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YNAB three-month assessment

November 2nd, 2015 at 06:41 pm

If anyone is considering purchasing YNAB, feel free to use my referral code link to get $6 off! http://ynab.refr.cc/X4CF4XD (copy and paste into browser)

I've officially been using YNAB for three months now and I love it! Dare I say that it has been life-changing for me? I have been wanting/trying to track my spending, create a budget, determine how much I earn a month, where it goes, where I would prefer it to go, and is it enough for me to realistically live on for many years. YNAB has made that all possible!

I assume that I could have used one of many available budgeting programs and also gotten positive results. I just happened to choose this one, based on the experience of some fellow SA bloggers, and it really works for me, so I'm sticking with it. I think having the YNAB online support system (free classes, message boards and their philosophy) helped me to learn how to quickly and fully utilize the program and kept me interested and focused in the beginning.

When I started using the YNAB 31-day trial, I didn't match my YNAB checking account total with the actual amount in my real checking account. I started in August, so I just entered the amount of my two July paychecks into YNAB and budgeted from there just to try it out and get things going. I had some cash on hand from an early August vacation, so I used that for some of my spending, but recorded it as money that was withdrawn from checking because I wanted to get an exact accounting of what I spent during the month. I used the program like this for a while and, oh my, it took me a long time to figure out exactly how much I should have in checking to match my YNAB balances. I FINALLY figured it out last week, shifted money around and now my real accounts match my YNAB accounts. Yay! It should be quite easy to maintain the system from here.

I love being able to see how much I have available to budget, how much I've spent, how I've spent it and how much I haven't spent or budgeted. It's providing me with the tools to plan my budget rather than just randomly spend. It's so easy to move money around as the month unfolds and my priorities and reality change. Since I'm not sharing a budget with anyone else, I haven't utilized the phone app although I did download it. I have a wifi data plan, so it's not always readily usable. I just update YNAB at least every few days with new purchases. And since tracking has caused me to spend less, I sometimes don't have that much to update throughout the week!

The benefit I am enjoying the most by finally managing my money is the peace of mind that I've gained. Financially, I'm doing fine at this point - in fact, I am doing quite well. But, I wasn't taking the time to get to know my own financial situation and really manage it carefully on my own behalf. Using YNAB is helping me to do that. I honestly don't always like what I see, but living in reality feels more calming than ignoring it and unconsciously moving through life. Although I have to admit that knowing exactly what I have and what I can and can't do with it feels a little boring - I think I sometimes like the excitement of the unknown even though it doesn't serve me.

I really hope that I can keep focused on using YNAB - I have a tendency to get excited and immersed in something and then suddenly lose interest and forget about it. My blog archives illustrate a good example of this. Smile

In other news, I had a day with no unplanned spending, ate mostly healthy food except for some free candy from a co-worker (argh), and I walked for an hour after work and then did some yoga stretching when I got home.

Today's menu:
Breakfast - apple (free from neighbor and super tasty!) and fresh ground organic peanut butter, a few almonds
Lunch - rolled oats w/steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots (free from neighbor), hard boiled egg, olive oil, salt
Snack - homemade applesauce
Dinner - Boca burger (from freezer) and steamed beets (free from neighbor)
Junky snack - 2 free bags of butterfnger peanut butter cups, which should be labeled as crack - so addictive. Did I really need to eat both bags today? Smile

Tomorrow's menu:
Breakfast - apple & peanut butter, hard boiled egg with salt
Lunch - free at event I'm attending - I hope it's tasty
Dinner - Boca burger (from freezer) and steamed beets (free from neighbor)

2 Responses to “YNAB three-month assessment ”

  1. frugaltexan75 Says:

    That's awesome! I'm glad you are getting so much out of YNAB. Smile

  2. CB in the City Says:

    I don't use YNAB, because I developed my own spreadsheets years ago and they work very well for me. But I understand your excitement with it. I would never, ever stop tracking and monitoring my finances. It makes me feel in control, resourceful and responsible! I remember the days when I didn't know where my money went, and they were depressing!

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