$2,600 down $168,000 to go

I started YNAB in July of 2020.  We had been struggling to get out of debt since April, yet we were just getting deeper into debt. I would try and budget using excel but it just didn't work for me. I'd see what I have in the bank and spend it. Hello living paycheck to paycheck. Hello credit cards who are mostly maxed out. 


When we found YNAB we decided lets take our first ever family vacation, and pay for it completely in cash. Well, that's what we did. We save up $1,000.00 Emergency fund, then $3,000.00 for a one week vacation for us and our two kids. We had a blast and stayed with in budget. 

We then needed to pay for Christmas, we had nothing saved. Once again thanks to YNAB, what i would usually use credit cards to pay for, we paid in Cash!! We were no longer going deeper into debt, but we weren't cleaning it up either.

Mid December, it was D day. Time to pay off that debt!

We had to redo/start fresh on our budget. Before it was just our everyday/monthly expenses, and debt. 

Now we have it set up to save slowly over time for birthdays, auto maintenance, clothes, subscriptions, medical, and vet visits.  This means less money at the debt at once BUT we now don't have to dip into our emergency fund if our kids need a new pair of shoes!

Earlier this week my car started making a horrible sound. I needed all new brake pads and rotors! $440!! Normally that would have been put on a credit card. Thanks to YNAB i was able to pay for it in cash, though $250 had to come from the emergency fund, which we'll put back with this upcoming paycheck, and still have cash left over to throw at debt.


My husband no longer has to call me and ask "How much gas can i get today?"  Our budget as allowed me to stress less, and I'm always looking at it, thinking what else can i through at it? 

So far One credit card has been paid off, now just like 8 more to go, a camper note, a truck note, and an Home line of credit of $122,000.00. 

I can't wait to see how much better life looks when I'm not sending half my income to my debts! 

We have now paid $2,600 in just a little over a month.  

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  • You are well on your way. Congratulations!

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  • If you are willing to keep at this, you will be amazed at your progress over time. There were many days in our journey last year paying down debt when we wondered if we would ever get anywhere significant. But staying focused and disciplined and keeping careful records- you will surprise yourself! I think your 'middle name' will be fun to change! Hope you keep sharing your progress.

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  • This is so inspiring to read! I'm on my own payoff path right now and I've been tracking progress like crazy. I have an Excel spreadsheet devoted to my balances and progress alongside YNAB and I check both all the time just to bask in the relief of knowing I'm not racking up new debt, my expenses are covered, and my outstanding debt is whittling away! 

    Jessie Madden  You seem to be doing a fantastic job, so I'd like to know your opinion. Do you do a percentage split to decide how much to pay toward debt and how much to save, or do you just sort of roll with the punches based on upcoming expenses? I've been consistently saving 25% of my check every week, sometimes it seems like too little or too restraining. 

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      • Jessie Madden
      • Over Spending is my middle name
      • Jessie_Madden45
      • 9 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Pineapple Gal  I'm glad that this has inspired you!   I do not do a percentage. I roll with the punches. I try to keep my emergency fund with $1000 in it at all times, so i build it first, pay my bills, and put toward my true expense that will eventually come up like clothing, Christmas, and birthdays. What ever is left over after that I put toward debt.  

      I'm paid bi-weekly and do this every payday. Sometimes I can put $400 towards debt, sometimes I can put $0 towards debt. Once I'm able to keep from tapping into the emergency fund, I'll be able to consistently put about $1000 a month towards debt. 

      I mix dave ramsey with YNAB and do my best to roll with the punches, but i do struggle a lot with not just moving money around because I "want" something. :)

      Like 3
  • This is awesome! It’s always great to hear other people’s success stories. Coming up with a repayment plan for those remaining debts is a good way to continue your journey if you don’t already have one in place. Consider the debt snowball method, debt avalanche method, or a hybrid of the two. Keep up the great work!

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