When you think of money, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For me it’s budgeting.
For years I struggled with setting up a budget that would actually help me save money. It got so bad that at one time in my life I didn’t even want to log into my bank account to see how much money was there. I had tried everything from custom-made spreadsheets to Mint.
It wasn’t until a little over a year ago when I discovered Mr. Money Mustache’s blog. Once I started reading some of his posts I was instantly hooked. I read and read, sometimes not even understanding what he was talking about. I was trying to implement the strategies that MMM was suggesting but had very little luck with actually saving any money. At this time I was still using Mint and a custom spreadsheet.
I’m not exactly sure how I came across YNAB, but I believe it was thanks to a MMM blog post. I reviewed the app and quickly purchased YNABv4 in December of 2015. Sometime around the new year, they had released nYNAB (The New YNAB) which was a cloud application version of the software instead of a desktop application like YNABv4 and previous releases.
YNAB (v4 and the nYNAB) were exactly what I had been looking for to help to get a budget set up and start working towards FI. YNAB has a great support team and many free, online, live classes to help get you started with using YNAB.
Since starting to use YNAB a year ago, we have been able to pay off all of our student loans, pay off our 2011 Prius in less than a year, budget enough money to pay for Mrs. VOF’s college classes out of pocket, and build up a $10K emergency fund. We have also been able to make the maximum contribution for both of our Traditional IRAs for 2016 and contribute 20% to my employer-sponsored retirement account. We should be able to max out both of our employer-sponsored retirement accounts and Traditional IRAs for 2017 with the help of YNAB. Get started with YNAB today!
What budgeting tools have you tried? Comment below and share your story.