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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  • Needed to print out some forms which I would normally do at work but I am not at work this week.

    Researched buying a printer. There were ones that were under $60 and I have money in my technology category.

    But decided to send it to print at the FedEx Office store for less than $2.

    Like 5
      • Couch Cat
      • Lavender_Violin.3
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Alice Blue Yeti Great idea - I'm looking at a workbook that is offered on Amazon in the U.S. as a print version, but only the ebook available in Canada - going to price out the difference to print it at Staples or the UPS store. I wouldn't have thought of that. 

      Like 1
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Alice Blue Yeti I send things to staples for printing all the time and love using their services. I like to have things bound too, so I don't lose all the papers! 

      Like 1
  • Searched for unclaimed funds in my name, and turns out  I have hundreds of dollars to recover! 

    Like 7
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Spring Green Cello I've never understood how to do this or why on earth I would have any. What sorts of funds are these?

      Like
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Wiecked not sure where you or Spring Green Cello are located but in Canada it is possible to look up any uncashed Revenue Canada cheques.  Here is the link to the info. 

      https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/uncashed-cheque.html

      Like
    • MXMOM fascinating...! Never even heard of it. Maybe it doesn’t exist here (Netherlands) but am going to find out more!

      Like 1
    • Wiecked As an example, I had a mix up with direct deposit a few years ago, so a check was mailed out instead of sent to my account. I never cashed that check and the amount was sent to unclaimed funds. You fill out a form confirming your identity and address and they send the check to you.

      This can also happen to bills with positive accounts (if you have a credit on a utility account and the account closes, the surplus can be sent to unclaimed funds), unclaimed insurance policies and for a number of other reasons. It's worth checking!

      Like
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness I also recall posting a while back about a way you can find old bank accounts that have money in them. I did find one for my stepfathers mother but the documentation required was not worth the money in the account ($75). A lot of the accounts are for less than a dollar like an old savings account you started when you were 10 etc. But some o them were large. 

      Like 1
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Spring Green Cello I just googled "california unclaimed property" and went through the search and nothing came up, but we lived in Colorado for 15 years so I searched that too and 2 things came up under my husbands name. So I filed a claim. It said both of them were under $50. So nothing huge, but interesting process for sure! 

      Like
      • Peripherie
      • Tomato_Captain.11
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Spring Green Cello I did this last summer. The local paper posted names of people with unclaimed $$ and a government website to go to. I got over $800.00! (Sadly I wasn't using YNAB at the time and I think it went away rather quickly.)

      Like 1
  • I'm new to YNAB and slightly overwhelmed with getting everything "inputted" (I don't think that's a word).  I have had a different challenge.  As a widow, I was afraid to spend for fear of running out of money.  I spent 13 months trying to get a handle on my finances, but it was like nailing jello to the wall.  Now I can see what living "costs" and I know what I have because every dollar has a job.  I spent some money this week on quality of life and there was no fear attached to it.Thank you, YNAB

    Like 10
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 7 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Silver Lightning That's so sweet and I'm sorry for your loss. It must be so hard to tackle the finances all on your own now that your partner is gone. You are in the right place and people on these forums will help you if you get stuck. They are very nice here! I just found a guy named Nick True on youtube and he has a lot of good videos on starting your ynab budget. And of course the courses that YNAB has that you can go to for free... they are short and I went to all of them like 5 times until I really got it! Welcome! 

      Like 2
      • Cyan Yeti
      • Cyan_Yeti.6
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Silver Lightning I am in the same boat as you but it has taken me almost 3 years to get it sorted.  I thank YNAB for this.  I just started early in February and can already see what I have to do to manage my life going forward.  Good luck to you!

      Like
    • Wiecked Wiecked Nick True videos are terrific!

      Like 1
    • Cyan Yeti Cyan Yeti Continuing to have such a sense of relief.  I can see what I have....so much less fear!  Feel like I'm making good decisions instead of guessing!

      Like
  • After a few days of impulse buying (that is directly tied into my anxiety of current events) and not recording transactions/reconciling, I finally checked in with my budget and reconciled. I did it with one eye shut and my fingers crossed and ... it wasn't as bad as I thought.

    Now to get back into frugal mode and daily reconciling.

    Like 9
    • Peripherie Glad to hear you're back in your budget, and that getting caught up wasn't as bad as you thought. We'll get though this!

      Like 2
      • Cirrus
      • Living mobile and solo
      • miriamnz
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Peripherie Well done, for buckling down and reconciling. I do those impulse spends too, and sometimes it takes me a few months to get back on track so. Truly excellent to keep it to a few days, roll with the punches, and be ready for the uncertain times ahead.

      (I keep trying to recognise the trigger, the thing that sets me off on the impulse stuff, so I can prepare to recognise it in advance. Haven't succeeded at that yet.)

      Like
  • My first week using YNAB has helped to track all the categories I was searching to track.  I’m so happy that I found this tool that will support the maximization of using a budget.  I can’t wait to age my dollars and be free of the paycheck to paycheck doldrums.  I’m more than happy to look at my sparkling budget rather than bank account to decide to spend or not. 

    Like 10
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Sea Green Griffin Totally!!! YAY and welcome to YNAB, it's for sure a game changer! 

      Like
    • Sea Green Griffin Stick with it, stick with it, stick with it!!!  You will not regret it! Welcome :)

      Like
  • As I'm in the UK and YNAB charges in USD I was going to be hit with a transaction charge from the bank when my subscription renews.

    Today I realised that my Revolut card can make transactions in USD without a surcharge so I updated my payment details for YNAB to use the Revolut card rather than my normal credit card to save a few pennies.

    Like 5
  • We’re switching banks to save costs.

    And thereby joining accounts! 🎉  hurray!

    switchings banks will reduce the fees, and safe us money. I think the fact we’ll have all our money in YNAB from now on (my husbands account wasn’t in in till now) will safe us over time as wel!! Just to be clear: because YNAB is so wonderfull, not because I want to control my husbands spending.

    Like 5
  • Well, I tried to improve my finances today by selling some old electronics at one of those kiosks at the grocery store. It only wanted to give me about $3.00 for 3 items.

    I think I will add them to a growing pile of things I might try to sell. Anyone have any good suggestions on a selling app or website that is easy to use? I don't have any experience listing things to see or mailing things that I have sold.

    Like
      • dangerosity
      • Aquamarine_Piranha.9
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Peripherie Facebook groups/Marketplace has been crazy successful for me. Kijiji too, which is a Canandian branch of eBay that is/was available in the States (probably closest to Craigslist in the US, but Craigslist Canada is skeevy and disturbing). Friends had success on Used and Decluttr. 

      Like
      • dangerosity
      • Aquamarine_Piranha.9
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view
      Peripherie said:
      I don't have any experience listing things to see or mailing things that I have sold.

      I get around this by saying pick-up only. Occassionally someone won't show but I get around that by requiring payment first and then I send them a receipt so they know that it's a done deal and I won't flake out on them either.

      Like
  • REALLY wanted a Spring Vera Bradley purse.  Not in the budget.  Found one on Mercari for $12!  One of my favorite prints, too.  Bought it guilt free out of my Fun Money.  Hoping it looks as nice as it does in the picture!

    Like 5
    • TechieM2
    • IT Professional and General Geek
    • techiem2
    • 5 mths ago
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    I deactivated the $20/mo hotspot I haven't used in ages over the weekend finally.

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  • Took a side gig to bring in a few hundred extra a week for fun money. Gonna be one heck of a balance in the date night category when we can finally have a date night out again!

    Like 8
    • Karabats That Date Night might just turn into a Date Vacation. 😉

      Like 2
  • Closed a personal LOC with my bank.

    I haven't used it in ages except as bank overdraft protection. I was about to get hit with an annual $25.00 fee. I had budgeted for it just in case I wasn't able to close it in time. Now I can move that money towards funding May. Every dollar gets me closer to be fully funded a month ahead!

    Like 9
  • Slightly embarrassing story. We bought a vacation/retirement home a few years ago.  For the last 2 years our electric bill seemed high for the amount we use the home but i was on the equal payment plan so didn't really notice until the large jump in our monthly amount. 

     First time I've had a home that was almost all electric with no natural gas so I was lazy and thought I would figure it out eventually.  Finally converted electric water heater to propane tankless and saw no change.  I still let another 6 months or so go by and finally called an electrician who found no issues that would explain the usage. I  turned off the main breaker and checked the daily usage on the duke energy website and little change(oddly it was a little lower but should have been close to 0). 

    Finally called to have meter inspected.  They came out to test the meter but provided no results and couldn't get an answer from customer service other than "the investigation is still open.  I could tell something was going on.  Finally started trying to understand the meter myself, suddenly realized the meter number on my house and the meter number on my bill were different.   

    Apparently I've been paying someone else's bill for 2 years.  $2500 credit on my bill this month, still no full explanation from electric company but I suspect someone else is in for a shock because I'm willing to bet duke energy isn't going to eat it!   Moral of the story, check your meter number and make sure the number matches the bill! 

    Like 12
    • Herman Wow-that is a huge credit.  I think we have stories where we let something slide.  Kudos for you doing the work to figure it out.

      Like 1
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 5 mths ago
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      Herman 

      Victory! Nice one.

      Like 1
      • Krys
      • I like bacon and sarcasm
      • Krys
      • 5 mths ago
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      • Reported - view

      Herman Incredible! Well done you, for figuring that out!

      Like 1
    • Herman Wow! You had a gut feeling that something was off, and followed through. That's fantastic!

      Like 1
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 5 mths ago
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      • Reported - view

      Herman wow!!! That's an amazing story! And you are a detective! Well done! 🕵️‍♀️

      Like 1
  • My Tangerine chequing account was offering $200 for moving 2 bills to PAPS for 3 months. No catch about it being only new customers. So moved 2 bills that were over $50 in my EQ account. Free money. Done. :)

    Like 4
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 5 mths ago
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      • Reported - view

      Purple Foal I’ll have to check that out. I love free money. 

      Like 2
  • Updated categories. Better naming, better groupings. Very easy to see where adjustments need to be done now.

    Like 3
  • Followed up with rebates last week, after replacing our furnace in January. All thanks to a handy reminder on my calendar! Things were marked as "processing" on the website, but when I called—they were lost in the shuffle. Was able to re-submit via email and got approval over the phone. The $300.00 check showed up today!

    Like 8
      • Black cat
      • Blue_Stallion.6
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nicole Thanks for the reminder! Hope it isn't too late.

      Like
  • Called Bell about pausing internet service at my office that is temporarily closed due to government order. They said they couldn't pause it, but they could give me a month free. And if we are still closed next month, call again.

    Like 3
  • Realized I overpaid on both credit cards so I'm getting $90 back. That covers two months of my phone bill 😁

    Like 3
  • Founds ways to cut back on expenses:

    - Found some workout DVDs while I was going through random closets in my house. I decided to try and start using them again instead of paying $40.00 every 3 months for a streaming workout service.

            That's $12.00 a month in savings.

    - I called my Insurance company to cancel an item policy for a ring I no longer have.

           That's $5.00 a month in savings.

    - Then I called my internet company and said I needed to find something cheaper (and maybe implied, nicely, that I might have to find another service). I got $20.00 off a month for a year with no change in speed or service.

        That's $37.00 a month in savings! Not a huge amount but definitely worth it!

    - I called my cellphone company (ATT) but they couldn't give me anything cheaper as I am on an unlimited plan that as grandfathered benefits that I would lose if I ever switched anything. I did find out the penalty payment for paying off a phone installment plan I have with them. It's about $320. I can pay it off early or let it run out till February of next year and pay about $285.

    I have thought I might switch from ATT to Mint mobile but I would need my phone unlocked which means paying off the installment plan. I think I am going to start saving up to the $320 and use that time in-between to investigate if Mint Mobile would be better. I know it is certainly cheaper.

    Now I'm going to go give those $37.00 that I freed up some great new jobs elsewhere!

    Like 5
  • Cancelled my Apple Music subscription. Just  wasn’t using it enough.

    Like 5
    • Khaki Storm
    • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
    • Khaki_Storm.1
    • 5 mths ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    Not a success story yet. 2020 has been hard. In the family we've had 3 emergency hospital stays and 1 surgery. First round of insurance comes to about $16,000. Why so much? We switched insurance providers with my new job and all out of pocket totals started over. Plus, about $8,000 is from one stay that was out of network, so different level of benefits and different of pocket limits kick in. We're paying off the small bills from extra services, like $300 for review of xray. On the larger bills we appealing the insurance company. When those are exhausted, we have a 3rd party medical bill negotiator waiting to take over (free benefit from the union). Turns out insurance at the old job was better than new insurance I picked at the new job. I can change that in Nov. 

    Like 1
      • B's Gambit
      • bs_GAMBIT
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Khaki Storm Wow, 2020 has been a rough year! 

      I like how you started your post so positive "Not a success story yet". Hang in there, and you will make it a success.

      Like 1
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Khaki Storm that is so hard, i'm so sorry. I hope everyone is safe and healthy now. 

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

      Wiecked Thank you. They are doing better. 

      Like 1
  • I did NOT order pizza like I really wanted to. I had a special coupon deal and everything. But I had food I had intended to cook already in my fridge. So after some convincing, I broke out my skillet and stuck to my plan.

    Like 4
    • Peripherie I've done that when I've been craving sushi. Instead of paying $25, I have smoked salmon or shrimp from the freezer with white cheddar mac/cheese, spinach, & red chilli flakes. One pan, very quick, & cheap. With wine. Perfect compromise for takeout = cheap comfort food at home. :)

      Like
      • Peripherie
      • Tomato_Captain.11
      • 5 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Purple Foal That sounds amazing! :)

      I have to remind myself that most of the time I am actually disappointed by most of the things I get from take-out and I really have liked what I make at home when I put in the effort.

      I also made some peanut butter blossom cookies with things I had at home. It was a very yummy extension of my no-buy win. :D

      Like 3
      • Black cat
      • Blue_Stallion.6
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Check out platejoy. I have been using it for years. I like home cooked food but I don't want to spend all night making it. At the beginning the lunches were so good that take out and frozen were no longer palatable. With the stay at home it has been invaluable. I can go two weeks without major shopping trips and everything is planned. I might need a few minor things but that is it.

      Like
    • Black cat Hope you don't mind me asking, but how does Platejoy work? Is it a meal delivery service (like HelloFresh) or more of a meal planning service?

      Like
      • Black cat
      • Blue_Stallion.6
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness it is a planning service app with shopping list. They have integration with food delivery but you don’t have to use it. I prefer to shop. In the profile you configure things like diet preferences and any foods you don’t like. Also how much time you like to cook and so on. If you use it for most of your meals it can replace food tracking apps because everything is proportioned. I lowered my cholesterol with it. And of course the meals are delicious   

      Like 1
    • Black cat Thanks for sharing! It's going on my list of things to look into - I'm always on the hunt to reduce Grocery spending (and hassle).

      Like
      • dOln
      • dOln
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Black cat - I just checked it out after your recommendation. It looks really good - but it's a  steep price as they only have 6 mo or yearly payment plans. I ought to be used to it after being fine with the cost of ynab but still. 

      One of the parts I'm interested in would be the pantry tracking.. how are your experience with that feature? 

      Like
  • My student loan autopay got automatically suspended because of the pandemic. I don't have to start paying again until September and there's going to be no interest charged in the meantime.

    Instead of letting that extra money sit there, I decided to start diverting the extra money towards some other debts I'm paying off. I put the same $250 I would normally put towards student loans this month into the smallest debt I have so I can free up that extra income stream sooner.

    Like 11
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Royal Blue Cyborg winning!!!

      Like 1
  • I froze my gym membership for 6 months. The company had already frozen all memberships for April and May due to the lock-downs but my state is going to be opening up soon. I'm just not at a place financially and personally where I want to be spending my money on going out in a public place to workout. (I found some DVDs I had in a box and I am using them again.)

    My membership hasn't been canceled outright though so I will have those 6 months tacked on to the end of my original year-long membership. Hopefully, things will be more settled (financially and globally) by December.  So that is a savings of $39/mo! I am going to put about $10-15/mo aside in a Fitness True Expense category so that when I do pick the membership back up again in December I will have it funded.

    Like 4
  • Finally rolled over my old 401k accounts which I wasn't allowed to contribute to. I can still contribute for 2019 and amending my taxes will give me an additional refund. I did max out contributions for my HSA.

    Cancelled all streaming except HBO Now and Spotify. Netflix has gotten too big and too confusing. I want curated content.

    Like 1
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