YNAB's 34-Day Challenge!

The YNAB 34-Day Challenge starts tomorrow! For anyone interested in joining in, let's keep track of our progress through this thread :)

You'll get a daily prompt to take a small action for your budget that should set you up for the best year yet. At the end of the challenge, someone will walk away with a full free year of YNAB, too!

Sign up here and read the post for more details!

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  • oops! signed up with the wrong email... signed up now with my YNAB email :)

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  • Signed up! :)

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  • Signed up!  Been with YNAB a couple of years but spinning our wheels.  This will be a great way to jumpstart our year!

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  • Signed up...I am excited to see where I am financially this time next year!!!

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  • I’m in.

    2019 is a big year for me. I want to buy a house, clear a debt, make a dent in my pathetic retirement planning.... I think I can do it if I stick to YNAB like glue. Fingers crossed!

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    • MissusTea
    • "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt -
    • MissusTea
    • 11 mths ago
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    Signed up! We're starting our third year with YNAB and have a big end of year goal to hit that will get a lot of help with monthly tweaks in spending :) Good luck everyone!

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  • Did day one item post yet? I haven’t seen anything

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  • Hooray, just subscribed!  I'm ready!!!  2019, let's do this!

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    • MissusTea
    • "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt -
    • MissusTea
    • 11 mths ago
    • 3
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    Found my 10 minutes, and broke in my fresh 2019 planner's notes section!

     #YNAB34days

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    • MissusTea You've got a great set of priorities there and I love that you're preparing to aim for adventure! Here's to 2019 being a great one!

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      • MissusTea
      • "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt -
      • MissusTea
      • 11 mths ago
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      Veronica at YNAB thanks! Hoping 2019 is epic for all us challengers 🥊

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  • Whoo hoo!  I’m ready!  2019 is the year I take control!!

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  • I've signed up and completed Day 1.  I hope that this will keep me motivated and focussed as we start 2019.  Today's was an interesting exercise to do.  

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  • Day 1 done and I even changed my categories somewhat in response to it....

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    • lindsay_g A house in France?! Sounds magical! I'm interested to hear what kind of categories got shifted in your budget to account for this exercise?

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      • MissusTea
      • "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt -
      • MissusTea
      • 11 mths ago
      • 2
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      lindsay_g LOVE the infographic! What an amazing goal.

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      • lindsay_g
      • Beige_Banjo.3
      • 11 mths ago
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      Veronica at YNAB @missustea Thanks both!  The house will be a small empty shell not a grape-growing chateux, but yes, I’ve been faffing on about it for ages. As I sat down to do my ten minutes I realised how important it is to me.  I live in Kuwait in employer-provided accommodation with my son. I can’t afford to buy in the UK and banks don’t like lending to ex-pats, so we have no real base or place to call our own. Property in France is much cheaper, plus we love going there. So....

      So I created a new group called France Plan and moved categories into it to do with moving costs, and a lawyer to get Irish citizenship (because of Brexit) and made a new savings category also to do with setting up.

      YNAB has really helped me crystallise my thinking. All those podcasts about priorities are sinking in!

      Reply Like 1
  • Day 1 Complete for me!

    It was fun to look at our budget and really dig into the why behind our entire budget and also behind each category. When we started using YNAB years ago, it was because we had variable income and it was a mess to keep organized. Our financial picture looks a whole lot different now, but I'm all about finding ways to self-actualize.

    For DH and I, our why is that we want to be able to give in big ways. Our kids have their college funds set by grandparents (yes, we know that's incredibly lucky!) and we want to be able to be in a place to pass on this tradition in the future when our kids have kids.

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  • Even though I've used YNAB since YNAB 4 (and this version since it came out), I know my budget could use some focus this year. I am closing on my first house later this month, and I will need to pay close attention to continue to meet my goals this year while taking on the additional expense.

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    • adriana01 Congratulations! Your first house purchase is a huge deal!

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  • I'm in also.  Signed up on Monday, when I heard about it in the weekly round up.  Thanks for putting this together.  I'm making okay progress with my budget and want more.  Always looking for ways to improve what I'm currently doing.  Have a feeling I can do better.  

    The why.  "What do you hope to gain through budgeting?"  Financial independence.  I am responsible for too many things for too many people, and don't have enough saved up for many things that could happen.  Haven't come up with a maximum yet and feel I have a long, long way to go still.    Today my goal is to save as much as possible for the foreseeable future.  

    End with a positive statement:  "Debt free by 80."  That is only 15 years in the future.  Mortgage debt is currently $682K and is my only debt today.  Have a plan in place that will pay it off by 80 and wouldn't mind paying it off by 75.  

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  • Day 2.  Good news on my debt is that from last month I no longer pay Barclaycard any interest. I had a 0% balance transfer last year and have been throwing enough money at it (since starting YNAB) to have paid off the old debt that had interest on it. I now have until February 2020 to pay the rest interest free, and yes, that has been recorded as a goal. 

    Also since starting YNAB, I used a HUGE chunk of salary to clear another card that was charging interest and am being very careful about paying it off in full now.

    I also finally dared to open a letter (that was over two  months old) from the student loans company and was pleasantly surprised to find that the standing order I set up a few years ago has nearly cleared that too. Being abroad makes it all very complicated so I got into a weird thing with them, which wasn’t very nice, but it is nearly done, thankfully.

    Since these aren’t racking up piles of interest I’m continuing to save alongside.

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    • MissusTea
    • "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt -
    • MissusTea
    • 11 mths ago
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    Journal about Day 2 posted! 

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  • I’ve signed up today and have received day 2. Would anyone be able to link me to the day 1 info, please?

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    • monkeyhanger Glad you're joining in! You can scroll down on this page to see Day 1.

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      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 11 mths ago
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      Veronica at YNAB Thank you.

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  • Finishing up Day 2!

    Ack, debt makes me tired. Our kids are literally at the perfect age for traveling, so we spent a lot of 2018 doing just that. It meant that we sacrificed additional debt payments that we really should spend the year getting rid of. I joined into the 2019 Debt Smackdown to keep my priorities focused.

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      • lindsay_g
      • Beige_Banjo.3
      • 11 mths ago
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      Veronica at YNAB You could have spent the year paying debts, but honestly, your kids are only that age for a short window. Make time to make memories now. They grow and grow, and then they are grown! :)

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      • MissusTea
      • "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt -
      • MissusTea
      • 11 mths ago
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      Wise words lindsay_g ! Taking on manageable debt for experience, especially with children is invaluable. It's a great gift to show our kids the wider world and the experiences it holds. 

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      • Rachael Loucks
      • Equestrian. Educator. Trying to figure out how to blend the two.
      • Blue_Mill.2
      • 11 mths ago
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      Veronica at YNAB I'm not sure I'm ready for the 2019 Debt Smack Down but I did start undebtit to start examining the debt.  I'm entering my account info in today.  the credit cards are pretty small in our house, but because I've got past mistakes, I've got things like collections and such rearing their ugly head.  I'm not sure where those fit in on undebtit.

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    • Rachael Loucks Examining that debt is an excellent way to get started! 

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  • YNAB 34 Day Challenge Day 1: Why are you starting a budget?

    My baby sister (she's 56 but still the baby) had a medical emergency this summer. She had blood clots in her leg (DVT) go to her lung, a pulmonary embolism (PE). Our oldest brother died in his early 40's from a PE so this was incredibly scary for both of us. She lives in MA and I live in CO. If she had needed me this summer I would not have had the money to afford to travel back home to see her. That broke my heart and got me motivated. I have been using YNAB, mostly as a tracking device instead of a budget, for about 9 years. Yes, 9 years. It was time to use YNAB as the tool is was meant to be. I got things set up and started using YNAB to help me stick to my budget, pay off my debt , and eventually having a nice travel fund so I don't ever have to worry about feeling so helpless again.

    I also don't want to feel so "poor" and controlled by my lack of money. Having a buffer to get out of the payday to payday cycle is important to me. I also want to have 3 months of expenses sitting in savings along with a hefty emergency fund for things outside of the monthly expenses. Then there is the electronic device replacement fund that I'd like to have. That's a lot!

    If I don't keep my ultimate goals in mind, I will be poor and in debt forever. And I will not be able to be there for my baby sister who has always been there for me. So that's why I started my budget in earnest this Fall.

    The photo is me and my sister in Colorado, August 2017.

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    • internettie Thanks so much for sharing with us. I hope your sister is recovering well! 

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      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Veronica at YNAB thank you. My sister is doing okay. Still a lot of doctor's visits to come and another knee replacement this spring (the previous knee replacement caused the blood clots). It's hard being so far away from her.  YNAB is helping me to focus and that is so important.

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  • YNAB 34-Day Challenge Day 2: Face Your Debt

    I faced my debt at the end of August 2018. I had 6 debts totaling over $9,000. I paid off the lowest balance debt in October. I wanted to save $300 (since I had $0 savings) before I started on paying off the debt. I saved that $300 by December. This month I get to start paying off the debt. I have about $8,200 in debt (credit cards and a line of credit loan). I have a goal to put $200 toward debt each month in addition to my minimum payments ($243/month). I make $17,808/year so $200 is an ambitious goal but I think I can do it. I hope to pay more than that some months. My income does not change at all month to month since I am disabled. I have to be brutal with spending to make this work but also not make my life miserable. Finding no/low cost things to do will be key to this working. Also keeping my personal goals constantly in mind will make this work. I keep this card on top of my debit cards to remind me to think before I spend and to remember my personal goals.

    I used the Deal With Your Debt Guide from YNAB to help me to focus on how to pay off my debt.

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  • YNAB 34-Day Challenge Day 3: Set a goal

    I met my first two goals: 1. pay off my smallest balance debt 2. save $300

    My current immediate goal is to pay off my smallest balance debt by March 3rd. I know I can do that. That will give me 2 debts paid off in 6 months.

    My next goal is to work on the rest of the debt which will be about $7,600 once this smallest debt is paid.

    All of that is in service of my ultimate goals which are to be debt free, have a sizable travel fund so I can visit my sister whenever I need to or want to. She had a medical emergency this summer and I realized that I could not afford to fly to her if I needed to (she's in Massachusetts and I'm in Colorado). Our oldest brother died from a blood clot to his lung 30 years ago in his 40s so this was a scary thing for both of us. Being out of debt will be nice but being able to visit my sister whenever I need/want to is the overriding motivation for me to stick to this plan.

    I also want to be one month ahead so I'm not living payday to payday anymore. Plus I want to have 3 months of expenses saved in case of loss of income. And finally an emergency fund for anything that comes up that is not related to monthly expenses.

    Having set goals that I clearly create in YNAB is helping me tremendously! If I don't have goals I won't get out of debt or save any money. Goals are a priority!

    Photo is my sister on a train ride we took in Canon City, Colorado back in 2010. I want her to always be that happy!

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    • internettie I love your focus on family and how that's motivating your budget decisions ❤️

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      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Veronica at YNAB thanks! My sister is everything to me! ❤️ It's easier doing this now because she is my focus.

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  • Day 3 Complete!

    There's one area of our budget that we're almost never honest with ourselves and I really felt the need to nip that habit this year. Every year, we plan very little to spend in our Summer category and, without fail, we end up using Rule Three to cover all sorts of overspending on silly things. Turns out, working from home with three kids (aged 7-10) is nearly impossible some days 😂

    I set a goal in our Summer category to have $1,600 saved by June, which comes to about $266 per month until then. We're hoping to rent a cabin up north for a couple days this summer, so I included that amount in there too. 

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  • Day 1: Why are you starting a budget?

    We live paycheck to paycheck and we need to break that cycle.  We have no savings, very little retirement and are under water on both cars.   We are very lucky to have a house with no mortgage (inheritance) and have decent paying jobs and yet we continue to struggle financially.   I want to stop paying the money game - I want to pay my bills when they are due and not by the grace period – I want to be able to go to the store and use my debit card and not pray that there is enough money and it goes through.  I want to be have financial peace.

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      • MsTJ
      • Gray_Nomad_f6eeb59e1a1c
      • 11 mths ago
      • 2
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      Jennifer P. Sounds like me when I started.  You can do this, and YNAB makes it easier.  

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  • Day 2: Face Your Debt

    I’m lucky in that we have very little debt.  We have no credit cards but we do have 2 very high interest car loans.  We have terrible credit due to having had credit cards in the past and making some bad decisions with cars.

    One of our cars will be paid off next fall but I am working on getting it paid off sooner.  That car also has the higher payment and once its paid off I am planning on putting the extra money towards the other car.

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