Budgeting on the Homestead

Budgeting on the Homestead

Homesteading isn’t for those who want to be rich in money, but knowing where your money is going and how it is working for you is an essential skill to have.

Like many of you who may be reading this post, the main thing that is currently holding us back from homesteading (100%) is money. Money can be considered the root of all evil, but these days, it is required. To help us better understand where our money is coming from and what our money is doing, we started budgeting.

When we first started out budgeting, which was about 2 years ago now, we tried a couple of different methods. We tried using spreadsheets, we tried used a variety of apps, we even tried putting money in envelops for different expenditures. What ended up working out the best for us is a website/app called YNAB (You Need a Budget).

YNAB

For my wife and I, YNAB is what has worked the best for us. They have made a great piece of software that is very easy to use. The program and the whole methodology is based around these 4 rules –

  1. Give Every Dollar a Job
  2. Embrace Your True Expenses
  3. Roll with the Punches
  4. Age Your Money

Accounts and Spending Categories

The program allows you go in and setup all of your income sources and accounts, and then you go and create your budget. You can customize the budget anyway that you need to. The way that it works is that you setup various spending categories (Bills, Groceries, Giving, Savings Goals, etc.), and then assign a dollar amount to that category for each month. It is very straightforward and you can see exactly how your money is being spent each month.

Recording Purchases

So now where this tool becomes very effective is through the use of the app that accompanies the program. When you make a purchase, from your smartphone, you can record the Payee, the dollar amount, the account the money is coming from, and what category it belongs to. This way, your budget is always up to date. This also works very well for my wife and I as we can share the account and both use the app and follow the same budget. We always know where our money is going and we can easily plan for future expenses.

You can try YNAB free for 34 days – https://www.youneedabudget.com

Like anything, there are a ton of websites/apps out there, but this is the one that has worked best for us. We are budgeting so that we can better follow our homesteading dream. We are working to pay off our mortgage so that we can have a little more monetary freedom so that we can pursue all areas of homesteading!

Until next time, God Bless and Happy Homesteading!

Andrew & Maria

4 thoughts on “Budgeting on the Homestead

  1. Thanks for the tip on WYNB. I agree, a budget is necessary for Homesteader’s, and really all people with goals and dreams. I’ve been enjoying your blog and posts.

    Remember, it’s the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil. There’s nothing wrong with making a little money, or a lot of it…

    I was at a conference last week that reminded me to ensure we have regular family meetings about our finances, and when children are old enough, that they are included in that meeting too. I grew up without an understanding of finances, or ever hearing the word budget in our household, and in retrospect I can see how having been taught better money management at an earlier age would have helped me reach my goals a lot sooner.

    Your post was timely considering spring arriving soon and, at least for our family, that’s the greatest season of expenditures for us. I’d better call a family meeting and confirm we’re sticking to our budget!

    1. What a great comment, very well said, I appreciate it! Like you, budgeting has been a complete game changer, something I wish I would have started doing years and years ago. In regards to your mention of a family meeting, definitely an awesome thing to incorporate. By keeping finances transparent, it leads to a lot less problems and more opportunities to focus on what matters.

  2. I also use YNAB, it is a terrific and transparent tool. The ever dollar has a job concept definitely helps since our income varies and is bi-weekly.

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