How to Get Rich in the Next 20 Minutes–from Home!!!

bag of moneyJeremy here. Hang with me for a second. If that post title makes you want to yank out your corded mouse and unleash justice, you’ll be appeased. If it gives you a ray of hope, you won’t be disappointed. This is the YNAB blog, which is pretty much the opposite of a scam. Every post is intended to empower and this is no exception.

I’ve shared some of my perspectives, technical tips in my financial journey, but I’ve never shared the most powerful tool in my bag as far as finances go. Here it is:


I sometimes drag my feet on budgeting because I get focused on what I lack or want. That’s a nasty axle to get wrapped around. If, instead, I take inventory of the things around me and look through the lens of gratitude, my finances look very different.

I’ll share a few phrases I’ll call “gratitude triggers” to help shift my focus. With this first one, the 20 minute time clock to riches starts:

I have so many cool things in my life that I need a tool like YNAB to help me manage it all.

If you’re reading this on your computer or smartphone, fire up YNAB. If you aren’t using YNAB, pull up whatever system you’re using to budget or track spending. Done? Okay, proceed.

If you’re like me, you look at the mandatory expenses first. Things like rent, mortgage, utilities, property taxes, phone, and internet get paid first. I try to knock out those obligations quickly so I can get to the fun stuff–the stuff I really want.

Hold it right there, partner!

Back up and look at each of those categories again. Let’s take time to consider the realities of what those “obligations” consist of.

  • Rent/mortgage – it’s really cool to have a place to live. While it’s probably your largest expense and may feel heavy, homelessness is probably heavier.
  • Utilities – I’ve stayed in places where they never paid utilities because they didn’t have electricity, running water, or sewage. I gotta say, I prefer having those services. I can write that check with gratitude.
  • Property taxes – Congratulations! You are paying this because you own a home. Remember how much you wanted that?
  • Phone and internet – You probably have a phone that’s more advanced than the first manned spacecraft–in your pocket. The entertainment and educational opportunities available to you from where you stand are far beyond what you could ever consume in your lifetime. The sheer vastness and quality of theater and music you can access in seconds makes any ancient Egyptian pharaoh seem like an uncultured country bumpkin.

In other words: congratulations! You’re rich.

We’ll dive in further in later posts, but taking a second look at our most dreaded expenses is a great place to start. Do you have any gratitude triggers you could share with the rest of us? I’d love to hear about and adopt them.


30 Responses to “How to Get Rich in the Next 20 Minutes–from Home!!!”

  1. alexblogsforynab

    This is so very true. We are lucky people to be able to *have* money to budget toward keeping a roof over our heads/food in the fridge/the odd new pair of shoes on the shoerack/wine in the wineglass. I like something I read on Mr. Money Mustache’s site a while back:

    “If you have food, friends, and a comfortable place to live, you are all set to live an incredible life. Everything you buy, and every experience and commitment you add to the plate beyond this point is a tradeoff: a guaranteed reduction in cash and free time, in exchange for a possible increase in thrills delivered by fun or novelty.” For other YNAB blog readers, here’s a link to the post:

    I actually wrote this one out and taped it up beside the mirror in my bathroom.

    Thanks for this post!

  2. Charles Byrd

    Great post Jeremy! Way to focus on what you have vs. what you don’t. That acceptance of what IS is a key to happiness. I was recently complaining to a friend my garage was too full… He refocussed me stating, “Its sure nice to have a garage at all”. I must say, he’s right :)

  3. Eric

    Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the obvious that we take for granted and just skip right past it towards the “good stuff” that we want to pay for.

    But you’re right – without those things we just get out of the way, life would be a lot different.

    There’s all different kinds of rich and you hit the nail on the head here when it comes down to the basics. If you can afford all of your bills every month and that’s where you stand, well, you’re better off than not so celebrate that!

  4. Paula

    This is my favorite YNAB blog post E-VER! We do this all the time with everything at my house. For example, when I look at the never ending mountain of laundry, I think, “Wow! We are blessed with so many beautiful clothes! I am grateful to have a washing machine and dryer to keep them clean and beautiful!” :) We ARE rich – thank you for posting this!

    • alexblogsforynab

      We need a “like” button on here. I like this!

    • jeremypeyton

      That’s so great, Paula! That’s a great reminder for me–thank you. I have, at times, remembered that the task of laundry took my grandmother half a day of tough labor. Humbling stuff.

  5. Lisa

    I love this post. It is so easy to get lost in the excesses. Thank you for posting this!

  6. Kenneth

    Love it! I skip over the regular monthly stuff – but its two homes, utilities, two cars, insurance, property taxes, homeowners association, etc. All very important to me! So I’m left with money for my daily spend categories, debt paydown and savings. I get to choose how to allocate my money among these, and it’s roughly 50 percent daily spend, and 50 percent debt paydown/savings.

  7. Jeff Johnston

    There’s that saying that happiness is wanting what you have, while unhappiness usually involves having what you want.

    I write in a gratitude journal, usually nightly. I dropped the habit for several months a while back. I finally realized that I was becoming more and more miserable because I was focusing on what wasn’t going right with my life, rather than on what was going right with it.

    As soon as I started writing in it again, and my focus was no longer on the things I didn’t like about my life, my life magically improved.

    Now I just have to start being grateful for the $5,000 new wall around two sides of the property that we’re going to have in a month!

    • jeremypeyton

      Great idea, Jeff! I’ve heard of gratitude journals, but I’ve never done one myself. I just might have to give that a go. Thanks for the lift.

  8. Adam

    Awesome post. Basic principle of contentment spiced up with creative writing. Love it!

  9. CB

    Absolutely. For me, personally, all I have to keep in mind is where I am now compared to the past. After all, there was a time when I barely had enough money for food and nowhere to call home.

    • jeremypeyton

      Sounds like you’ve come a long way, CB! I’m grateful for the lessons learned in the leaner times.

  10. bethelprescott

    I can’t believe this post has so few comments!
    Yes, we are rich. On a global scale we North Americans are astoundingly rich! Running water? Right there in the kitchen? AND it’s HOT when we want it? WOW!
    But here’s another component, an attitude of gratitude involves thinking more of others and is less centered on ourselves. Here’s a video done by a Tibetan monk who raps that wraps up this idea nicely.

    Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
    What About Me?

  11. fuel

    I am grateful that my wife and I have debts to pay off, like our college education. I am grateful that we earn enough money to worry about where it all goes. I am grateful we found YNAB to help us learn how to budget so that we don’t have to worry quite as much as we did before.

    • jeremypeyton

      Great idea, Fuel. Most people save that process for moving time (as if you didn’t have enough things to consider while moving). Way to go on the book donation! That’s a tough one since I’m sure you felt invested in each of them.

  12. fuel

    One more thing. What I found to help me feel gratitude for what I have was to get rid of the clutter of excess. My wife and I used to have an unspoken policy of giving away of something when we brought something new in. We got out of that practice during the last few years. I am going to blame us both being in graduate school at the same time and barely being able to remember to sleep and eat let alone anything else.

    This past winter we decided to go through all of our possession, yes every item. If we could not recall using an item in the past year or did not see using in within the next year, out it went.

    The result was that my friend’s non-profit organization got a whole lot of clothes, Goodwill got a whole lot of household goods, and the public library ended up with almost 400 books for their collection. We ended up feeling like our home magically doubled in size and we can actually enjoy the things that we do have.

  13. AmyO

    i LOVE this post! it is so true! i know we aren’t doing that badly financially, but it can be hard to stay grateful in every time i get frustrated with the lack of fun money. so just reading through the post made me realize ‘oh yeah, we kinda are rich’ and the gratitude comes rolling in like a tide. haha :) thanks Jeremy!

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