Welcome to YNAB Money Snapshots—where you see a real picture of someone else’s budget and finances. They’re all anonymous, because sharing money is still a squirrelly topic for many, but we think airing them out in the open makes you better with your own money story.
As you read these budgets, keep in mind that some people make lots of money and some people make a little bit of money, but we know it’s what you do with that money and how you feel about that money means more than any yearly salary.
See how a graphic designer and UX designer in Chicago making $133,000 USD a year spent their money.
- Names: Budget Queen and Mr. Swiper
- Ages: 30 and 32
- Location: Chicago, IL (We just moved from Louisville, KY in August)
- Jobs: Graphic designer and UX designer
- Living situation: married with kittens
- Graphic Designer: $13,000 (this is variable)
- UX Designer: $115,000
- We keep this in a savings account outside of our normal checking account.
- Budget Queen Student Loans: $19,500
- Mr. Swiper Student Loans: $64,000
- Auto loan: $25,700
- Mr. Swiper Payroll (3 paycheck month): $8,060
- Budget Queen Payroll: $1,490
- Venmo: $50
|Groceries||$639||Eating meatless is expensive!|
|Online Subscriptions||$179||Hulu, Netflix, Prime, Apple, Squarespace|
|Stuff I Forgot to Budget For||$95|
|Quality of Life Goals|
|Side Gig||$252||I sell enamel pins, stickers, and pennants on Etsy. Bought supplies.|
|Vacation/Travel||$0||Trip refund from a COVID-cancelled Bachelorette/bachelor party – got $150 back|
|Fitness||$164||Got some clothing and equipment to workout at home better!|
|Just for Fun|
|Budget Queen's New Do||$0||$250 saved|
|Mr. Swiper's Do||$15|
|Apt Therapy||$0||$100 saved|
|Total Expenses $5,150|
Our Savings Categories
Right now my top savings goals are:
- Down payment on a house
- Side gig
I have an online shop that is currently my side gig. I’m working to build up the business and the plan is to eventually leave our current jobs and make money ourselves.
It was a pretty normal month, but it was our final payment on a $5,000 debt! 🎉
Since my husband and I met, we were pretty much living paycheck to paycheck for seven years. We never really knew how to approach paying off debt and YNAB made it so much easier. It helped us realize the amount of money being spent on interest was making it harder to pay everything down.
Once we got married and joined our accounts, we got serious about paying off some of our credit card debt. Our bank offered us a credit card with 0% interest (promo), which allowed us to transfer all balances over. We got really serious and began tightening categories, setting a $500 debt paydown goal each month, and adding any extra money would could to each payment. It was actually pretty easy to do once we got rolling. Honestly seeing where our money was going opened our eyes, so much went to online subscriptions that we didn’t need/use and we were going out to eat too much.
We never would’ve guessed we would crush it in nine months and have a 454% increase in our net worth according to our YNAB report—that’s without including any of our savings.
Now I’m the budget queen and feel confident in reaching our goals.
My Financial Goals
- Age our money from 72 to 90 days to feel extra comfy
- Save $30,000 for a down payment (our student loans are daunting, but a place to call home is more important)
We hope to find a forever home here in Chicago, something quirky and small. A stone house with mid-century modern vibes, perhaps with a parking space (we’re thankfully not too concerned about yard space).
Basically we have two sources of income, one steady (Mr. Swiper) and one that fluctuates (mine). YNAB gave us the tools to handle both our steady and fluctuating income and prepare for when we need to be strict without sacrificing too much.
It’s like an earned cheat day after working out all week—we would reward ourselves. So from time to time with our budget, it’s okay to get that latte or buy those shoes.
It’s been awesome, we tell everyone who will listen about YNAB. It really got our life in order and I seriously look forward to budgeting whenever I can! It’s fun for us and makes us super confident in our decisions.
I would rate my current financial situation: 4/5
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