Think You Understand YNAB? Prove it.


“As my 11th grade math teacher said, ‘You haven’t learned something until you can teach it.’”

I grabbed that gem from a user-created guide to a handy little productivity app for Mac called Things (based on Getting Things Done, if you’re into that sort of thing).

It got me thinking about my multiple false starts with YNAB. It took me four years to finally dig in and form the budgeting habit – a habit I didn’t solidify until Jesse hired me and tasked me with writing on this blog.

Which begs the question: Would I have become a fully-committed YNABer without the opportunity to teach and talk about it every day? Hopefully. Most of you pulled it off. But I’m a much stronger budgeter thanks to my role at YNAB.

You don’t work at YNAB, but you could easily replicate the experience that’s taken me from flaky newbie to all-in YNABer. Here’s how:

Teach people the YNAB Way

If you want to get the 4 Rules deeply ingrained in your life, look for opportunities to teach them to other people:

  • Start a personal blog where you outline the 4 Rules and share your experience with each of them.
  • Start a budgeting Facebook group with people from your neighborhood, church, PTA, gym – or any other club or organization you’re part of.
  • Volunteer to teach a budgeting class at the local high school, community center, or at your church.

In other words, put yourself in a position to share your experience with and knowledge of budgeting.

You may feel like you don’t know enough. Meh. You know more than you realize, and the thought of teaching others would inspire you to dig into the tutorial archive, video lessons, and free classes like you never have before. Maybe you’ll even use the YNAB Works study guide as the template.

So, go teach somebody to YNAB. You’ll be better off for the effort, and you never know – you might just save someone’s financial life.