What did you do to improve your finances today?

This was one of my favourite threads on the old forum, and since there doesn't seem to be one here yet, I thought I'd create one :-)
 

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  • Ordered a deep freezer to allow me to get meat in bulk for $3 less per lb then I am paying now. Short term cost -- long term savings. 

    Like 19
      • PhysicsGal
      • Nerdy female homo sapien
      • physicsgal
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      NewYNABer BostonGirl I have one I bought years ago and I keep lots of meat in it.  It also makes it easy to still be able to put something together for food even if I am way behind on grocery shopping.

      Like
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      PhysicsGal I love my freezer! it's vertical and I've reorganized it using plastic bins so that food can be lined up like books to save space. Freeze things flat, then move things around. I stock up on sale. :)

      Like 1
    • Purple Foal My freezer is not vertical and I'm now thinking I missed out on a real opportunity here (I'm much better at organizing my books than food 😅).

      Like 1
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Faness You can still do so with plastic bins from the dollarstore. Colour code them even. Freeze items flat, then stack them vertically in the bins, then you know where things are. I remember my parents' large chest freezer and where things would go to die and I was terrified of falling in! :)

      Like 2
    • Purple Foal said:
      where things would go to die and I was terrified of falling in

       This is about how I feel with my current freezer 😆

      I do freezer meals in big plastic containers (I tried freezer bags but they kept ripping). They're all identical and I didn't bother with labels, so the freezer meals are our game of roulette. I really need to organize it and colors are a great idea! Even if it's just a red dot for chicken vs. a blue dot for beef, or anything that gives me an inkling of what I'm grabbing.

      Like 2
    • Purple Foal I'm highly intrigued by your freezer organisation! 🙂 Would you mind sharing some photos? I can never find anything in my freezer 🙁 and could really do with some organisational inspo! 🙏

      Like 1
    • Patzer
    • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
    • Patzer
    • 2 yrs ago
    • 8
    • Reported - view

    Put in a noncompetitive bid for a 26-week T Bill, estimated yield 1.835% compared to a shade over 1% for my sweep account.  This is possible because I beat my budget by enough over time that I have $1000 of pre-budget cash that I definitely won't need to transfer to the budget before September.  (Technically, I definitely don't need it before October; but there's no such thing as a 7 month T-Bill.)

    Like 8
    • Patzer I have no idea what all this means, but it sounds good LOL :-) 

      Like 27
  • Feeling in control! Gathered and input almost all needed data and giving all dollars jobs! I'm a newbie, but loving it already! I can see that this has amazing potential. It has my husband and I communicating in a way we never have (with only a few minor tiffs!). This is fantastic!

    Like 16
    • Inger Orr YNAB is great, isn't it? :-) Glad you like it too! I'll soon be merging budgets with my partner as we're moving in together, so I've got some of that ahead of me too... :-)

      Like 2
      • Inger Orr
      • Embalmer, Mom, Grandma
      • Khaki_Display.1
      • 2 yrs ago
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      • Reported - view

      Winterlover It's so great! Wouldn't you know that, as I'm trying to get a grip on things, I get a couple of wrenches thrown in the works. I found out we owe $700 to the feds...not expected....and a medical bill for something I thought was covered, to the tune of another nearly $700. I'm realizing I don't need to panic because now I know what we truly have and I can budget for it, at least somewhat. We may have to put a little on a CC, but then we can budget for that, if it becomes necessary. We're trying hard not to have to do that, though!

      Like 7
  • made new goals, didn't stress about payments coming in as they were already covered, researching a pantry app to improve our food waste and make meal planning easier. 

    Like 10
      • Inger Orr
      • Embalmer, Mom, Grandma
      • Khaki_Display.1
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Unicorn  Be sure to tell us if you find a good pantry app! I hadn't even thought of something like that helping with the food waste! Great idea!

      Like 5
      • doctor_who
      • Silver_Boa
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Unicorn Yes! I currently use Paprika as a recipe/shopping organizer. Would love to hear about other options people like. I'm trying to start a new diet which would involve a lot of cooking. Would be better for my budget and for my health. The 'organization' part of it (and general laziness) is what's holding me back. 

      Like 2
    • We use Pepper Plate - when we remember.  We also use MyFitnessPal for meal planning to capture the calories, carbs, fats & proteins in our meals.  I think we need to find an app that we will actually use each day.  lol

      Like 1
    • Navy Blue Unicorn Plan to Eat is really good. It does recipe management (including two-click recipe importing with a browser bookmarklet that works really well on almost every recipe site), meal planning, food inventory, and now also has mobile apps for iPhone and Android. I'm a pretty big fan.

      Like 2
    • crassusmoray  I just downloaded the Plan to Eat app and it looks like something I would use - but it's $38,99/year after a 30-day trial. Not sure I want to commit to that. I can try it though!

      Like 1
    • Lilibeth Rivera That's fair! Definitely worth it for me, but that's because I spent a year forcing myself to put a bunch of recipes into it, so it's our main repository of meals now. I guess that's sunk cost fallacy, haha, but it means that I'm not too unhappy to pay the yearly fee.

      Like 1
    • Lilibeth Rivera crassusmoray  I started using Copy Me That recently and really like it.  Super easy to copy recipes from the web, and you can create a meal plan and shopping list for specific recipes.  The free version has enough for me (and it's always free, not just a trial)

      Like 1
      • BajaChica
      • Purple_Memory.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Inger Orr I'm using Pantry Check and it's awesome. Fabulous scanner with most items on it.

      Like 1
    • Lilibeth Rivera We've had luck with AnyList app for planning, recipe import, etc.

      Like 1
    • We meal plan and shop with TheScramble.com .

      Super easy and inexpensive.  It saves me a lot of time and is adaptable to family's needs.  (Two non-dairy, one omnivore, one vegetarian.)   They send you  recipes for eight meals per week, you choose which you want to prepare.  The shopping list is then customized for your menu for the week.  The recipes are flavorful, fast, diverse and healthy.  

      Like 1
    • Lilibeth Rivera Plan to Eat goes half off for black Friday!  

      Like 1
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Unicorn A pantry app that lets you also know the prices of the items at different stores would be great. Then you know the stock up price. Keep us informed! :)

      Like 1
      • PhysicsGal
      • Nerdy female homo sapien
      • physicsgal
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Unicorn I like Mealime.

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      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      PhysicsGal I just checked this out. What I’d really find useful is an app that I can keep track of my pantry freezer etc and then have meals suggested based on what I already have. 

      Like
  • Trying to bravely roll with the punches and re-work my next couple months' savings goals, as it looks like I'll have to pay some medical & auto bills earlier than expected, and I'm feeling really tempted to just hide my head in the sand instead, uugh :)

    Like 8
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
      • Science is real.
      • Navy_Blue_Unicorn_6d071
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Resistant Punch Roller keep your head up and eyes on the prize!  I've been following your posts elsewhere, I know how hard you've been working!  You can do it!

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    • Resistant Punch Roller I think many if not all of us know that feeling of wanting to stick our heads in the sand! LOL. Doesn't help the budget though :-p You've got this!

      Like 2
      • TooClumsy
      • tooclumsy
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Resistant Punch Roller It's scary when faced with the facts that are the 'cold numbers', but for me personally, the panic/uneasy-ness is not being in control. The very fact that you can are taking time to put the figures in, figuring that this goal is not within reach is fine-at least you know now, it's still a decent amount of foresight to work things out in your budget and in your mind. You're doing a good job-keep going!

      Like
  • Sold a piece of exercise equipment that was sitting in my living room gathering dust. I love Facebook Marketplace for earning me a little extra cash as I declutter. 

    Like 14
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
      • Science is real.
      • Navy_Blue_Unicorn_6d071
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      doctor_who that is such a good idea... I need to declutter some stuff, and would love it if some cash was my reward!

      Like 6
    • Navy Blue Unicorn I just have to say I love your little blue icon! :-) 

      Like 1
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 7 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      doctor_who I did that for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I had already done the massive Japanese house purge & donated car loads. But I had new & expensive items. Was super easy & actually made $400 so far. :)

      Like 2
  • Today I took a packed lunch to work, reduces lunch costs by over 50%. This was triggered by looking at the size of my lunch category spend over the last few months.

    Like 8
  • I'm glad you brought back this thread!  When I started YNABing 3 years ago, it was a great source of inspiration and encouragement to me!  What I did today was pick up an extra shift at work because our dishwasher sprung a leak and I know there will be some repair bills coming up.

    Like 7
    • Frugalflamesfan Yes I love how inspirational this thread was/is!

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  • My first post on the YNAB forum.  We've been 'doing' YNAB since October, 2017.  Recently we've been SQUEAKING out $1300 in the months of Feb and Mar and will finish this April in time to pay 2017 Federal Taxes owed this year (newly retired ...note: first year is a killer for taxes).  Today,  we decided if we can "survive" 3 months with out $1300/month; we could persevere another 4 months to pay off $5200.00 of old debt still owed on credit card.  Extremely, extremely tight; however, we can do it.  We would not have had insight to do this goal with old spreadsheet budgeting.  Our freezers, pantry, and canned goods cabinet are taking a big hit.  Yet, by the time our taxes and credit card are paid in full (another total 5 months for both) we will have that $1300 back to budget to restock our food supply and other goals.  Happily looking down the road for a successful long-term goal over short-term (mo.) goal.  Here's to success.  Couldn't have gotten this far without YNAB.

    Like 21
    • Coral Projector Wow well done! You've got this!

      Like 1
      • Ellen Waters
      • Making progress on my desired goals!
      • ellen_waters
      • 2 yrs ago
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      • Reported - view

      Winterlover   Thank you so much for your support.  I put it in writing here so I would not forget that I really, really want to accomplish this goal and not to back out.  Cheers!

      Like 4
      • Ellen Waters
      • Making progress on my desired goals!
      • ellen_waters
      • 1 yr ago
      • 9
      • Reported - view

      Coral Projector  UPDATE

      Success ... we paid our federal taxes in full, and then used the $1300 "survival" money, we accomplished our 2nd goal and paid the $5K credit card in those  next 5 months.  When 2nd goal paid off,  we put $800 into a newer car category (our car is dying) and the other $500 went toward paying off our last credit card balance to zero last month.  Woohoo!  Love being able to move around money within the YNAB categories.    I give credit to YNAB for keeping our goals visible every day. 

      Like 9
    • Coral Projector Awesome!!

      Like
    • Kate
    • Joyful Technical Writer 🌴
    • sweet_sunshine
    • 2 yrs ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    I love this idea! I wish we could make a daily thread for this question. 

    I am currently selling all of my Pokemon bulk and keeping all the money in my PayPal as a small emergency fund that I don't touch. I'm also going to (probably) cancel my Netflix subscription so I can start listening to more podcasts and all the audio books that I have been collecting.

    Like 1
    • Kate I'm not super well-versed in this new Forum yet, how does it work with daily threads?

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    • Kate There is $ in selling Pokemon cards?  There might be a goldmine in my son's closet!  He collected from 2010-2013.

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      • Kate
      • Joyful Technical Writer 🌴
      • sweet_sunshine
      • 2 yrs ago
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      • Reported - view

      Hi  Frugalflamesfan ! Most of my collection is from the Pokemon sets that were released in 2017 and are still allowed in the "Standard" format of play. Pokemon is a rotational card game so every year a few more sets are not allowed to play in the "Standard" tournaments but are still allowed to be played in the "Expanded" format.

      I would look through your son's collection and see if he has any cards that can still be played in Expanded and sell those as quickly as possible. All other cards will have to be sold as "Collection" pieces that will hopefully catch the eye of some collectors.

      Message me if you want some help! I've decided that selling Pokemon cards is going to be my part time job right now until I sell everything I have. 😅

      Like 2
      • Kate
      • Joyful Technical Writer 🌴
      • sweet_sunshine
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Winterlover Oh, there's no such thing as a daily thread! Sorry for the confusion. I was just wishing out loud that we could have a new thread like this every day so we can see over time how many small changes someone can make to improve their finances. 

      Like
    • Kate aaah got it now :-) On the old forum I would just check out the long list that was created together by everyone (because people commented, just like here) of what people have done over time, so inspirational!

      Like 2
    • Kate Thanks for the info.  I'll let him know.  He's 17 and has more time that I do!  

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      • Kate
      • Joyful Technical Writer 🌴
      • sweet_sunshine
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Frugalflamesfan It really can become a part time job if he commits himself!

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    • Kate Thanks Kate!  I'll pass this info onto him and get him to dig into his collection.  He's a collector-kind of guy and would probably enjoy finding out what his cards are worth.

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    • Kate I use the app Libby to DL from my library audio & eBooks. Use the app on my iPad for selection, but DL on my iPhone for the car, and eReader. I don't want to spend $ on books or have the clutter after doing a massive house purge. :)

      Like
  • Last night I decided to eat what was in the fridge - and cook, which I hate - instead of spending money on a microwave meal.

    Like 9
    • Winterlover Your tummy will thank you.

      Like 2
    • Frugalflamesfan Today I did bad... ordered food and got it delivered at home LOL. It was nice and yummie though!

      Like 1
    • Winterlover There are times that when that is needed!  The good folks at Mucho Burrito know me well.  Tonight I'm cooking though--steak, cauliflower and a nice salad.

      Like 2
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 7 mths ago
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      • Reported - view

      Frugalflamesfan I'm learning about Beans. So good for you and sooo cheap. I've even put them through my Ninja & hidden them in muffins & pancakes for my growing boys. :)

      Like 2
  • I applied for a 0.4 FTE line at work.  I've worked casual since I returned to nursing 6 years ago and now the babies are 17 years old and it's time for me to build up my travel account! One great sacrifice we made when the kids (3 of them) were teeny is to sock away money for their secondary education through the RESP program (Canada). Now our expenses will actually go down when the kids are away at university. My hubby makes a very good income, but before YNAB it was slipping through our fingers.  Now I know exactly where the leaks are and we either accept that X costs a certain amount of money, or we find a way to stop spending on it.  Don't ever think that you can ever make enough money to never have to worry about it.  

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  • I got a raise at work and automatically increased my 401k deduction and direct deposit into saving so I won't be tempted to touch the money as I conveniently just got my budget to a place I'm happy with and don't need the increase in spending!

    Like 11
    • Target Date This is HUGE, congrats on tucking the raise away before you even noticed it!! :)

      Like 1
  • Upgraded from YNAB 4, made a fresh start and rebudgeted money for the remainder of the month and set up a standing order to transfer money into my ISA each month. The ISA is a stocks and shares ISA so will make more money than the interest on the current account its currently sat in.  

    Like 5
  • Telling myself that I'm better at paying debt then I was the first time. Thus knowing I'm always improving and I'll only get better. Which lets me not being stressed out with new debt because I know it's going to be gone.

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    • ISuckatMaths Yes you can do it!

      Like 1
  • I keep a "Find another way to save some money today" todo list.  Yesterday it was consolidating two separate wireless phone accounts into one (and dumping the other) to the tune of about a 30% savings, and had them apply an employee discount that I didn't previously know I was eligible for.

    Today I've been combing through my accounts looking for auto-recurring payments that I had forgotten about or didn't even know I had (like TV shows, apps, etc) and weeding out the ones that I don't use and don't care about.

    Like 4
      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Slate Gray Storm +1000 on your second point! My first several weeks I had several "oh! Why am I still paying for that?" moments when these unexpected transactions kept popping up in my register.

      Like 5
    • Slate Gray Storm Well done, and great inspiration for others! :) 

      Like
    • Vibrant
    • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
    • vibrant
    • 2 yrs ago
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    • Reported - view

    I posted this in my journal but I'll share it here, too: I haven't logged any Work Lunch expenses since Fresh Starting my budget on 2/25 - that's 9 work days. 🙌  (For comparison, I had 11 transactions in 35 work days prior to the FS.)

    Like 7
    • Vibrant Well done! Did you manage to keep it up?

      Like
  • On Tuesday I sent the final payment to the bank for my car. As of Tuesday, I officially hit my personal goal of being debt free at 33!

    Like 17
    • Stephen Covarrubias That's huge!  Congrats!

      Like 2
    • Stephen Covarrubias Wooooow, well done you!! Congratulations!

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  • Congrats! That's so awesome! What a great feeling! We just started YNAB in the past two weeks, but we are seeing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! We actually dared to think about the house projects that have been neglected for many, many years! But, instead of putting them on a credit card, we're gonna make a project list, then set up budget categories and save, as soon as we've got the last credit card paid off. Woohoo!

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    • Inger Orr Good planning, well done!

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  • Last night we smashed the last of the leftovers after DS's soccer game instead of running to the store for chicken fingers, or ordering a pizza. We have my stepson and stepdaughter only part time, so we have this sort of accordion effect when it comes to our food supply. DH and I will eat pretty much whatever, and survive on leftovers and pantry staples, but the kids are pickier. We've had two "leftover" nights while they've been with us, but they ate like champs last night without complaint. I call that a win!

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    • puddlejumper24 Big win!

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  • I said no to my son about going to get shelves this month (tomorrow). It just is not in the budget. Before when we didn't have a budget we'd have gone to IKEA and then gotten stuff we didn't need in addition to shelves. Instead we will go in April. 

    Like 8
    • NewYNABer BostonGirl and he learned a little bit about delayed gratification!  I've done the Ikea-we'll-just-get-it-now with the kids before too.  No one died because they didn't have a shelf.  

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    • Frugalflamesfan Well done!

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  • i bought food to make salads for lunch for this week which should save me at least £30 and whilst in the shop I did not buy the bottle of wine I was tempted by,

    Like 5
    • tinkerbell88 Well done!

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    • tinkerbell88 That's a tough one but your body will thank you for it. :)

      Like
  • While stuck inside during this New England blizzard, I've poked around my place and found a few items to list on eBay to bring in a few extra $$ - especially handy since I'll be moving in a couple months, so now's the time! :)

    Like 1
    • Resistant Punch Roller I'm in the midst of moving houses at the moment, and yes, decluttering before you do so is a good idea, especially if it can bring in some extra money :-) 

      Like 1
    • Resistant Punch Roller I recently sold stuff on FB Marketplace after a massive house purge & car loads of donations. It was surprisingly easy & people were cool. :)

      Like
  • I'm menu-plannng according to what's in the freezer and pantry and buying mostly fresh fruit and veggies.  We're going to have some great meals this week!

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    • Frugalflamesfan Nomnomnom!

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  • I was SO close to getting a takeaway (takeout) tonight even though I had plenty to cook.

     

    Consulted the budget and it’d make it a very tight month if I did.... just finished a gorgeous home cooked meal...with a portion frozen for tighter times!

     

    YNAB for the win!

    Like 6
    • MarkyB Well done!! And you'll thank yourself later too when you can eat those extra meals!

      Like
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