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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    • Amy
    • Librarian
    • Cadet_Blue_Motherboard.4
    • 1 yr ago
    • 2
    • Reported - view

    Signed up for budget billing on gas and electric. Now I know what each month will cost, no more seasonal fluctuation to take me by surprise. 

    Like 2
  • Stopped spending $150 a month on coffee without realizing it. :)

    Like 6
  • Sold a gold necklace I have never once worn since receiving it at age 13. Both the weight of the unnecessary guilt & the physical weight are gone, and now I have $50 to put towards student debt.

    Like 2
  • Great thread. Today I consulted a financial consulting firm so that I could manage my business finance.

    Like 2
  • Cleared off some paperwork from the dining room table and found a rebate cheque for $98!  Cha-China!

    Like 3
  • Spent a couple hours on the phone with my health insurance company to get them to properly re-evaluate three medical claims, saving me $294 in out-of-pocket costs; spent another hour on the phone with my dental insurance company arguing over a claim, saving me $200; tweeted nice things about a local restaurant that my partner ordered comfort food from after my surgery - they're sending over freebies and other gifts because they saw the tweet and b/c several of their employees have connections to breast cancer, as well.

    Like 8
  • Since starting YNAB I joined UpWork to start bringing in a little more $$! Today I finished a quick and easy freelance design gig for $120!

    Like 1
  • Ate dinner at home (delicious leftover pasta fagioli soup I made 2 days ago)! Meals out historically have been our biggest budget-buster. Not this year!!

    Like 1
  • Got a severance paycheque from a job I was hired for part-time which included extras. Rather than regarding these as bonus 'extra' money I applied them to my savings goals for the next few months. Not exciting, but will reduce the pressure on future paycheques so I suppose that's a win! Sensible is not interesting, but sometimes it's the right thing to do...

    Like 5
  • I rearranged my budget to increase how much extra I can send to my student loan with the highest interest rate & sent off the extra payment yesterday. I also put together a few different repayment schedules for different circumstances, all of which will have everything including my mortgage paid off before I retire.

    I've also been shoveling my own sidewalks & driveway instead of hiring someone to do it for me.

    Like 4
  • I finally accepted that I don't need Spotify premium cause I spend my life listening to Podcasts instead. It's not much but it's £10 a month that I no longer feel guilty about. (When I used it a lot I found it a great investment but things change..)

    Like 2
  • Cleaned out non-functional bathtub drain with vinegar, baking soda and a modified wire coat hanger, after stepping out into the night to buy an overpriced bottle of drain chemicals from the corner bodega then changing my mind. Drain now does its draining thing better than it has in years (including after the last plumber visit). NOT a pleasant way to spend Sunday night, BUT it allowed me to a) skip wasting Grocery and Household Stuff dollars on Drano and b) give a new job to the money I WAMmed from I-forget-where that I was going to hand over to the plumber AGAIN.  Deeply satisfying. 👍

    Like 6
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Olive Branch wonderful plan. Drain cleaners bad. Way to solve it yourself. Next time may want a long zip tie with small cuts on the side to make barbs vs the coat hanger. 

      Like 2
      • Olive Branch
      • Librarian/Info Pro
      • olive_branch
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Ben Khaki Storm Great idea! They actually make zip-tie-like barbed plastic thingies designed specifically for drain cleaning, but zip ties themselves are probably cheaper if I can find them in smallish quantities. I knew the Drano/Liquid Plumr was a bad idea and would not be kind to the pipes, but it was one of those situations where the desire for immediate relief tends to override good sense - except for once it didn't. 😉

      Like 3
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Olive Branch Yep, I've been there. I've also put the draino down the drain and it didn't clear the clog, it just sat in the drain too, then about a week later the same pipe and spot where the draino sat broke or just fell apart, however you want to look at it.

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

      Olive Branch my old plumber recommended pouring boiling water down my drains once a week. When i've gotten clogs since then, adding cheap dish soap (plain Dawn, for instance) and letting it sit before pouring boiling water has helped a lot. 

      Like 2
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Alia Gee That's a good one too! You might want to take a look under your bathroom sink first, but for most I think it's a fine suggestion. Our bathroom sink must have been mis-measured and has this little thin flex connector on the drain. I don't think it's stand up to boiling water for long. It looks like a Slinky Brand Pop Toob, if you've ever seen one of those. 

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      • Olive Branch
      • Librarian/Info Pro
      • olive_branch
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Alia Gee Interesting...my (most recent) plumber suggested filling the sink or tub (1/4 full for the tub) with hottest water that will come out of the tap, adding some vinegar as it's filling, then letting it drain - he said the volume of water draining all at once is pretty effective. I may combine that with the boiling water technique for extra assurance - I'm determined not to ever buy a bottle of drain chemicals or pay anyone just to snake my bathtub again. Does the dish detergent work for bathtub clogs? I can see it for the kitchen sink, since that's mostly grease. 

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

      Alia Gee 

      We do a similar maintenance routine.  Tubs and showers every other week, and sinks (esp. kitchen) weekly.  Here is our method and it works really well for us.

      1 cup of salt+1 cup baking soda+1/4 cup cream of tartar--mix all in a jar.  All 3 items can be found in bulk for cheaper prices.  To maintain our drains, dump 1/4 cup of above mixture into drain; then follow with 2 cups boiling water (sometimes, I use half water and half white vinegar).  Finally, rinse with tap water. 

      We've not had a problem since doing this regularly.  Hope it helps.

      Like 2
      • Olive Branch
      • Librarian/Info Pro
      • olive_branch
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Coral Projector For bathtub drains, do you take the drain cover off, or just pour the mixture through the holes?

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      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      You're supposed to use the hottest tap water you can get, not boiling water. The boiling water is dangerous (I just got a burn a couple of months ago from my tea kettle splashing accidentally and it took forever to heal) and it is damaging on the pipes.

      Like
      • Alia Gee
      • Let me explain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
      • Pink_Keyboard
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat That's interesting-- my plumber definitely said boiling water. Is it possible it's different advice based on whether your pipes are plastic or metal?

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

      Olive Branch So sorry for the 4 week delay --  had 2 surgeries and getting through recovery.  To answer your question, no I do not take the drain cover off as the powdered mixture with go through the shower and tub drains and then add liquids slowly.  

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

      Alia Gee  I agree with your plumber ... I use boiling water (vinegar mixture) to ensure that any grease or fats are pushed through the drain.  

      Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Alia Gee Sure. I have plastic pipes, so I'm sure you don't want to pour boiling water down those. I imagine the advice online that says don't use boiling water is meant to be lowest-common-denominator advice (which happens to fit my contractor-grade-cheap-as-they-come house).

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

      bevocat you could also go biological. I use Flush It for my septic system. It has little guys that eat grease, paper products, etc. Just check with your city if it's allowed. 

      Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Ben Khaki Storm  I have proper sewer plumbing though, not a septic system, so I'm not sure if Flush It is the right product for me, but I don't live in the city limits either, so I don't have to ask. 🙂

      Like 1
  • Increased my 401k contribution. I had to reduce the amount I am saving toward car replacement, but I can always change it back later if I need the extra when I purchase a car. I was already at full match, but I need to start catching up.

    Like 6
  • Today we canceled DISHtv (after 6+ years)!  Nothing to watch anymore at $125/month.  We bought Amazon's FireStickTV on sale for a one-time purchase of $39 each ---no more monthly fees for TV.  And as of March, we will be saving an additional $125 a month (goes towards replacement used car for the poor, poor dying 1996 Accord).

    Like 7
      • Ellen Waters
      • Making progress on my desired goals!
      • ellen_waters
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Coral Projector  UPDATE: it has been a month or so and I can say that the FireStickTV is perfect solution for us (especially since gardening weather is about here) -- we really don't miss the regular channels, especially since I've been on a news fast for 17 months now.  Netflix we do pay an additional fee of $7.99 a month as it has lots of movies WITHOUT commercials, and seasons of TV shows.  My spouse was so sure that he wouldn't like the change, however, he is on board as well.  And, the savings from DISH ($125/mo) to $7.99/month is slated/used for paying down medical costs.

      Like 3
      • xgirlmama
      • Purple_Griffin
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Coral Projector I hear you on the break from the news. Maybe in 2020 I can reinstate it...

      Like 1
  • Renegotiated our cell plan with Verizon and cancelled SiriusXM radio.  Might only be $20 per month savings between the two, but it adds up!

    Like 2
    • Whiskey Mama  update to my own post, lol.  After effectively saving us $20 per month, my hubby's cell phone charging port broke and now he needs a new phone, ugh!  So we're back to monthly payments (0%, or we would just pay cash) of $18 per month for said new phone.  At least they had an older new model available that is nicer than the one he has but not the crazy new expensive model that is currently all the rage.  The good news though is that Verizon waived the one-time activation fee and we're no worse for wear than we were before we changed plans and cut Sirius radio.  Now to look for somewhere else to save!

      Like 3
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Whiskey Mama 

      Since new phones are going to be needed ongoing (i.e. a true expense), you could add a new phone/technology replacement category to save money every month.  And that way you'd have some or all of the money instead of doing an installment plan next time a device needs replacing.  

      Like
  • Finally got around to digging out my old xHD so I could upload all my music to google play (all 10k songs or so...) - that's a $10/mo subscription I can cancel; combined the partner's spotify plan with our hulu plan to save another $10/mo; re-established "learning" on our Nest thermostat; finalized my and spoke with a 2 recruiters about 2 positions that would either directly offer a salary increase or offer leverage for a promotion and similar increases at my current employer.

    Like 3
    • Khaki Storm
    • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
    • Khaki_Storm.1
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view
    Black Orchid said:
    offer leverage for a promotion and similar increases at my current employer.

     I hope your employer is nicer than some I've heard of (not my current employer of course), but I've heard of some that will give into the 'I'm leaving unless I get X' up-front, but then plan to replace that person in the following year. I'm sure it's not as common as I'm making it sound. Really, please tell its not. 

    Like
      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Ben Khaki Storm I've seen some key people get results by going in with their two week notice & a job lined up elsewhere and saying the reason why is due to pay. It doesn't always work, and you actually have to be willing to leave. Even when it doesn't, if enough people do leave & say it's because the pay is too low for the current market, I hope most employers would catch on & find ways to true up their payscale with the local job market.

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

      adriana01 I've seen that work in the short term as well. It's after that, for like key assignments or promotions, where I was speaking about.

      Like
    • Ben Khaki Storm  adriana01 I'm actually being *vastly* underpaid for my current position (based on the market), and am being asked to do work at a much higher level. I have a proposal put together to reorganize the department I'm in, and part of it is already in action. My last proposal is what got me to my current state, so I'm hoping this new proposal will work the same, but I'd like to have something to fall back on in case it doesn't. I'm too old and have been through too much to refuse to recognize my worth at this point. (But thank you both for your words of advice and warning!)

      Like 5
      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Black Orchid Good luck! 

      Like 2
  • Cut cable out of our lives again. Did without for 10-15 years, brought it back in for Thanksgiving football. in 2018. Cutting it out again since we just truly don't need or enjoy it. 

    Like 1
  • Finalized a new student loan repayment plan, taking my monthly payments from $921 to $376! *happy dance* Filled out loan forgiveness forms to take to my current employer to fill out to re-start the crediting process to have this $95k+ student loan debt forgiven in 10 years.

    Like 4
    • TechieM2
    • IT Professional and General Geek
    • techiem2
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    I just realized that when I updated my Investment budget amount at the beginning of the year I budgeted it a bit above what the actual deposits into the accounts are, so I scheduled most of the extra to actually go into one of the investments.

    Like
  • Started an analysis of grocery delivery services. I LOVE my Fresh Direct service because of the ability to ensure fresh produce, but I want to see what the cost differential is between that and, say, Harris Teeter. Because of my cancer treatments, grocery delivery (especially with fresh produce) has been a godsend, and it's not something I can give up for now.

    I also reached out to my student loan servicer about a cancer deferment (it was approved for student borrowers with cancer during the 2019 Department of Education Appropriations Act), but they gave me the run around (apparently the DoE hasn't promulgated the regs for it yet, even though it was supposed to start up as of September 30, 2018). So I reached out to my two senators and my representative to ask for assistance. Once my deferment is approved, I'll be able to postpone payment on my student loans until the end of my treatment plus 6 months *interest free*, and that means they'll also have to refund all the interest they charged during these last 5 months when they were refusing to give me that specific deferment.

    Like 5
    • Black Orchid Thank FSM for my tenacity. Updated on my journal, so I thought I'd post it here, as well.

      I kept contacting my student loan servicer until I finally reached a specialist, and then a supervisor, who confirmed the existence of the program, and who then placed me in a forbearance for the next 60 days while I wait for a form to be developed by the DoE and to be sent to me. Interest will accumulate during the forbearance, but once the form is submitted and the Deferment for Active Cancer Treatment is approved, all interest will be erased going back to 10/5/18, and interest and payments will be deferred until ~May of 2020. It took an hour and 45 minutes of my time, but will save me THOUSANDS in interest charges over the course of that 18 months, not to mention the $$ I would normally have to send for payments I will be able to put towards other basic expenses. 

      Again, tenacity FTW!

      Like 4
      • Saturna
      • reap what you sow
      • saturna
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Black Orchid Congrats! That must feel so good 😁

      Like 1
  • I've been avoiding inputting data because I know I got off track...swallowing the frog and heading to the software now. Wish me luck!!! Avoidance is the enemy. :) 

    Like 7
      • glow101
      • Coral_Boat.3
      • 1 yr ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      It wan't as bad as I thought! I still have money for everything I need, fun money, date night, and money to put towards my goals. I guess the old avoidance habit kicks in strong. Thanks to YNAB, the pieces were already in place to help my spending. :) 

       

      Indigo

      Like 6
    • glow101 Oof, I did this yesterday! It was worse than I thought, but I feel so much clearer today and moving forward toward my goals, even if this year has been 3 steps forward, 2 steps back.

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

      glow101 my wife and I have gotten into the habit of putting in expenses the same day. It's really helped.

      Like 1
    • Khaki Storm
    • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
    • Khaki_Storm.1
    • 1 yr ago
    • 2
    • Reported - view

    I moved dirt. Sure I could rent a backhoe, pay the delivery fee, and buy the fuel to sit in a seat all day, but there's no fun on that. Now that it's warming up, I'm moving dirt by shovel and wheel barrel. It's better than a gym membership! There are parts of my project that will require a small backhoe for safety, but I can work on other areas a little at a time. 

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

      Ben Khaki Storm Awesome, Ben.  Way to go.  

      Like 1
      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Ben Khaki Storm I, too, have been getting lots of exercise by shoveling.... unfortunately it's still snow ❄️❄️❄️❄️

      Like
    • Ben Khaki Storm "warming up?" That sounds nice...

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

      Kombucha Kid not this week, bitterly cold again

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

      Ben Khaki Storm Did the same thing today. Very sore. 

      Like
    • MacGsMom
    • Editor. Artist. Book fiend.
    • bookgirl1010
    • 1 yr ago
    • 3
    • Reported - view

    I opened an interest bearing savings account (CapOne 360), updated my direct deposit designations, and upped the amount going into savings each month. 

    Like 3
    • MLB
    • Slate_Gray_Dragon.4
    • 1 yr ago
    • 2
    • Reported - view

    After digging in to my monthly expenses I cancelled more than half of my entertainment subscriptions which will save me about $50 a month/$600 a year!  I had no idea I was spending so much on entertainment that I hardly ever used.

    Like 2
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