When Flying By The Seat Of Your Pants Doesn't Work Anymore


When Braedon Mayer was in college in Dallas, TX, his primary focus was fun. He got a monthly stipend from a scholarship and “just kind of spent money with reckless abandon.”

Then he graduated, moved to Washington, D.C., and life got real very quick-like.

His finances—and as a result, his life—felt very uncertain, always hovering on the brink of overdraft: “I realized I couldn’t just keep flying by the seat of my pants. Without a budget, I would have become financially insolvent very quickly.”

He had tried some fancy spreadsheets prior to YNAB, but while they helped him track his expenses, they didn’t help him make decisions. YNAB was different (firstly, it worked!) because, “it gave me guidance on how I should budget.”

The rest went something like this:

Revelation

“I think the biggest reason I stuck with YNAB is because I really bought into the principle of living off last month’s income. Once I had saved up enough to buffer my paycheck, it felt so good. I had never felt more secure about money in my life, and that was before I even started saving for an emergency fund or anything!”

Obsession

“Money transformed from something I was constantly stressed about to something I could be secure in. I finally had a game plan to succeed.”

Progression

“I love looking at net worth as a measure of success. I used YNAB from July 2013-November 2014 and increased my net worth by 137%. Then I moved to Panama as a Fulbright Scholar and only had a Chromebook, which wasn’t compatible with YNAB at the time. I missed YNAB so much! As soon as I got back in January 2016, I jumped right back into YNAB (with a new computer!). So far, this year, I’ve increased my net worth another 106%.”

Recommendation

“YNAB can really transform the way you think about money. Budgeting doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take time and effort. If you’re willing to give it that, you can set yourself up nicely for the future.”

(And you should really listen to Braedon—he’s a Fulbright Scholar!)