The End (re-broadcast)

Jesse reflects on learning to relax about spending money, especially on the "black box" line items -- unspecified purchases from Amazon that don't fit neatly into any other category, or purchases that he simply doesn't want to look up and re-categorize. Part of learning to relax about these expenditures is realizing that as long as you are achieving your primary goals -- funding an emergency fund, saving for retirement, saving for a house perhaps -- then it doesn't really matter what happens to the rest of your money. It's another way of looking at the big picture.


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Dec 07, 2020
Tackling Fear

The end of the year is nigh, and 2020 has been one of the most stressful in recent memory. Jesse offers some advice for those dealing with fear and anxiety during these times.


During times of fear and uncertainty, Jesse draws on Stephen R. Covey's seminal book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The first habit is to be proactive and take responsibility for your reactions to events. To that end, Covey asks readers to consider their circle of influence -- What do you control? Where do you not have control? Drawing a very clear picture of your circle of influence, and defining what you don't control, can help with realizing what things you ought to be fear and what things are outside your influence, and thus should be outside your concern (or at least unworthy of spending mental bandwidth on). When people start budgeting, they often can't control what they make, but they can control some of things they spend on. So focusing on spending, giving their money a job, and following the four steps brings their attention to concrete, actionable things within their circle of influence.


Secondly, Jesse recommends learning more about the things you are fearful of. What information could you gather about a topic that would help you better understand it? If you are fearful about money, how about understanding how much you have in your checking account right now? Then take another step. What does that money need to do between now and the next time you get paid? Gathering data points and information about the things causing you fear and anxiety can help make them seem more manageable.


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Nov 30, 2020
YNAB Named Fortune's 2020 "Best Small Workplace" with Taylor Brown, CTO

Jesse and Taylor Brown, YNAB's Chief Technology Officer, celebrate the company being named Fortune's #1 Best Place to Work in Small Business in 2020. Jesse and Taylor take a walk down memory lane, reminiscing about the very early days of YNAB and how they much they've grown since, both as a company and as leaders within the business. The moniker "best place to work" doesn't just happen, but rather is a consequence of Jesse and Taylor's work in defining their company and employee values and consistently acting on those principles over the years.


Of course winning this honor is due to the work of everyone at YNAB, especially the operations team (lead by COO Chance Gurr) whose responsibility is making sure YNAB is a rewarding place to work. So, Jesse and Taylor wish to thank everyone at YNAB for their hard work and for embodying the company's values every day.


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Nov 23, 2020
Think Like An Entrepreneur: An Interview with Ramit Sethi (I Will Teach You to Be Rich)

Jesse sits down with acclaimed finance writer and entrepreneur Ramit Sethi for a long chat about the mindset of financial success, how to think like an entrepreneur, and why the most important question about personal finance you need to be able to answer is... "Why?".


Ramit is the author of the 2009 New York Times Best Seller, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, and the founder of Earnable, a community of entrepreneurs in which he coaches people how to think like entrepreneurs, develop viable business ventures, and market effectively to grow their business.


Sign up for a free 34-day trial of YNAB at

Nov 16, 2020
Budgeting with Self-Care with Robyn Conley Downs

Jesse interviews wellness expert, educator, and entrepreneur Robyn Conley Downs about applying her strategies for wellness to making lasting change in budgeting.


You can find Robyn here:

Real Food Whole Life:

IG: @realfoodwholelife


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Nov 09, 2020
Contribution Margin to Cover Life's Overhead

In the world of cost accounting, there's a concept known as contribution margin. Basically, it's how much you make on a product or service after you consider how much it cost to make that thing. The formula is revenue less the variable costs that go into making the product. Contribution margin is an important metric for businesses because it tells you whether you are making a profit on the things you sell. After all, it would do no good to sell a bunch of t-shirts for $18 a piece, if each of them costs you $20 to make!


Now, Jesse asks, what if we apply this concept to our life? We have jobs that earn us revenue. What do they cost to do? Time, obviously, but perhaps also driving/commuting, stress? The point is, the things that earn us money have a non-zero cost associated with them, and it's wise to keep track of that cost and make sure, at the end of the day, that we are using our time in a profitable manner.


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Nov 02, 2020
You Are Building WEALTH

It's not a dirty word, so let's say it together -- wealth! At YNAB, we often use the words "save money," and it's a more approachable concept, something that seems achievable in the short term. Wealth can seem like such a far-off concept sometimes. But at the end of the day, that's what we're all trying to do, is to build wealth that will allow us to do more of what we want to do in life.


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Oct 26, 2020
Just Settle In

While canning tomatoes from a bumper crop, Jesse realized the process was going to take a looooooong time. His wife advised him, simply, to "just settle in." Anything that yields great results in the future takes both upfront effort and perseverance. Whether it's gardening, putting up vegetables for the winter, or budgeting, you have to settle in.


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Oct 19, 2020
Never Spend Your Emergency Fund Again

Jesse lays out a strategy for managing unknown expenses without continually dipping into your emergency fund. Traditional budgeting advice tells you to create an emergency fund for dealing with unforeseen expenses, but often people end up using their emergency funds for irregular, but foreseeable expenses -- things like new tires, new cars, A/C repair, etc. They don't happen regularly, maybe only every several years, but if you look into the future you know they are coming.


For YNAB'ers that are following Rule #2, Embracing Your True Expenses, these aren't true emergencies, and they are already covered in the budget. In the rare event of a true emergency that catches you off guard, Jesse recommends that rather than spending money out of your global emergency fund, set up a new category for that expense. Maybe it's a house repair that you had never encountered before. Make a new category for that type of repair, and start a new sinking fund for it like you do for other Rule #2 expenses.


Over time, this strategy will give you useful data about your true expenses, so that you can be more prepared for next time.


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Oct 12, 2020
Are You Just Not Smart With Money?

Jesse tackles the defeatist attitude some people develop that they are just no good with money. As they say, comparison is the thief of joy, and we should add, it's very misleading when it comes to money! Watching what other people do with their money isn't particularly helpful or relevant to your own situation.

Bottom line, being smart with your money simply means knowing what you want your money to do, and allowing it do that for you. This is something anyone can do!


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Oct 05, 2020
Lifestyle Creep?

Recently someone asked Jesse about his thoughts on preventing lifestyle creep, a major supposed gremlin of budgeting. Jesse doesn't even like the question, and discusses why worrying about lifestyle creep is looking at budgeting in the wrong light.


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Sep 28, 2020
Mindfulness and Money: A Chat with a Meditation Expert

Recently Jesse received an email from a woman who claimed YNAB was really a program about mindfulness... just using money and budgeting as the entry point. So Jesse invited this woman onto the podcast to talk about the connection between mindfulness, meditation, and money. Welcome to Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau, a mindfulness expert, yoga instructor, and filmmaker currently residing in Madison, WI where she runs The Studio.


The Studio:


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Sep 21, 2020
Progress Purchases

Let's face it, it feels good to buy things. That's not necessarily a bad thing, either. Spending on hobbies or other things that bring you value -- maybe a date with your partner -- makes you feel good for a good reason.


However, from time to time we need to check the rationale behind our purchases. Maybe you intend to start a new exercise regime, so you buy new shoes and clothes and perhaps a new journal as well to document your progress. But have you actually started the program yet?


Often simply purchasing something related to your goals can make you feel like you've made progress.... when, unfortunately, that's not really the case! Jesse calls these "progress purchases," and warns you to watch out for them!


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Sep 14, 2020
The Reluctant Partner is a Misread

We're all familiar with the situation. A person reads a book, learns a new skill, or discovers a method, and gets REALLY INTO IT. Brimming with enthusiasm, they share it with their partner and try to get them involved, only to be met by reluctance and intransigence. The reluctant partner is a common trope, even when it comes budgeting!


The idea that your partner is dragging their feet because they don't share your goals about budgeting and personal finance, however, is a false one. In Jesse's and the YNAB team's experience, the reluctant partner is often simply overwhelmed. They usually want to share the goals and aspirations of their partner, and share in the process of attaining them, but the speed and intensity of the habit changes may be too much.


So if you're just getting into YNAB, break it gently to your partner. Talk about your goals, get on the same page about your finances, then start talking about the process of getting there. Small steps are the key to change!


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Sep 07, 2020
Books I've Read - The Business Shelf

By popular request, Jesse flips through his office bookshelves and discusses the books he's read recently... and, well, some that he hasn't but is getting around to!


This week he covers books in the “business” category, ranging from marketing, advertising, management theory, team building, and customer service. Many of these books have had an influence on the way YNAB operates and its success.


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Aug 31, 2020
Books I've Read - The "General" Shelf

By popular request, Jesse scans though his office bookshelf and discusses the books he's read recently... and, well, some that he hasn't but is getting around to!


This week he covers books in the "general" category, basically anything that isn't specifically about business. Next week he will cover the books on his business shelf.


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Aug 24, 2020
Meet Naseema, The Nurse on FIRE

Jesse interviews a YNAB'er, nurse practitioner Naseema, about how she used YNAB and the four rules to pay off an extraordinary $200k of debt in just under two years, all while going through some tough life transitions.


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Aug 17, 2020
The Rule Three Escape Hatch

YNAB'er Elizabeth wrote into the podcast asking for clarification of Rule Three -- can you use it too often?


Simply put, If you aren't reaching your goals, Jesse says, you're misusing Rule Three. If you aren't saving the money you thing you should be saving, then Rule Three has become an escape hatch for your budget, instead of an empowering tool.


Scarcity is a powerful motivator for budgeting. Embracing the fact that you have limited dollars, and that you cannot rob from your future self to pay unexpected expenses today, means you will have to become comfortable saying "no."


If you'd like to write into the show, email Jesse your questions at


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Aug 10, 2020
COVID Conquerors

With everything that has transpired this year, we could all use some positive news. Today Jesse highlights a couple of positive stories from YNAB users who have managed to save money and stabilize their financial situation despite job loss and salary cuts due to COVID.


Follow the four rules, and things will get better. Budgeting isn't the end-all-be-all, it's not the solution for everything, but it will help you make your financial situation better. Budgeting simply works!


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Aug 03, 2020
YNAB for Good

In light of the terrible events that have transpired in 2020, YNAB is launching a new initiative to help those in need. YNAB is partnering with non-profit organizations that work with marginalized communities on personal financial and financial resource issues. YNAB is offering licenses for its software for free to these non-profits, so those in need can benefit from YNAB's powerful budgeting tools.


If you work for a non-profit or know of one who could benefit from this program, visit for more details and how to sign up for the program.

Jul 27, 2020
Atomic Budgeting Pt. 5: The Environment That Shapes You

Jesse wraps up the Atomic Budgeting series, based on the ideas in James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, with a look into how our environment shapes our decision making.


The world is awash in advertisements — billboards, store displays, TV, YouTube, etc — which aim to subtly influence us to buy products and services. It’s hard to avoid them, especially when you spend time in areas or websites where targeted ads can pique your interests and potentially cause you to buy things you otherwise wouldn’t have sought out. Even our social groups can influence our purchasing decisions. Whether your friends and neighbors are conspicuous spenders or frugal, their collective habits will become the normal behavior in your social circle.


So the last step in “atomic budgeting” is to be aware of your environment, and choose your friends and social circles wisely.


“Join a community where the normal behavior is the behavior you want.”


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Jul 20, 2020
Atomic Budgeting Pt. 4: The Four Laws of Behavior Change

Jesse discusses James Clear's "laws" of how people make lasting changes to their behaviors and how they might apply to the YNAB'er looking to improve their budgeting habits.


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Jul 13, 2020
Atomic Budgeting Pt. 3: Becoming, Not Achieving

In the third installment of the atomic budgeting series, in which Jesse applies the principles in James Clear's book Atomic Habits to budgeting and personal finance, Jesse discusses the concept of becoming the person who has the traits you wish to have.


Typically when we think of making personal change, we set goals and then a process to achieve that goal. Yet, once we achieve the goal (if we do), does the change we made to achieve it continue on? Are the new habits long-lasting, or do we revert to our old ways? Too often, the latter proves true!


As Clear says, "every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become." If you want to become a person who is smart with money, who is rarely stressed with financial concerns, and budgets with ease... then you must start identifying yourself as that type of person. Then prove it with your actions.


If you're a weightlifter, you lift weights. If you're a writer, you write. You cannot be the person you claim to be without doing the things that type of person does. Budgeting is no different!


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Jul 06, 2020
Atomic Budgeting Pt. 2: Systems, Not Goals

Jesse continues with part two of the Atomic Budgeting series, applying the concepts in James Clear's Atomic Habits to budgeting and the pursuit of financial freedom.


One of the key concepts in Clear's book is focusing on building effective systems for achieving your goals, rather than on the goal itself. Goals are great things, but without a logical, replicable, and flexible system, you are unlikely to consistently achieve your goals. 


YNAB's Four Rules comprise a simple, flexible, and replicable system for achieving the goal of freeing up financial resources to handle unexpected events and do more of the things you want to do in life. The Four Rules don't ask you to come up with a solid number of dollars to save each month, or a percentage; rather, they ask you to follow certain processes (like giving every dollar a job) that ultimately help you achieve the goal of saving money. By staying process-focused rather than goal or number focused, YNAB allows you "roll with the punches" and adjust as your life circumstances change and unexpected expenses arise.


So whether it's budgeting, improving your fitness, reading books, or something else, the next time you set a goal focus your attention on your system for achieving that goal, and learn to love the process!


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Jun 29, 2020
Atomic Budgeting: Compound Interest

Jesse has become a fan of James Clear's Atomic Habits, in which Clear explains how small changes to your habits can build up to big changes in your life. Naturally, Jesse saw how atomic habits could work for budgeting too.


So for the next few weeks, Jesse will be covering several aspects of "atomic budgeting," starting with the power of compounding interest.


Atomic Habits by James Clear:


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Jun 22, 2020
Financial Wellness by YNAB

Jesse and the YNAB team are excited to announce a new service: financial wellness for businesses and their employees! For any company, big or small, YNAB will educate your employees on the most important yet often overlooked aspect of financial wellbeing… budgeting of course.


Financially stress-free employees are good employees. They are empowered, they have freedom to be creative in their life, and they are more productive as a result.


This is a FREE service for the business. You can find out more by going to:

Jun 15, 2020
Daily Reconciliation and Gardening

The attentive gardener notices the small things. The way plants grow, flourish, and wither on a daily basis. He knows that weeds are easily dispatched when pulled daily. The gardener plays a long game, but sees each move in detail. 


Budgeting is no different. The attentive budgeter notices small things, finds small efficiencies there, because she checks in often. She knows that it's easier to correct course when her budget is moving in the wrong direction, because she watches carefully and often. The daily reconciliation becomes a joy, not a chore.


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Jun 01, 2020
Doing Nothing Is Something

It's a common refrain in times of crisis. We must do something. But inaction is, in fact, always an option. Many times, especially when it comes to finances, it is a great option! Jesse reminds us that, in light of current economic conditions, it's perfectly OK to do nothing.


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May 25, 2020
Chickens, Fruit Trees, and Trellises

There's something growing at the Mecham household... and it's in the backyard! Jesse confesses he spent a good portion of his paternity leave preparing a garden with a handful of chicks, fruit trees, and a garden full of asparagus, cantaloupes, and other goodies.


As always, while exercising his green thumb Jesse was thinking about budgeting. Immediate gratification is rare in the natural world. Nearly everything worth having takes time, effort, and care to grow and develop. Chicks need to be fed and kept safe and healthy before they can grow into egg-laying hens. Fruit trees take years before they bear their first fruits. Yet these things, once harvested, can be so much more satisfying than, say, a generic carton of eggs at the store.


Budgeting is no exception to the rules of Nature. Good things come to those who wait, and steward their money well. But the good things are worth it.


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May 18, 2020
Windfalls and Uncertainty

After receiving several questions about what to do with windfall money during times of economic uncertainty (like these), Jesse tackles the topic in today’s episode. As always, but especially true nowadays, cash is king!


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May 11, 2020

Freshly returned from paternity leave, Jesse discusses how YNAB has handled the coronavirus pandemic as a company. As always, his focus and the company's focus has been on giving the best budgeting advice they can.


Additionally, the YNAB team has written articles exploring how people can weather the financial storm in the wake of COVID-19. You can read the blog entries here:



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May 04, 2020
Chasing Value

Jesse examines how the recent panic buying of food, home goods, and other staples highlights the intrinsic value of certain things that we take for granted. When demand for historically safe assets like bonds and gold falls, yet demand for household goods like flour and toilet paper soar, it shines some light on the practical value of things. In short,  you can eat flour, but you can't eat a bar of gold!


In the future, Jesse encourages us to consider saving not only for future expenses and retirement, but also for some staples and basic goods for unexpected times.


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Apr 27, 2020
Write That Gem Down!

Jesse muses on the impact the coronavirus will ultimately have on people and their habits. When society reopens, will people return to their previous habits? Or will they grow, having spent their time in isolation examining themselves and their priorities, their Rule Zero?


Jesse hopes that people do use this time to reflect, to re-examine their life and rediscover their priorities, and, most importantly, write down the wisdom that comes from that process!


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Apr 20, 2020
Rule Zero Morphs Before Your Very Eyes

Last week Jesse discussed the importance of Rule #1, giving every dollar a job. Rule one is always important, but in uncertain times like these it takes on renewed significance. Jesse has often talked about the rule before the rule, though, the so-called Rule Zero.


Rule Zero is understanding what's important to you, why you're bothering to give your dollars a job in the first place. At the end of the day, to what end are you budgeting? What's the purpose?


In the wake of the pandemic and economic woes gripping the country, consider whether the answer to Rule Zero has become clearer to you. Perhaps in these times you can find not only the resolve to budget like you've never budgeted before, but also to clarify why you're budgeting in the first place.


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Apr 13, 2020
You've Never Budgeted At A Time Like This

With the world at a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is certain. We’ve never budgeted at a time like this!


Jesse offers some comforting words in this time of crisis, and reminds us to follow Rule #1: Give Every Dollar A Job. Never stop budgeting. Even if it’s only a week ahead, a day ahead, staying engaged and continually planning will give you the best chance to survive financially in these times, and, eventually, thrive. Budgeting is one area of our lives that we can control, in the midst of so many things we cannot.


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Apr 06, 2020
The Commander's Intent

At YNAB there is a document called the Vision Doc, which spells out the “commander’s intent” for the company, how to behave and act on the company’s behalf. Employees must make many decisions on a day to day basis, but with a clear commander’s intent they have the freedom to make those smaller decisions while adhering to the company’s greater goal.


It’s useful to develop the same commander’s intent for your budget. With a clear goal and aim for the budget, it becomes easier to make those small, day to day money decisions that, as we know, can add up to big dollars over the course of a year!


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Mar 30, 2020
Don't Be Average... You Can't Be Anyway

Jesse reads an excerpt from the book The End of Average by Todd Rose. In the late 1940's the Air Force had a dangerous problem on its hands -- aircraft of all kinds were malfunctioning and crashing at alarming rates. The Air Force brought in scientist  Lt Gilbert S Daniels to diagnose the problem. Daniels discovered that the Air Force had designed cockpits based on thousands of physical measurements taken from its ranks of pilots, then averaged. Daniels ascertained that despite the rigor and breadth of the measurements, not a single active pilot in the Air Force actually matched up with all the averages. In short, the Air Force had designed their planes around an average pilot that didn't actually exist, causing pilots to have trouble controlling their planes.


We can take a lesson from Lt. Daniels discovery when it comes to our budgets. It's tempting to come up with an average for each line item, and compare your budget to someone else's or perhaps even a regional or national "average." Designing your budget around averages may not actually fit your life, and, going back to Episode 420, may leave your budget rigid and inflexible.


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Mar 23, 2020
Budget. No, Budget!

We often talk about the budget as if it’s a noun. Is it “in the budget”? Did you check the budget? When you treat the budget as a noun it takes on a rigid, inflexible quality, like the budget is set on stone tablets.


But what if we thought about “budget” as a verb? As an action, an activity, budgeting becomes a process, a thing which can change and evolve with each iteration.


Jesse discusses the importance of budgeting and not just setting a “budget.” Thanks to Hannah who shared this revelation in her video My 5 YNAB Beginner Mistakes on the YNAB YouTube Channel.


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Mar 16, 2020

Money is made to spend. We all want something, and that something usually costs money. Some of the “wants” are fleeting desires, spurred by mood or peer pressure or perhaps just a whim. Other “wants” are genuine desires and items or experiences that actually add value to your life.


Whichever it is, Jesse argues that you should wait. Wait before you buy anything, even the genuine wants. For one thing, waiting helps you parse out the genuine from the ephemeral.


Jesse keeps a running list of wants on his phone. If he wants something, he adds it to the list rather than buying it right away. If he still wants it when he checks the list again later, he buys it. Many times, however, he will find things on the list that he hasn’t thought about in a while, and that he really doesn’t want. So the list can act as a simple filter and a sanity check for purchases.


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Also, go to to sign up for the YNAB Debt Bootcamp!

Mar 09, 2020
Doing Nothing Is Something

There's a cliche in TV and film whenever something bad happens in a crowd of people, inevitably someone in the crowd shouts "why doesn't someone do something!" This is usually the cue for the superhero to enter stage right. We hear this sentiment all the time, not just in bad cinema, but in real life. Anytime a problem reaches a level of widespread concern -- whether it's a local neighborhood issue or a national one -- something must be done about it.


Some problems have no easy answers, and we often forget that inaction is a valid response. The same goes for our budgets! Not every budget problem can be solved right now. Sometimes you don't have the right information, or enough of it, to fix every issue in your budget. That's OK. Sometimes your budget is working just fine, and there's no reason to tinker with it. That's OK too. Don't fix it if it ain't broke!


Whatever your situation, remember doing nothing is still doing something.


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Also, go to to sign up for the YNAB Debt Bootcamp!


Mar 02, 2020
Budgeting for Lady Luck

They are prepared for emergencies, for setbacks, for unexpected life changes. In fact emergencies don’t seem to happen as often to them. YNAB’ers are a lucky set, it seems, but maybe there’s more to the truth than a roll of the dice.


Survivorship bias is a logical fallacy in which you focus on a group of people or things that made it past a selection process, without considering those that failed. This bias can lead to a number of erroneous conclusions. In finance, survivorship bias occurs when evaluating the returns of, say, companies in a certain sector of the economy. If you only look at current technology firms, you might look at the technology sector and determine that it radically outperforms the market… but those same returns may look very different if you consider all the technology firms within the same time period that went bankrupt.


Survivorship bias appears everywhere in life, and YNAB’ers are no exception. At first glance it may seem like those in good financial health just didn’t have the same number of setbacks that those in poor financial health did. But maybe it’s not just luck. Maybe those with good financial health stay that way because they budget responsibly.


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Also, go to to sign up for the YNAB Debt Bootcamp!

Feb 24, 2020
Opting Out of Credit Cards (A Bit)

In episode 411, Jesse decried the ubiquity of credit cards and the fact that they enjoy a number of benefits that plain old debit cards do not... at the risk of getting yourself in debt. Since then, he's learned of a few strategies for managing fraud risk with debit cards.


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Also, go to to sign up for the YNAB Debt Bootcamp!

Feb 17, 2020
Scratching the Gambling... Er, "Investing" Itch

Jesse admits he's got an itch to scratch. He likes to invest gamble in the stock market from time to time, using an app that allows him to trade at the swipe of a finger.


At least he's honest -- it's gambling with fun money, not investing. And that's the key. It's money he can afford to lose, and it's not much.


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Also, go to to sign up for the YNAB Debt Bootcamp!

Feb 10, 2020
Optionality and Managing Your Fixed (or Growing) Expenses

Wealth is not a dirty word. After all, wealth can allow us to do many interesting and fulfilling things with our lives. At the very least, it provides options, opening up the range of possibilities before us. Simply put, wealth can allow us to live the life we want to live.


The only problem is that the accumulation of wealth is often followed by increasing expenses. Some of these are obvious -- a bigger, newer house usually costs more than a smaller, older one -- while others are insidious. A larger house requires more energy to heat and cool, more time and effort to clean and landscape, and more things to fill it up. That's just one example. We could say the same about cars!


Left unchecked, these growing expenses can once again eat into our wealth, robbing us of the optionality of wealth. As Thoreau once wrote, "he who owns little is little owned."


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Also, go to to sign up for the YNAB Debt Bootcamp!

Feb 03, 2020
Optionality & Why You Should Follow Rule Two Instead of Paying Down Debt

Save money for known future expenses, or pay down debt? It's a challenge many people face while trying to eliminate their debt. It's a conundrum too -- you could take your savings and pay down debt now, or hold onto to those savings for the new tires you know your car needs next month, or the Christmas gifts you want to buy for the family. If you do that, though, the debt balance stays the same while you continue to pay interest...


Jesse argues that optionality is the key here. Obeying rule #2 -- embracing your true expenses -- means setting aside money for those known expenses and eventualities in your life. It's tempting to pay down as much debt as you can now, but setting aside cash for your true expenses gives you options.


What if your true expenses are bigger than you anticipated? What if you get hit with unexpected expenses on top of that? If you've set aside the cash, you are in a position to handle those expenses when they come. If you've already used the cash to pay down debt, then you won't have any to cover unexpected expenses. This makes you much more likely to put those on the credit card and then... now you are in debt again.


Jesse often meets people whose finances look like their diets -- they yoyo in and out of debt constantly. It's a mentally and emotionally draining prospect. But by giving yourself options, you can have it both ways. You can prepare to pay your true expenses in the future AND pay down debt. And you'll be more likely to stay out of debt, which is the ultimate goal!



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Also, go to to sign up for the YNAB Debt Bootcamp!

Jan 27, 2020
Incentives and Your 401(k)

Jesse reflects on a Senate bill -- now signed into law as the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act -- which will require a greater amount of employers to offer 401(k) plans to employees. The new law also makes it easier for annuities to be included in 401(k) offerings by easing the fiduciary rules around fees and expense ratios.


401k) plans are excellent vehicles for saving for retirement because they allow employees to put away a lot of money every year -- up to $19,500 in 2020. Some employers offer matching on 401(k) contributions, further boosting savings rates.


However, the inclusion of more annuities in 401(k) plans has a darker motivation. Annuities typically charge higher fees than mutual funds and index funds -- sometimes a percentage point or more -- making them an inefficient and expensive way to save for retirement for most people. On the other hand, they are very profitable for insurance companies! Not surprisingly, insurance companies lobbied hard for the relaxation of fiduciary rules in the SECURE Act.


Just like Jesse discussed in last week's episode #411, wherever there are incentives, there are people making money. The wise investor follows the money!


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Also, go to to sign up for the YNAB Debt Bootcamp!

Jan 20, 2020
Opting Out of the Credit Card Game

For better or worse (probably worse), credit cards are a major part of our financial world now. Cash is becoming less and less convenient to use every year, and debit cards continue to lack the same level of fraud protection that credit cards enjoy.


This isn't coincidence either. Jesse attended a "payments trends" conference in 2019, where the main topic was how to make payments easier, to remove as much friction as possible from the process of buying things. Why? Simply put, when you spend more money, more often, payment vendors make more money.


The problem is, you can't win the credit card game. Not only do payment vendors make money when you spend, the banks that underwrite credit card debt know (because they have studied human behavior) that when you swipe a credit card, you tend to spend more money. Credit card points and rewards are carefully designed to entice you to spend more money, because banks know that you will likely carry higher debt levels with a credit card.


So if you can't win the game, maybe the solution is just to opt out.


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Also, go to to sign up for the YNAB Debt Bootcamp!

Jan 13, 2020
January Burndown 2020

It's time to blow it all up! Every January, Jesse takes time with his family to "blow up" his budget and all the assumptions that drive it. He takes a fresh look at the dollars in the budget, and starts to question everything.


Need to set aside $400 for a new set of tires in March? That's a responsible Rule #2 line of thinking. But the burndown is your chance to think deeper... do we even need a car? Could we sell it and ride our bikes to work instead?


This is your time to think big, re-evaluate your priorities and life goals, and then question everything about your money. Nothing should be off the table at this point, because you're just talking. In the process, you may discover that your priorities have shifted, and it's time to take some new steps with your budget.  


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Also, go to to sign up for the YNAB Debt Bootcamp!

Jan 06, 2020
The YNAB Debt Bootcamp

If you made it through the last few weeks, you know why Jesse hates debt and why you should too!


Start the New Year by putting those feelings into action. Jesse has created a "debt bootcamp" for YNAB users to help you get serious about getting rid of your debt for good. Best of all, it's FREE for all YNAB software subscribers.


The Debt Bootcamp will be an intense, 8-week challenge to get rid of as much debt as possible. The camp will be run through a private Facebook group where you can stay accountable with other YNAB'ers and share your successes and challenges.


Go to to sign up now!



Dec 31, 2019
Why I Hate Debt Pt. 4: The Corporations

The corporations are playing a game, and you can't win. So opt out and stop playing the game! In the part 4 of the "Why I Hate Debt" miniseries, Jesse explains how behind every credit card is a clever system of points, travel miles, and other "free" rewards designed to keep you spending and in debt.


Credit cards are a very profitable industry. Would banks and finance companies be giving away rewards if they weren't making a profit from it? Of course not! They've got the data, they've studied the statistics, and they know people will drive themselves into debt, where they can rack up fees and interest.


So join Jesse, stop playing the game, and start hating debt!


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Dec 30, 2019
Why I Hate Debt Pt. 3: Cost of Opportunity

Jesse hates debt, and you should too! In Part 3 of anti-debt miniseries, Jesse argues that debt is not just a drain on our cash flow and creativity, it also restricts our future opportunities!


The burden of debt keeps us from realizing our full potential in many ways -- starting a business, taking a lower paying job for more fulfilling work, moving to a new state or country -- often in the early phases of life when we are most energetic and open to growth.


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Dec 23, 2019
Why I Hate Debt Pt. 2: Constraints & Creativity

In Part 2 of the Why I Hate Debt miniseries, Jesse explains why debt is a non-negotiable for him, and why is should be for you too.


At 22 years old, trying to finish his Masters degree and expecting his first child, Jesse found himself caught between two non-negotiables: 1.) Living without debt, and 2.) Allowing his wife to quit work to focus on raising their child. The problem? They didn’t have enough money to last until Jesse started working his new job after graduation, even living a very frugal existence.


At this point, it would have been so easy to simply sign for a student loan to cover the shortfall. It was only about $7,000. Other students around him were borrowing far more. The interest rates were low, the payback period would be short… debt was the easy way out.


But choosing to borrow would have blinded Jesse to the possibility of another solution, another way to make up the shortfall. The constraints of his non-negotiables led him to start selling his budgeting spreadsheet, which eventually turned into You Need A Budget.


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Dec 16, 2019
Why I Hate Debt Pt. 1: Cash

Jesse hates debt, and you should too. Debt service constricts our cash flow, limits out ability to do other things like savings and investing, and generally introduces more stress into our lives. In this first part of a mini-series on debt, Jesse makes a case for living completely debt-free.


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Dec 09, 2019
Handling Wildly Variable Income

Some of you may be thinking, YNAB sounds great, but what if I don't get a regular paycheck? How am I supposed to budget with that?

Well, first off, you definitely need a budget! Planning to fund your expenses in future months becomes more critical the more variable your income is.


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Dec 02, 2019
A Business Podcast?

Jesse is thinking about launching a separate podcast to discuss small business, internet marketing, and how you can use YNAB to manage your business cash flow, and he wants to know what you think!


Would you be interested in a business-focused podcast? What kind of topics would you like to hear about?


Email Jesse at and share your thoughts!


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Nov 25, 2019

Jesse asks the most important question about your reasons for getting out of debt, saving money, and achieving your financial goals. Why?


Why do you do it? What's the reason behind the goals? If you could write a mission statement for your life, what would it say? Answering the simple question "Why?" might be the most important thing you do after you complete the blocking and tackling of paying off debt and building an emergency fund.


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Nov 18, 2019
Sowing the Seeds of FI

"FI" is an acronym that has steadily grown in popularity over the last decade, though the concept is much older than that. It stands for financial independence -- some people call it early retirement (the longer acronym FIRE stands for financial independence, retire early) -- but the idea is simple. Live below your means, drastically increase your savings rate and accumulate enough wealth to "retire" or perhaps better said, until you can do what you want to do.


Time and savings rate are the key components of financial independence. What if you could save half of everything you make? What if you started doing that from the beginning? Jesse shares some lessons he's trying to instill in his kids as they take their first steps toward financial independence.


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Nov 11, 2019
Arbitrary Milestones

It's common to set milestones for paying down debt. They're usually big, round numbers like $500, $1k, $5k, $10k. At the end of the day though, the goals are arbitrary. It's just a number, a stepping stone, toward the greater goal.


So if the day to day grind of fiscal responsibility is getting to you, change your milestones! Maybe it's $749, or $362.54. It's all arbitrary, right? Have fun with the game, and make it work for you. Set a new milestone -- whatever you like -- and celebrate when you reach that new number.


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Nov 04, 2019
Categories Below the Line

How do you order your categories? What's on top? What's on bottom? And how did you decide that?


Categories are easy to order once you understand your priorities. Rent, utilities, food -- these are non-negotiable. You can and should, however, drill down into the details of each category and ask yourself whether you could live without some of the expenses in that category. You need utilities to live, clearly, but if pushed, what would you keep and what would you cut? Could you live without internet if you had to?


Once you understand which categories sit above the line (necessities) and which sit below the line, then you can total up how much you spend on "below the line" items. Then ask yourself: do you want any of this money to go to above the line items?


Try this exercise to clarify your budget and see whether your budget is in line with your priorities.



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Oct 28, 2019
Nickeled and Dimed

Why do we become desensitized to the upticks in price of just about everything?



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Oct 21, 2019
Sure We Could. If We Had To

"We could spend less if we wanted to."



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Oct 14, 2019

New feature alert: two factor authentication



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Oct 07, 2019
Everyone's a Lender

Everyone is getting into the lending money game.

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Sep 30, 2019
Payday Lender...Apps

Jesse discusses payroll advance apps.



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Sep 23, 2019
Fixing the Paycheck to Paycheck Cycle

Jesse discusses payroll advances in relation to age of money.



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Sep 16, 2019
Rule Four and Waistlines

Jesse goes back to basics and breaks down YNAB's Rule Four: Age Your Money



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Sep 09, 2019
Rule Three is War

Jesse goes back to basics and breaks down YNAB's Rule Three: Roll With The Punches



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Sep 02, 2019
Rule Two Broken Down

Jesse goes back to basics and breaks down YNAB's Rule Two: Embrace Your True Expenses

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Aug 26, 2019
Rule One Broken Down

Jesse goes back to basics and breaks down YNAB's Rule One: Give Every Dollar A Job.

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Aug 19, 2019

How do we curb the immediacy bias with DIY?



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Aug 12, 2019
Singular Focus on the Shovel and its Size

How many dollars are you sending to your retirement fund?

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Aug 05, 2019
Testing Rounding Up

Jesse reviews the automated investing app, Acorns.

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Jul 29, 2019
Is it Going Up?

The rock solid measure of whether or not you're succeeding

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Jul 22, 2019
It's for the Children

Jesse takes issue with a phrase we use when it comes to spending money on children.

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Jul 15, 2019
Bonus Episode: Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung Interview

Jesse interview's authors and married couple Kristy Shen, Bryce Leung about their book—available today—Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck, or Trust Fund Required.

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Jul 09, 2019
Should You Start Over

One simple question—should you start your budget over?

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Jul 08, 2019
The Clothing Credit Card Experiment

A follow up to episode 331, Sacreligious Budgeting.

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Jul 01, 2019
The Ideal Budget

Data and the ideal budget.



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Jun 24, 2019
A Report on Manual Entry

A follow up to episode to 365 on manually entering transactions.

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Jun 17, 2019
Bulking and Cutting

How is a budget like strength training?

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Jun 10, 2019
A Thin Slice of Cheese

There are two sides to every slice of cheese.

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Jun 03, 2019
That's Progress

Simple benchmarks for budgeting progress

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May 27, 2019
Is Wanting It Enough

A road trip, a Tesla and a story about Mr. Money Mustache

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May 20, 2019
Bonus Episode: Ramit Sethi Interview

Jesse interview's author Ramit Sethi about the update of his 10 year old book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

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May 14, 2019
Oxygen Masks

Ladies and gentlemen, as we start this episode, please make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position

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May 13, 2019
A Rock and a Hard Place

Stand up for your nonnegotiables.

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May 06, 2019
It's Just Not Working

Tips for getting over the hurdle of learning to budget.




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Apr 29, 2019
Investing vs Budgeting

A simple look at the approach to investing vs budgeting

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Apr 22, 2019
Renting a House is Awesome

The upside to renting.

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Apr 15, 2019
Dropping Swears

How is a budget like swearing?

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Apr 08, 2019
The Power of Pencil and Paper

We're introducing a new service!

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Apr 01, 2019
Hey Nerd Chill

A message for the budgeting nerds

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Check out our book! -



Mar 25, 2019
Ep 13 Debt Story: Meet Jonathan and Miranda

Jonathan and Miranda were college sweethearts with $52k in student loans. This is the story of how they paid it all off in just 21 months … and started their family.

Mar 21, 2019
Hey Free Spirit Here's a Calculator

A message for the free spirit budgeter



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Mar 18, 2019
Financial Wellness by YNAB

A little behind the scenes at YNAB and Jesse asks listeners a favor



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Mar 11, 2019
Ep 12 Debt Story: Meet Tanya

When Tanya and her husband became parents for the first time, suddenly their financial priorities clicked into place—and, within just 12 months, they’d paid off $31,000 of debt so that they could truly enjoy life with their new son.

Mar 07, 2019
Manual Entry Take Two

Taking another stab at entering transactions one at a time the old fashioned way.

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Mar 04, 2019
Cash is a King in Hiding

Stash some cash



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Feb 25, 2019
Ep 11 Debt Story: Meet Siobhan

Siobhan came to YNAB looking for a solution to her debt—$60k+ in student loans and $16k+ in credit card debt. Flash forward, and she’s on track to pay the last $30k off by next year. What a difference a couple of years can make!

Feb 21, 2019
The Allure of Plastic

This is a tinfoil PSA ... perhaps

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Feb 18, 2019
Age of Money When it Just Keeps Climbing

Day-old money is stressful!

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Feb 11, 2019
Ep 10 Debt Story: Meet Erin

Erin thought that she’d never be able to retire, much less do it comfortably on half of the amount than she previously thought ... but then she found YNAB.

Feb 07, 2019
Rule Three and Alabama Football a little

How is a budget like a college football game?

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Feb 04, 2019
Rule Two the In-Laws are Coming

How is a budget like a visit from the in-laws?

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Jan 28, 2019
Rule One in an Afternoon.

How is a budget like a clock?

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Jan 21, 2019
Priorities Priorities Priorities

Jesse gets back to basic budgeting talk with a discussion on priorities.



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Jan 14, 2019
Ep 09 Debt Story: Meet Chelsea

Chelsea and her husband had the wedding of their dreams in Hawaii ... then reality hit. They were $215,000 in debt! Find out how they teamed up to fix their finances.

Jan 10, 2019
Goals and a Single Piece of Paper

Some advice on annual goals.

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Jan 07, 2019
Ep 08 Debt Story: Meet Megan

This is a story of $9 salads and a $12,000 C-Section—and it’s proof that you can fix five-figure debt by paying attention to the little things. It all adds up

Jan 03, 2019
Annual Goals Reviewed Daily

A technique to get those resolutions and goals to stick.

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Dec 31, 2018
Moving the Pine Needle

Is there an opportunity this season for you to try something briefly unsustainable to reach a goal?

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Dec 24, 2018
Hassle and Bustle

December is a very busy month.

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Dec 17, 2018
Student Loan Syndrome: an Interview with Ryan Law

Jesse interviews Dr. Ryan Law, professor of financial counseling at Utah Valley University. They discuss student loan debt.



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Dec 10, 2018
No News is Good News For You

Breaking news: take a news break.

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Dec 03, 2018
How to Time the Market

Buy, buy, buy and find out why.

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Nov 26, 2018
Thanksgiving 2018: Gratitude Combats Discontent

Jesse encourages you to try a writing exercise this holiday.


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Nov 19, 2018
Pay Yourself First

Pay yourself first ... and forever

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Nov 12, 2018
Big Goals the End

A simpler approach to big goals

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Nov 05, 2018
Why is Forecasting Bad

The problem with forecasting money you don't have yet.

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Oct 29, 2018
The Subscription Scourge

Subscriptions, subscriptions, subscriptions.

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Oct 22, 2018
Tertiary Costs

There can be more to a purchase than the price tag

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Oct 15, 2018
The Heirloom Toaster Company

What if you never had to buy another toaster again?


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Oct 08, 2018
344 - The DL on BIFL

Buy it once, never replace it and why.

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Oct 01, 2018
343 - A Manual Intervention

It's time for a, "Manual Intervention."



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Sep 24, 2018
342 - Motivation the Grind

Sometimes the slog is real, the motivation is waning and you are grinding. What do you do in those situations to keep your head above water?

Sep 17, 2018
341 - Broken Budgets

Are credit cards a budget breaker?

Sep 10, 2018
339 - API

YNAB has a new API

Sep 03, 2018
340 - FOMO

Do you fear you've missed out on budgeting?

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Aug 27, 2018
YNAB Interview with Mike Michalowicz

Jesse talks with Mike Michalowicz, author of Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself—a book about how to stop sacrificing family, friendships and freedom for the sake of your business.

Available Today

Aug 21, 2018
338 - Budgeting is Spending

Budgeting is spending; nothing more, nothing less.


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Aug 13, 2018
337 - Taking a Vacation from Budgeting

How about a vacation from budgeting?


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Aug 06, 2018
336 - Better Halves and Budgets

It's ok if you and your partner don't think about money the same way


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Jul 30, 2018
Ep 07 Debt Story: Meet Jennifer

She used to buy every gadget that crossed her path. Now, her cousin calls her “the Queen of Cheap.”—learn how Jennifer paid off all of her student loans and most of her credit card debt, and purchased her very first home in Chicago proper.


Find more information at

Jul 26, 2018
335 - Money Stops, Obligations Keep Coming

Obligations remain despite life-changing circumstances.

Jul 23, 2018
Ep 06 Debt Story: Meet Sydney

This family of four lives in Downsville, Utah. When her husband lost his accounting job, they turned to the credit card. When they hit a $15,000 balance, she discovered YNAB ...


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Jul 19, 2018
334 - Parenting is Hard, Not Expensive

Jesse expounds on his stance of not paying for his children's college education

Jul 16, 2018
Ep 05 Debt Story: Meet Brittany

This family of four in Marietta, Georgia, had racked up $263,000 of debt—a number that used to keep Brittany awake at night (and that was before the job losses). Still, they made it work.


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Jul 12, 2018
332 - Antifragile Finances

Some things get better when they experience shock

Jul 09, 2018
Ep 04 Debt Story: Meet Daniel

He and his wife paid off $30,000 of debt in three years. It was all about choices—find out whether they picked air conditioning or Amazon Prime.


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Jul 05, 2018
333 - Lowering the Baseline

Jesse discusses a conversation he has with a friend about whether or not they should pay off their house.

Jul 02, 2018
Ep 03 Debt Story: Meet Andy & Melissa

He’s a pastor, and she’s a stay-at-home mom. With five kids and $30,000 in debt, stress levels were high. Find out how a spice jar solved their money problems.


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Jun 28, 2018
330 - Is Eating Out Eating Your Budget?

Eating out can have a big impact on your budget. Are we spending too much on restaurants and takeout?

Jun 25, 2018
Ep 02 Debt Story: Meet Tom

Find out how an IT business analyst from Kenton, Michigan, realized that it was cheaper to quit his job!

Find more information at

Jun 21, 2018
331 - Sacreligious Budgeting

An unconventional experiment to deal with a clothing category

Jun 18, 2018
Ep 01 Debt Story: Meet Angela

Angela’s family slowly sipped their way through to-go coffees until they’d reached a staggering $85,000 in debt. Just kidding, they bought a house and a pink Toyota, too. Find out how they paid it all off.

Jun 14, 2018
329 - When the Emergency Fund's Gathering Dust, and Why

The emergency fund that's gathering dust.

Jun 11, 2018
328 - Why Only Budget What You Have?

Why do we have people only budget what they have? Even in the surest of sure employment situations?

Jun 05, 2018
327 - A Blind Trust

A plea for blind trusts for the everyman.

May 28, 2018
326 - Renting vs. Buying

Everyone has a cabin. Shouldn't I? And other silly questions that are hard to answer.

May 21, 2018
325 - Blind Obedience and All Its Benefits

A mini-report one one of my New Year's resolutions, and what I've learned being blindly obedient.

May 14, 2018
324 - Material Joy

What's the purpose of that fridge? Knife? Car? Bike? Boat? House? A stroll and ramble through this question of joy and material things.

May 07, 2018
323 - How to Retire and Move to the Woods Fulltime

An interview with Ms. Frugalwoods. (I LOVED this book!)

Apr 30, 2018
322 - Buyer's Remoreselessness

Which items have you purchased that have created buyer's remorselessness.

Apr 23, 2018
321 - Let It Go

Sometimes you just have to let it go.

Apr 16, 2018
320 - Where Has Zero Gone?

Just don't walk past zero into debt. Get comfortable with zero.

Apr 09, 2018
319 - YNAB / Intuit Acquisition

The biggest news we've ever shared.

Apr 01, 2018
318 - Ever the Optimizer

Stop optimizing and be content with pace.

Mar 26, 2018
317 - The Greatest Showman

What you learn from the junior partner in "The Greatest Showman"

Mar 19, 2018
316 - "The Mexican Fisherman"

A little story about a man and his boat. And an investment banker.

Mar 12, 2018
315 - Savings: Undetected.

A little experiment to amass a lot of money.

Mar 05, 2018
314 - What do you mean, means?

How you define means makes all the difference.

Feb 26, 2018
313 - Non-Negotiables

The biggest non-negotiable expense ever. And you're probably ignoring it.

Feb 19, 2018
312 - MASH

Amazing what a little perspective shift gives you. Where do you get your perspective shifted?

Feb 12, 2018
311 - All Mixed Up, Don't Know What to Do

A call to get organized, simplify, and reduce the financial cruft in your life.

Feb 05, 2018
310 - Pay Yourself First

Inspired by my favorite personal finance book, "The Richest Man in Babylon"

Jan 29, 2018
309 - You Have a Spending Problem

That's right. If you're average (and you are), then you have a spending problem--not an income problem.

Jan 22, 2018
308 - Taxes Tax Your Take Terribly

This is a PSA to remind you that taxes are your life's single biggest expense.

Jan 15, 2018
307 - "I Want A 100-Foot Boat"

Maybe that "pipe dream" goal isn't so far off afterall.

Jan 08, 2018
306 - My Favorite Time of Year

My favorite time of year is January. New year, new you.

Jan 01, 2018
305 - Merry Christmas, A Gift You Can Give Me :)

Merry Christmas! That is all.

Dec 25, 2017
304 - Going Back to Your Roots

What are your roots, and how to strengthen them in times of stress

Dec 18, 2017
BONUS - A Conversation with Celia Benton

A Series of conversations with the real-life success stories featured in Jesse's new book, You Need A Budget—The Book, now available for pre-order!

Dec 13, 2017
BONUS - A Conversation with Mitchel Burton

A Series of conversations with the real-life success stories featured in Jesse's new book, You Need A Budget—The Book, now available for pre-order!

Dec 12, 2017
303 - Holiday Limits

Keeping the holidays merry--within limits.

Dec 11, 2017
BONUS - A Conversation with Matthew Dricci

A Series of conversations with the real-life success stories featured in Jesse's new book, You Need A Budget—The Book, now available for pre-order!

Dec 11, 2017
BONUS - A Conversation with Jonathan Dale

A Series of conversations with the real-life success stories featured in Jesse's new book, You Need A Budget—The Book, now available for pre-order!

Dec 08, 2017
BONUS - A Conversation with Holly MacKenzie

A Series of conversations with the real-life success stories featured in Jesse's new book, You Need A Budget—The Book, now available for pre-order!

Dec 07, 2017
BONUS - A Conversation with Dan Kellermeyer

A Series of conversations with the real-life success stories featured in Jesse's new book, You Need A Budget—The Book, now available for pre-order!

Dec 06, 2017
302 - The Costs of "Settling In"

Settle in fast, because it's expensive not to.

Nov 27, 2017
301 - Black Friday Cometh

Set Some Rules. Have Fun. (And take advantage of our Black Friday deal --this year only!)

Nov 20, 2017
300 - Planned Spontaneity

For the spontaneous people.

Nov 13, 2017
299 - Experiences? Priceless.

Experiences over material things. Coming at you from New York.

Nov 06, 2017
298 - Loose Change, or Lose Change?

At what point should you stop tracking cash?

Oct 30, 2017
297 - Do I Still Need a Budget?

Is there a point where you no longer really need a budget?

Oct 23, 2017
296 - It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...does your budget look like it as well?

Oct 16, 2017
295 - Lifestyle, Creep!

Do you suffer from lifestyle creep? I do.

Oct 09, 2017
294 - When's a Good Time to (re)Start Budgeting?

When's a good time to start budgeting? Or start building any new habit?

Oct 02, 2017
293 - Is there Good Debt?

Is there such a good thing as good debt? Yes. Though it also can become bad if you aren't careful.

Sep 25, 2017
292 - Saving Kids from College

Maybe if we just didn't treat student loan as a viable option for paying for college...

Sep 18, 2017
291 - Identity Theft Protection and You...?

How to protect your identity without paying for an expensive monitoring service.

Sep 11, 2017
290 - Millenial Money!!!!

Millennial Money advice is the same as every generation's money advice.

Sep 04, 2017
289 - Headed to New York

I'm scared and excited to live in New York for a while.

Aug 28, 2017
288 - Breaking Routine

Routines were made to be broken.

Aug 21, 2017
287 - Looking Ahead (Mobile!)

Where I discuss our new mobile apps, and why.

Aug 14, 2017
286 - Materiality

Different partners may have different levels of budget materiality. What it is, and how to navigate it.

Aug 07, 2017
285 - Clarity Break

Everyone should be taking a clarity break.

Jul 31, 2017
284 - Wired to Acquire

We're programmed to amass, hoard, acquire. What do you do to combat that?

Jul 24, 2017
283 - The Debt Consolidation Myth

The launch of YNAB's new 80/20 guide, "The Debt Consolidation Myth"

Jul 17, 2017
282 - Going Back to Granular

Our epic failure to be less granular, and how I'm getting back to it with our own personal budget.

Jul 10, 2017
281 - Left-Handed

Sometimes starting something as a beginner again is just what you need for reinvigorating the budget.

Jul 03, 2017
280 - Watering to Death

Can too much of a good thing become a bad thing?

Jun 26, 2017
279 - Watering the Sidewalk

What are we doing when we water the sidewalk, but when we're really talking about budgeting?

Jun 19, 2017
278 - Weeds

What do weeds and budgeting have in common? Everything.

Jun 12, 2017
277 - Cold Showers

A discussion of the book "What Doesn't Kill Us" and why I'm now taking ice cold showers.

Jun 05, 2017
276 - Retreat!

Saving up so you can live it up.

May 29, 2017
275 - Deep Work

An Interview with an author of a book that changed my life and is required reading for the entire YNAB team. Every year.

May 22, 2017
274 - Unearthed Priorities

It turns out when you peel back the priorities onion, the core of it a lot of times is an experience, not an item.

May 15, 2017
273 - No Online Purchases in 2017

Julie set herself a goal for 2017.

May 08, 2017
272 - Settling in With Stuff

Is it possible to just settle in with your stuff and avoid some of the churn involved in repeat purchasing?

May 01, 2017
271 - The Herloom Toaster

All I wasn't is a toaster I can pass on to my children.

Apr 24, 2017
270 - Ownership Overhead

When you're buying something, you're also tacking a bunch of todos on to your list.

Apr 17, 2017
269 - The Cost of Ownership

When you're buying something, you're buying so much more.

Apr 10, 2017
268 - 1-844-YNAB-ING
Mar 27, 2017
267 - Your Debt Is Gonna Bury You
Mar 20, 2017
266 - Target Trouble
Mar 13, 2017
265 - Overspending
Mar 06, 2017
264 - Just A Budget Meeting
Feb 27, 2017
263 - Expenses Oh No
Feb 20, 2017
262 - Budget More
Feb 13, 2017
261 - Month One! In the Books!

Maybe you've only been budgeting a month. How's it going? What are some of the victories you've experienced?

Feb 06, 2017
260 - Getting a Reluctiant Partner on Board

In getting a reluctant partner on board with budgeting, you've got to play the long game.

Jan 30, 2017
259 - Why Most People Quit Budgeting

There's one reason why people quit budgeting (and most anything else).

Jan 23, 2017
258 - How To Start Over

With budgeting, the key might be to start over.

Jan 16, 2017
257 - Resolutioin-Proofing Your Budget

Here's how you budget so it sticks.

Jan 09, 2017
256 - Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! I hope it was financially boring, but in every other way an exciting, restful, introspective time.

Dec 26, 2016
255 - Support Amids the Holiday Chaos

A shout-out to our support team that's teaching people to budget all through the holiday season!

Dec 19, 2016
254 - A Quick Look Back, and Talking About Going Forward

A look back at 2016 (our craziest year ever). A look forward to 2017. At least the first quarter.

Dec 12, 2016
253 - Budgeting is Boring. Let's All Just Admit That.

Let's face it. If you're doing it right, it's downright boring.

Dec 05, 2016
252 - Growing Old Together with Your Crazy Money

How the age of your money becomes even more important when your income has a wild side.

Nov 28, 2016
251 - Rule Two With a Wild Income

Rule Two times two (or three, or four) when it comes to a variable income.

Nov 21, 2016
250 - Can I Afford It? Yes! Oh...Wait

A question for the eternities: Can I afford this?

Nov 14, 2016
249 - Budget Fails with Variable Income

Why does variable income make budgeting so tough? Because we're budgeting wrong.

Nov 07, 2016
248 - March to Your Own Drum

It's your money (read: life), so march to your own drum.

Oct 31, 2016
247 - When the Money Itself Becomes a Priority...Watch Out.

If the balance in your account has morphed into its own priority, do a bit of a sanity check.

Oct 25, 2016
246 - A Report on Reports

A special podcast, because reports are here.

Oct 17, 2016
246 - A Report on Reports

A special podcast, because reports are here.

Oct 17, 2016
245 - Budgets & Butlers

Your budget is your deferential butler. Don't you agree, sir?

Oct 10, 2016
244 - We're Doing Workshops Now

We have workshops! You should give one a shot.

Oct 03, 2016
243 - A 100% Remote Company. And You Can Too.

How do you accomplish anything? Be thoughtful about what you want, and intentional about how to get it.

Sep 26, 2016
242 - But It's MY Car

My irrational reaction to not having my own car for 24 hours. What are yours?

Sep 19, 2016
241 - Cash for the Next House

Here's the #1 reason to pay cash for your next house.

Sep 12, 2016
240 - What Learning YNAB Looks Like

Stops, Starts, and Struggles. Be patient with yourself as you learn the YNAB Way.

Sep 05, 2016
239 - Blank Slate

Blank slating in life, and in budgeting, can be super insightful.

Aug 29, 2016
238 - Outsourcing

I've outsourced my fitness and nutrition. What about money?

Aug 22, 2016
237 - Thinking Aloud About "To Be Budgeted"

Making a number less confusing.

Aug 15, 2016
236 - Working at YNAB

An look inside the YNAB team.

Aug 08, 2016
235 - The Simple Path to Wealth

It really is a simple path. And J L Collins knows how to navigate it.

Aug 01, 2016
234 - Deep Work for Dialed In Priorities

Carve out time to do "Deep Work" so you can clearly understand your priorities.

Jul 25, 2016
233 - One of the Richest Men in the World was a Bookkeeper

One of the richest men in the history of the world was a bookkeeper. Mic drop.

Jul 18, 2016
232 - Treat Yourself

It's critical that your pace is intense, but sustainable.

Jul 11, 2016
231 - When You're Paid Every Day

How do you handle things when you're paid every day? The same way.

Jul 04, 2016
230 - Budgeting with a Partner

YNAB CCO, Todd Curtis, and I talk about couples and money, and why we recommend joining forces.

Jun 27, 2016
229 - Simplify: Decision Fatigue

YNAB CCO, Todd Curtis, and I discuss an argument for (and solid research backing) the idea of simplifying.

Jun 20, 2016
228 - Think Long, Act Now: Focus & Start Now

YNAB Chief Customer Officer, Todd Curtis, and I discuss focusing on long term goals by looking at the here and now.

Jun 13, 2016
227 - A Report on Our "Cash is King" Budget

A report on our "Cash is King" budget where I talk about the ups and downs experienced so far.

Jun 06, 2016
226 - Cars and the Identities that Drive Them

What kind of identity do you have wrapped up in your car? Just something to think about.

May 30, 2016
225 - Moments that Force You to Question Your Priorities

The budget should force a "revisiting" of priorities without necessarily having your hand forced externally.

May 27, 2016
224 - Think Long, Act Now: Savings & Your Budget

Why saving for its own sake can be dangerous.

May 16, 2016
223 - Deal w/ your Debt: Be Strategic

The end all be all strategy for paying down your debt.

May 09, 2016
222 - Deal w/ your Debt: Changing Habits

Steps to take before you take steps to pay down your debt.

May 04, 2016
221 - Interview with Author of "Odds On" Matt Hall

I talk with evidence-based investing advisor Matt Hall about, you guessed it, investing.

Apr 25, 2016
220 - Retreat! Retreat!

The ultimate experience as it relates to "Save up for it."

Apr 22, 2016
219 - Is Cash King?

What if I dramatically reduce our categories so we hit our goals, classify all online purchases as "online" and use cash for everything else?

Apr 11, 2016
218 - Quarter In Review

The New YNAB is three months old. How is it going? A bit behind the scenes.

Apr 05, 2016
217 - How Will You Feel When...

A question that goes a bit deeper than just giving every dollar a job.

Mar 28, 2016
216 - The Opposite of Spoiled

An interview with NYT bestselling author Ron Lieber about how to not raise spoiled kids...

Mar 21, 2016
215 - Managing Money Less

Is the ideal budget just four categories?

Mar 14, 2016
214 - One Year Same As Cash

Why do businesses always end up morphing into finance companies?

Mar 07, 2016
213 - Interview with Adam Carroll, Student Loan Expert

Where we talk about students and their debt, and "swipe technology."

Feb 29, 2016
212 - Rule Four Reloaded

Rule Four reloaded.

Feb 22, 2016
211 - Rule Three Reloaded

Rule Three reloaded.

Feb 15, 2016
210 - Rule Two Reloaded

Rule Two reloaded.

Feb 08, 2016
209 - Rule One Reloaded

Rule One reloaded.

Feb 01, 2016
208 - MVP

The "minimum viable product" strategy as it relates to software.

Jan 25, 2016
207 - Goals, Goals, Goals

There's a new feature in our latest version of the YNAB software, and we think you'll love it!

Jan 18, 2016
206 - January vs December

Christmas bills got you down? Make next Christmas better!

Jan 11, 2016
205 - I Changed My Mind

Sometimes, things just have to change.

Jan 04, 2016
204 - My New Baby

An exciting announcement from Jesse Mecham!

Dec 28, 2015
203 - Twas the Night Before Christmas

A new take on a classic Christmas story.

Dec 21, 2015
202 - Delayed Gratification

Don't worry. You've been saving up for this!

Dec 18, 2015
201 - A Container for Your Money

YNABer Question: How do I switch banks with YNAB?

Dec 07, 2015
200 - Perfect for Procrastinators

Hey Procrastinators, I have the perfect system for you.

Nov 30, 2015
199 - You Don't Have to be Frugal

Frugality. Consumption.

Nov 23, 2015
198 - A Budget Bucket List

Have a budget bucket list.

Nov 16, 2015
197 - What's the Difference Between YNAB and Mint?

Mint: Post-Mortem. YNAB: Minority Report

Nov 09, 2015
196 - Save Something

Save something, try just a dollar or two...

Nov 02, 2015
195 - The Four Disciplines of Execution

What Covey's "Four Disciplines of Execution" means for your budgeting.

Oct 26, 2015
194 - Question Everything

It's healthy and interesting to question all of your finances at least once a year. Here's why.

Oct 19, 2015
193 - Lump Sums (Like a Student Loan)

That student loan disbursement came in? You're not rich. You're broke.

Oct 12, 2015
192 - To Automate or Not To Automate, That is the (Lame) Question

It's not about automating or not, it's about eliminating tedium, and increasing awareness.

Oct 05, 2015
191 - What If You Didn't Have Reports?

If you could only have one report, what would it be?

Sep 28, 2015
190 - The Value of a Fresh Start

Every once in a while, the budget needs good shave. A fresh start, if you will.

Sep 21, 2015
189 - Map Your Progress

An Interview with Amy Jones, creator of the awesome Map Your Progress.

Sep 14, 2015
188 - College Is In Session!

College student with a big pile of loan disbursement: You're still broke. Please act like it!

Sep 07, 2015
187 - Changing Seasons, Changing Priorities

With the change in seasons, it's a good time to give your budget a fresh look.

Aug 31, 2015
186 - Mechams Unplugged

Where Julie and I broadcast our budget meeting (unedited) to the world. Take from it what you can, if anything.

Aug 24, 2015
185 - Saving Without a Purpose Isn't Saving At All

Why saving without a purpose isn't really saving at all. You know you've done this.

Aug 17, 2015
184 - Pay Off Debt or Save First?

Should you go crazy with your debt? Save some money? Both?

Aug 10, 2015
183 - Bills Are Paid...Now What?

What should be the order of prioritization once the necessities are taken care of?

Aug 03, 2015
182 - Dealing with Your Financial Scar Tissue

The past is in the past, but it still affects the future. Dealing with financial scar tissue.