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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    • Ben
    • Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer
    • furiousfalcon
    • 1 yr ago
    • 5
    • Reported - view

    So I'm going through a tight period -- I'm working a lot (self employed) , but waiting on some big paychecks to come in. I keep finding things I want to buy, often online, add them to my cart... and sigh and don't end up purchasing it. Yay, I guess?

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      • BajaChica
      • Purple_Memory.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Ben  YES YAY!!!!

      Reply Like 3
    • Ben Very good!! Big YAY!

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    • Ben Avoid looking online for a bit. Take a bunch of books out of the library on budgeting. That will keep you distracted & your eyes on the prize! :)

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  • Updated my YNAB and realized that no, I really really cannot buy a bottle of wine rn, haha. That's another tenner squirreled away for aging my money.

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    • Disco Well done!

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  • Ben said:
    I keep finding things I want to buy, often online, add them to my cart... and sigh and don't end up purchasing it. Yay, I guess?

     Yes 😊

    I put desirable things into a wish list.  I have an Amazon wish list and can add things from any website to it. 

    I almost never buy the things I put there, but adding it sort of satisfies that need to put it into a cart.  I think, I'll sleep on it.  Then I usually sleep on it for so many nights I forget all about it.

    Another bonus is that if someone asks me what I'd like as a present (eg Christmas, leaving a job), if I can't persuade them out of the present idea then I can just point them to the wish list.  That way, it's still a surprise but it will be something that I do want.

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    • Pikayo That's so cool you can add things from any website to it! Not being from the States Amazon is not as helpful for me, but it's good to know anyway :-) 

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  • By looking at receipts carefully, I have discovered (in the last few weeks):

    • a spurious charge for a dozen eggs (charged for 2 dozen when I bought one); refunded when I went back the next day
    • a mathematical error on a handwritten bill from my mechanic (it was an honest error and he will fix it)
    • a $1 charge that I hadn't anticipated for using a credit card; immediately got a refund and paid in cash

    Two of these were for very small amounts, and one for quite a lot. All would have been missed if I hadn't scrutinized the receipts! So I really like my method of collecting receipts and manually entering them in YNAB. 

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    • doctor_who Yessss! Well done! I sometimes find things like double bookings from a company by entering my transactions manually, so I love doing it, even though it's a bit of work.

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  • Canceled Netflix. I barely have any time to sit in front of the TV these days, so that was just a tenner going to waste every month. God bless podcasts during long commutes! 

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      • Kate
      • Joyful Technical Writer 🌴
      • sweet_sunshine
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Disco What podcasts do you like to listen to and which podcasts would you recommend? 

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    • Disco ooh I love podcasts too! I was going to ask the same, which ones do you like? :-) 
      Kate Which ones do you like?

      Some of my favourites: true crime (in particular Serial, Undisclosed, Truth & Justice), and business related ones as I'm self-employed :-)

      Reply Like 1
      • Kate
      • Joyful Technical Writer 🌴
      • sweet_sunshine
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Winterlover Here is my list!

      • Recent and Current News:
        • The Daily (New York Times)
        • Up First (NPR)
        • Pop Culture Happy Hour (NPR)
        • The Briefing (Christian World View)
        • The World and Everything In it (Christian World View)
      • True Crime:
        • Sword and Scale (The Best True Crime Podcast I know of. I am even subscribed on Patreon for the Plus service as well.)
        • Sword and Scale Rewind (Not as good as Sword and Scale but if you enjoy My Favorite Murder then you will like this podcast.)
        • Thinking Sideways (Mysteries, Missing Persons, and Murders, oh my!)
        • Cold Case Files: The Podcast (Just like the television show but in a podcast form so you can listen at work.)
        • My Favorite Murder (Usually only the Minisodes because I get burned out in the middle of the actual episodes and turn it off.)
        • Generation Why (I love love love this podcast (even though this is a "two guys talk about murder" podcast) and I also enjoy listening to the wealth of content the hosts have produced.)
        • True Crime Garage (Another "two guys talk about murder" podcast but I enjoy the wealth of facts the guys provide during the episode and they do lesser known cases.)
      • History:
        • American History Tellers (Learn about a whole era in American history with historical situations and reenactments.) 
        • Lore (a classic history retelling of creepy and interesting events and theories that have taken place over the last three hundred years.)
      • Finance:
        • The Dave Ramsey Show (When I feel like listening to Dave and his rants. 😂)
        • Millennial Money (Shannah Compton has an interesting take on an eclectic group of financial topics.)
        • You Need A Budget (Obviously.)
      • Other (A Mix Bag):
        • Change Agent (The New York Times) - (New and interesting ways to change your habits.)
        • Dear Franklin Jones (Ever wondered what it would be like to be raised in a cult?)
        • Sincerely, X (TED) - (TED Talks with anonymous speakers on sensitive issues.)
        • RABBITS - (Ten episode mystery story that I enjoyed.)
        • The Last Movie - (Mystery/Horror Story with a better ending than RABBITS.)
        • The Walk - (Created by the Zombies, Run! company that you can listen to while walking.)
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    • Kate Thanks so much for this list! I see some new ones I might want to have a look/listen at! 

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  • A newbie with a lifetime of financial illiteracy behind me. Joined YNAB as I am facing a paycut in 2019 and likely unemployment in 2020. The simple act of assigning my money jobs and encountering the reality of my account balance has been really powerful. A knock-on effect (and my win for the week) has been getting up the strength to go through a big mountain of personal paperwork. I might not have come to grips with it all yet, but knowing where all the financial information is is already a big step in the right direction.

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    • Orchid Yeti Welcome to YNAB! And getting your paperwork in order is a good place to start! Getting a grip on all that's coming in and going out, that's where it starts! Pat on the back for you!

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  • Worked an extra shift this week, took lunches to work and drank the swill provided at work instead of SB. 

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    • Frugalflamesfan Nice!

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      • puddlejumper24
      • Construction Office Assistant/Artist
      • Purple_Yeti_2deb5a392c7
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Frugalflamesfan  I split the difference by making my own excellent coffee at home. Prevents both swill and Starbucks. 😁

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  • 1. Said NO to extra purchases more often this week. I'm finding that I have to wean myself off the splurges rather than quit cold turkey. 

    2. Cut out an unnecessary subscription. Yes, it was $2.19 a month, but it wasn't being used anymore. 

    3. Created an plan for my husband's large commission check BEFORE it arrives later today. In the past, big checks have tended to bleed money before we put them to work. This time around, I've got a list of some things that need to be paid and even a couple of planned indulgences. I'm looking forward to seeing how this may help us make that check work harder for us this time around. 

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    • puddlejumper24 Well done on planning ahead! And yes, all small bits help!

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  • I was travelling the last few days for business. Managed to avoid two big spending triggers 1) I usually take cash out in advance to avoid foreign transaction fees but tend to spend it more easily because it's there. This time I kept careful track of how much I was spending each day so I could see where my money was going and avoided impulse buys 2) I often buy things in the airport - lots of good deals and temptations. However, I'd already maxed out my toiletries budget for the month and wasn't in need of anything specific that couldn't wait until next month when I'm in an airport again. That little voice in my head that said 'the money is for something else, you have enough' has been given some strength from YNAB!

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    • Orchid Yeti Ooh well done! 

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

      Orchid Yeti ENOUGH is a good word. We really all have too much. YNAB and what you really need vs want help keep you focused on what you do really want. Like a soaker tub. :)

      Reply Like 1
  • Reaping the benefit of a previous win today - confronting the numbers in YNAB gave me the push to go through my financial paperwork and chase down a few bits of money/refunds. Today the first of these chunks came back into my account - just enough to cover underfunded sunk costs in a true expense category for June. 🙂

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    • Orchid Yeti Nice!! Well done!

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  • Impulse control!  There's something I really want to buy and it's within my fun money budget... for next week.  I stopped myself from spending ahead and future dating the transaction.  Instead, I wrote a note of it in that category to go back to and buy later.

    I'm very impulsive.  Keeping to the budget is a constant challenge.  So this might not have been a big thing for someone else but it's an achievement for me.  😊

    Reply Like 11
    • Pikayo Every little bit helps. Keep strong!

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    • Pikayo Well done!! I love reading about steps like these people are taking! It's all about knowing yourself and dealing with that in the best way possible! You can be proud of yourself!

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  • Went camping with a large group of friends this weekend and the forecast was for rain, rain, rain.  My first impulse was to save the day and purchase a big waterproof structure (on sale for $269 at our trust Canadian Tire).  I even went to the store. 

    But I remembered that we had an old 10 person tent that would also make a nice little rain-hideout, so we set that up in case the forecast came true.  Lucky for us, not a drop of rain all weekend and all I spent money on was for the campsite, 1/4 tank of gas, and my portion of the potluck meals.  Win, win, win.

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    • Frugalflamesfan Woohoo well done! 

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  • After needing some emergency surgery and not being far enough ahead yet to pay cash, I needed to use my credit card to pick up the difference. So I tightened the belt and took action in some other ways.

    1) Closed my Zip Pay and Afterpay online shopping accounts. 

    2) Unsubscribed to all the emails that come in from retailers. Whilst I am pretty strong with deleting these things I'm human and sometimes I will be tempted.

    3) Found a new hairdresser, who operates out of her garage, saving me around $30/mth. 

    4) Went through my budget with a fine tooth comb )end of financial year style) and made a few minor savings.

    5) Did some online surveys after having a bit of break.

    I'm pretty happy with where I'm sitting and although I'm still working on paying debt, I'm quite clear about where my money is going and how to manage it better.

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    • Forest Green Chef Great steps in the right direction, well done! And: get well soon!

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  • Our kids are away, which usually means nice meals out and doing a day trip somewhere without them.  Our Dining Out line is pretty small these days, and I couldn't come up with anywhere I really wanted to spend the gas to get to, so we stayed home, cleaned out the basement, cooked dinner and watched a fun movie on Netflix.  Pretty cheap weekend, and we had a really nice time.  

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    • All About the Numbers Sounds like you've had a lovely (and useful and money-saving!) weekend!

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  • I canceled the unwanted subscriptions that I rarely used.

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    • Sea Green Foal Nice! Which ones were they, if I may ask?

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    • Winterlover  -- Audible, Magisto App (Video Editing), and online-subscription forum that I don't log on a weekly basis.

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  • Submitted the invoice for my breast feeding workshop to my health insurance. Only €15, but they should pay for it I believe, so yeey :-) Also asked for a receipt of the Birth Prep Partner Workshop we did, I think the insurance would pay for that one too. 

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    • Winterlover Ugh they didn't pay for it in the end :-( Oh well, only €15 luckily!

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  • Oh and not today nor something I did, because my hubby is the one that does grocery shopping most of the time... but: he went just one time this week ahead of a week of nightshifts at work, instead of going pretty much every day or every other day (or me having to go whilst he's asleep). He went to 3 different stores to find the best deals everywhere! I'm so proud of him! <3 

    Reply Like 3
      • Pikayo
      • Pikayo
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      🏆 hubby trophy      😊

      Reply Like 1
    • Pikayo LOL thanks! :) I'll show him! 

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  • I signed up to host foreign students coming here to study English a few weeks ago, and today I received and accepted my first booking. It's a bit sudden, they'll be here in two days but I'm looking forward to it (a bit anxious too!). I like showing people around and it should be an interesting experience... And the extra bit of money will certainly help as well :)

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    • Coral Hammerhead And what a good way to get to know some interesting people!  We have hosted a great kid from France for a couple of summers and we have made family friends.  Enjoy!

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    • Frugalflamesfan Absolutely! I've been an exchange student myself so I know what it's like from the other side. Unfortunately I also got friendly enough with my hosts that they shared some unpleasant experiences with past students so, crossing fingers it works out well 😊

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    • Coral Hammerhead Oh that's so nice! I hope you'll have a great experience!

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    • Coral Hammerhead I think by now you'll have your first student(s) over? I hope they're nice indeed!

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    • Winterlover They were utterly lovely! And very independent as well so it was much more of an AirBnB/hotel type experience than student hosting 🙂 Unfortunately due to a work emergency they had to leave only a few days in, a pity.

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  • Asked for, received and submitted the invoice for a Birth Prep Partner Workshop we did recently. Should get $35 back from my health insurance :-) 

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  • Hello, today i have deleted all my smartphone apps that waste time! cracked open the laptop and restarted my YNAB (from when i tried a few months ago)... i'm hoping to pay off 35 grands worth of debt including our wedding coming up at the end of the year. I have historically been paycheck to paycheck and always been terrible with money.. As a couple with 2 kids on low salaries we want to get in shape and look to get 30 days ahead, pay off our debts asap and live within our means... hoping its possible with YNAB.

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    • Tan Device It will take time, but it's certainly doable I believe!! 

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  • Woke up to the realization that there was a dress I ordered online that needed to the returned as it was probably near the return deadline. 😬 I am notoriously bad at this. So I sat up in bed, went to the Website started the process. It looks like I still have time to ship, so I’ll take the dress to work with me, print the return slip and send it back ASAP. The dress money puts me halfway to a roof rack I’ve been wanting for my car!

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    • puddlejumper24 Well done!! Maybe next time immediately set a reminder in your phone some days before the final return date, and then see if you want to send anything back?

      Reply Like 1
  • In the last week-

    1. Budgeted my modest raise (5%) from June to extra HELOC payments and savings goals only (I budget on last month's income so placed in July categories).  All raise monies will continue to go to HELOC/savings goals.

    2.  Checked the sale codes at Target for 4th of July and discovered the console table I just ordered (budgeted) was now $50 less.  Called and had them do a price adjustment. $50 more now going to HELOC.

    3. Spoke to my insurance agent since it was time to renew auto/home.  Was told there were no cheaper alternatives for my coverage, went on to the insurance company website and found a discount she missed- $150/yr saved.

    4. Was gifted 3 gorgeous work dresses from my local Buy Nothing FB group.  Shopping itch scratched.

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    • NotMyName Wow!

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  • NotMyName said:
    4. Was gifted 3 gorgeous work dresses from my local Buy Nothing FB group.  Shopping itch scratched.

     Fab.  I've just been gifted some material to make curtains.  The person who gave it to me is happy too, that I can enjoy something she's decided she doesn't need after all.  Win win.

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    • Pikayo Makes it easier for that person to give it away for sure! Two happy people :-) 

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  • Yesterday I went to the supermarket early, before it got hot and before the England game. 

    Unfortunately many other people had had the same idea.  The queues were ridiculous, so the staff handed out money-off vouchers to everyone waiting.  Not sure I can take credit for this ( was it my advanced queueing skills?) but it was a win that my groceries suddenly got cheaper.  

    A second win was that I accidentally swiped the money off voucher twice and got double the money off - but then I removed the second discount so I was only getting the discount I was supposed to.  I'd love to say that's because I'm so honest I wouldn't dream of sneaking an extra discount.  Sadly, not true.  I did consider it for a moment.  😳  But I believe that would be sending a message to the universe that I feel the need to cheat in order to win with money.  Instead, I reversed the second discount and - hopefully - helped my financial karma. 😊

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    • Pikayo I appreciate you for taking off the second discount! No problem you considered it, you made the right decision in the end :-) And nice that you got some money off at least! :-)

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  • Paid $200 dollars to pre-ynab creditcard. Only $85 left on that card. Should be paid off with my next paycheck

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    • ggrace Woo-hoo! Paying it off next month will feel amazing! Congrats!

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    • ggrace Nice!!

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