The Best Episodes from the YNAB Podcast

Staff Favorites and More!


Jesse has been doing the You Need a Budget Podcast almost before podcasts were even a thing. They run once a week, are pretty short, and If you’re any sort of familiar with it, you’ll know the usual path of listening goes something like this: “Well, I started at the beginning and then binge-listened to all 2,812 of them.” Ok, ok, so there are only 439 at the time of writing, but yes…binge listening is definitely a recurring pattern among YNABers.

For your listening ease, we wanted to break out some of our very favorites for your listening enjoyment whether you’re new to budgeting, a seasoned budgeter, or just want to hear some of the favorites from the YNAB team.

Staff Favorites:

Episode 320: Where Has the Zero Gone? Kelly, one of our teachers, references this one all the time in our workshops. It’ll reframe the way you look at getting into debt forever and ever.

Episode 371: Renting a House is Awesome – For anyone that has ever felt “bad” about renting and feeling like it’s not the wisest financial move, this episode is a must-listen that will instantly relieve your guilt.

Student Loan Syndrome: an Interview with Ryan Law. If you’re debating if you should consolidate your student loans, this episode will give you clarity and guidance on what is usually a confusing, tangly subject.

Episode 315: Savings: Undetected – When Ernie (one of YNAB’s teachers) heard this episode, he implemented the retirement savings advice immediately, and he’s still doing it!

Bonus Episode: Ramit Sethi Interview. This longer episode is a fascinating conversation between Jesse and Ramit Sethi – the author of “I Will Teach You to Be Rich.” It had multiple votes from the staff as a favorite episode.

Honorable Mention: Do You Need a Budget? This isn’t even a YNAB podcast but it’s SO GOOD. Jesse gets interviewed by the folks over at the Choose FI podcast and you’ll find yourself listening again and again (and again) to this episode jam-packed with so many personal finance gems.

If You’re Brand New to Budgeting:

Episode 001: Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck – This is where it all begins! The inaugural podcast of You Need a Budget covers the basics, and the story behind YNAB (although don’t hold too tightly to the naming of rules 2 and 4! The wording has changed slightly over time). It all starts here with episode 001 and some killer old-school clip art that we couldn’t figure out how to update into our current style, so there it shall sit in all of its 3-D budgeting bar glory.

Episode 389: Rule One Broken Down. Learn exactly what it means to follow Rule One: Give Every Dollar a Job.

Episode 390: Rule Two Broken Down – This episode covers the basics of Rule Two: Embrace Your True Expenses.

Episode 391: Rule Three is War – Learn the third rule for less money stress: Roll with the Punches (and here’s how to do it).

Episode 392: Rule Four and Waistlines – This episode covers Rule Four: Age Your Money. Here’s what it means and how to do it…

Episode 338: Budgeting is Spending. If you’ve ever given the word “budget” some serious side eye and immediately thought of something restrictive where you’ll never spend money again, give this episode a listen.

Episode 123: Track What You Want to Change. Debating how many categories you should have in your budget? Let this episode show you the way.

Episode 092: Just Show Up – At some point in your budgeting journey, you might not feel like you’re making as much progress as you wanted, and you might need a little inspiration and motivation to keep going. This episode is just what the budgeting doctor ordered.

For the Seasoned Budgeter:

January Burndown 2020 – If you’ve been budgeting for a while and want to do a little spring cleaning or a New Year’s refresh, Jesse takes you through the play-by-play to make sure you’re exactly lined up with your money and your values.

Arbitrary Milestones – Need a little extra zuzz in your budgeting life? Feeling a little aimless? Jesse walks through the benefits of arbitrary milestones to give your financial goals some extra oomph.

Episode 194: Question Everything – If you feel weird about doing the January Burndown in any other month aside from January, this one’s for you. Get crystal clear on your clarities with this invaluable exercise.

Episode 362: Age of Money When it Just Keeps Climbing – You know Rule 4 inside and out, and since you’ve been budgeting for awhile your money is oldy moldy. So what happens when your money is really, really old? What do you do next?

Episode 097: The Most Radical Shift in Money Management to Ever Take Place in our Household – What happens when Jesse, who usually does the heavy lifting for managing the budget, passes the budgeting reins over to his lovely wife, Julie.

Episode 183: Bills are Paid…now What? – When you’ve finished budgeting for all those True Expenses, what should you do with your money next? Jesse walks you through your next steps in this episode.

There you have it. Pull out the headphones, plan a nice long walk, and binge-listen for yourself.

You can hear the You Need a Budget Podcast every Monday on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Soundcloud. If you like it, give us a follow and leave a review!