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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  • Cancelled a subscription for a weekly meal plan service. It wasn't very expensive per month & the recipes were good, but I wasn't using it because looking at 6 dinners a week when I don't intend to cook that many is almost as intimidating as just going through my cookbooks to make my own plan.

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  • We didn’t actually DO anything but we got some great news yesterday.  My hubby’s MRI showed a couple tears, impingement, and bone sours, BUT the doc gave him a cortisone shot and set him up for PT instead of surgery!!!  This is a huge relief as we thought for sure that surgery was in his future along with several months off work.  We realize this might just be buying us time, but it’s definitely worth a shot and gives us a chance to continue paying down debt!!  Wooo Hoooooo!!!! 

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  • I had been budgeting more than I thought was probably necessary towards my quarterly water bill while I waited for the first one to come. I finally got the bill, & not only can I reduce the amount I budget each month going forward, I had enough extra from 5 month of too much to move over half of it to categories that needed some attention!

    Reply Like 9
    • Vibrant
    • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
    • vibrant
    • 6 mths ago
    • 5
    • Reported - view

    I applied for and received a Target RedCard. I love Target for groceries, I'm happy to knock 5% off my grocery bill, and with YNAB I have no fear of misusing it or incurring unnecessary debt.

    Reply Like 5
  • Started using YNAB about 2 weeks ago. So happy I switched from Quicken. I’m already noticing some of the money stress being lifted just by being able to see where our money is going and knowing we can make a better plan. Yay!

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  • This is an odd win, but a win none-the-less. Four years ago my husband started to harp on me for "spending all of the money". We have 3 older teen kids, big house, cars, sports and such.  He never did any of the bill-paying or grocery-buying, just the criticizing.  We both work and I knew he needed to see where the money was going, so I started YNAB as more of a money-tracking tool.  Eventually I started seeing it as more of a budget tool.  Here we are four years later and I can account for every dime that came through this house, whereas he can't account for most of the money that he has spent (about that time he opened up a private account that I didn't have access to).  Here we are now, getting a divorce after 26 years of marriage, and I can show everything that I've spent to support the family and he can't show anything to the lawyers.  The situation is sad and heart-breaking, but I'm thankful that I'm at least not feeling overwhelmed with defending myself for financial decisions. 

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    • Frugalflamesfan Wow. Sorry to hear. Glad there is  some good too and wishing you the very best. Good luck.

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    • Coral J Hammerhead Thanks. How a couple handles finances can be very telling. It is not just money. It's respect and values and self-control and selfishness.  I'm relieved that I can make financial decisions that will align with my values now. 

      Reply Like 6
      • Alia Gee
      • Let me explain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
      • Pink_Keyboard
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Frugalflamesfan i'm sorry he didn't respect you. I am glad you're finding some respite through budgeting. 

      Reply Like 2
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 6 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view
      Frugalflamesfan said:
      How a couple handles finances can be very telling. It is not just money. It's respect and values and self-control and selfishness.  I'm relieved that I can make financial decisions that will align with my values now

       So much this. I can relate, though thankfully no children to complicate things. I get so irritated thinking about the quarter-century I wasted sacrificing for the good of the family because that's what you're supposed to do when I wasn't getting enough reciprocation in return. I'm glad you had started using YNAB before you split up. I had never budgeted, and I realized that I couldn't keep spending like I had been with only one income, so that's how I got into budgeting, after my marriage ended.

      And yes, it's *wonderful* to have the budget as a tool to guide your financial decisions according to your own values! Wishing you years and decades of success and financial peace! ❤️  

      Reply Like 4
    • bevocat thanks for the support!  We have eternal hope that things will get better, but then it doesn't and doesn't and doesn't. 

      But we've got this now and blue skies ahead.

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    • Frugalflamesfan  So sorry you had to go through that but knowledge is power and sounds like you at least had the paperwork to back up your financials. I wished I had been smarter about money cuz I know my ex was hiding money from me. But big picture. I will be successful in my quest to be a financially fit woman of independent means. You go girl! You've got this!! :)

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  • I was going to pay for a meal on my CC, but I stopped myself and checked YNAB. I moved a few category things around and put it on my Debit!

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      • Violet Drill
      • Violet_Drill_0bf6fcf19d
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      SR Ballard Nice job!

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  • It's a little thing but I rounded up my student loan payment so I can pay it off just a little bit faster.  :) Went from $65 a month to $100 a month.  Excited that I can do even small things like this with YNAB and it all feels more doable.

    Reply Like 8
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      PugsBugs it all adds up!

      Reply Like 1
  • I went online and found that one of my utilities has the averaged bill from the last 12 months.  Since I'm entering the low use period for that utility, I think I can safely use their average plus a couple bucks for my monthly goal.  I also found that I was given the wrong information about how much one of the kids' activities actually costs so I had almost twice what I needed when we signed them up today.  I moved that extra money into a trip fund for when the in-laws visit next month.   

    OTOH, I had to increase the monthly goal for a different utility by $5 a month.  Even with that, that's another $30 off the total monthly goals moving forward.  It's not a lot especially since I want to be able to hit my monthly goals in 2 paychecks a month without the occasional third paycheck or any other source of income, but it's a step in the right direction. 

    I think the last paycheck this month or the first one next month should be a bit larger than normal.   Health care and the other things normally deducted from the paycheck are bi monthly not biweekly, and May is a 3 paycheck month.  Ergo one of the paychecks in the next month should be higher.  I'm planning on using that money to build up some sinking funds.

    Reply Like 4
  • New to YNAB and loving it!  Finally, completed migrating our finances from Mvelopes to YNAB and have really been "embracing my True Expenses".  I captured 4 True Expenses that occur yearly that were about to come due in June and July this year, coming up fast, so I set them up as Target Balance by Date goals and moved on.  Later I was just calculating how much cash I had to throw at savings goals or getting ahead month-wise after paying the Immediate Obligations and came across those 4 True Expenses.  I noticed those numbers seemed high...of course, they're due very soon.   And then it hit me...a real ah ha moment! Once those are paid and I reset each of those goals for next year, the amount set aside each month becomes miniscule.  Come August, I'll have freed up $200 a month cash flow to throw at other goals just by "embracing my true expenses"!! 

    As I look at this, I can really see these True Expenses were truly our budget busters and were a constant pebble in our financial shoe, thorn in our side, tiny sliver in our financial palm....you get the idea ;-)  Having many more aha moments as I transition over to YNAB.  Exciting times!

    Reply Like 13
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      jamesx4 YES!!

      Reply Like
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 6 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      jamesx4 

      Very much so!  Every month my monthly goals go down a bit as bills come due and then I can annualize them.  This month it's summer camp.  I can decrease the amount needed each month drastically since I'll have much more time to save. 

      You'll also find that perhaps some categories will hit a point where you're comfortable capping the amount and only refilling the category when you use it.  For example, I have a beauty and skin care category.  I'm not a full face of make-up kind of gal so I plan on capping that when it reaches $100.  I could spend more but the reality is no amount of cream is gonna make me 20 and no amount of product is going to A. make me know how to put the stuff on and B. want to do it.  

      There are any number of categories that are similar.  

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      • jamesx4
      • Software Engineer
      • jamesx4
      • 6 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Technicolor Cheetah Indeed!  I've got several categories set simply as Target Balance goals.  So when those are fully funded I'll stop feeding them unless I draw funds out to cover something.  That's when it get's really exciting, having all those True Expenses fully funded.  That's when I finally put those budget busters in the grave....well, that and an emergency fund ;-)

      Reply Like 3
  • I set up an HSA at a brokerage account, organized for my job to auto deduct pre-tax enough each month to max out my contributions and found a  low expense ratio fund with a zero minimum contribution.

    Reply Like 5
      • Marsha
      • Getting ready to retire
      • ratz
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Sky Blue Door Good for you!  I will tell you that United Missouri Bank charges $3 per month to do an auto transfer from your HSA to the HSA brokerage.  I don't have enough saved up (two really bad years where I had to meet the high deductible b/c of poor health).   I think I figured out that I would have to invest more than $7500 just to cover their auto transfer charge.  [that's in addition to the $2.75 a month they charge so I have a HSA CC] . Highway robbery for me because I was in the hole if my math was accurate.

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    • Voracious Reader
    • YNAB broke is not the absence of money, but rather the judgment that it has something more important to do.
    • Orange_Cheetah.3
    • 6 mths ago
    • 9
    • Reported - view

    Yesterday: Subscribed to YNAB as my trial was over and it has literally paid for itself 4X over.

    This morning: Packed lunch for the next four days. I'll be having a greek take on pasta salad with whole wheat rotini, chickpeas, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese and a lemon vinaigrette.

    This afternoon I'm going in to work for some overtime. We're in our busy season so I'm taking advantage for some extra cash to throw at my goals and debts.

    Reply Like 9
  • I managed to do all my sub-categories and bought hubby a new laptop with the money I funded over 3 months!! And my money is now at the ripe old age of 13 days LOL.  Oh, and I saved up all the money to pay for YNAB for a year and started on next year's already!!

    Reply Like 6
    • TechieM2
    • IT Professional and General Geek
    • techiem2
    • 6 mths ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    A friend I've been supporting is moving from a mission agency to a normal position, so that support will be ending either this month or next month (I think this month).  

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  • I bought some bitcoin on Coinbase and opened a Binance account to trade some bitcoin for other, riskier/higher reward cyptocurrencies. Now watching and crossing my fingers 🤞

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    • TechieM2
    • IT Professional and General Geek
    • techiem2
    • 6 mths ago
    • 16
    • Reported - view

    Submitted the final payment for my student loan!  Just waiting for it to process so I can hide the category and close the account.

    Reply Like 16
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      TechieM2 way to go!

      Reply Like
      • lindsay_g
      • Beige_Banjo.3
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      TechieM2 Awesome. Really, massively awesome!

      Reply Like
    • TechieM2
    • IT Professional and General Geek
    • techiem2
    • 6 mths ago
    • 2
    • Reported - view

    Had a client job after work today.  Hooray for extra pocket money!

    I'm waiting until my paycheck hits tomorrow to budget it all.

    I have another client job in progress - parts should come in tomorrow.

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  • I looked it up and it turns out getting my driving license back if I cancel it is actually fairly simple! Since I don't drive, I am canceling the license and happily saving ~85$/yr!

    Reply Like 6
    • Voracious Reader
    • YNAB broke is not the absence of money, but rather the judgment that it has something more important to do.
    • Orange_Cheetah.3
    • 6 mths ago
    • 5
    • Reported - view

    Signed back up for AAA as I have had roadside assistance through my auto insurance for a couple of years, but shopped around and now qualify for a better price...found I could add the AAA membership, auto, and renter's insurance for less than I'm paying now.

    So I'm switching my insurance as soon as I'm living back home, but I can also take an online defensive driving class and get an even bigger discount. AND I can get a discount on the defensive driving course as an AAA member. The class costs 19.95 for non members and 15.95 for me. So the 51 dollars I paid for a Classic membership has already been reduced to 47 dollars. 

    Then I found a deal where I get 14 months for the price of 12, if I set up auto-renewal (which is something I no longer fear thanks to YNAB) which works out to 3.35 per month. Toss in a 12 year old car that is not unlikely to strand me plus my favorite mechanic has started offering a AAA 10% discount and this membership should help smooth out some of those lumpy true expenses quite a bit.

    Also ordered a 3 month trial on Mint Mobile; I am currently on TMobile which is the network that they buy airtime from, so coverage should be fine. My only question is that true TMobile customers have data priority, so in theory I could lose high speed data in a high traffic area. I'll see if it works, but at 20 dollars per month for 8GB vs 50 for 5 GB I'd have to be pretty inconvenienced to go back.

    Reply Like 5
    • JoeDid
    • Remember: It is To Laugh
    • Purple_rain
    • 6 mths ago
    • 7
    • Reported - view

    Biting the bullet and crossing the fingers, I'm switching my mobile phone service from Verizon to Spectrum Mobile, now that they allow me to bring my own phone. Verizon small plan (2GB, which I never exceed) costs me $62 a month. Spectrum Mobile will be $14 for 1 GB, or another $14 if I exceed that. Even $28 per month (with no additional taxes or fees) is better than $62, and most months it'll be only $14. Spectrum uses the Verizon network, so coverage should be the same, which is excellent.

    There's a consideration for streaming: slower streaming than on Verizon, but I hardly ever stream on my phone anyway.

    Reply Like 7
      • Voracious Reader
      • YNAB broke is not the absence of money, but rather the judgment that it has something more important to do.
      • Orange_Cheetah.3
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      JoeDid 

      Hope it goes smoothly! Will be curious to hear your update on the plan. 

      Reply Like 1
      • TheTabby
      • Just a common cat trying to budget uncommonly well.
      • TheTabby
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      JoeDid I'll be interested to!  My wife is on Verizon (I am too, but it's a work phone,  so FREE!), and it's be fun to knock that bill down a little. 

      Reply Like
      • JoeDid
      • Remember: It is To Laugh
      • Purple_rain
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      TheTabby and Voracious Reader I will follow up in a week or so. My Spectrum sim arrives today. I hope porting my number from VZ is swift and painless. With Spectrum as my ISP/cable TV provider (the only option here, otherwise I'd be on FiOS) I have mixed feelings about this change and a lot of apprehension...

      Reply Like 2
      • JoeDid
      • Remember: It is To Laugh
      • Purple_rain
      • 6 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Voracious Reader and  @thetabby Sim inserted, number ported, phone working for calls, email and texts, first month bill $14, no additional charges. Took all of 10 minutes.

      Reply Like 4
      • Voracious Reader
      • YNAB broke is not the absence of money, but rather the judgment that it has something more important to do.
      • Orange_Cheetah.3
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

       JoeDid So far so good on Mint too, but I only activated yesterday as I squeezed every last drop of time out of my TMobile service. I swear it has to be my imagination as it's literally the same network, but my calls seem clearer. 

      Reply Like
      • JoeDid
      • Remember: It is To Laugh
      • Purple_rain
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Voracious Reader I'm happy as a clam with Spectrum mobile. No problems whatsoever. In fact, I don't notice anything different than when I was on Verizon. But I will when the bill arrives. Then I'll be happy as a smiling clam.😎

      Reply Like
  • Went to Amex chat about a $27  late fee in April when trying to set up AutoPay. The first lady said my account had been credit $4.29 in the last 3 years so I could not get a credit. Asked to escalate to a supervisor. He researched and saw I set up Auto Pay but apparently too late for Aprils debit, so he credited me the $27...🤗

    Reply Like 5
  • As I do the initial summer clean up, I'm inputting any and all gift cards into YNAB.  This way, we'll hopefully have an easier time of using them before they expire/depreciate.  So far, we've found around $120 worth, and I haven't really attacked the places where they will most likely be found... 

    Here's to not wasting money! (Or time, so I will go away from the forum and do said chores.)

    Reply Like 7
  • Saved $20 by opting to pay for the full 6 month term for my auto insurance instead of monthly payments. Also out it on my pif rewards card for an additional $7 cash back.

    Reply Like 7
      • TechieM2
      • IT Professional and General Geek
      • techiem2
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Sander As of a couple years ago my insurance won't take credit cards for payment - have to do check or I think direct bank withdrawal, so I can't get use my rewards card for mine anymore.  Sadness!

      Reply Like 1
    • eloquentz
    • Numbers Wizard (Accountant), Acoustic Artist (Musician) and Jill of all Trades (Wife & Mother)
    • eloquentz
    • 6 mths ago
    • 6
    • Reported - view

    On the weekend, I scored 4 "new" snow tires on rims for my van for $300. The rims alone would have knocked me back $270 and the tires only have 20,000 km or so on them. I have learned from previous that searching for used snow tires in September is hard to find. In April/May, people who just took them off and are planning to replace their vehicle just want them out of their shed.

    Reply Like 6
  • I low key threatened my online therapy company (not the counselor directly, just the company that handles everything) to quit because I cannot afford therapy... they asked for my income situation and in under a minute I was approved for 25% off. That's 62.50$ a month!! I did not expect this, but woohoo!

    Reply Like 7
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