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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  • Today I closed the CC I paid off earlier this month!

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  • I reluctantly updated my YNAB after a weekend of spending more than I had anticipated and was ready to feel all that guilt and shame. But miraculously, when I updated I realized I had already budgeted for spending money out with friends and to do some small house updates. I was covered! I'm a 6-month YNAB user and I'm still getting used to not feeling ashamed every single time I spend something, but it's a really great feeling.

    Reply Like 10
    • sgard How inspiring! I’m only 3 months into YNAB and I think this is what I’m doing it for too. Also what I think my husband should like about me YNABing 😂, as my quilty feeling around some spending permeates the communication with my close environment as well, I’m sure.

      Reply Like 3
  • I just recently refinanced my student loan. I'm not sure why it took me so long to do but it was worth it. I went from a 12% loan to a sub 4% fixed rate. It should save a good amount of money over the rest of my payoff. I went through Earnest which makes it really easy. After your approval they give you the tools to set your own terms. You can do variable rate or fixed rate and choose how long you want it to take to pay the rest of your loan off. They also have a referral program where if someone you refer refinances you get $200 and so does the person you referred. If anyone has been on the fence on refinancing their student loans check Earnest out, I wish I did earlier. I wish I was kidding when I say I've paid over $15,000 in interest on an $8,500 loan, and still have over $9,000 left.... definitely look into if you're in a similar boat.

    https://www.earnest.com/invite/miguel432 - This is my referral link, get us both some money! lol.

    Reply Like 3
      • TechieM2
      • IT Professional and General Geek
      • techiem2
      • 4 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Cyan Saxophone Wow and I thought my federal student loan at 5.59% was bad (which is all gone now)!

      Congrats on getting that lowered!

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    • TechieM2 Thanks! The irony in this situation is that I work for a student loan servicer. If only I could go back to that financial aid office and give my 18 year old self advice.

      Congrats on paying off your student loans, that's awesome!

      Reply Like 4
  • After 2 months of looking around, just arranged to buy a second hand chest of drawers. And the car and trailer we need to pink it up next week. For half the price I had reserved for it!

    Now it’s all arranged I’m actually looking forward to the ride with my husband, where beforehand it all seemed so complicated I nearly bought something new.

    Extra plus for the waiting: after this long it will feel like a big luxury to not have to use boxes! 😂

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  • I was offered 7 hours a week more at work, and they're contracted hours too! Which is awesome! More money = more to pay off the loan we got for a car, and eventually means we can get a bigger mortgage too :D

    Reply Like 6
  • Our Scotiabank Momentum credit card cash back came in on the weekend. $1075 toward Xmas. 

    Reply Like 4
      • TechieM2
      • IT Professional and General Geek
      • techiem2
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      MXMOM Sweet!

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    • MXMOM I want to follow in your footsteps! I spend all year saving my cash back rewards and then stare at them during the holidays. 

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      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Faness I actually pinched $325 to cover the MBNA balance transfer fee to move debt back to 0% for 8 months. Every little bit helps. 

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  • Here's one that happened to me recently. I got a credit card with a signup bonus, and then when I went to click the "redeem the bonus to erase a travel purchase" button, instead I hit the one that said, "Redeem these points for cash back at 50% on the dollar." Boom, half of that bonus evaporated.

    After much cursing, I was like, wait, I should call and ask. Which I did, and within a couple of days they'd reversed the cash back and credit the points back to my account. Somehow I have to relearn "It can't hurt to ask" once a month or so. 😄

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    • Matthew I always tell my kids, "you don't get what you don't ask for".  Good job picking up the phone!

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    • Whiskey Mama My mom taught me the same! I just need to do a better job of remembering it. (Also, her favorite saying is, "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.") 

      Reply Like 1
  • Just ordered the pay off statement for my car loan!  This bad boy will be paid off 3 years early (2 yrs into a 5 yr note).  Yay!

    Reply Like 8
      • TechieM2
      • IT Professional and General Geek
      • techiem2
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Whiskey Mama Great!

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    • Whiskey Mama Congratulations on knocking that car loan out - it didn't see it coming! ;)

      Reply Like 1
  • Went to A&W and got a buddy burger (which I love) $2.10. Then I bought a coworker a$1 McDonalds coffee so I could get the free medium fries (1.05). Entire lunch $3.15 plus now my coworker owes me a favour!

    Reply Like 3
      • Couch Cat
      • Lavender_Violin.3
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
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      MXMOM Nice! I also like the Wendy's value menu junior cheeseburger for $2.00. It actually has real vegetables in it.

      Reply Like 1
    • Couch Cat Do they have Wendy's 4 for $4 in your area? It's such a screaming deal I feel like I'm getting away with something. Choice of small sandwich (including the junior cheeseburger!), small fry, four nuggets(!), and a small drink. You can upgrade the drink to a Frosty for NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE.

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      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 2 wk ago
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      Matthew doesn't look like it (in Canada).

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      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 2 wk ago
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      Couch Cat wish they had a Wendy's in our food court in the mall next door.  I like Harveys too but they aren't there either.

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    • MXMOM Bummer! But you do have the spicy chicken, right? 😄

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      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 2 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Matthew yes we do. And thanks to all of this I am now going to have to go to Wendy’s for dinner. Good thing we still have $33 in restaurant budget. 

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      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      MXMOM and I went to Wendy’s last night. Got the junior bacon cheeseburger and used a free small frosty. Total spent $2.40. 

      Reply Like
  • Just made another sale on eBay! That's my 3rd sale this month! 😁

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    • Violet Rain I should really try that as well. I feel resistance to selling things on (the local version of) craigslist/eBay, which I don't understand completely myself. I think it has something to do with accepting sunk costs; isn't that what you call it? when you've paid more for it then you'll ever receive back and keep off facing that by just holding onto it.

      Does anyone recognize this? Any advice to overcome my resistance?

      Reply Like 1
      • Violet Rain
      • ElectroNecroMancer
      • Violet_Rain.3
      • 3 wk ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Pony I get that, and the psychology of it is a tough thing to overcome. But here's how I see it: regardless of whether or not I'm getting regular use out of something, the money has already been spent. So if I'm using it regularly, then I'm getting a decent ROI. If I'm not using it regularly, then I'm getting nothing in return for my investment. I would rather be able to recoup at least some of the cost than none of it. So yeah - it sucks that you probably will only get back a fraction of what you actually paid into something, but anything is better than the nothing that you're getting now from it while it languishes in a corner or a box or forgotten shelf. Hope this helps!

      Reply Like 3
      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 3 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Pony what Violet Rain said, plus I find it helpful to look at the philanthropy side of things - I'm not a super minimalist, I like Things, but I dislike clutter and I dislike waste. So I tell myself often that I'm contributing to more good in the world by passing on something that has outlived its usefulness to me, to someone who needs/will appreciate it more. (This is also why I shop Craigslist/FB Marketplace/thrift stores before buying new, in a lot of cases.)

      Reply Like 2
      • Violet Rain
      • ElectroNecroMancer
      • Violet_Rain.3
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Vibrant Definitely this as well! I like thinking that my things are going to somewhere they will be appreciated and not directly into a landfill. And I'm a big thrift shopper too!

      Reply Like 1
    • Violet Rain Vibrant Thanks. Both those sides I agree with and aren’t new. I’m going to use your encouragement to get into action. 

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    • Powder Blue Pony Also, it's totally okay to give something away for free. I can think of a few times when I knew I could have gotten $50 for something, but knew I wasn't in a place where I was going to get it together to Craigslist or eBay it, so I put it out on the curb for free, and someone snapped it up within an hour.

      (It wasn't a couch, I swear. Gotta hate the curb couch.)

      Reply Like 3
      • TechieM2
      • IT Professional and General Geek
      • techiem2
      • 2 wk ago
      • 3
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      Matthew This is what I do when I'm cleaning out the basement.  I take a bag into work and anything they don't want I send off to GoodWill.  I don't have the time/energy to try to sell stuff.

      Reply Like 3
  • Successfully gave every dollar a job, got a $95 late fee waived, and budgeted ahead into December to cover all of the expenses coming up until we next get paid. This is my first budget in my adult life (ugh, hurts to say that 😔) as well as the first budget of my marriage and we are feeling a bit overwhelmed and nervous but also beginning hints of relief and pride! 

    Reply Like 7
    • Mrs. AEH I know it's easier said than done, but instead of beating yourself up for this being your first budget, be proud that you've taken the steps to create one at all! Budgeting is a journey - that relief and pride will grow the longer you stick to it. :)

      Reply Like 1
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Mrs. AEH good for you. And don't get discouraged if you have to change things as you go along. Especially in the beginning this is pretty common. Make sure you read/watch info on YNAB website about rolling with the punches.

      Reply Like
  • We caught up and I changed how I approach a holiday splurge purchase!

    https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/y70azt?r=369s71

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  • Played a game of WAM to get our dog groomed before heading to our in-laws (since they let us bring her!). It means bean-and-cheese quesadillas instead of dinner out tonight, but it's totally the right call, and we didn't just "go over budget" to get it done!

    Reply Like 4
    • Krys A pretty pup for the holidays is definitely worth a quesadilla dinner - which I'm already a fan of, so I consider this a win-win. :)

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      • Krys
      • New to YNAB
      • Krys
      • 2 wk ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Faness Even better, we had some left over roasted chicken I was able to season and add to the quesadillas, so it all worked out. The pup smells and looks wonderful! :)

      Reply Like 3
  • Our fiber internet contract expired, and the rate for doubled. We called, and while they no longer do contracts for sticking with them (Google Fiber came to our area), they've given us an additional $30/month off. So we're paying significantly less than we have for the previous 2 years!

    This inspired me to add a recurring note to my calendar, to check-in on the current deals more regularly. 😉

    Reply Like 3
  • Budgeted our first paychecks today, which was fun. (Yet we'll be eating take out today that wasn't planned, but hey, you can't have it all)

     

    Applied to switch our energy provider, which would be a €30/month difference. This goes in on Jan 1st. Canceled our tv and landline subscription and upgraded our internet contract, which will give us another €30/month advantage. That's €720/year to spend on more important things!

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

    Got through my Black Friday online sales shopping and thanks to sales and Amazon account funds I only spent $18.20 above what I had in my related categories (and I had plenty of funds in TBB from client payment the other day).

    December is fully budgeted, I was able to knock several things off my Amazon lists as well as get a few other things I needed and wanted, and had a nice chunk left over to dump into longer term Wish Farm items.

    Reply Like 6
  • I gave up on the idea that my car insurance company cared about me at all. I also learned that the insurance company I had was worse than I realized!

    I've had the same car insurance since 2002. While the longevity of my account did get me to the front of the line if I had to call them, I realized that I was paying quite a bit of money in insurance.

    My partner and I have recently moved to Las Vegas from New York together, and have combined many things (including a joint account that I manage - hence me searching for a budgeting app - enter YNAB stage right!). I decided it was worth looking into combining car insurance.

    We went to his insurance company yesterday and discovered quite a few things of note... 

    1. My car insurance went down by $20 for the 6-month premium. Okay, not a huge amount but I'll take it.

    2. We were both paying for renters insurance, even though he had added me to his policy (didn't realize that). My renters insurance was $230 for a year for only myself, while his was significantly cheaper. Got rid of that payment entirely!

    3. Our car insurance policy will cover any car rental we get, as long as it is under one of our names. When we go visit his family next month, we won't have to pay the additional insurance costs that rental agencies try to hit you up for. Bonus! (If anyone is reading this far, most credit card companies will cover any rental you get anyway, so very rarely do you actually need car rental insurance)

    4. I've had AAA for years now, but only had it because I was single and absolutely HATE anything to do with cars. I own a reliable car for my sanity. However, the AAA membership also helped me believe that I would be okay if something were to happen. When we were looking at our car insurance policy, we realized that he was paying $5 for emergency services through his insurance. Since I had just received the bill from AAA (and it was going up $30 this year), I asked what it covered. The insurance company actually had a better deal than AAA going! There's another $90 a year saved!

    This all happened on Black Friday, which I find humorous. Instead of spending $$$, we saved!

    Reply Like 9
    • Orchid Device That's a lot of things to save on by making one change - great job! Consumer loyalty is a prize, but it's time to move on when that loyalty is hurting you instead of helping you. :)

      Reply Like
  • I'm an over-thinker and probably spend waaaay too much time gruelling over every nuance of my finances. I feel like part of that has involved the unknown monthly pay (February has always been the worst for hourly) & a desire to knock out some debt.
    However, I recently had an exciting move up to salary, which also means I now know exactly when & how much (within a few $) I'll be making each month. It's given me the confidence to make the following changes in order to (ideally) stop micromanaging  my budget and spend more time doing fun stuff. Let go a bit, ya know?

    - Moved any automatic payments I could to the first week of the month. This  should save time when balancing recurring transactions.
    - I've setup a recurring income with split categories to auto-budget most of my categories. The remainder goes to the To Be Budgeted category.
    - Only Debts are setup w/ pay-up-to $ a-month goals. This way, I can click the Underfunded quick budget to get those covered.
    - Then check my account for the actual pay amount, edit the current income transaction, and budget out the extra.
    - After all that (which took a bit to set up, but now should only take a few minutes to execute) I can probably step away for 2-3 weeks, unless an unexpected expense comes up.

    Here's to removing stress-induced control missions and on to chill "i got this" 2020.

    Reply Like 1
  • Clicked “underfunded” for the entire month. Done...

    It was so simple it was boring and a bit exciting at the same time. Therefor I did it twice 😂.

    As I just received one small stream of income from the previous 8(!) months all at once, there was even quite some left after that.  I filled up “Berlin with M (husband)” 😊 and put the rest in the income replacement category.

    Reply Like 4
  • I'm reining in Christmas spending this year big time with a set budget I'm watching closely. I'm making  a lot of my gifts which is saving money.

    I returned my Fitbit to Best Buy since the screen broke after this Fitbit was a already a replacement. I only got it in June, and paid $50 for their 3 year extended warranty. This was before YNAB in July & reading this summer about not paying for extended warranties - instead save the money yourself in a category & replace it when needed. So I told them I wanted a refund since it was under a year, including the $50, and they said they could only do a Gift Card. That was fine with me. It was processing and I signed the screen as the manager said they can't refund the $50. But since the transaction went through he said it was fine but their policy is to not refund warranties. So I walked away with a $270 Gift Card. Whohoo. Don't miss my Fitbit. I've had 3 & they all have broken.

    On Black Friday, I used my GC to buy my boys speakers for Xmas. $200 income to my budget and they have both said about wanting their own speakers since they keep taking over mine. Win Win!! :)

    Reply Like 3
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