The police officer, school teacher, engineer, firefighter, attorney, doctor, professor, designer, manager and rocket scientist all have one thing in common: they’re killing it financially with YNAB.
I am a part time office manager at our church, LifeBridge Christian, and my wife is a Doctor of Chiropractic at a clinic in town. We both work part time. She works 32 hours a week, and I work 20. We have a 3 year old daughter, and our son, was born in 2010. It's been quite the change having two kids in diapers...they keep us really busy!
My wife and I started using YNAB on September 7, 2010. Before that, our finances were in shambles. With both of us working part time, and having two kids, we were juggling bills every month. Some bills would be floated a month or two out, and some bills just flat didn't get paid. We trimmed as much 'fluff' out of our lives as we could, but we still couldn't keep our heads above water. We were making decent money, but I couldn't keep track of where it was all going. We needed a plan, and solid financial discipline. I finally got sick and tired of being called and harassed by bill collectors, so I decided to do something different. I researched different budget systems for a week or so, decided YNAB seemed to have the best plan in place, so I decided to give it a try.
The learning process with YNAB was amazing. After watching the video tutorials, I tracked down a paper copy of all of our monthly bills (a feat in itself!) and put the budget in place. I absolutely love the ease of use and how simple YNAB functions. No annoying formulas or spreadsheets, just common sense number placement. The four rules of YNAB have really changed our lives!! The more I used YNAB, the more our finances improved. I HAD NEVER THOUGHT OF OUR CHECKING ACCOUNT BALANCE AS BEING CLAIMED! I just saw that we had X amount of money, so I could afford to buy this extra thing, or could afford to eat out for lunch. After using YNAB, and giving every dollar a job, I realized how tight our budget was, and in the first three months, almost every single dollar of income was spoken for--leaving absolutely no room for extras. That alone has been a huge help for me and my spending habits.
One of the big reasons our family was in such a financial pickle was my wife's student loan payments. Being a Doctor of Chiropractic required extensive schooling, and all of her student loans came due in June of 2010. We were not prepared for this at all, as we owed a total of $2,357 every month! We hadn't planned ahead for this, and were flabbergasted when the first bills came due. This put us way over our heads, and we weren't able to pay for our living expenses and her student loans.
Our life has been SERIOUSLY de-stressed as a result of using YNAB. While we didn't get any extra income via jobs during the first five months we used YNAB, by giving every dollar a job, and putting a budget and a plan in place and sticking to it, we were able to turn our finances around, and make them work for us. As a result of the financial discipline learned from YNAB, we consolidated her loans, and have a payment plan in place that works for us.
I'm not afraid to answer my phone anymore, and don't feel embarrassed to talk about money or finances with our friends or family. I can't stress enough about how YNAB has changed our situation. I just got a teaching job, which starts in January. As a result of this, we will have to get a second car. Thankfully, we have been saving for this since we started YNAB as we knew this day was coming. We now have $2,000 saved up specifically for this purchase, all thanks to the planning and budget put in place via YNAB. While this may not get much in terms of a new car, we won't have to get a loan, and don't have to make payments to anyone but ourselves!
We are now in our fifth month of using YNAB. With a set budget, and savings plan in place, we now have over $6,000 in the bank! I haven't had a collector call in months, and we have gotten one full month ahead! It's such a peaceful feeling to know the money we are bringing in now is paying next month's bills. No more dreading going to the mail box. We've paid off all of our bills, have a $0 balance on our Discover Card, and are working hard at paying down all of my wife's student loans. None of this would have been possible without YNAB. I needed organization and discipline, and YNAB provided both, simply and easily, without making me feel stupid in the process. We have a set plan in place, and are sticking to it.
It's such a peaceful feeling to know the money we are bringing in now is paying next month's bills.