Help Us Tell the Real YNAB Story

I know you guys have ‘em: Success stories!

Many of you have already written to me and posted on the forums, excitedly telling us how YNAB has helped you. And now I’d like to ask you to help us by sharing your story with us in an even bigger way!

For sharing your story with us, I’d like to give away a Macbook Air…

And three iPads.

And two $100 Amazon gift cards.

We’ll talk about the Prizes, then work backward

Our favorite success story will win a Macbook Air. The three runners-up will receive iPads. That’s right, runners-up get iPads.

(Your success story will be voted on internally by the YNAB Team–Ian, Erin, Steve, Anne, Andrea, Sebastian, Taylor and Jesse).

And just for submitting a success story, you’ll be randomly entered to win one of two $100 Amazon gift cards.

What We Need from You

(1) A great success story telling us how YNAB helped you pay off debt, save a lot of money, or otherwise improved your life! We won’t be judging them solely on the numbers. You get points for style, tenacity, turnarounds, persistence, dogged determination, creativity…etc.

Our questionnaire will provide you with some questions to get the juices flowing, but this is your success story so we want to hear from you.

(2) Some nice, high-resolution pictures (three or four) of you, with friends, or with family, etc. We’ll want to put these pictures on the website (see an example here) so others can be inspired by you and your success. (People are hugely motivated to see that real people have done what they’re trying to do!)

(3) This probably goes without saying, but by submitting your success story and pictures, you’re giving us permission to use the story and pictures in marketing material, which may or may not include your picture plastered across a blimp as it hovers over the Super Bowl.

Rules and Guidelines

  1. The story needs to be true.


Success Story submissions will be due by midnight, December 31st, 2010 Friday, January 7th, 2011. Click the button just below to get started:

Submit Your Story

(January 14, 2011): The competition is now closed for new submissions. We’re working through the 20 finalists.

We welcome (and love) your comments below, but remember: To enter the contest, you need to click the big red “Submit your story” button above!


24 Responses to “Help Us Tell the Real YNAB Story”

  1. Catherine Dalkeith

    YNAB has helped me get out of trouble financially, has helps me look at the complete picture allowing me to adjust accordingly. If I didn’t have YNAB the families medical bills would have sank us long ago. Thank goodness for YNAB and YNAB iphone.

  2. Kerry Messmer

    YNAB is the only tool that lets us plan out ahead for our expenses. God has allowed us to pay off 32,000 in debt since ’07. We like YNAB for the sanity part of the equation. An online debt reduction message board has helped us with motivation. Mint.com is good for tracking total damages but not for getting out of trouble. YNAB teaches by us by using it. It is amazing to feel the freedom of getting ahead.

  3. maureen

    So do we submit a story as well as answer the survey questions?

  4. maureen

    I never got the email address to send photos in and now I can’t get back into survey monkey to get it.

  5. L Swim

    We just invested in YNAB back in July/August of this year. I wish I had a fantastic story for you! We really have to credit Dave Ramsey, though, for getting us to budget from the start (2 years ago.) Our consumer debts were all paid off by the time we got YNAB. No shocking story here, just day to day frugality with a wonderful new tool to help! The best thing that’s happened is that I’ve gone back to school to work on a Master’s Degree. Without a budget and wise planning, I don’t think this would have been possible!

    Your customer service is top quality, I can say that honestly! So ~ I won’t embellish, just to win a cool prize, but I hope you get some neat stories. :) Thanks for everything.

  6. Pete Sim

    My wife and I had our third child just over two years ago and our financial situation was changed forever. My wife quit her job to stay home with the kids and the days of the dual income were behind us. We struggled month to month trying to make ends meet. There should have been enough money in my paycheck to cover the bills for the month but where did it all go? We were nickel-and-diming ourselves to death and were consistently coming up short on the bills. Just over a year ago I ran across the YNAB website on the internet. We decided to give it a try and have been so happy with the results. YNAB has given us a tool that allows us to take charge of our finances. We are now able to pay our bills and save money because we have a budget that shows us where our money is going. YNAB is such a simple tool to use and it really takes the stress out managing your finances.
    Thank you YNAB!

  7. Derek

    I never had any issues with debt. Sure I had debt for a car, but I never felt comfortable buying everything on credit. One day, I was making a list of my short term and long term goals. One goal in particular was for education to pursue my dream job. I was looking at my bank account and thinking, why doesn’t my account ever grow?

    I didn’t think I was out wasting money, it’s not like I was buying new toys every week. I knew I needed to trim my spending, but how? So I decided at that moment I needed to track every dollar I spend.

    I started with a Mint account. It seemed ok, but it wasn’t flexible, powerful, and kept me disconnected from my spending. I felt like I need to be actively involved in my spending. Every penny I spend, I need to feel connected to it in someway, instead of just some online service recording it automatically. So I closed my Mint account and began researching desktop programs for OSX.

    It didn’t take long to find YNAB, nor did it take long to find all of the excellent 3rd party reviews. What also attracted me to the product was not just the software, but a company and a community that takes it to a level beyond providing software, and provides knowledgeable guidance on taking control of your finances. There were other companies that provide some nice looking software, but if you don’t have the guidance to control your finances, what good is that?

    The tutorials, webinars, news, and forum; combined with beautifully written piece of software, YNAB was the obvious choice. It’s flexible, powerful, reliable, great UI, and is constantly updated, and combined with the iPhone app, it’s just brilliant.

    So how did it help me? It doesn’t have the automated bank account downloads, which really helped me. So I spent a month tracking every single penny I spent. If money came in or out, I recorded it everyday. I felt very connected to my money, and always aware, because the moment I made that purchase, I’m the one recording it, so I feel the pain of parting with the money. After a month I was able to look at my spending and finally realized where my money was going. I felt stupid, because I was blowing my money on pointless things, but I was so disconnected that I didn’t see it.

    So I looked for spending to cut and trim. I also spent a day calculating monthly and yearly costs of things like owning a car. I made a budget in YNAB to follow for the next month. After that month I already made a huge improvement because I had a budget, and I was more aware. At the end of that month I reviewed my spending again, and then I would look for more to cut and trim, and modify my budget. I repeated this step until I felt like I have a very stream lined budget and spending.

    I’ve made such huge improvements. It’s so awesome to see my account growing instead of sitting at the same place all the time. I’ve been able to make a one month buffer, and my goal is to create a six month buffer. I’ve been able to pursue my education and my dream job without incurring debt and save money at the same time.

    YNAB has been brilliant and so helpful every step of the way.

  8. Linda

    Writing my story has helped me realize just how much YNAB has helped me accomplish in just 6 months!! Thanks!

  9. Paula

    When will the winners be announced? I’m praying I win something! Love your product and I’m excited to share my story to help endorse it. Thanks for giving us an opportunity to “share the love”. This would be a great wedding gift to a young couple.

    • Jesse

      We will announce winners early next year. Need to pin down dates once I get back to the office :). Probably will extend to give people a bit more time…

  10. Susan

    Hi Jesse,

    When I submitted my story, I didn’t use the same email address as I used to order the product, but I used the same email to submit the story and pictures. Is that ok? Thanks, Susan

  11. Judy Gardner

    How do we submit pictures with the contest entry? I didn’t catch the email address before submitting survey.

  12. Paula

    I would love to be a runner up. ;) Thanks for doing this giveaway contest..

  13. Travis

    I submitted a story, but did not get any kind of
    confirmation email… should I be expecting one? I just want to be
    sure it went to the right place and I did everything right.

  14. Tony

    When it asked if we had already submitted photos, I
    clicked, “no” but sent the photos right after submitting the
    survey. I assume that still counts? :-) BTW I join others in
    thanking you guys for running the contest. It reminded me of the
    day I first realized just HOW MUCH using YNAB had added to my bank

  15. Paula

    When will you announce a winner? I could use some good news today… hint hint..

  16. Paula

    Watching and waiting for the announcement of the winners!

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