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How to Fall in Love With Your Money

Entering your AY (after-YNAB) era means treating your money as part of you.

Swish. There’s nothing quite like the sound of flipping open the first page of a magazine. Exchanging boots for slippers after grabbing the mail amidst the freeze, I wrapped myself in a cozy blanket, brewed a cup of tea, and eagerly tore into the pages of my local natural food store's quarterly circular. (Yes, I am that person who reads those.) 

The store’s founder, Joe Hamilton, has this delightful habit of sharing his latest musings and deep thoughts. He kicked off the latest edition with a snippet I can’t get out of my head:

“Many years ago (like nearly 30) I recall struggling with some personal health issues and something that Dr. Andrew Weil said changed my life. At that time, I saw my health struggles as an adversary that I needed to conquer, but he said that real healing begins when a person can accept their situation and even learn to appreciate it, as it can serve as a guide leading to even greater health and peace.”
-Joe Hamilton, Team Captain, Pilgrim’s Market

Now, what caught my eye was that Joe wasn't just talking about health struggles; he was indirectly talking about my complicated relationship with money. In my BY (before-YNAB) era, I always thought of money as this monster under the bed. A kung-fu master I had to battle. A screaming child I couldn’t control. A tyrant on the loose. I thought about money the same way the world does—as an adversary.

On that very same day I saw Joe’s passage, and still wrapped in my blanket, I tuned into a YNAB podcast called “I Love Money,” featuring YNAB founder, Jesse Mecham. Must’ve been the stars aligning, because he too was dishing out some game-changing perspective—the kind that says money doesn't have to be a lifelong struggle or something to loathe, despite what the world might tell you. It can be your trusty guide to living your best life. 

The YNAB Podcast microphone

And I'll throw this curve ball at you, one that hit me directly between the eyes: Financial care is a vital part of health care, self care, and family care… because money is part of you.

In this episode of The YNAB Podcast, Jesse spills the beans on a personal experiment that'll have you thinking: money isn't just a resource; it's a virtue, and it deserves your love and undivided attention.

An experiment gone awry

In one of Jesse's past experiments, he and his wife, Julie, attempted to simplify their financial life. They created a few broad spending categories in YNAB, like charitable giving, Christmas, and miscellaneous expenses. Their belief was that, after years of practicing good financial habits, they could let go of tracking every transaction. Instead, they planned to make occasional adjustments to their spending plan.

Spend your time (and money) together more meaningfully with YNAB Together.

However, without a clear view of their priorities, this experiment failed miserably.

By the end of the year, thousands of dollars were unaccounted for, and their checking account balance was significantly lower than their usual average. Even though the exact amount of money didn't matter much to Jesse at this stage of his life, the missing dollars troubled him deeply. Without dedicating time and attention to his money, he wasn’t honoring his hard work.

Money is… you!

Jesse's reflection on this experience led him to a powerful revelation: money is not just a number in your bank account; it's a reflection of your effort, time, and dedication. Neglecting your money is like neglecting a part of you.

“Money is you because your effort created it.”
-Jesse Mecham

Redefining your relationship with money

Most people in their BY era are conditioned to believe that loving money is wrong, influenced by phrases like, "The love of money is the root of all evil." At YNAB, we believe that’s hogwash, as my grandma would say. Jesse invites us to consider that money can be a force for good—when we approach it with intention and purpose.

“It's absolutely right to care about what your money does, because it can do more of what you love. It can express you more powerfully than you are now allowing it to. It can have more of an impact in the world than you're otherwise letting it. It's you—amplified, magnified, energized. It’s a good thing. Money is virtuous.”
Jesse Mecham

Rally the crowds! Pump up the volume! It’s time for a worldwide mindset shift, people! When you embrace a set of habits that help you see money as a guide instead of an adversary, you can spend with purpose, save toward the life you want, and even give generously.

Here’s what it boils down to: Money is more than just currency. It's an extension of you, a reflection of your hard work, your time, and your dedication. Look, I’m a writer, not a mathlete... but if a=b and b=c, then falling in love with your money means falling in love with yourself.

A woman enjoying me-time

Doesn’t that idea make you want to breathe a little sigh of relief? If so, welcome to your AY (after-YNAB) era.

In the end, even if money is part of you, managing it doesn’t have to be complicated. YNAB's four simple habits can help you build a stronger connection with your money and use it to create the life you desire. 

Start your 34-day YNAB trial and see what deep, everlasting love of your money feels like.

YNAB IRL: Meet dedicated YNABers, Lacey and Logan!

Loving their money means growing their family.

Meet YNABer couple Lacey and Logan
“When we got married two years ago and combined our accounts, we started tackling our debt one month at a time. Not only did using YNAB allow us to track and pay off all of our debt in two years ($60k including student loans, auto loans, and credit cards), but we were also able to save monthly to pay for graduate school tuition! 

Finances have now become an easy and fun topic of conversation because of the way YNAB has taught us to manage our money and prioritize our goals. It no longer feels stressful or daunting. We look forward to sitting down once a week and budgeting, and it connects us as a couple.

Now, as we navigate fertility challenges, we feel confident in our ability to save for IVF costs because of the system and discipline YNAB has helped us develop. YNAB has taken the stress out of managing our money and has made accomplishing big financial milestones possible and fun!” 

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How to Fall in Love With Your Money