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Need a Budgeting Software recommendation please

pjrose

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Hi everyone; I'm baaaackkkkk! At least for now. I temporarily left my TUG addiction for a Facebook addiction. To those who followed my earlier posts that often concerned DD, She's been married for 5 years, and they have a 5 year old, 4 year old, and 10 month old.

And this brings me to my question - like many young couples with little kids, they are broke. DD never had to budget, and DSIL has no clue. He says what's the point, when he has no money. So, I have been appointed his financial advisor and what I'm advising is budgeting software that he can use on the iPhone and possibly laptop (and I will oversee on my MacBook Pro).

Sole Proprietor of his own business, plus all the usual family expenses. Everything done from the same bank account. NO cushion for the inevitable "unexpected" costs such as vehicle repairs, etc. (And when that happens, guess who gets called.)

My googling has yielded two that tend to rise to the top: You Need a Budget, and Mint (Quicken). (And if you strongly recommend another, please chime in!)

To those who are familiar with either or both, I'm looking for VERY user-friendly, please. It's my understanding that Mint is free and YNAB costs; it seems like YNAB afficianados are very enamored of the app.

Please help me help DD and DSIL, which in turn will help my sanity, - thank you!

PJ
 

PamMo

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My kids (in their 30's) really like Mint.

And bless your heart for helping them! I tread very lightly with our kids' finances!
 

am1

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If they do not care I doubt which one they use will matter.

I never used one but just used common sense and a cash in/cash out, future cash in and out, cash balance and assets acquired. All in my head. Thankfully worked for me. Now I keep track of assets on a spreadsheet.

Congrats on everything and good luck.

Try your best but maybe the best you can do is not always be there for a bail out.
 

WinniWoman

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I use an excel spread sheet on my computer. But I think my son uses MINT on his phone (sporadically), but he is single and does not own a home or anything.

He does not put a lot of effort into his finances and it drives me nuts but he is now 30 years old and I have done all I can do with helping and directing and advising him. So I now have to accept he is making his own life and he will have to live with the consequences. He just has not taken any time to learn about investing and so forth. One thing- he is not in debt which is good.

I still do his taxes for him- which are extremely simple- but that will eventually stop also.
 
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PamMo

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I think it's wonderful that you're helping them with their finances! We often discuss finances with our "kids" because they want to learn from our experiences. I strongly believe in the benefits of financial education - it shouldn't be some secret code to decipher. We certainly don't want our kids to repeat the (many!) mistakes we made. I wish our parents had talked to us about finances when we were newlyweds, but it wasn't something you ever talked about back then. I applaud you for being the kind of parent that they seek guidance from!
 

Talent312

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I thought I was being smart by marrying a woman whose kids were out of the house. What I learned was that, they may leave, but they're never gone... and they have "needs." <sigh>

Like Mary Ann, I use an Excel spreadsheet with a page for what I call operational (day-to-day) transactions and another one for a savings account I use for annual expenses. I use a 3rd page to look-back on variable utility bills to better predict their amounts.

I like the flexibility of designing my own "see at a glance" budget, and it gives me a chance to show off my artistic talents with different color schemes and boxes, bolding and underlining. I think you kids would enjoy playing with it.
.
.
 

Passepartout

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Software sloshware. What they need to do is budget $100- or even $50 to savings. Forever savings. Before they have spent a nickel. My mom told me, "Pay yourself FIRST!" My accountant said "The first $.10 of EVERY dollar you make is YOURS. Don't allow anyone else to have it!". Then make a budget with what's left. If what's left doesn't cover all the hands that want it, set up a lottery, and if the creditors don't think they're getting enough, tell 'em that next month they aren't in the lottery.

Welcome Back, PJ! We miss you.

Jim
 

pjrose

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My kids (in their 30's) really like Mint.

And bless your heart for helping them! I tread very lightly with our kids' finances!
Thanks; I will look more at Mint. And I kind of have to, or "The First Local Bank of Mom & Dad" may close its doors and we'll all lose our minds from stress. It's also an education for them. In terms of financial education, his role models were ZERO, and he doesn't "get" that fast food adds up - I think packing a sandwich instead would allow for a cushion for vehicle maintenance and repairs, unexpected expenses (which should always be expected), etc. DD had no interest in any kind of financial education; she had a few jobs, and immediately spent her earnings on necessities such as shoes or CDs. AT LEAST she is a great clearance and thrift store shopper!
 
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pjrose

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Software sloshware. What they need to do is budget $100- or even $50 to savings. Forever savings. Before they have spent a nickel. My mom told me, "Pay yourself FIRST!" My accountant said "The first $.10 of EVERY dollar you make is YOURS. Don't allow anyone else to have it!". Then make a budget with what's left. If what's left doesn't cover all the hands that want it, set up a lottery, and if the creditors don't think they're getting enough, tell 'em that next month they aren't in the lottery.

Welcome Back, PJ! We miss you.

Jim
Tis true. And the answer is that they don't have $100, or $50, or even $20. It's maybe $5 or $8 here or there - maybe. I've tried the "pay yourself first" and "envelope" approaches; I might as well be talking to a table. Oy vey.
 

pjrose

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If they do not care I doubt which one they use will matter.

I never used one but just used common sense and a cash in/cash out, future cash in and out, cash balance and assets acquired. All in my head. Thankfully worked for me. Now I keep track of assets on a spreadsheet.

Congrats on everything and good luck.

Try your best but maybe the best you can do is not always be there for a bail out.
They do care; DSIL wants to learn so he isn't poor all his life, and financial issues are a big stressor for them. I want it to be easy-peasy so he (and maybe she) will use it.

And re the latter, I agree.....to a point. When they run out of home heating oil I'm here.
 

pjrose

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I think it's wonderful that you're helping them with their finances! We often discuss finances with our "kids" because they want to learn from our experiences. I strongly believe in the benefits of financial education - it shouldn't be some secret code to decipher. We certainly don't want our kids to repeat the (many!) mistakes we made. I wish our parents had talked to us about finances when we were newlyweds, but it wasn't something you ever talked about back then. I applaud you for being the kind of parent that they seek guidance from!
I use an excel spread sheet on my computer. But I think my son uses MINT on his phone (sporadically), but he is single and does not own a home or anything.

He does not put a lot of effort into his finances and it drives me nuts but he is now 30 years old and I have done all I can do with helping and directing and advising him. So I now have to accept he is making his own life and he will have to live with the consequences. He just has not taken any time to learn about investing and so forth. One thing- he is not in debt which is good.

I still do his taxes for him- which are extremely simple- but that will eventually stop also.
I use an excel spread sheet on my computer. But I think my son uses MINT on his phone (sporadically), but he is single and does not own a home or anything.

He does not put a lot of effort into his finances and it drives me nuts but he is now 30 years old and I have done all I can do with helping and directing and advising him. So I now have to accept he is making his own life and he will have to live with the consequences. He just has not taken any time to learn about investing and so forth. One thing- he is not in debt which is good.

I still do his taxes for him- which are extremely simple- but that will eventually stop also.
I use Excel for everything, and was going to set up something for them, but it'll be easier for them if it's something more interactive and (I hope) friendly.
 

PigsDad

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After reading your responses, I really think instead of focusing on finding a tool for them to use, maybe you should focus on finding a way for them to get some financial education so they can help themselves. If they only have $5 or $8 here or there, they need education on how to manage their finances. I might suggest Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University as one possibility, and you could gift them the course so they wouldn't have an excuse not to go through with it (and then perhaps do some "tough love" and cut them off financially -- it might be a good motivator for them). Just my $0.02.

Kurt
 

dioxide45

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Tis true. And the answer is that they don't have $100, or $50, or even $20. It's maybe $5 or $8 here or there - maybe. I've tried the "pay yourself first" and "envelope" approaches; I might as well be talking to a table. Oy vey.
Do either have access to a 401K? They could open an IRA. Do they have direct deposit of their paychecks? Pay yourself first works best when you direct part of the paycheck either to the 401K or IRA where you really can't touch the money. Putting it that vs a savings account where they think they can just grab it whenever the need (aka, want) arrises may be a better way to go.
 

dioxide45

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(and then perhaps do some "tough love" and cut them off financially -- it might be a good motivator for them).
Suze Orman always used to say "Say No out of love instead of Yes out of fear". At some point, it shows you love them more by saying no.
 

PigsDad

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Suze Orman always used to say "Say No out of love instead of Yes out of fear". At some point, it shows you love them more by saying no.
Couldn't agree more!

Kurt
 

pjrose

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After reading your responses, I really think instead of focusing on finding a tool for them to use, maybe you should focus on finding a way for them to get some financial education so they can help themselves. If they only have $5 or $8 here or there, they need education on how to manage their finances. I might suggest Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University as one possibility, and you could gift them the course so they wouldn't have an excuse not to go through with it (and then perhaps do some "tough love" and cut them off financially -- it might be a good motivator for them). Just my $0.02.

Kurt
Good ideas
 

Firepath

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After reading your responses, I really think instead of focusing on finding a tool for them to use, maybe you should focus on finding a way for them to get some financial education so they can help themselves. If they only have $5 or $8 here or there, they need education on how to manage their finances. I might suggest Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University as one possibility, and you could gift them the course so they wouldn't have an excuse not to go through with it (and then perhaps do some "tough love" and cut them off financially -- it might be a good motivator for them). Just my $0.02.

Kurt
We use Dave Ramsey's free budgeting tool, Every Dollar. You can find it on his website along with the above referenced materials.
 

WinniWoman

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Though I agree with Jim, I will say with the younger people they do relate more to these APPS like MINT.

My son lost over 100lbs using APPS and if not for anything else, MINT has kept him living within his means and out of debt.
 

geekette

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Hi everyone; I'm baaaackkkkk! At least for now. I temporarily left my TUG addiction for a Facebook addiction. To those who followed my earlier posts that often concerned DD, She's been married for 5 years, and they have a 5 year old, 4 year old, and 10 month old.

And this brings me to my question - like many young couples with little kids, they are broke. DD never had to budget, and DSIL has no clue. He says what's the point, when he has no money. So, I have been appointed his financial advisor and what I'm advising is budgeting software that he can use on the iPhone and possibly laptop (and I will oversee on my MacBook Pro).

Sole Proprietor of his own business, plus all the usual family expenses. Everything done from the same bank account. NO cushion for the inevitable "unexpected" costs such as vehicle repairs, etc. (And when that happens, guess who gets called.)

My googling has yielded two that tend to rise to the top: You Need a Budget, and Mint (Quicken). (And if you strongly recommend another, please chime in!)

To those who are familiar with either or both, I'm looking for VERY user-friendly, please. It's my understanding that Mint is free and YNAB costs; it seems like YNAB afficianados are very enamored of the app.

Please help me help DD and DSIL, which in turn will help my sanity, - thank you!

PJ
I also have heard good things about Mint.

Might take a look at Dave Ramsey's envelope method, it has helped a lot of people and involves no software.

Good to see you, glad to hear that DD is doing great!!! Broke is temporary, I assume most of us have been there a time or two, especially when young and starting out. Do help them assess Need vs Want and the order in which to pay their bills and instruct them to call someone they owe and will be late on. Always best to get in front of a problem you know you can't solve in time.

I do hope you help them create Roths and put at least a bit in each year to get the 5 year clock rolling. Especially if neither has job 401k. I would call it "starting my budget for old age". Perhaps they can get into a habit of putting 10% of "found money" into it (work bonus, OT pay, tax refund, etc....). Even $25 before tax day of April 2019 can be a 2018 contribution.

I wish you all the best!
 

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I forgot - my favorite gift to a new grad has always been Jane Bryant Quinn's Making The Most of Your Money. Opened my eyes to how someone with modest means can survive and thrive through simple concepts. Things only seem difficult and complex until You Know. Knowledge is super powerful.

No need to read cover to cover, pick the chapters of interest now and visit others later. It covers things like "do I need life insurance?" and so forth. It has been updated over time. I feel like it "showed me a way" back when I didn't have 2 nickels and recession ate job prospects. It is a thick book, do not let that feel daunting. If you can work with them with one chapter for a month, that is a win. And since it's not coming from Mom, but from "an expert", it could be easier to accept.
 

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After reading your responses, I really think instead of focusing on finding a tool for them to use, maybe you should focus on finding a way for them to get some financial education so they can help themselves. If they only have $5 or $8 here or there, they need education on how to manage their finances. I might suggest Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University as one possibility, and you could gift them the course so they wouldn't have an excuse not to go through with it (and then perhaps do some "tough love" and cut them off financially -- it might be a good motivator for them). Just my $0.02.

Kurt
With a child involved, the cut off could be dicey.
 

geekette

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Tis true. And the answer is that they don't have $100, or $50, or even $20. It's maybe $5 or $8 here or there - maybe. I've tried the "pay yourself first" and "envelope" approaches; I might as well be talking to a table. Oy vey.
I have a spare change container that I will raid if necessary but otherwise just sits there as input only, hidden in a closet so it is out of sight. I prefer to empty it for Fun Money on vacation, but it could very well be "we need diapers!"

Last time I raided it (needed tip money for pizza guy but no cash), I found that someone had tossed bills in there. I suspect my brother, as it is in guest room closet.
 

geekette

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Thanks; I will look more at Mint. And I kind of have to, or "The First Local Bank of Mom & Dad" may close its doors and we'll all lose our minds from stress. It's also an education for them. In terms of financial education, his role models were ZERO, and he doesn't "get" that fast food adds up - I think packing a sandwich instead would allow for a cushion for vehicle maintenance and repairs, unexpected expenses (which should always be expected), etc. DD had no interest in any kind of financial education; she had a few jobs, and immediately spent her earnings on necessities such as shoes or CDs. AT LEAST she is a great clearance and thrift store shopper!
Sounds like first step is Every Receipt Comes Home for a month. Into a shoebox or envelope, to take out to add up later. Compare to cost of lunch meat, bread, fixins. Nothing like cold hard truth to learn something from. Then time yourself making and wrapping up a sandwich and consider time spent in a drive through burning gas...
 
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