I have been following this series and enjoying it very much! I went back to the first post to read Kate’s initial motivation for getting financial advice from Genie . It sounds like Kate’s motivation is to feel in charge of her finances and honestly YNAB (and a YNAB expert) may not be the best way to achieve this. While it’s a system that works for a lot of people, it doesn’t work for others — including me. The interface is stressful and doesn’t make sense and I hate it! So I created a system for myself based on the principles of Dave Ramsey and YNAB with a little Mr. Money Mustache sprinkled in. The tools I use to track and maintain my budget are Google docs, a draft email in my Google account, and Personal Capital. Using the system I created based on my research, I was able to pay off $3k in credit card debt and save another $3k in about a year and a half. It was hard but at least my system made sense to me which made it easier to make those healthy financial choices. (But seriously, it was really hard.)
Kate — it’s your financial life. If the tool you’re using isn’t working, get another tool.