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June 17, 2009

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Pirate Code or not, there's no doubting how sexy budgets are ;) I'm digging this post, good work!

Haha - thanks! I'm glad you liked it.

The most intuitive budgeting software I've found yet is YNAB. If you haven't tried their 60 day free trial, do yourself a favor and go to my website and check it out or look to your left at FMF's button under GREAT OFFERS (see: 4 Keys to your cash flow). Seriously. It's even sexier then sexy, Mr. J. of Budgets are Sexy!! ;)

I think you are right, simplicity is key and you can't be a perfectionist. This is what I like about sites like Mint.com. It's really simple and just gives me an aggregated view of all my accounts and how I'm doing on my budget for the month. It's got a day or two lag as purchases clear at the bank, but the alternative is a system I won't keep up with. Also, if I want to try a new system, I know that my Mint account will continue to run on autopilot and I can always fall back on it.

Great guest post Jeff!

I agree 100% - simplicity is key. You're better off just getting started rather than making sure it's perfect.

I started out using Excel as a checkbook. Just enter debits and credits to figure out my checking account balance. Since then, I've added tons of my own functionality, including planning and some categorization.

I've tried Mint and a few other places, but it tends to give me too much info. The info is interesting, but tends to lead me towards mental accounting, rather than focusing on the big picture.

All I really need to know is:

1) Exactly how much money/debt I have in all my accounts at any given time
2) All bills/expenses (including savings goals) I have for the next two months

So long story short - I would start simple, then build on that as you need. It's a lot easier - and more accurate - than trying to guess everything you'll need in advance.

Good post again!

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