We're in the midst of our eighth month using YNAB and while I've said repeatedly in the forums that it's been great for us yesterday we made a simple transaction transferring $6,000 from checking to savings that really drove it home. The funny thing is that it was intended to be a $3,000 transfer but DW misunderstood me thinking that I told her to transfer $3,000 when what I said was "I just transferred $3,000". Yes, it's category balances that matter rather than account balances but the simple fact of having enough excess in the checking account in March (usually the end of a cash crunch to begin each new year) was a major victory. Of course now we know it doesn't matter where the money it but instead of having a savings account balance withthe idea it will be used for some nebulous future spending all of of the dollars are sitting with a designated purpose.
This is especially true in view of the fact that this time last year we needed to liquidate some investments simply to keep up with bills that needed to be paid. That's the event that made us sit up and take notice with respect to the need to finally get serious about budgeting and several months later led to YNAB. The reversal from last March took place despite the fact that our monthly income has been lower than a year ago yet we were still able to pay the annual auto and homeowners premiums in full, rather than quarterly, avoiding installment fees. The only thing that's changed is using YNAB and the money management discipline that has come along with it.
Thanks again Jesse and all of you in the forum who helped in the transition.