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 live in the DC Metro area, am single, and have no kids. There are amazing restaurants and the food is wonderful. There's so much entertainment and awesome shopping. It's a girl's paradise! I handle government contracts. I wrestle with contractors to get the best bang for our buck, as well as make sure the services they provide are up to our acquisition standards.
Before YNAB, about February of 2010, I was 20k in debt. Much of that was from college and student loans. I was living paycheck to paycheck. It seemed I could never get ahead and pay any of my bills on time. On a monthly basis, I'd have to borrow money from my parents or siblings because I could not figure out how to manage my money. My credit score was 420, I could not get an apartment in my name, buy a car, or even get satellite TV service. No one would give me a loan, and I could barely get a secured credit card. I hoped to get married some day soon and I didn't want to bring this type of financial situation into a marriage. I realized I needed to seriously clean up my credit!
The learning curve with YNAB was hard because I didn’t have any one around to tell me “no.” The discipline required was tough. But as I learned where I was spending my money, it felt worse seeing how undisciplined I’d been. One or two months in, I really felt like I understood my finances more. I could have complete control of them, but afford myself some freedom as well and not act like YNAB was the Gestapo in my wallet!
I was no longer overwhelmed when looking at my finances and bills. I knew what to expect, I knew how to prepare, I knew what my responsibilities were and I was prepared for it. That was a tremendous and awesome feeling! I know what all of my bills are every month and I treat EVERYTHING like it's a bill and it must match its own spending limits. I love it actually! I think I am seeing more and more how well this is paying off for me.
Currently, I have a one-month buffer in the form of a CD. I also have $1k set aside behind a secured credit card that I started out with a $250 limit. I added money to it each month until it was $1K and building it's own interest. I will add that to my buffer once it becomes unsecured. I have managed to get rid of over $5k in debt. My buffer is three-thousand dollars and once I add the 1K to it, I will have 4k. Right now, I still have my college loans left, but most of all my other debts have been paid or settled.
Overall, my finances are much more under control and my stress level is down. I hope to buy a condo in another year as I build up my down payment, continue to bring up my credit scores, and prepare to embark on that journey. I know that by keeping with this program, I will definitely be able to meet my goal! I am so excited!
I am now counseling my parents, my sister and friends on building good credit, working within a budget, and building their own buffers. I have been able to teach others what I have learned and I see the benefits it's provided for them and the relief of stress they have needed.
YNAB has been incredible in teaching me the value of patience and waiting for things. I have foregone impulsive shopping and buying things I can’t afford. It’s empowering to make good decisions for myself, especially as a single woman. I just want to keep paying it forward!
My finances are much more under control and my stress level is down...