Did that word strike fear and terror in your hearts?
Until a few months ago, the mere mention -- even thought! -- of that word would have provoked a violent gnashing of teeth, followed by a certain type of discussion (ahem!) with my beloved spouse.
You see, as is common in so many relationships, one of us is a spender (guilty!) while the other is a saver. As you can imagine (or might perhaps have experienced first-hand), the meeting of the two over a checkbook has the potential to cause a wee bit of conflict.
After years spent battling debt and each other, my DH and I have finally found a solution that works!
YNAB has completely and totally changed our lives. For the first time ever (in our nearly 16 years of marriage, and in our 21 years together), we actually have money in the bank to pay our bills when they arrive. Perhaps this isn't an earth-shattering concept to many of you, but in my family this ranks as Big News.
YNAB is an extremely easy-to-use program, even for my technologically stunted DH. More than once he has e-mailed support and received an immediate response, and the active online community forums ensure abundant help and suggestions.
YNAB advocates the concept that you should give every dollar a job. In other words, when you receive income, you immediately allocate that money somewhere. By tagging how your money will be spent, you never run into the problem of seeing money in your bank account and assuming it's available ... with the consequence of not having money when you need it. With YNAB's help, we have been able to set aside money for our annual expenses (life insurance, vehicle maintenance, travel), our monthly expenses (utilities, gasoline), and our long-term expenses (food storage, savings, retirement).
I confess that I have never been "good" with money. Perhaps it's my debilitating optimism (Why worry about money? It'll all work out!) ... or maybe it's my instant gratification syndrome (Yarn! Books! Shiny things!) ... but in any event, I tend to nickel-and-dime our budget into the red. Helpful Hint: this is not good! Rather than making me feel deprived, I have found YNAB to be completely liberating. No longer do I feel like a kept woman who has to beg her husband for money (then deal with his frustration when I overspend). I now have a certain amount of cash I can spend each month, guilt-free with no strings attached. Granted, I often spend my allotment by the 10th ... but those 10 days are glorious! I know that I can purchase whatever I can afford ... without sacrificing our ability to save, pay bills, and (gasp!) travel.
I promise that YNAB has in no way endorsed or encouraged this post. In fact, they have no idea that I'm even writing about their product! This program has so revolutionized my world that I just felt compelled to share. If you try it (and you can try for free to see if you like it), let me know what you think!