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.
Living in Cambridge, MA is very expensive. The rent is too high for us to afford. My fiancée and I were living here but didn't realize the expenditures as we were on student loans. Now after graduation our jobs don't pay nearly as much to afford such housing, comfortably. I got engaged in Sept, 2010. We were dating for three years prior to engagement. She is also my best friend. Hopefully, one day we can buy a house and also start a family. As of now, financially we can only support ourselves.
I'm a temporary contract working for a Biotech company. Therefore my salary is lower compared to regular employees. In addition, I don't receive any holiday (sick / vacation), health insurance, 401k or stock options. I work within the IT-Finance department of the company, helping manage enterprise project management solutions.
My financial situation can be summed up in two words: Debt and loans. Basically my obligations include: Student Loans (over 100k between me and my fiancée), Credit-Card Loans, the cost of a wedding (our families didn't have money to give us) and hopefully buy a house using FHA loans within the next 2 years. But we highly doubt that we will be approved due to already unsurmountable debts.
The pivot point happened when our student loans were due. The first debt installment made me realize how bad our financial situation really was. After the loan monthly amount, rent, and groceries, we had no money left between us for other activities.
I’d tried the trial versions of multiple financial software but they didn't meet my needs. I started using YNAB after hearing about it from Amazon reviews. I couldn't afford YNAB in October, and the people at YNAB were kind enough to extend my trial version for a month. I used YNAB to save up money to purchase YNAB. Yay!
I love how YNAB approaches finances. To get the most from YNAB, I attended the free webcast sessions conducted by Erin. She was great and taught me a lot about the software. I remember I must have said "Hmmm" multiple times during each web-cast when I realized a new perspective on looking at my money. I took four sessions with her on Savings, Credit Cards Payments, Budgeting and Initial Setup.
I have used YNAB for 3 months.. I now look at my budget screen before making purchases rather than looking at the money in my checking account. I love how the budget screen helps me keep myself disciplined with my finances. I truly believe YNAB was created by people who were in a similar financial situation as me.
To be honest, I am still living paycheck to paycheck. That is simply because we really don't make more than the bare minimum to get by. However, we have managed to save around $150 per month which is much better than nothing (prior to YNAB). Hopefully our financial situation will improve soon (looking for a better job), and then with continued discipline and approach learned through YNAB, we can get off the "paycheck to paycheck" cycle.
Although we have only one license for YNAB (used by me) both of us have really disciplined ourselves when we go out with our friends. Based on the YNAB budget, we carry only a set amount of money when we go out. Since this is little money, it runs out fast, helps us consume lower alcohol, and we don't have those "late nights" anymore. So I guess it also has a positive impact on our health.
I think I’ve given a good picture of our financial situation and how YNAB is helping us. So I will dedicate this next section to the newcomers. So guys listen up: 1) Ditch any other financial tool as they simply don't give the perspective that YNAB does with its 4 principles. 2) Get the YNAB trial and take the live, free web-casts from Erin at YNAB. Sign up for them now! 3) Create a budget and stick to it. You will realize that your budget might be too granular or too high level so adjust it accordingly. No one gets the budget right on the first go. And the best advice anyone can give you: KEEP AT IT...STAY DISCIPLINED... ITS YOUR MONEY..MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU!
I love how YNAB approaches finances. To get the most from YNAB, I attended the free webcast sessions