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'm an engineering manager at a global high tech company. Christine is a product development contractor. We've been married for three years and have a 10 year old daughter, a dog, a cat and now a horse. Prior to finding YNAB, I was fairly good about tracking expenses in Quicken, but not very good about following a budget. Christine used the “if-there’s-money-in-the-account” system of financial management. Between us we earned enough to live well and largely ignored budgeting, but we were not paying down debt or saving.
I instigated the switch to YNAB and initially had some doubts. The family uses a single credit card account to pay for all expenses that can be paid that way. During the transition of building the buffer I was unsure of having the money to pay the credit card 6-8 weeks after the expenses were incurred. So there was initial discomfort in understanding timing and using loan accounts and transfers. But it became comfortable after a few months. Simply deciding to follow YNAB's advice of "earn this month, spend next month" was huge. Along the way several large and unexpected expenses caused some delay in building our buffer. By the end of the year, we had a buffer and a budget that contained our expenses.
Then we made the bold decision to reduce our budget to only the amount of my take-home pay (as if I were the only income earner). Christine’s income would then be “extra” and used for accelerating debt payoff and savings. Additionally, we significantly increased our charity and savings budgets to 10% each (still based on only my income).
We were lucky to have the luxury of a high-enough income and small-enough expenses to spend freely without a budget. However, by using YNAB we are now living well within our means, paying off debt rapidly, saving, and donating substantially to charity. We are tens of thousands better in net worth due to debt paydown in one year. We are much happier because of it!
We are tens of thousands better in net worth due to debt paydown in one year.