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Why budgeting apps don’t work

Mar 19

Mint, Quicken, Mvelopes, and YNAB are just a few budgeting apps out there.

They’re all useless.

Useless, if you’re not ready to change.

All too often, we look for tech to solve our problems.  That’s our starting point.  Like if we find the right computer program or app, all our financial worries will go away.

So we load all our data in and categorize for hours.  Finally, we can see where it’s all going, look at some pie charts and graphs.

But then we continue with our regular lives.

Nothing changes.

Know this:  Your willingness, determination, and tension are the main ingredients when it comes to budgeting — not an app.

Tech isn’t the solution.

You are.

About The Author

Hi, I'm Avraham (pronounced Av-Rum.) I'm a reformed spender, financial coach, and the founder of Avraham Byers Financial (I'm better with money than coming up with company names.) In a funny and non-preachy way, I teach people how to take control of their finances without giving up their smoked butterscotch lattes.


  1. Terumi
    March 20, 2018 at 1:55 am ·

    Hi Avraham, were you talking about me up there? 🙂 I’m slowly learning that what you said is true, it’s not the app that is going to solve my financial problems, it’s ME. Great post!

  2. Ira Smith
    March 20, 2018 at 2:16 pm ·

    Another great post Avraham. You are quite correct – it is just like anything else – behaviour modification comes first. The tools merely help you on the journey you have already committed to. Continued success.

    • Avraham Byers
      March 20, 2018 at 3:13 pm ·

      I love this Ira “The tools merely help you on the journey you have already committed to.”

      Thanks for your insight!

  3. Sol Sputz
    March 20, 2018 at 2:44 pm ·

    Hi Av-rum
    You’re right on the money. I have tried them all….
    It’s me that has to change. The, MIND SET…

    • Avraham Byers
      March 20, 2018 at 3:16 pm ·

      Yes Sol, it’s us that needs to change.

      I love what Ira said above “The tools merely help you on the journey you have already committed to.”

  4. Rochelle
    March 20, 2018 at 8:46 pm ·

    Really good point!

    Plus…you’re so funny (About the author – company naming talents….butterscotch lattes. Any financial planner that allows you to buy a latte: GOLD)

    Thanks for brightening my in-box.

    • Avraham Byers
      March 20, 2018 at 9:09 pm ·

      Hey Rochelle, I love when you leave comments on my blog!

      I appreciate it.

      I’m guessing that you like butterscotch lattes?

  5. Cecilia
    March 21, 2018 at 5:34 pm ·

    What do you mean by tension?

    • Avraham Byers
      March 21, 2018 at 8:10 pm ·

      Great question Cecilia.

      Tension is what makes us take action. It’s the urgency that we feel when we need to get something done.

      If there isn’t any tension — or too little of it — we push it off and don’t do anything.

      With finances, for example, we feel tension when we see a larger than expected credit card bill or a line of credit that just keeps on going up. We know we need to change. But our first gut reaction is to run away from the tension — or to get rid of it. So we bail ourselves out by consolidating our debts, refinancing our mortgages, or asking a wealthier family member for a loan. And the debt cycle continues because we got rid of the tension.

      But what would happen if we embraced our tension? What would happen if we didn’t seek to mute the tension, but to run towards it?

      Seth Godin put it best when he said: “Later is the easiest way to relieve the tension that accompanies now. But later rarely leads to the action we seek and the change we need. When you encounter the tension of now, caused by the urgency of action, veer toward more tension, not less now.”

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