You Need a Budget by Jesse Mecham

Updated: May 12, 2020

YNAB is different. The book does not include spreadsheets, or financial calculators, or pages of detailed directions on what percentage of your income should be allocated to what particular kind of thing. Instead, Mecham provides information that can help people change their concept about money and what money is and how to put it to work. Mecham believes money is a tool which will help people create the kind of life they want, rather than money as the end-goal itself. The book includes the usual kind of testimonial stories, which are to be expected in any kind of self-help book, but they are testimonials with a twist which prove that thinking about your money differently, and budgeting differently, can help you change your financial life.

Mecham gives the reader four rules for money: Rule one: Give Every Dollar A Job. Be intentional about what you want your money to do before you spend it. Rule two: Embrace Your True Expenses. Break up larger, less frequent expenses into smaller, more manageable amounts. By saving monthly for insurance premiums, holidays, or car repairs, when the time comes, your money is ready and waiting to do its job. Rule three: Roll With The Punches. When life changes, so must your budget. Make adjustments and move along. Flexible budgets succeed because they’re guilt-free, realistic, and sustainable. Rule four: Age Your Money.

As you repeat the first three rules, you’ll increase the time between the moment you earn a dollar and the moment you need to spend it. When your money is at least a month old, you’ll have finally broken the paycheck to paycheck cycle for good.

These rules seem simple but for those without the concept of money as a tool, they could be revolutionary. Mecham also stresses that every family situation, and every budget are different. There is no one-size fits all budget option. The information would be invaluable to those living paycheck to paycheck, as well as those without a plan of any kind.


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