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On average, new budgeters save $600 by month two and more than $6,000 the first year! Pretty solid return on investment.

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Rule 2

Embrace Your True Expenses

Make your money boring. Did the car break down? No big deal. Are the holidays coming? You’ve got a Santa-sized pile of money stashed away. No credit card required. Imagine never (ever) dreading the arrival of a big bill.

How It Works

Take those large, less-frequent expenses (that usually send you into a financial tailspin) and break them into manageable, monthly “bills.”  Good-bye, Financial Crisis Roller Coaster! You just won a free ticket on the Financial Peace Express!

What is life like with/without this rule?

Drag the arrows left and right to find out.

Without Rule Two

You have $1000 in your checking account. After some quick (probably faulty) math you tally your bills: cable bill ($100), empty refrigerator ($150), car payment ($400), and utilities ($120). Total (in your head): $770.You’re flush with cash! $1000 minus $770 = $230 of free money!


But you forgot about your insurance premium ($600), so now you’re stressed. Credit card to the rescue—and just like that you’re even deeper in debt. Yet, you make plenty of money…

With Rule Two

You looked ahead six months ago. You’ve been budgeting $100 every month for the insurance premium. Now it’s due, and you have $600 ready to go.

Where did the “extra” $100/month come from? When you follow Rule One and start giving every dollar a job, your money starts to obey. It lines itself up with your priorities. It’s not magic, though it feels that way.

So, that cRaZy month, that would have sent you into complete and utter panic mode, was no big deal. Kind of boring actually.

Why It Works

You’re looking ahead to those larger, less frequent expenses (and big dreams and goals!) and breaking them up into monthly, manageable amounts. As a result, you’re making fully informed, current spending decisions, based on immediate needs and future obligations.


Follow YNAB to get support and lots of great ideas on budgeting