Progress after one year
After one year of using YNAB, I've paid off $25,000 in debts, have a pretty good handle on my true expenses, and am on track to have a down payment for a house saved by July. With the stimulus check, my April budget is now fully funded so I'm halfway to breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle!
There's no way I'd be here without YNAB--the tool, the support, and the community--so thank you!
I'll hit my YNAB one year anniversary in July, and just wanted to share some of my successes:
Six Incredible, Life-Changing Things I’ve Done for my Finances in the Last Year
Backstory: I'm 31 and make under $50k annually, live alone in a major US city, and pay almost $900/month with no roommates in a studio apartment. I wasn’t even making it paycheck to paycheck this time last June. Look how far I’ve come.
1. Started a budget in YNAB. Paid for the year even though I barely had enough money to eat. I made it a game, and added emojis for every one of the many categories I created.
2. Bought a brand new car (a tiny one!) when a tree fell on mine and rendered it a total loss. I paid for half with my insurance claim and have a car loan I’ve paid every month for the rest of it.
3. Checked my credit score for the first time ever. It wasn’t as horrible as I expected! I have very old credit card debt that is all beginning to drop off at this point, and I’m working on all positive improvements.
4. Opened a retirement account through my employer. During a pandemic. Even with a temporary 25% paycut.
5. Started an emergency fund. Financed in part by a sales bonus, my COVID stimulus check, and my federal tax refund I almost didn’t receive due to defaulted student loans. A year ago on a non-pay week I often had about $17 in my checking account; now I have $1700 in my emergency fund.
6. My ‘age of money’ hit 30 days for the first time today. I can easily pay all my bills weeks before they're due without the perilous game I used to engage in, I am saving for a laptop, I can treat myself with makeup and new house items and books if I stay within my ‘fun’ budget, and I have a Christmas fund for the first time ever.
Never in my life have I felt so independent and financially powerful. I control my future now.