Wednesday, November 18, 2015

You Need A Budget

By: Dallas Jones

A common issue for, well, just about everyone is money. The way you handle your money as a college student sets a precedent for how you will do after you graduate and get into your career path, so why not get a jump on how you budget now? It may not work for everyone, but I found the solution to years of stress with budget in a simple program: You Need A Budget.

You Need A Budget, or YNAB, has four very simple rules to follow:
1. Give every dollar a job.
2. Save for a rainy day.
3. Roll with the punches.
4. Live on last month’s income.

This extremely forgiving budget system helps you keep track of every single penny you spend, and how you spend it, without causing undo stress if you go a little over in one area of your budget. They offer a myriad of online classes to help you not only navigate the program, but also give you tips and advice for future budgeting needs. They also send out a “weekly roundup” e-mail (but only if you want it!) containing even more content.

YNAB is wonderful on its own, so much so that it’s one of the few programs I was willing to pay for to help me continue budgeting. Thankfully, you don’t have to! YNAB is a free, yes, free resource for college students.

All you have to do:
1. Send an e-mail to and include a proof of registration* at your college.
            *Just something that shows your name, the college name, and proof of current enrollment such as a student ID card, report card, transcript, tuition bill or statement, etc…
2. They’ll send you a special license key good to the end of the calendar year.
3. At the end of the calendar year, if you’re still in school, simply repeat Step 1 and they’ll send you a new license key.

Just to tell you how ridiculously simple this process was for me, I pulled out a copy of my Trident student ID card, set it on my leg, snapped a picture with my cell, and sent the e-mail from my cell while sitting in my car between classes. I received an auto-reply message, but within an hour of my initial e-mail I already had my activation key for the program.

While this may not be the perfect program for you, I highly recommend it, at the very least to get you in the right money mindset until you find what works best for you. Happy budgeting!



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