YNAB Podcast Episode 92: Just Show Up


Hello YNABers. My name is Jesse Mecham and this is podcast number 92 for You Need A Budget, where we teach you four rules to help you stop living pay check to pay check, get out of debt and save more money.

Most of you – some of you, a few of you, one or two of you – know that I’m into CrossFit at the moment. I’ve been doing it for about a year, a little over a year. When I first started it was hard. I’ve always been into lifting and fitness to a degree, but some of the stuff they do in there was very new to me and it was hard. And I wasn’t that fit in the cardiovascular sense, so I would show up and they’re saying, “Hey, swing this kettle bell,” and I said, “Hey, that’s crazy! That’s too heavy.” But I’m used to it now. And they would say, “Do this workout,” and I would say, “Okay, I’ll do it,” and it would take me 18 minutes. And then one I did took me about 16 and a half minutes, and then the next time I did it it took me eight minutes. The first time I did this other workout it took me 13 minutes, the last time I did it it took me four minutes. So I’m getting faster even though I’m getting older, and getting some other people into it as well.

The key with fitness – especially with something like crossfit – you just walk in and there’s a workout already posted. They call it the WOD – the Workout of the Day. And you go in and they tell you to go, and they give you some instruction and then you’re off. You do the workout. And then when you’re done you leave. Then you go back the next day and there’s a workout on the board and they tell you to do it, and you do it. You scale it as needed and then you’re done. And then you go in the next day and there’s a workout on the board, and they tell you to do it and teach you any moves you might need to know but keep things pretty simple. And you just do the workout, and you scale as needed, up or down. And that’s the secret.

So, over the last year I’ve seen a big climb in my fitness in lots of different facets – flexibility, strength, speed, power. And I’ve just been showing up and doing the workout. With a budget it’s kind of the same thing. You just show up, just check it out, open it up, see what it says and just do what it says. Just let that be your guide. Don’t make it any harder than it is, don’t add things to it, don’t take things away from it, don’t read more into it than needs to be read into it. Just set your budget and then check in regularly and do what it says. Keep it simple.

When you have new money, what does this new money need to do before you’re paid again? Answer that question, tell your budget what it needs to do before it’s paid again, and then put that right around and have your budget tell you what your money needs to do before you’re paid again. And just stick to it – just show up every day.

When you first start out you’ll want your frequency to be high. You’re creating a new habit – you can’t create a habit by doing something once a week. So when you start with your budget… With Mark, he’s starting his budget here, he’s blogging about it, and he’s looking at it daily – optimizing, tweaking, thinking, most importantly. Thinking about what he can do different. And as a result, he’s done some very different things. He’s really optimized and leaned things out, and with great feedback from the YNAB community I should add. So he’s saving money on health insurance by going to a high deductable plan, he’s moved off of his expensive Sprint iPhone plan and saving $100 a month doing that. There’s some other stuff he’s written about that I can’t recall. He just bartered and saved him $185 a month so that he and his wife could do CrossFit at our gym. It just seems to be working for him because he’s thinking about it. He’s just showing up to his budget, looking at it and letting it tell him what the reality is, and then within that reality he thinks and comes up with solutions. And that scarcity leads to creative thinking, which leads to serious financial progress in the long haul.

So, I want you to just show up. Don’t make it any harder than it needs to be. Just show up. Answer that question: What does your money need to do before you’re paid again? And just look at your budget and see what you should do. Just stick to that. Don’t be crazy. Roll with the punches as needed, look ahead, save for those rainy days. Look at that budget often. Just show up, do what it says and you’ll be making progress. I can promise you that.

Until next time, follow YNAB’s four rules and you will win financially. You have not budgeted like this.