My bank account took my breath away and made me giggle at the same time

Due to some retro pay, my paycheque today was quite significant. I logged into the bank to make sure it was real. When I logged in, our balance was $15,000!!!!!  I gasped. And then I giggled. Out loud.  And called my husband. And we both giggled.  When we started using YNAB in 2016, we were still going into overdraft. I still to this day have a reminder on my phone to "check bank balance for mortgage payment" that I needed to make sure the mortgage payment didn't bounce.  Before YNAB we did the Dave Ramsey Gazelle budget. It was the first time we had ever sat down and planned our spending.  We started that in about 2013. We did the once a month budget meetings. But it was still a reactive type of experience.  We would review the actual spending and set the new budget based on money we hadn't yet earned. Before that we used Quicken. Used it for decades. I could run a report to tell you how much we had spent on kids hockey over their entire childhood. But I couldn't tell you how much we could spend on anything in the future. 

With Quicken my husband was not even involved except to get nagged at by me for spending too much on things or to chase down what he bought at Home Depot.  

With DR, we were also seeing a marriage counsellor for a host of other reasons. I was doing the monthly budget and was upset that he wasn't participating and would whine and complain about it all the time. The counsellor basically told my husband to do it. Why not - that'll shut her up (Nicer version - my husband is passive aggressive and will agree to things and then not do them. The counsellor told him to commit to doing it just because it would make me happy).  So hubby picked Sunday morning at 8 am (argghh I hate mornings) to sit down and do our first budget.  I had to give a little as well.  Do I think he needs $40 a month for the coffee truck? No I do not. But its in the budget because that way we don't argue.  And my husband found the budget freeing rather than constraining. Because now he could spend $40 on the coffee truck and I would not complain. 

When Every Dollar came out, it didn't import from Canadian banks so I revisited YNAB. I had looked at it before but it totally didn't make any sense to me. Did I mention that I am an accountant? This idea of only spending money you have was beyond me.  But now that the DR Gazelle budget was gone, we needed something.  YNAB had recently launched the web version so that was a bit better for me.  We had a few hiccups changing our mindset but we did it.  We found out about the credit card float (and that we were on it). Got rid of that.  

Then the mobile version came out and it was a game changer. My husband enters the transactions LIVE when he leaves the store.  And he can check the budget BEFORE he spends money. Some categories are still a bit padded in my opinion but not arguing about everything is certainly worth it. 

And the result is that today, we have $15,000 in our chequing account (yes, we will be moving it to somewhere better than chequing but for now, WOW). We are on track to pay off all consumer debt by next year (thanks We cash flowed most of university although COVID threw a wrench in son's contributions so there is a bit (~$5K) of student loan debt at 0% until 2023 that he will pay for.  We have replaced cars. Even had a trip to Germany in the budget (again, thanks COVID). 

So today, when this unexpected winfall arrived (I didn't realize I was getting this retro pay) I can giggle and dance knowing that it will not be squandered, and that my husband and I - together as a team - will plan jobs for this money that will bring us peace and happiness.  

Just for visualization, here is our net worth chart for the past 5 years.  It starts in August rather than May because at first we didn't have all the accounts in YNAB. Today everything except the mortgage is there.  A couple of notes for the nerds like me.  That spike in late 2020 has to do with some money shifting we did in order to help son pay off truck loan in advance of selling the truck. Also, my mother did give us $20K which obviously helped with the overall numbers. 


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  • MXMOM that is such a beautiful graph! You should be so proud of yourself. Go you! (and your husband)

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  • Congrats! It took my breath away when my main act went over 10k for the first time on pay day  :) 

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  • MXMOM AMAZING!!! Congratulations! My BF's savings account is now over 10k, and that blows my mind, too. I can't wait for even bigger numbers!

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  • MXMOM I loved reading about your journey. Those were some hard-fought giggles. Amazing work! 

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  • Well done you!! 

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  • This is so awesome! Gives me hope about fully getting my wife on board! 

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  • That graph! 😍 That story! 😍

    This is truly inspiring. I know so many couples whose marriages have been haunted by money issues—and most of the time they have resisted doing what you and your husband learned to do: talk about it, compromise, make a plan, and then compromise while sticking to the plan. ;) Though it sounds like it was challenging at times, look at your progress. You're not only building wealth, you're a team. Amazing work, you two!

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