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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  • While decluttering my bookshelves and media shelf, I was using the Decluttr app to see if they were buying any of the items in my "maybe" pile. Sent stuff off  (free shipping) and should get about $25 in a few weeks. Every penny counts and my books now (mostly) fit on my bookshelves.

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    • veggiegeek Oh nice! I haven't heard of that app and can't find it in the AppStore, but that may be because I'm not in the US. I can imagine it's easier to let go of things if you know you'll get some money for them!

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    • Winterlover Momox offers a similar service for a few European countries. Not mine, sadly 😢

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  • Prepping the house to put it on the market for sale.  While this sounds like a big step for us, it is mostly health motivated.  We are moving from Colorado to Florida.  The profits from the house sale will pay off our 2 car loans and put us in a 100% debt free situation with 4-6 months worth of savings in the bank.

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    • Keith & Kittery Barrows That's a good situation to look forward to!

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  • Cancelled my Memberpress Press subscription. I'm not using it right now, and even though I'm grandfathered in on a pretty decent price, not using it and still paying for it is more expensive than buying it again later on if I really want to start using it again. And actually: I can still use it, I just don't get new updates :-) 99USD/year saved :-)

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  • Also cancelled my LeadPages account. I'm not using it as much, and it's quite costly. Some good money not going out of my account this August! :-)

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  • A few 'wins' this week. Successfully used YNAB to track reimbursements in several different currencies (as well as a few business/personal splits) and actually submitted the receipts to get the money back. Have managed to hustle an extra month of contracted work and adjusting my medium term finance plan accordingly. Trying hard to resist spending a cash gift - assigning it to top up some budget categories helped though it's been hard to resist the feeling that it's fun money (even though I know assigning it to true expenses like holiday fund means that it will ultimately be used to that end) - even though I know every dollar is the same as every other dollar breaking the emotional attachment is hard! 

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      • puddlejumper24
      • Construction Office Assistant/Artist
      • Purple_Yeti_2deb5a392c7
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Yeti Ugh, I am infamous for assigning something in my mind as money to treat myself. Good on you for seeing the longterm goal of vacation, and assigning money there. 

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  • Family was noticing that our internet was getting slower and slower in the past few months.  Called the internet/cable/phone company to see if there was something they could do.  Turns out we were paying for old plans that have been updated in a terrific way!  Internet speed will increase by 100%, cable channels that we will actually watch, all new hardware installed AND we'll pay $13 less per month for the next two years.  I think I'm probably a hero.

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    • Frugalflamesfan WOW!! Well done you!

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  • New to YNAB this week. Had two tutorials this week, went from freaking out to ah wow this could work! and did my budgeting and category naming today, feeling empowered and grown up!

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

      Salmon Guitar great feeling isn’t it?!

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      • BOAJ
      • Boaj
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      BajaChica so great!

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    • BOAJ Welcome! :-) How's it been going these past couple of weeks?

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  • Still resisting spending my cash gift - hoping that the longer I wait the easier I will forget I ever had the money in the first place! Calculated my expenses on sport over the rest of the year (new shoes, classes, events) and I have set aside exactly the right amount to come into in my true expense category over the next six months to cover the things I want to do (and also shows me that I want to take on anything else I have to take it out of other categories). Very satisfying!

    Also did some budget shifting to temporarily create a pot of money for expenses that will ultimately be reimbursed. It's a relief to see it sitting there and although it temporarily affects my saving goals I know that the short-term anticipated outlay of cash is covered. It takes me a little time to think about how to set up something like this in YNAB, but once I hit on a solution I'm always impressed by how easily the system can be personalised.

    Finally I  decided to formally  tag some of my savings explicitly as an 'emergency fund'. I feel like my true expenses are well set up to anticipate most of the things that are due to come my way (and I can dip into the rest of my savings if truly urgent) but having this chunk earmarked makes me less likely to spend it without premeditation.  There is a small amount left over that can be used to top up big expenses (like a new phone) if needed, but I think the long-term relief in having a fund to spend that is off-budget and separate from savings  will be considerable. 

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  • Sold a kid's desk on our community buy/sell site for $25.  New experience for me and I think I'm hooked.

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    • Frugalflamesfan Nice! What will you use the money for? And what's next on the to-sell-list? :-)

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    • Winterlover well, TBH I bought a new desk for my son.  One that will suit him better for university next year.  But next on the list are 4 summer tires and rims for my hubby's old Audi that he wrecked this spring.  Hoping to get at least $200.  

      Reply Like 1
    • Frugalflamesfan Sounds good!

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  • Cancelled hubby's gym membership (€20,95/month) and a lottery subscription (€13,25/month). Gym will be more costly at a new one, but it will be closer to our new home so at least he'll go and it won't be a total waste of money :) 

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  • We didn't buy lunch when we were out and about this morning. We came home and ate what we already have :)
    But now I need to go to the shop as we've run out of bread ha ha

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    • Lianne Blake Love that you are YNAB Enforcer.  I feel like "Enforcer" should be part of the job title for Moms!  It always amazes me that I can usually make a pretty decent meal from what's left in the fridge!

      Reply Like 2
      • Lianne Blake
      • Mum, Wife, IT Assistant, YNAB Enforcer
      • lblake
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Frugalflamesfan Ha ha ha I have to be the enforcer :( Husband hates spending any money at all...I have to remind him that we do need to eat to survive, especially the kids...and that money is budgeted so that we can spend it. (He racked up a lot of debt in his early 20's before I met him and doesn't like spending 'just in case' in happens again...and again I have to remind him we have YNAB to help us!)

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    • Lianne Blake My husband hates to spend money too.  He used to make snide comments about me shopping all of the time, so I tasked him to buy our 13 year old daughter jeans and he came home with a little understanding!  Shopping is a chore and has to be done.  He grew up in a dirt-poor family with 10 kids and his poor Mom agonized over spending a dime.  His Dad gave their money away to irresponsible churches.  Lots of emotional money-baggage for my poor hubby.  It pains him to see me throw away a moldy cucumber! 

      He did get some joy over doing a little renovation (new front doors) in the house when I showed him that it was all paid for already.

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

      Frugalflamesfan Nothing like a little perspective. I often turn over the reins to my husband when it's time to  buy clothes for Blondie, my 12-year-old stepdaughter. He is immune to the mood swings and attitude. More power to him! I love that kid, but I swear she's going to make me turn gray before my time. 

      Reply Like 1
    • puddlejumper24 My daughter is 17 now and does her own shopping with her own money and is so happy to be on the road to independence. 12 was the most challenging time, I found.

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  • Reconnected with a SAHM who walked my puppy a few times in the spring when I worked.  She and her little boy are super keen to walk puppy regularly when we all go back to school and work in the fall.  Win-Win!  She makes a little cash and I have someone trustworthy to take care of pup.

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    • Frugalflamesfan Oh that's lovely! Also for the little kid! :-)

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  • Small act but it all adds up: opened the curtains and switched off the lights, whilst folding the laundry :-)

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    • Winterlover It does add up!  I'm always shutting off lights around here.  

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    • Frugalflamesfan And it's better for the environment too!

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      • Paris 99
      • paris_99
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Winterlover So simple and effective ! Good reminder for me too ! Thanks

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  • I've been eating lots of veggies from the garden this week which is a win-win-win!

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      • Paris 99
      • paris_99
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Frugalflamesfan Have you noticed any significant difference on your water bill (for watering the veggies you grow) ? Does it cost much at all ? Interesting point anyways, groceries is my biggest budget every month !

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    • Paris 99 Paris 99  we live in Alberta, Canada. Last year when I wrote that post, I had an amazing garden and harvested 35 lbs of tomatoes and piles of peas, beans, peppers, lettuce and carrots. This year, poor weather and hail made it so we had 5 tomatoes and a few little carrots. Labour of love and frustration! 

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      • Paris 99
      • paris_99
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
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      Frugalflamesfan Oh, that's a pity ! Hopefully next year will be good again !

      Reply Like 1
    • Paris 99 Hope springs eternal.  Gardening is therapy for me, even if the harvest is disappointing.  I don't think gardening is ever much of a grocery savings, but it's fun and healthy.

      Reply Like 1
  • I actually made myself sit down and write out all my debt and figured out a plan to tackle it instead of putting my head in the sand.

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    • RecklessOptimism Good way to avoid an eventual mouthful of sand!

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

      RecklessOptimism Check out Undebt.it it's free and pretty fabulous. You can set up all your debt individually and then compare different methods of payoff to see which works best for you. I specifically like it to see when I will be debt free and how tweaking the payments affects that

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

    Anytime during the month when I wanted to buy myself a treat I would tell myself, "Just wait until your birthday week and buy it then so it's extra special." Now it's my birthday week and I actually have money in my fun categories to buy myself treats all week. 🙌

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    • QC
    • HaplessFinanceProfessional
    • Queenofcoin
    • 1 yr ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    My car insurance renewal came out. I enquirer about the increased price and the deductible I pay and renegotiated a new premium that saves me $250 a year. 

    Reply Like 1
      • Violet Drill
      • Violet_Drill_0bf6fcf19d
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      QC Nice job! Mine just came due too, with an increased price, so I decided to shop around...and discovered that equitable coverage at the other major insurers ranged from $25-$100 more than my current one. Oh well, I tried!

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      • Aritavashkai
      • playing with numbers makes me happy
      • aritavashkai
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      QC Whoa. That's a lot. Thank you for showing it can be done! I've always just accepted the increase with a cringe.

      Reply Like 1
      • QC
      • HaplessFinanceProfessional
      • Queenofcoin
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Violet Drill It's a great feeling to know you're getting the best deal around! :)

      Reply Like 1
    • MacGsMom
    • Editor. Artist. Book fiend.
    • bookgirl1010
    • 1 yr ago
    • 5
    • Reported - view

    I've been taking my mom out to dinner on Fridays (or sometimes we grocery shop for what we want and cook together). It adds up! Since we're going on vacation next week (already saved for), I suggested we just cook something we already have on hand. Then we'll either play cards or watch a movie w/Amazon Prime. So a night of fun without spending a penny!

    Reply Like 5
    • Alia Gee
    • Let me explain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
    • Pink_Keyboard
    • 1 yr ago
    • 5
    • Reported - view

    I added a Wish Farm to my budget, and it was hard because I don't usually think much about what I want. Well, there is a particular item of non-essential clothing I want, and I decided it was perfect for my first wish farm crop.
    I wasn't sure what the item cost, so I visited the seller's website, and discovered they were running a giveaway this weekend. I don't expect to win, but I wouldn't have even known they did regular giveaways if I hadn't needed to know the price. So now I've added "enter daily giveaway" to my schedule, and until I save enough money to buy one with cash, I'm going to spend a minute a day trying to earn a  free one.

    That feels like a win, even if I don't win. :)

    Reply Like 5
    • QC
    • HaplessFinanceProfessional
    • Queenofcoin
    • 1 yr ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    Today I downgraded my internet plan.  We're getting to half our allowance close to the end of the billing cycle so I altered the plan to less Data (same speed).  The difference is only $10 a month and it won't kick in until the beginning of the next billing cycle but I'm reviewing all of my utility contracts to save where I can.

    On Sunday I switched my electricity provider.  The new one offers a 28% pay on time discount blitzing my current providers offer of 16% so that should help out, especially with summer on the horizon.

    Reply Like 1
    • QC So jealous that summer is on your horizon.  Very odd that you can get "pay on time discounts". We get dinged if we pay late, so maybe it's just a matter of perspective!  Good job figuring out where to save a buck or two.

      Reply Like 2
  • Cut two different bills today to save $100.95 per month.  On the hunt for more savings!

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  • I've stayed in this weekend so have only spent money on grocery shopping. I have spent alot of money on groceries, but i had to replace pantry type foods that had run out and I have batched cooked and filled up the freezer, so that will hopefully prevent mindless spending on food when I don't know what to cook

    Reply Like 1
  • Yesterday I convinced hubby we could eat leftovers from the day before instead of him going to buy bread and cheese which he wanted. Today I wanted to order food, not so good for the budget... but: I compared the price of it on their own website versus ordering via a food-app, and saved a few bucks that way :) 

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  • Worked an extra couple of days to cover vacations this month and just got the paycheque. Happy Happy! Extra $500.  Bonus was that all of the large bills for August were budgeted and covered and this extra money can go towards filling up some more goals!

    Reply Like 1
  • Some things I did over the past couple of days:

    - complained about pizzas being delivered too late, slightly cold, and not well-cut. Got a voucher for 1 free pizza. We ordered pizzas again and I choose a cheap €5 one, and the other one was free. So 2 pizzas for €5, not bad :-)
    - filled out a form for money back for a dairy product we bought: €1,35 back into the budget
    - sent an email to Vans complaining about my hubby's shoes' stitches already 'breaking' - we only bought them in June. Hopefully he'll get a replacement pair!
    - Entering our groceries spending into the budget in a very detailed manner, because we want to see where it's going. We're spending way too much in that category!
    - Tweeted to a company that their discount code wasn't working properly anymore after I refunded an order. Got a new code. And that meant: very cheap diapers for our baby :-)

    Reply Like 1
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