We needed a budget. I’m not exactly proud of announcing that Jarrod and I didn’t officially have a budget until we were 34 and 35 years old. We’d never been careless with our money or spend frivolously on a regular basis. But we knew we needed a budget.

We’ve gone through lots of different modes of income during out marriage. I’ve had multiple jobs–event and wedding consulting, selling on Etsy, blogging as a business. Jarrod’s had lots of different roles in his job sect. He’s been paid a yearly salary, 100% commission and a combo of the two.

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The hardest mode to manage was by far living on 100% commission. It can be fruitful, but really hard to plan around.

When Jarrod changed jobs in 2017 and moved back to a salary + commission pay structure, we knew we needed a budget. We were tired of guessing, tired of being short in areas when we thought we were good, and we needed a better plan for our money.

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Even though it feels like I might be the only 34-year-old to settle on a good budget plan, I doubt that’s true. If you’re in that budget-less boat too, I want to share with you what we did and how much it’s changed our financial life.



Not saying for one second that what we did is what YOU should do, but we needed to clean things up and this is what we did.

What we had been doing is operating out of separate checking and savings accounts. Jarrod had a checking account where the monthly checks were deposited, we had savings accounts, and I had a separate account where I would get a certain amount deposited each month for all the household necessities. All the bills came out of Jarrod’s checking account.

We decided to combine forces, close all the accounts and operate out of the same checking account.

This totally freaked me out.

My experience with sharing a checking account was racing to spend money before the other one did. Now we’re sharing! It gave me total panic for a few days…till I understood the budget system better.

The next thing we did was subscribe to You Need a Budget program. We linked our shared checking account, set up categories within the program, divvied out the money into the categories, and held our breath to see what would happen.


Budgeting has always seemed too rigid, too annoying, and too cumbersome to me. You Need a Budget made everything SO much easier.

They offer a free 34-trial, where you can set it all up, try the whole system and really get the hang of it. After that, it’s only around $50 for the entire year and it’s worth it’s weight in GOLD!

I can’t tell you how many times Jarrod and I have been having our regular “finance meeting”–ya, we have those now, and we look at each other and say, “This program has been so so good.” Here’s what we’ve used YNAB for so far–and it’s only been 8 months! I can’t imagine how much we’ll keep learning in the next 8 months!

  • Setting goals for saving + paying off debts
  • Emailed with people from YNAB for support
  • Tracked goals
  • Used their amazing reporting tools to find out where we’re spending too much, OR could afford to spend a little more
  • Downloaded and used the YNAB app–this is a LIFESAVER when we’re out and about and need to check balances in certain categories!
  • Learned a TON! YNAB offers loads of videos on budgeting, investing, saving, and more.


I can’t stress enough how great the last year has been for our financial life. No, we didn’t inherit a million bucks. Jarrod didn’t become his company’s CEO…yet. Nobody won the lotto over here, we just learned to budget. Who knew, all those budget-lovers were right all this time!

If you’re looking for something to better manage your money too, I highly recommend trying out You Need a Budget–for free! If you don’t like it, nothing lost. But I have a feeling you’re going to love it too!


  1. I had to laugh when you mentioned racing to spend money before the other one does! My husband and I finally stopped ourselves this spring and admitted we were perpetually doing that. We have our long-term savings and monthly budget in Excel spreadsheets, and then use the Goodbudget app to track our spending. It sounds similar to your program: it syncs our phones which we love.

    When the two of us have our Sunday-afternoon meeting to discuss calendars, we also make sure to let one another know if there’s something we want to use our spending category for that week so there’s no big surprise purchases.

    Sorry this is long, but I want to say one more tip that has helped me a TON (because I’m the spender in the relationship). I keep a list in Evernote of “Things I want to buy this month.” When something comes up — whether for homeschool, house, or new crocs for my five-year-old, I add it to the list. I wait until the middle of the month to start my spending (beyond groceries and gas). Forcing myself to pause the first two weeks of the month has helped hugely in not overspending or impulse-shopping on Amazon, and by then I look over my list and prioritize what I actually want most. Hope this is helpful for others! 🙂

  2. We are trying to follow the Dave Ramsey plan, and I have been using his Every Dollar app to help budget. It has been AMAZING!! Such a life saver. And no worries, we didn’t start budgeting until our early 30s either. Ooops lol. Thank you for sharing and writing a post on this topic, this is such good information and an important discussion to have!

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