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.
We are the homeschooling parents of seven boys. Two are married and moved away, two are in college and the rest are with us. Sometimes it still feels like there are seven at home, but we count them everyday to make sure.
Our story begins in Indianapolis where we were stuck with a house we could not sell--now valued 20K less than what we paid for it. Until a few months ago, I worked at WHZN-FM, affectionately known by its listeners as "88.3 The Walk." I was with the station before it went on the air and in the building stages. A little over a year after the station launched, they had to cut staff. Around that time, we learned we would need to move to California to tend to my wife's father, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Out of work and anchored to a house we could not sell, we were thankful to the Lord for His provision, and to YNAB for helping us prepare financially for this adventure.
Although we were on track toward financial freedom by the time we found YNAB, we were still living month to month -- very little wiggle room.
For us, being "car poor" served as the first pivot point. This led us to Crown Financial training, Dave Ramsey and in the process, discovered the YNAB way. All of the great ideas from Crown and Ramsey came together when we switched our software (and money management philosophy) to YNAB.
At first, it was frustrating because there were features of the previous software we were using that were not available in the version of YNAB we started with. As with anything worth doing, there is an adjustment period. Fortunately, with YNAB, the adjustment was easier than other software we tried because the YNAB financial methodology is so well integrated into its software.
Once we got used to the functional differences in YNAB from the software we were using before, the frustration went away. It only took a little patience learning WHY things were the way they were. Looking back, it was the great support of YNAB and the YNAB user community that made the transition so smooth. The free training available helped a lot and, again, I can't emphasize how important it was to have that "integration" of the YNAB methodology into the software.The community support and training reinforced that. That has made all the difference in the world. You're not just changing a software approach, you're adjusting your financial lifestyle at the same time.
Giving is important to us. Thanks to the financial stability a good budgeting program brings, we have been able to give beyond a regular tithe for over a year, now. We have had two Christmas seasons and two cycles of birthdays, annual bills (like car insurance) and the like where we were prepared. The second best feeling was the one I got after confirming with the bank that my records were correct -- we really DID have more than $7,000 in our account after the bills were paid. No, that's not mad spending money,all of it is budgeted for something that hasn't come due yet. And that's a good feeling compared to wondering whether you should pay your tithe or buy groceries.
That was the second best feeling. The best feeling was hearing my wife thank me for putting us on a good financial path in preparation for the crisis we had no idea was coming, when we first started YNAB. To be honest, I can't take the credit, and I don't really "owe it all to YNAB". We're blessed beyond our means; YNAB is one of the tools put into our hands to make that blessing possible.
There are many things one can choose to worry about, though we shouldn't really worry about anything. Careful planning, giving every dollar a job and extending your "buffer" beyond the next month can take some of the money worry away. Putting some money into savings and into an emergency fund scares away more of the scary. One of the most exciting ways the financial positives have manifested themselves in other aspects of our life is the flexibility we had to pick up and go two thousand miles away from home to care for an ailing loved one. I believe in many ways, diligence is rewarded. As I said, we have been blessed beyond our means. Sticking to the discipline YNAB offers has been a big part of that.
This success story has no real ending. The current chapter has us in California caring for my wife's father. There will be other financial challenges and opportunities--they change from one chapter to the next. For us, the constant will be the solid financial footing the discipline of budgeting can provide over the long haul. YNAB is not just a solution-- it is a key ingredient to a successful [financial] lifestyle.
The best feeling was hearing my wife thank me for putting us on a good financial path