This is kind of follow up to Edie’s post here. I tested YNAB via the free trial and liked it so much that I subscribed to their service.
Giving my money a job instead of just tracking my expenses has actually brought down any spontaneous splurges (excluding groceries) down to exactly 0% which is really amazing. Not having money in this or that category means I have to think about every purchase that’d fall into one of those categories and if I can’t balance it out via a different category..tough, not gonna happen.
The beauty of it all is that I don’t miss out on anything vital. I still get to eat the stuff I want to (as long as it’s not dining out), I allowed myself fun money for a short vacation and books are always a priority next to groceries.

I have to pay off my CC near the end of every month. This meant until last month that I’d get my paycheck and immediately shove money into the deep red account that is linked with the CC (we don’t have those crazy overdraft fees, I pay interest for the time I’m in the red, but it’s like 1 or 2€ all in all). If (big if, because no savings yet) nothing out of the ordinary happens this month, I’ll be able to pay off the CC with my current paycheck and start saving.

The best thing about this way of budgeting is that I don’t even “see” what’s sitting in the account anymore. The xx€ for bike maintenance? They’ll stay right there, because there is no reason to touch it outside its original purpose. If I have to touch it, it won’t happen accidentily. Like I said, spontaneous stuff I didn’t budget for has simply vanished.

This is my first time trying something like this and I’m pleased with the results so far. I’ll see how things turn out in a few months.