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How I Built a Financial Safety Net

Our Journey to Paying Off $20K in Debt and Getting Our Finances in Order

This is the ninth installment of Krys’ story, and the part where she focuses on building a financial safety net. We’re following along as she starts budgeting and works to pay off $20,000 of debt. This post was originally written at the end of May 2020: after Krys’ seventh month using YNAB.

See the rest here:

It’s the end of May 2020 and we’re under a stay-at-home order. I really thought my house would be cleaner.

Instead of focusing on the house, we have focused on each other. Which is awesome, and so much more memorable.

We have also continued to add to our positive net worth—hoarding is a beautiful thing. And yet it’s almost time for me to start paying down my debts again, I think. 

Status on Financial Goals

  1. Get off the credit card float. ✅
  2. Start contributing to sinking funds for known expenses. ✅
  3. Start building the $1,000 emergency fund. ✅
  4. Pay off the first credit card (credit card float/car repairs).  ✅
  5. Pay off the second credit card (medical debt).  ✅
  6. Get one month ahead (age our money 30 days).  ✅
  7. Pay off the home equity line of credit (HELOC) that we took on to replace our window.
    Just squeaking along here. Target payoff is September 2020 (up from November 2022).
  8. Pay off the car loan.
    This is priority #4 on the debt snowball. Target payoff is December 2020 (up from November 2022).

Update on Debt

  • November 1, 2019               $19,169.50
  • May 15, 2020                       $11,342.60
  • Difference                            -$7,826.90

I’ve paid down $4,453.24 in debt so far this year. The goal this year was to pay down $6,750. We’re 66% done with that.

Blergh. This was *going* to be a payoff month for one of the loans, so I’m feeling nostalgic about what might have been…but I don't regret changing paths and building up that financial safety net for monthly bills.

Age of Money: 60 days

I reached my stretch goal! I’m excited about this—it’s a great milestone.

What’s Next

Seriously? Who even knows? So, I’m planning for the unknown by funding future months as far out as possible.


Days don’t mean anything. Blursday is real.

They’re saying at work that there still isn’t a need to start laying people off, but it’s not out of the question before the end of the year, if this keeps up. So, I remain like my personal YNAB mascot Squiffy the Dragon. Hoarding all the gold. Gold, gold, gold. Hoard, hoard, hoard.

Krys is enjoying working from home during the lockdown, because she loves spending time with her husband, daughter, and three pets. She’s been using YNAB since 2019 and has been documenting her journey in paying off almost $20,000 of debt. When she’s not budgeting, she enjoys reading, watching Marvel movies, and learning new languages. She also possesses a fierce love of bacon and sarcasm.

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How I Built a Financial Safety Net