Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My First Year with YNAB

Thanksgiving last year was when I started YNAB, and I am so happy I did!

In the past year, I've met the following financial goals:

  • Got buffered, meaning I'm living off of last month's paycheck. I am officially off the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, and it makes a huge difference! Like, being able to change the day I go grocery shopping without having to wait for the next paycheck.
  • Paid off half my credit card debt! I didn't think I had done that much, since it was more important to me not to incur any new debt and I wasn't really focusing on the old debt. I'm pleased with the progress. 
  • Bought the Newsies tickets. Believe it or not, it was a goal of mine to have the funds available the moment tickets were available for purchase. Mission accomplished. 
  • Purchased renter's insurance. There is a sense of comfort in knowing that the few assets I do have are covered if the worst happens. And when I finally looked into it, I was pleasantly surprised to realize it was less than my Netflix subscription. 
  • I was prepared for every annual bill - car insurance, Costco membership, Amazon Prime membership, car registration. Nothing surprised me this year. Along with that, I was prepared for every birthday and other gift-giving event. 
  • Moved without incurring new debt. And moved to keep my monthly rent from increasing. 
  • Canceled cable. And so don't miss it. I'm all about the binge-watching these days. We're still following a few shows through HuluPlus, but I spend most of my viewing time on Netflix or Amazon, watching a series from beginning to end. I also spend a lot less time watching TV, and more time listening to podcasts. 
  • Paid for every car repair/maintenance without incurring new debt.
  • In fact, haven't incurred new debt in close to 2 years now. 
But not everything's perfect, not even financially speaking. I am nowhere near where I should be in terms of emergency savings and retirement. I really have nothing to put towards the girls' college education. And now that I've bought the Newsies tickets, my theatre ticket category is sadly at zero. Plus, Riley would very much like to go on a school field trip to France her senior year. I can't seem to get that category going.

But first things first. My main priority will be paying off the credit card debt. Now that I know I can pay off 4 grand in a year, I want the remaining 4 grand gone as soon as possible. Mathematically, I know what I need to pay each month to make that happen, but I still haven't quite figured out just how. So I'll take it one month, one payment at a time. There will be a few 5-paycheck months, a tax refund, and maybe some other windfalls to help me along.

I don't even want to make any other goals until my Pre-YNAB debt is zero. I have learned that I can easily overwhelm (and depress) myself trying to meet too many financial goals at the same time. I'll continue to build my emergency savings and invest in Acorns, but other than that, I have to keep it simple.

1 comment:

holymotherofgod said...

Great job Ive been using the Spending Tracker app on my phone. And I have a wipeable board in my bedrm with my budget on it. Always abiding by it and have to. Good job sticking to it.