Review: You Need a Budget by Jesse Mecham

Quick review for a quick read: this ended up being a personal finance read that I picked up without really knowing the backstory to it. The “You Need A Budget” mentioned here is indeed the same system that’s featured from the program/app of the same name. I didn’t connect the two until learning about this book from a Daily Deal on Audible. I figured “I’ve been reading a number of personal finance books lately since the work I’m doing also relates to financial matters and I’m making decisions (i.e. trying to buy a house, save for retirement, etc.) along those lines, what references can I grab?” Enter this book, then I realized the name matched the program. Duh @ me.

Tangent aside, this was an easy to follow audiobook, with a clearly delineated 4-step approach to budgeting. Whether you use a program, app or pen and paper/Excel spreadsheet, this book claims that the system it proposes works for all those methods and then some. It takes the idea that you 1. assign every dollar to a task, 2. carefully look at your expenses, 3. “roll with the punches” – meaning you’re flexible and allow assessment with your spending, and 4. “age your money” – keeping ahead of your expenses by allowing the money you’ve saved in advance can be used for current/future expenses. It’s a good system and the author gives plenty of examples of how it has worked for his family as well as others who’ve used this system. The information in this book you could essentially find on the program’s website, but it does add a few (namely examples) new discussions to the mix. The book meanders a little from its central discussions from time to time, but I liked the overarching information I gathered from it. The audiobook was well narrated and it’s a quick read (about 5 hours total in audio form). I liked it and I’ll keep it handy in my personal finance library.

Overall score: 3.5/5 stars.

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