Aspiring full-time RVers always ask: “How much does it cost to full-time RV?” And with a smattering of sarcasm, we reply with “How much does it cost you to live?” Everyone spends and saves money differently and unless you know the cost of your traditional lifestyle, you’ll never be able to know the cost of full-time RVing for you. Want to find out? The new You Need a Budget (YNAB) book and app will put you in the driver’s seat for a successful full-time RVing lifestyle.
Get the New YNAB Book for Full-time RVing Success
The new YNAB book, “You Need a Budget: The Proven System for Breaking the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle, Getting Out of Debt, and Living the Life You Want” and YNAB’s hugely helpful community is the most helpful budgeting tool I’ve ever tried – and it’s also the only method that’s worked for me and Jim. I should know. As the numbers person in our family, I’ve tried all the personal finance tools out there, from Dave Ramsey to David Bach to Suze Orman’s. And while we have the utmost respect for Dave Ramsey’s debt-free teachings (the driving force behind our ability to stay on the road for over a decade), not even his Every Dollar app has had the positive, profound effect on our full-time RVing finances the way You Need a Budget has impacted our nomadic life.
When Mecham launched the You Need a Budget book to get the word out about this amazingly straightforward method, I jumped at the opportunity to share the good news. Published by Harper Business Books, I was lucky enough to get a free press copy for review.
Three Reasons Why YNAB Beats Other Personal Finance Methods
You won’t feel broke or deprived on the YNAB system.
Spending priorities aren’t judged or condemned (as long as you don’t spend more than you earn).
You’ll build a solid financial future within a flexible budget framework that allows for inevitable ups and downs on the road of life.
I recently discovered YNAB when I decided to take time off from my freelance writing gigs in order to work on a book. To overcome my fear of this significant pay cut, I needed more control over our money than a simple RV budget spreadsheet or my go-to accounting method, Quickbooks. With YNAB’s method and the community’s new book I’ve obtained a level of confidence and control that I never knew existed.
Four Rules for Financial Success
Founded in 2004 by accounting geek Jesse Mecham, the You Need a Budget (YNAB) software for desktop or mobile device helps people reach financial success through Mecham’s four simple budgeting rules that anyone can follow, not just accounting geeks. Short, concise and useful, the You Need a Budget book will help you gain a better grasp on financial freedom. YNAB’s four simple rules are:
Rule 1: Give Every Dollar a Job
When a dollar comes into your life, ask yourself: “What do I want this money to do for me?” Only when you make a plan for how and when to use every cent of your money can you get closer to your ultimate dream life. From rent to recreation, each month your task is to map out all spending priorities before money leaves your hand, just as you would create a plan for your next RV road trip. And if your spending priority means a double Frappucino every day at work, that’s fine, just be sure you can pay for it and still fund your other priorities within your current income level.
Rule 2: Embrace Your True Expenses
We all have them. These “True expenses” are the bills that go beyond the day-to-day costs of living like rent and groceries. They are the inevitable high dollar expenses that can run us off the road if we’re unprepared, like semi-annual insurance payments, personal income tax owed and crazy veterinary bills. The YNAB book teaches us to prepare for these inevitable but absolutely predictable hits by creating budget categories that encourage incremental funding for them throughout the year.
Rule 3: Roll with the Punches
This rule sets YNAB apart from all the other financial gurus who insist that if we stray from our budget we are financial losers. Instead, YNAB Rule Three teaches that if we veer away from our budget categories during the month, that’s not failure, but success! Why? Because a good budget is fluid enough to flow with inevitable life changes and spending priorities. For example, if you’re short on money for food but have loads saved up for your vacation fund, just take it from there and make it a goal to replace that vacation fund draw next month.
As long as we stay accountable to the budget’s bottom line (the amount of money coming in each month), we rock. Mecham explains:
“You’re not accountable to every line item in your budget. That would be like holding yourself to that hour-by-hour schedule you wrote a week ago. It just won’t match reality. But you are accountable to your bottom line – that is, the distance between your money in versus money out. You can and should shift money between priorities when life demands (or requests!) it, but at the bottom line you have a finite amount of money. If you spend more than you planned in one place, you have to pull that money from another spending goal because it doesn’t exist anywhere else (and because debt is not an option!).
That big picture thinking will keep you budgeting mad moving closer to your goals. . . the goals are what matter. As long as you keep moving toward them, you’re succeeding.”
Rule 4: Age Your Money
Money goes in and money goes out, but the longer money stays in your possession, the more peace of mind you attain. Rule Four shows us how to build a reserve fund that breaks the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle by building a pile of “old money” that stays in our bank accounts for at least 30 days on average. The older the money, the more cash reserves and the better we can cover regular and unexpected expenses.
“Put another way:
Without Rule Four, you’ve got a stack of bills waiting for money.
With Rule Four, you’ve got a stack of money waiting for bills.”
That’s it: four simple rules to financial success, whether you’re a student living on poverty wages or about to workamp your way across the country. The new You Need a Budget book is just part of the picture. Join YNAB and experience the real-life budget tools, free personal finance webinars and a thriving online budgeting community that will set you on a path toward your ultimate dream life, whether it’s in a sticks and bricks house or on four wheels. We will never be without YNAB and neither should you.