YNAB BLOG

Money Toolbox Launches

Last year I had the pleasure of hanging out with J.D. Roth for a week in Ecuador. He’s a down-to-earth, genuine guy, and it was a pleasure to hear his story of going from deeply in debt to a self-made millionaire in…eight years I believe. Many of you probably know him from his #1 personal finance blog: Get Rich Slowly.

For the past year, he’s been working on Money Toolbox. It launched this morning. He’s basically compiled all of his financial tips, tricks, tactics, and wisdom into a year-long email course, and a great guide on…basically all things money.

J.D. interviewed me (as well as 17 other “experts” on various money topics) all about budgeting a few months ago, and has let me release that to you guys. All of these interviews are part of the Money Toolbox. You can download the interview here, if you’d like to give it a listen.

Since today is their launch day, I wanted to let YNABers know. Read through the site, and see if it’s something that you’d benefit from. J.D. offers a great guarantee, and kept it very reasonably priced, which was very nice to see.

Oh, and in the budgeting module, he gives a healthy shoutout to YNAB. Sweet.

8 Responses to “Money Toolbox Launches”

  1. Robert Dailey

    I have to give you my honest feedback about this blog. It’s starting to feel a lot like each post is advertising. I sometimes wonder how much you are paid to blog about these vendors, software applications, and other programs.

    As an example, I tried out TING per one of your earlier blog articles where you hyped it. I ended up canceling the service due to poor service and customer support. I also had to file a dispute with my bank due to some fraudulent charges from TING.

    I love YNAB. I subscribe to your blog for the financial tips and life experiences you share. However, I don’t appreciate the advertisements. I think if you want to post those, perhaps you should stick to social networks or use a separate blog.

    I hope you can take this as constructive criticism. I’m really starting to get disappointed in this blog!

    • jesse

      Hi Robert, we certainly take it as constructive criticism, especially because you wrote it candidly, and with a nice tone.

      I’m also sorry to hear about your experience with Ting. Our experience (well, those on the YNAB team that use Ting) certainly hasn’t been as you describe. We’ve been really happy with it.

      As far as Money Toolbox, JD is a good friend of mine, and asked if I would let our blog readers know about the launch. I happily obliged. If I didn’t know JD personally, or have had personal experience with the product (as I do with Ting), then you would have never seen it on the blog.

      I think our ratio of promotional posts to “normal” posts is pretty solid. For instance, in the last 60 posts, there’s this one that is “promotional” (though we aren’t financially affiliated in any way), and maybe the one where I posted that I’d be in Ecuador speaking at a Chatauqua, and people could sign up if they wanted to go…not financially affiliated with that one either. And I honestly don’t know if people even saw that as promotional.

      To be clear on our affiliations though, since now’s as good a time as any:

      Ting, where we earn a referral fee. YNAB Team members actively use the product and like it. Otherwise we wouldn’t affiliate.
      Betterment, where we earn a referral fee. Many YNABers use Betterment. Even if none of them did, and it was just me, I’d still promote it. I like that service.
      YouNeedTermInsurance.com (we haven’t promoted this much, if at all on the blog. I honestly can’t remember), where we are affiliated.

  2. CB

    I have to echo Robert here.

    This does feel pretty blatantly like advertising. I can understand wanting to share the YNAB part of the Money Toolbox, but to pitch a product that we have no reason to believe you’ve even experienced or reviewed makes me uncomfortable. Especially when the Money Toolbox site’s verbiage sounds gimmicky, even if J.D. was genuine in your experiences with him. Things like “Our most popular package…” sound pretty suspicious when the product just launched.

    I think YNAB’s sense of community it has built is important to its success. As someone who enjoys that community, I wouldn’t want these types of posts to damage that.

    • jesse

      Hey CB,

      The marketing copy of “most popular package” is pretty standard fare. I wouldn’t get too worried about that. That’s like saying, “World’s greatest cup of coffee.” :)

      I replied to Robert, so I don’t want to reply here with the same. Your feedback is heard though. Thank you!

      • CB

        Thanks, Jesse. Also, to be more clear, I don’t mind (and I often enjoy) hearing about another company or its product when you or another YNAB team member is actually reviewing it.

        In fact, the way I discovered YNAB was through your Betterment review. I happened upon Betterment itself, searched for reviews, and voila! It led me to YNAB, and I’m still going strong with YNAB 17 months later! :)

  3. Laura

    I have to give a counterpoint about Ting because I’ve had the exact opposite experience. I also learned about Ting from this blog (I had never heard of them before and would still never have if not for YNAB), I switched and I am SO happy I did. My bill with AT&T for two lines was $165 a month, with Ting it’s $30-40, I haven’t experienced any change in service quality and I have been blown away by their customer support.

    So I for one welcome the occasional posts about other companies when they’re true knockout money-saving tips that come directly from the blogger’s experience, as was the case with Ting. It sounds like you had a very anomalous experience with them– the fraudulent charges are particularly astonishing given what I know about the company– so I’m sorry about that but I would still recommend them 100%.

    That said, I don’t think I’ll be signing up for this particular product, but I’m not terribly bothered by the blog post, especially since they really are pretty few and far between. I see ten blog posts on the first page and this is the only one that’s about a product, so to say it feels like “each post is advertising” seems a little disingenuous.

    • Anon

      I didn’t hear about Ting from YNAB, but I like the service very much and find it an excellent value

  4. Lucas

    Seems like a real thorough product that JD put together. thanks for posting that interview.

    For those complaining about this post seeming like an ad… Jesse is posting an interview that is part of a paid product. For free. Where’s the appreciation, people?

    If that wasn’t good enough reason, check the table of contents for Money Toolbox. There is a whole chapter called You Need A Budget on there. It would’ve been downright neglect if he didn’t post about it here.

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