Wow! I'm so all of a sudden aware of where my money is going!
We only started YNAB a week ago and it's been a HUGE eye opener. I feel like my win is that I realize how much money we actually need for "real life". Now I'm pausing before making any purchase to see if the money is budgeted for, not just looking at a balance amount in my checking account. I DEFINITELY have a lot of work and learning to do because I'm noticing that I'm pulling from other categories to cover things very often. I guess that is it's own win because its making us more aware to improve in the future. We are loving YNAB so far!
Congratulations ! I think the most important part is understanding where your money actually goes.
I personally found it very hard to stick to my first “budget” of how much I thought I SHOULD be spending and, like you, there was a lot of pulling money from other categories. In reality, I knew neither how much I need to spend in real life nor how much I do spend.
It was demotivating at first to constantly fail to stay within my budget but it was an important learning experience that honestly took me a few months to even comprehend.
Once I was able to understand and develop realistic expectations, I was also better able to develop more realistic goals. Cutting my food budget by half in one go to a ‘sensible amount’ just wasn’t realistic - but I could reduce it by a small amount here or there until my lifestyle adapts. I think that was a valuable lesson for me too: you win the war by winning the small battles (or put differently, every little bit counts).
More importantly it allowed me to identify all the other smaller spends around the edges that really added up and weren’t necessary: did I really need subscriptions for Netflix, Disney and Amazon Prime? Is the amount I spend on my premium phone plan really adding much value?
Congratulations on starting the journey and welcome !
Hi Angie C. ! Welcome. 😄 Thanks for sharing your win with us! Noticing the difference between what you think you spend versus what you actually spend is a big shift. For certain categories, you may need to increase the amount you're budgeting to adjust for that.
I'm so glad to hear you're checking categories before spending too! It's a great habit to get in, and a game changer. The mobile app is great for that, if you haven't downloaded it yet.