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13 Sep 2016

When One Parent Wants To Stay Home

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by Lindsey Burgess

When Celia, 32, and Cory, 33, got pregnant with their second, she was a teacher and he was a lab tech. It didn’t take long to figure out that Celia’s teacher salary wouldn’t even cover the cost of two kids in daycare.

After some back and forth, they opted for the path less travelled—and they quickly learned why one income can be a tough choice: They spent that first year over drafting, incurring debt, and overwhelmingly stressed about money.

Not to oversimplify it or make it sound like YNAB changed everything, but as Celia put it, “Then we found YNAB and everything changed.”

What changed, specifically? For the first time ever, they were managing their money. They stopped always calculating and recalculating the bank balance because the budget told them, in black and white, what they could and could not spend. They were not stressed: “With less stress, we began making even better financial choices because we had the breathing room to analyze and consider all our options.”

One year later, they’ve paid off a car, reduced their credit card debt by $10k+ and are consistently a month ahead—on one income, with less margin between income and expenses than ever before.

Celia and Cory are passionate about budgeting because it completely changed their quality of life. I asked them what hope they could offer to people who were currently very stressed about money:

If We Can Do It, Anyone Can Do It

“Our income/expense ratio is tight, to say the least. For a long time, we thought that having a budget, just meant knowing what our bills would be and having that number be less than our income. But since, we’ve learned it’s about designing the life we want.”

Don’t Underestimate The Weight of Your Financial Stress

Before getting their finances under control, Cory began seeing a therapist for anxiety and depression. YNAB and Celia taking over handling the money, “has really helped in his management of anxiety and depression. The fact that he can completely not worry about money makes a big difference in his whole demeanor. And YNAB has allowed us to take money stress out of our relationship altogether.”

You Don’t Have To Be Rich To Spend Without Guilt

“Spending without guilt is something most of us low-income folks have never experienced. YNAB gave us the confidence to spend on ourselves without guilt. In the past, we never would spend on anything frivolous because we didn’t know if we’d have enough for groceries or bills. Now we know that money we need is safely in categories and we can spend without worry.”

You Can Look Forward To The Future

“Before YNAB, we always viewed ourselves as poor. We worked hard but would never have any money available for fun, just barely enough to stay afloat. It was depressing to think about the future and the fact that we’d never have anything extra.”

Today, they are on track to be out of credit card debt by December 2016. They are tackling new goals, like preparing for Baby #3, saving for their kids’ futures, and travelling more as a family.

This is life on a budget and life is good.

Your Next Step

Remember, budgeting is not restrictive. You won’t be spending less, you’ll be spending right. You can do this! Today. Right now. What do you have to lose? Except all that debt and stress. (Ok, so kind of a lot.)


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