YNAB Success Story Winners Announced!


After days of working through all of the awesome success story submissions, we finally, finally have the winners!

We’ll building out a lot of these success stories to feature over the coming weeks (years — there are a ton and they will blow your mind, and make you cry.) Without further ado, here are the winners with a highlight from their success story:

Amazon Kindle (2)

Diane Simmler & Family (Maine)

Here I am having used YNAB for four years (48 months) and I’m so excited!! In 2007 we paid off our vehicle loans. Then by September of this year we paid off the last of our $32,000 in credit card debt! We have $1000 emergency fund, and $3000 saved toward renovating our kitchen. After getting out of debt, our first goal was to save for matching furniture for the living room; it was going to be a while. On a drop-off visit to Salvation Army, however, I saw a couch and loveseat that almost exactly matched what I was planning to buy! I snatched them up for $250 and started saving for the kitchen.

I’m excited about what this next year is going to bring….financially and otherwise!

Brian Cassin (Massachusetts)

Feelings…. At first I was in shock. Once I got how it worked and was following the principles I realized how serious my overspending was. I wanted to stick my head back in the sand. But I kept going. I started to see areas were I wasn’t being disciplined enough in my spending. I also felt mad at first because I had to put limits on my spending habits. It felt constraining, then as I got more into it, I started to feel relief, because I knew EXACTLY where my money was going. I felt more relaxed because I am now in control of what my money does.

Apple iPad (3)

Jeremy and Diana Ashley (Minnesota)

When we first heard about YNAB we were in desperate need of some financial organization. We had about $33,000 in debt not including our mortgage. We were in the middle of the adoption process for our daughter, which would be adding upwards of $20,000 to debt. Jeremy was in school, completing his Master’s Degree, struggling to pay tuition without accruing any new debt…

…After nearly 2 years of using YNAB, we have been able to pay our adoption expenses without accruing any debt, as well as reduce our debt by over $20,000. We were able to completely pay Jeremy’s tuition and he earned his Master’s Degree without taking out any student loans.

Ruben and Wanda Romero (Pennsylvania)

Once we had a plan in place, we knew what we had to do and we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. We sat down several times a month and talked about how much money was coming in and how it was being spent. We decided together how every dollar would be spent. We stopped pointing the finger at the other person and talked about real and perceived problems. We started managing our money instead of it managing our relationship. We started to trust each other and rekindle those feelings we had for each other when we fell in love 44 years ago. We started using envelopes to manage our cash. We stopped using charge cards.

To help get us out of the financial hole we were in and to allow Ruben to contribute more to his retirement plan, we started delivering two early morning newspapers routes. Our youngest son earned his spending money helping us to deliver papers. Once he went off to college, the paper route money helped to pay his college tuition. We knew it wouldn’t be forever, but YNAB allowed us to see clearly what we needed to do.

Charlie Butter and Family (Minnesota)

Before YNAB I lived in the “paycheck to paycheck” world… always worried about the next payment due and wondering if I had enough to avoid another overdraft. I wasn’t sure what my balance was and worried that I might get caught in the “overdraft snowball” that swallows you up and buries you deeper and deeper in debt and frustration…

Almost one year to the day since starting YNAB, I’m happy to say that we were able to stop the foreclosure and get back on top of our mortgage. We also started paying down some pesky debt (totaling between $10-12,000) which will be completely gone by June, 2011. We are one month from having our full buffer in place at which time we feel we’ll have come full circle and be in complete control of our finances.

Apple Macbook Air

And now, for the grand prize…

the winner of the brand new Macbook Air…

Angela DeMoura (California)

Without the clear picture that YNAB has provided, this period of unemployment could have been devastating. What is it? 70% of all marriages that fail cite finances as the number one cause of stress? Or maybe the percentage is even higher – but honestly, thanks to YNAB, we have been able to weather this storm. We know what we have, we are not surprised by our bills, we know when we can say yes and when we need to say no. We have had more real living in the past year than we ever have with trips to South Dakota, Magic Mountain, even Disneyland, because we know what the decisions to spend will mean to our overall financial picture. YNAB has truly given us freedom.

Now for some housekeeping…

Contest winners, congratulations! Please contact anne [at] youneedabudget [dot] com so she can coordinate getting your prize to you!

To everyone: Thank you so much for submitting all of your amazing success stories. They were an absolute pleasure to read — some of them simply unbelievable.