The other really big news is that Ben has stopped working for New Horizons and has gone into business for himself as a consultant. He has been spending lots of long hours crunching data for various clients, and we feel so blessed. I have also been working with 3 clients on real estate deals, which I have never tried to balance before.
Some of these blessings must be because we have been trying so hard to get a handle on our finances. When we sold our first house several years ago, we used the proceeds to pay off all our debt. Unfortunately, Ben lost his job shortly thereafter, and we spiraled back into debt again. We have been struggling ever since.
While I was laid up with my bad leg, I spent lots and lots of time in front of the computer researching different budget and finance programs. I finally settled on a program called YNAB, which stands for You Need A Budget. It was developed as a spreadsheet by a student at BYU several years ago, and at one point, he decided it was so helpful that he should develop it more and spread it farther.
It is so fabulous!!! One of our friends had told us about Dave Ramsey, and I learned a lot from his book. The physical envelopes just didn't work for me. YNAB creates virtual envelopes, and it even has a great app for my phone so I can enter transactions as we go.
I was pretty sure it has been saving us money, but today was a very noticeable milestone. We have made the budget for the month (pretty stretched with all the medical expenses since we don't have insurance), and I feel like I can spend what I need but that I can't just throw money around. I logged into our bank account, and I was astonished to see over $1,000 in our account! I double-checked, and almost all of the bills are paid for this month. The coolest thing though, is that I still feel checked by the budget. I'm not going to just go on a spending spree just because it's in my checking account. It must be spoken for somewhere because my budget says so!
I LOVE YNAB!!!
It cost $70 to put on my computer, my phone, and Ben's tablet, but it has definitely saved us that and more by just raising my awareness and accountability of what happens with our money.
If you need a budgeting helper, this might be the answer for you.