Back to the Good Old Days


I tweeted this yesterday:

A scorching development pace = a scorching burn rate of cash.

For years I’ve operated with YNAB always in the black. Always. Even when the black was approximately $42 (February of 2005).

The other day I looked at what the developers would cost weekly, revenue projections, and money saved and realize we’re going to be deep in the red until YNAB 3 launches. Based on our burn rate, and the cash we’ve saved (operating on a budget, afterall) I think we’ll be just fine.

But it’s going to be a lot closer to the edge than I’ve been with the business (or personally) for years. The closest feeling I can get is when I did YNAB full-time during the summer of 2006 while I was studying for the CPA exam (that was when YNAB Pro was being developed!) and waiting to start my “real” job several months later.

In light of the cash flow projections, and the resulting knapp (German) feeling I was experiencing, I did what any good husband would do. I called Julie to let her know.

Jesse: Hey Julie. I was running the numbers for how much development we still have left to go, how much we’re going to be bringing in, and how much we have saved in the business to tide us over and…things are going to be tight for the next while.

Julie: How tight?

Jesse: Well, you know how your birthday is in a few days?

Jesse: We just need to tighten the belt as much as possible and put off all discretionary purchases. I don’t want to have to tap our emergency fund (an aside: because it took us so LONG to get it!).

Julie: I don’t either. What about groceries?

Jesse: Yeah, we probably should feed the kids less.

Jesse: Just avoid discretionary stuff.

Julie: Okay.

And THAT is why I love my wife.

But this is the real story.

Since that discussion, I have been loving life (even more; I’m a natural life-lover). I feel like we’re back to the Good Old Days of simplicity. Decisions are already made. No, we’re not eating out. No, we’re not going out. No, we’re not buying that. This is easy. It’s like I’ve rediscovered my discipline from my college-poor days.

How can I keep this feeling indefinitely?

I’m not sure. All I know is that it’s a welcomed feeling of control over my money. It is just money after all. And I feel like I’ve rediscovered a part of me, and a part of our relationship, that was stifled by the List to Make the House Awesome (It’s separate from the Budget where we were throwing extra money, working our way down the list of prioritized things we want for our house to be awesome. I believe there are 18 items and we’ve managed to cross off two.), social events, etc.

Someone please point me to this post once the finances return to normal.

Takeaways:

You don’t need that. Don’t buy it.

Go home to eat dinner.

Repair that. Don’t replace it.

Increase memories and decrease stuff.

Simplify.

(An aside after re-reading this and debating about even posting it: The message in this is the Good Old Days of simplicity a la Joe Dominguez’s Your Money or Your Life — not our temporary cash flow crunch a la [insert bank name here]. We’re fine. You really think I’d do things any other way than to be extremely certain that everything will be okay? No. We’re not offering the option of pre-paying for YNAB 3. Though I’m flattered at the offer.)