What Does Learning To Budget Really Look Like?


You are just getting going.

Maybe you took a class from us. Or you read all of our material. Maybe you listened to all 239 podcasts or watched some of our Whiteboard Wednesday videos. Or you just jumped right in and started clicking around like crazy until you learned your way around.

But what learning to budget really looks like is a bunch of false starts.

A lot of, “I’ll do it this way!” And then three weeks later, “No, I won’t. I will do it this way.”

A lot of discovering things you forgot about or things you’ve never considered in all your years of spending money.

That’s OK—you are normal.

You will create a lot of new categories and then realize it is tedious to manage so many categories.

That’s OK—you are normal.

You will rethink your accounts and pretty much every which way you’ve ever thought about money before.

That’s OK—you are normal.

You will start to feel a little bit more in control, maybe a little less stressed, but still a little confused, still not entirely sure you are doing it right.

That’s OK—you are normal.

Learning how to budget and use YNAB is a lot of stopping and starting and restarting. It is a lot of rethinking and reorganizing based on what you’ve learned about budgeting—and yourself—in the last three weeks, or three months or six months or year.

Heck, we have a feature for it, you can Make A Fresh Start. You get to start over and do things better, smarter, easier. It’s okay. It’s part of the process.

A lot of our teachers—the YNAB experts—encourage the Fresh Start, because it forces you to question everything and reexamine your priorities again.

So, if you are just getting started, and you are feeling like you’ve stopped and started a few times, you are doing it right. You are learning to budget. And at the risk of being annoying, it’s OK! You are normal.

You are doing awesome. You are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing—you are learning to be in total control of your money.