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15 Jun 2017

How We Moved Overseas & Traveled Europe On One Part-Time Salary

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by Lindsey Burgess

Fun Fact: The majority of YNAB team members were customers before we were employees. I love hearing the different ways serendipity worked her magic to transform our budgets and weave us together. Take Janelle, for instance…

Janelle Whitaker, 28, is a newly promoted manager on the Customer Support team. She is witty, surprisingly good at Spike Ball, and goes a long way toward padding the numbers on the “Theatre People” end of our Theatre People vs. Science Fiction People teeter-totter.

Janelle and her husband, David, 29, were just an of newlyweds living it up in the wildly expensive city of Los Angeles when David decided he’d like to go back to school.
Deep breaths.

But wait—there’s more: “I’m not exactly sure why but we figured, the world is our oyster, ‘Why stop at school? Let’s move to another country!’ We set our sights on England and put the applications in the mail.”

For most people, there comes a time, for all different kinds of reasons, when they have to accept the cold, hard truth, “Oh wow. We really need a budget,” and for Janelle, this was the moment.

Janelle wasted no time doubling down on the budget: “As we made plans, I became a hardcore budgeter. I had spreadsheets up to my ears and I thought I was doing an amazing job of keeping track of our funds. At one point, trying to figure out why our groceries were costing so much each month, I made a spreadsheet of each and every food item we purchased and tracked how much we spent on that item each month. Not kidding—apples, granola, beef—they were all on my spreadsheet in their own little cells! Needless it was a little bit overwhelming and did exactly zero to decrease our spending.”

It took some time, but Janelle started to get the sense that made she wasn’t at great at managing money as she had previously believed.

“It got to the point where I was literally hiding money in envelopes all over our apartment to prevent us from spending the savings intended to make our dream come true.”

She can (mostly) laugh about it now, but it was s-t-r-e-s-s-f-u-l.

And then she stumbled across YNAB. What’s that? Oh, don’t worry, just a choir of angels singing the Hallelujah chorus. Or at least that’s what it felt like for Janelle.

“Once I learned the Four Rules, I could not believe how simple it actually was. Overnight, I knew exactly where every dollar was and what every dollar was meant to do.”

Ah, Clarity

“Having all the information right in front of me, I was able to come to grips with our biggest priority (moving to London for David’s school) and, more importantly, how it impacted all our other spending decisions.”

Simple Focus

“I gladly threw away our envelopes and abandoned my spreadsheets. I didn’t need them anymore. I was setting goals in my budget (the best part!) and actually achieving them. We saved loads of money while still managing to afford our outlandish LA rent and living costs.”

Budgeting Works, Yo

“Fast forward two years and we did it! We are living in England. My husband is about to complete his graduate studies and we’ve traveled all over Europe. We’ve managed to live exclusively on my part-time salary because of all the money we saved prior to coming. We’re on the adventure of a lifetime, and YNAB played a huge role in helping us make it happen!”

I mean, how fun is that and how cute are they? YNAB can help you stop over-drafting and get out of debt and all that stuff, but it can also help you pull off big, impossible dreams! Long live the power of budgeting!

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Remember, budgeting is not restrictive. You won’t be spending less, you’ll be spending right. You can do this! Today. Right now. What do you have to lose? Except all that debt and stress. (Ok, so kind of a lot.)

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