My very first job was a dream for a nine year old girl. My mom noticed a sign in the teacher’s lounge looking for a mother’s helper for a few hours after school. Twice a week I played, sang and snacked with the most adorable set of twins while their mom worked around the house. It was little girl heaven. (Did I mention they had the Disney Channel??) To top it all off, I was handed a crisp five dollar bill at the end of each week.
Those Abe Lincolns would barely touch my palms before I was looking for ways to spend them. On rare occasions I could hold out for something special (a mermaid bike with a pink banana seat!) but most days, all it would take was the first few notes of the ice-cream man’s warbled siren song and I was right there, digging into my pockets for a Bomb Pop.
Unfortunately for my bank account I continued to work in cash-based industries…. and I continued to throw money at anything that moved. I waitressed my way through high school and college and while it was an excellent source of revenue (customer service was my jam) it left me with hundreds of wadded up bills, and no idea how to responsibly distribute them.
A few years later I married a money- minded banker, who quickly realized my weakness where cash was concerned (well, money in general). We both agreed it would be best for him to take the lead in our finances and he inherited my crumpled pile of tips.
Cash and I were no longer friends. Instead of confronting my failures in finance, I took my proverbial ball and went home.
It’s been over 20 years since I was handed my first “hard-earned dollar.” With all of the mistakes I’ve made since then, I never would’ve pictured a day when I’d know exactly what every penny in my bank account was doing, where it was going and how much remained. When I have a wallet full of "Benjamins" (Ha ha! Who are we kidding? More like "Abes".) they have a purpose, a job. (Rule One!!)
YNAB is giving me a fresh start with money. I don’t have to be the girl who shrugs her shoulders and changes the subject when finances come up in a conversation. I can take control of our financial future and maybe even be an asset. Imagine that?!
Not everything has changed. I still have a major sweet tooth. When I hear the familiar song of our neighborhood ice cream man, I’m the first to spring for Bomb Pops...
…because I know it’s in the budget.
Tell me YNAB family; is your history with money management as colorful and sticky as my favorite frozen treat? How has YNAB helped reprogram your bad financial habits? Have you experienced a re-birth in your bank account? (And is it just me or does one of those Pink Panther ice cream bars with the bubble gum eyes sound really good right now?)