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Money Stories

Talking about money is taboo? Not here. Read real stories from real people. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and most of all—you’ll feel understood.

Welcome to Financial Therapy

We all have our own private relationship with money, and sometimes we like to keep that under wraps.

But sitting in silence with money stuff can lead to guilt, shame, embarrassment, or uncertainty. Sharing is caring! That’s why we’ve collected the following stories about money matters. Your situation, regardless of what that may be, probably isn’t as unusual as you think.

Read Real-Life Money Stories

  • The Most Honest Account of $80K in Student Loan Debt You'll Hear

    When I was 18 years old, I took out $80K to go to an art school that cost more every year than what my parents made annually. I wanted to be an animator as long as I can remember.
  • How to Save $30,000 in One Year: Our 3-Step Plan

    Jacob and Connor thought home ownership would never happen. They made good money, but it never seemed to accumulate into a pile big enough for a down payment. Then with a simple three-step plan to save $30,000 in one year, that all changed.
  • YNAB Dana Success Story

    “I Was That Girl”—The Turnaround Story of Dana Kay

    I came across Dana’s story on the YNAB Fans Facebook group and couldn’t get it out of my head. It’s got a warmth that holds you like a hug. You’ll meet Dana Kay—and you might just love her as much as we do real quick.

More Money Stories…

  • 9 Inspiring Financial Stories

    When you’re in the middle of wrangling your finances into shape, sometimes an inspirational money story (or nine) is just the boost you didn’t know you needed. Here are real stories of people that made it to the other side to bring you a nudge of hope, inspiration, motivation, and stick-to-it-ness in your own money …

    Read Blog Located in: Learn to Budget / Blog
  • How I Went from Paycheck to Paycheck to Near Perfect Credit

    We were a family of six barely surviving from paycheck to paycheck. It seemed emergencies were always popping up—a car that needed new brakes, a roof that needed repairing. We were in a desperate position of choosing between how to pay for the unexpected expense and still put food on the table. At the time, …

    Read Blog Located in: Learn to Budget / Blog
  • How I Got a Handle on My Finances

    Andrew Abela is the dean of the Busch School of Business at the Catholic University of America. He has an MBA, a PhD, and years of experience of managing a work budget. But when it came to managing his budget at home, it was complicated and stressful. How Hard Could a Home Budget Really Be? …

    Read Blog Located in: Learn to Budget / Blog
  • True Confessions: Budgeting for Retirement

    Susan is 73 years old, living in the DC metro area, and using YNAB to float through the tricky maze of managing her money in retirement. Here’s her story.  My Unexpected “Retirement” In 2010, I became “retired”—a little earlier than I had planned. After a successful career, my former employer did some restructuring and I …

    Read Blog Located in: Learn to Budget / Blog
  • How to Handle a Pay Cut: Bulletproof Your Budget

    With stay-at-home orders and normal business flipping on its head during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people lost jobs, went on furlough, started doing remote work, or had to readjust their lives to accommodate a pay cut.  When Arron Ramsey’s hours as a programmer were abruptly cut from full-time to just eight hours a week, it took …

    Read Blog Located in: Learn to Budget / Blog
  • For the First Time My Finances Don't Feel Hopeless

    Many YNAB users get started when they’re faced with a foreboding future ahead. It might be just feeling completely overwhelmed with their finances, or facing an emergency where they need to make some financial changes. That’s precisely what happened to today’s YNAB success story, Liz Huburtise. Liz had tried budgeting before, but an illness pushed …

    Read Blog Located in: Learn to Budget / Blog
  • Why I Changed My Mind About Budgeting

    Honestly, it’s hilarious that I work for a company with the word “budget” in its name. The word alone used to give me a stomachache that was a nice mix of stress and guilt. I would feel the walls closing in at the thought of having to check a spreadsheet to see what I was …

    Read Blog Located in: Learn to Budget / Blog
  • We Couldn't Agree on How to Handle Money

    When you find a life partner, the chances of finding someone with the exact same financial habits and opinions is slim. In fact, you’re probably more likely to get eaten by a shark, or get hit by lightning. Upon thinking a little further and with absolutely zero scientific backing, it might be near impossible that …

    Read Blog Located in: Learn to Budget / Blog
  • The Best Way to Pay for Home Improvements

    Having a baby is one of the most expensive life changes that many of us will go through in our lives. Between the actual medical expenses you rack up in childbirth and the cost of raising a child, it’s enough to instill a little (or a lot) of financial anxiety in even the most zen-like …

    Read Blog Located in: Learn to Budget / Blog

Be the Star of Your Own Story

Restart your money story. Whatever your situation, it doesn’t have to stay like this. Start making a new plan for your money with YNAB. What do you have to lose? Except all that debt and stress?