Wednesday, October 27, 2010

YNAB, Mvelopes and Dave Ramsey...

Until now, I've been using a simple budget that I created in Excel. However, lately I've been reading up more on budgeting ideas. I found Dave Ramsey and his baby steps interesting and have been considering following his approach and maybe even attending his classes. However, I've found some other budgeting software that sounds interesting. One program that caught my attention is called "Mvelopes." It seems to match up with Dave's philosophies (envelope budgeting) and makes it easy for people to track their envelopes electronically. Today I discovered You Need a Budget which seems to push the idea of not living paycheck to paycheck (our current problem) and makes it easy to track your money and get ahead. This also sounds interesting. My frustration is that as I'm trying to dig myself out of debt, I'm not interested in spending more money to buy a program to help me do it. I'm a smart girl and I think I can just use Excel and be fine... however, that approach hasn't worked great for me in the past. Right now I'm considering downloading a free trial version of YNAB to see what that's like. I'm hoping maybe I'll be able to get a few ideas for my spreadsheet which will help me along the way.

Question : Do you follow a certain system or philosophy in your get out of debt journey? How do you do your budget? Do you use any special software to track your budget? If so, have your experiences been positive or negative, it is worth it?


  1. Babyblue, you need Gail Vaz-Oxlade! She's Canadian, and has two television shows , Til Debt do us part and Princess. Til Debt availble in the US, and both are available to watch on ( I don't think you can wathc it in the US). Check out her blog/web site. It rocks! and everything is free ( excpet her books!). Go and check it out! I use a coil book for my budget, and track my money the old fashioned way, pen and paper. It works for me!

  2. I have tried, quicken, msmoney and excel on my journey. Excel has proven to be the best for me. As I learn new things I tweak my spreadsheet. The key to simplifying my budget is to pay bills on payday and extra debt payments on payday even if they are not due. I also give every dollar a name on paper before I spend it. (If you want an example email me at

    I do follow Dave Ramsey's baby steps and I have taken the Financial Peace University class. The class cost $100, but I have been able to avoid paying $27,000 in interest by following his advice. There are many other areas where I have saved or avoid cost due to apply the principles he teaches.

  3. I wrote my own envelope budgeting system at Check it out. It is similar to Mvelopes but it is web based and cheaper (with a free plan available). If you try it, let me know if you have any questions.

  4. Hello Babyblue! Congrats on taking charge of getting yourself out of debt! I'm Anne, the Exec. Assistant over at YNAB. Thanks for the sweet mention. I just wanted to suggest you check out the YNAB forum and chat with current YNAB users. They're all super friendly and love answering curious people's questions about the program. They do it all the time. A lot of them really like/use Dave Ramsey as well. His theory coincides really well with YNAB's.So if you want, check out the forum and feel free to ask anything you'd like. Best of luck to you!

  5. @ It's me, Sam - I love Gail! I enjoy watching her show, Til Debt Do Us Part. I've learned some good stuff from her :)

    @ Broke By Choice - Thanks for your spreadsheet! I have decided to use Excel, for now anyway. It seems the simplest and cheapest. Glad to hear you got so much out of the FPU class. That makes me lean towards taking it even more!

    @ Dustin Davis - I'll check out your system. Thanks for the link!

    @ Openid - Thanks for the suggestion. I'll check out the forums and see what people have to say.

  6. Hey BabyBlueWater,

    Thanks for the mention of on your site.

    I wanted to offer any of your readers a 10% discount off any of the packages and a 14 day trial to test drive the system.

    If anyone is interested, please go to and click "Start My Trial". When you setup your account, just make sure to enter the promo code "10off" to get a 10% discount on any of our packages. That's the number ten and the word "off".

    Let me know if you need any help or have any questions. Happy holidays!