The surprising life events that bring people to YNAB.


One morning last March I woke up, kicked my legs over the side of the bed, and declared (with the morning sun radiating off my determined face), “Today is the day…I budget.”

Okay, maybe not.

I’m sure my first day budgeting (March 17th, 2013 according to my YNAB file) started like any other: with my wife and me pretending to be asleep in hopes the other would get up to take our three year-old daughter to the bathroom. Glamorous stuff.

Actually, my decision to budget wasn’t random, and it wasn’t an epiphany. One specific event pushed me into budgeting:

I talked with Jesse about joining YNAB.

That’s right – I didn’t start budgeting because I was ready to be a savvy money manager, taking ownership of my financial present and future. I started because the company was going to pay my bills, so I probably ought to be using the software.

I’d known about YNAB for years – owned it for years – but it took a significant life event to finally push me into the budgeting habit.

I know I’m not alone. A while back Jesse interviewed many of you to find out what led you to YNAB. He confirmed that basically no one has a dramatic, sun-radiating-off-determined-face budgeting epiphany.

For nearly all of us there was an event (or series of events) that guided us toward budgeting. The event finally made it clear that the pain of not controlling our money would be greater than the perceived* restriction of budgeting.

*Heavy emphasis on “perceived.”

I’m curious – what event led you to YNAB? I guarantee it’s not as simple as “a friend told me about it.” Dig further – what event helped you realize you need(ed) a budget?