February was the first full month in which I used the YNAB system. My thoughts so far?
I love it. I don't think I can recommend it enough.
This month, and for the next few months, I have to keep my spending very tight. I have some major expenses coming up, and I need to make sure that I have the money to spend on them. Pre-YNAB, I would have just tried to not spend much money, but not paid too much attention to what I was spending and where it is going. Now, I'm setting budget amounts and making sure I stay within them.
I admit, I do flex my budget. Right now, I'm working on building up a buffer, so when I had to put down a robe deposit for my choir robe, I just reduced my buffer by that amount. But in terms of smaller amounts, I just make my budget work for me. Overspent on eating out? Pull it from the grocery budget. And things like that. I managed to increase my buffer, as well as save a significant portion of money for my upcoming bills and vacation.
I'm still not to the point of living on last month's income, which is what YNAB is built on. I'm close though, and I'm hoping that with the addition of my federal tax refund (which doesn't so much feel like a refund, since it's $300 less than what I owed to the state) and that by keeping March's budget tight, I will be there by April.
I'm very impressed with my ability to keep my grocery budget down. Before, I struggled to keep it under $200. Now that I've been using YNAB, my grocery budget has easily been under $200, and this month, was the lowest it's probably ever been.
Of course, my fridge is empty, so come Saturday, there will be some big grocery spending. But still, I think I can keep it under control. I take a calculator to the grocery store. I pay attention to what I'm spending, and what I should be spending on.
YNAB has been a great resource for me, and if you haven't already, clearly, I recommend you check it out.
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