Boosting Income by Thinking Small: YNAB Podcast Episode 90

Hello YNABers. My name is Jesse Mecham and this is podcast number 90 for You Need A Budget, where we teach you four rules to help you stop living pay check to pay check, get out of debt and save more money.

Today I want to talk a little bit about not just saving more money but making more money. There was a blog post that Mark put up just a bit ago and this was talking about his idea for making more income.

One big key with that is when you think about trying to save $100 a month or something like that, or save a couple of hundred dollars a month. Sometimes it’s easier to make that extra couple of hundred dollars a month. When you’ve cut back and cut away a lot of the extra and you’re operating on a pretty lean, optimized, value-driven, focused budget, there comes a point where you maybe have to say to yourself, “You know what? It’s time to earn some more money.” You can to look toward part-time jobs and things like that – side work, overtime – but that may not be a possibility. I just wanted to share my take on it, and that’s basically only from my own experience.

When I was in school and realized that we had our first baby on the way, I wanted Julie to be able to stay home with the baby and not need to worry about working, but also didn’t want to take on any debt to finish my years of schooling. So I had a great part-time job, making pretty good money. I think I was paid $14 an hour, which for a student at that time was great. So that was that, but I also had to do school work. I couldn’t work full-time and make it work. I was frustrated and mad that we couldn’t make the budget do what we wanted and kind of bend it to our reality. And that was what drove me to try and sell YNAB – which at the time was not called YNAB, it was just called The Budget.

I just want to point out that my original vision – and this is maybe something that could get you going and take some action, and this is why I share it – my original vision for selling YNAB was to make enough to pay our rent. We lived in a little apartment in the basement of a house and our rent and utilities, which included the phone line, was $350. I had looked at all the numbers and been crunching things for a while, and that was where that frustration was coming from – not being able to make the numbers work. And then I realized, if I can make enough on the side with something that was fairly “passive” – doing air quotes right now – then just enough to cover the rent, that $350, we’d make it. And then I’d get my CPA license, I’d get a real job and we’d be off to the races, climbing that ladder.

So, that was the vision for what now is YNAB – the company that employs a lot of people and feeds families and has a pretty wide reach. We’re Utah’s 17th fastest growing company in 2012. No, in 2012 we were number 13. 2013 we were number 17. But we’ve been growing and it’s gotten a lot bigger than my vision ever would have allowed back in the day.

And so the point of that is that you don’t have to have a big vision to get started – it can be really, really small. Actually, the smaller vision may be just the ticket in getting started. You won’t feel overwhelmed, you won’t feel like you’re just frozen, “What do I do next?” because it’s just tiny. You just launch it or pitch it or fulfill it, whatever it is, and just start small.

Thinking small when it comes to making extra income, I think, is the best way to start.

Until next time, follow YNAB’s four rules and you will win financially. You have not budgeted like this.