The police officer, school teacher, engineer, firefighter, attorney, doctor, professor, designer, manager and rocket scientist all have one thing in common: they’re killing it financially with YNAB.
I'm a stay-at-home mom, and my husband is a computer architect for a point of sale software company. We have two boys and our third is coming in 19 days! We have been delightfully using YNAB for a little over a year now.
My husband and I always thought we were living below our means. We bought a small house (built in 1955) for $90k. We really like it and have done a lot of work to make it our own. But, we realized we were using this one, smart decision to rationalize other outrageous spending. Yes, we had living expenses that were below our means, but we quickly found other avenues to spend our excess (and, therefore, not save or get out of debt more quickly).
Before we began YNAB, I was purposely ignorant of our financial situation. I knew we had a lot of debt to pay off, but I just figured we'd chip away at it until it was gone one day. My husband does the finances, so he had a better grasp on it. But there was no fire under him to get out of debt with tenacity, either. We began our marriage eight years ago with $80,000 worth of debt between us (and we were only 23 years old!). We chipped away at $60k of that until last year (7 years later). We were down to just our $20k worth of student loans when we decided to do a $10k bathroom remodel. We put it ALL on credit, and cash-flowed only what was absolutely necessary.
During this bathroom remodel, for the first time in our marriage, we actually over-drafted our bank account. For two perfectionists, we were devastated. This shook my husband, especially. He realized the software we'd been using let us cheat WAY too much. It wasn't holding us accountable for our actions and decisions, so he started looking into other options. That's when he discovered YNAB. I was reluctant at first because, frankly, I liked being able to cheat a little here and there. When I realized we had to make some serious changes in our finances to get out of this mess we created, I relented and admitted that YNAB was the best tool for us to achieve our goals.
The learning curve with YNAB was a lot smaller than I anticipated. When we started, my husband set it all up and began using it for our finances, first. Then he thought it would be more beneficial if I took control of our bills for at least one month, so I could have an informed opinion about our finances. I was scared simply because it looked a lot different than our old software. But after using it just to set up a simple budget for the month, I felt extremely confident handling things. I realized just how simple it really was to use. YNAB's strength is in its simplicity.
In the first five months of using YNAB, we paid off a little over $30,000 in debt! In the first seven years of our marriage we couldn't save anything. We always spent what we had. But after we paid off our debt, we created our first EVER emergency fund of six months worth of living expenses, and that took about six months to do. We are now on our way to paying off the last $55k from the mortgage on our house. With the help of YNAB, we will complete that goal sometime this coming summer.
We definitely feel the success we've had with our financial goals this past year is spilling over into the rest of our lives. Hard work, self-discipline, and determination have been showing up not only in our finances but also in our parenting, our marriage relationship, my husband's work, and our home life. We feel like we've grown leaps and bounds this past year, and we're so excited about our future, now more than ever.
In the first five months of using YNAB, we paid off a little over $30,000 in debt!