Contributor

My husband and I have struggled for awhile over how to budget our pay. We have moved six times in the past four years (and you know how much PCS's can COST!!), but still. We are adults, we figure, so budgeting should be a piece of cake, right? Wrong. Fortunately for us, we discovered a great financial tool that bailed us out.

14 REPLIES

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What did you find?
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Budgeting is not always easy. As a matter of fact it can be down right hard. I think the biggest thing I see military families struggle with is what we NEED vs. what we THINK we NEED. I am glad you found a tool that works for your family.
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No matter what tool you use, use something. I have been using the envelope system for over 10 years. For years it was a software program called Money Matters by Crown and recently they went online. Now I use Mvelopes. Look it up; it's a great system and can really help you track your expenses as well as save in a particular area.
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Mint.com is an amazing website and is completely free.
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Have any of you used any of the budgeting tools here on USAA.com to help with budgeting? Were they helpful? I've seen them but I haven't "dug in" yet.

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The 'Spending Plan' feature is less a full-fledged budgeting tool and more of a general overview/alerts if you are getting close to your planned maximums. I find myself setting the limits to what I generally spend on the categories (Dining/ ATM / Rent / etc.) and letting it warn me if I my spending spikes about what is normal.

 

That being said-- it is a nice to have from your daily bank as it means sharing less about your spending habits with not-so-trusted 3rd parties. While other products (such as mint.com [owned by Intuit by the way]) may do a better job helping you budget and may make it easier to aggregate your various financial accounts-- the thought of having a 3rd party platform that has all my banking credentials (username/passwors/etc.) stored is just not worth it to me. Your milage may very.

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That's great, I know that for us, being newlyweds, budgeting has been a lifesaver for us. I've heard that Mvelopes (and other envelope systems) are really helpful. We use a program called YNAB (You Need a Budget). It has been awesome and it even sync's to my phone through the Cloud (Dropbox). So I can enter my transactions on the spot and I can see my available balances before making a purchase. This is not meant to be any kind of advertisement, but YNAB is so awesome that they provide their users with a coupon code to give out so that people can save $6 (10%) on their purchase of the software. It's a one time purchase of the software and the app, then all subsequent updates are free, no subscriptions. Check out the website and see if it's for you, they even have a free 30-day trial (you don't have to enter any payment information or anything, you just lose access to the software after 30 days). Here's the coupon code/website link :-). Good luck budgeting!! http://ynab.refr.cc/5KSFB35
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Thanks for the post about YNAB, I couldn't find the date, so not sure how old it is. Have you found a way to download your USAA account infor directly in terms of paycheck deposits etc?

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Sam,

I don't have any experience with YNAB but I hope that our community member can reply and let you know. Welcome to the community!