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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    • TechieM2
    • IT Professional and General Geek
    • techiem2
    • 3 mths ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    Ordered my new camera gear while all the large items are on sale (some significantly), and bought through B&H using their Payboo card to save all that sales tax.

    Like 1
  • Bought groceries yesterday at the store that offers 5 packs of meat for $20.  Already batch cooked 3 of the packs.  Eating out avoidance!

    Like 6
  • It's getting hot this summer, starting to test our first floor apartment's naturally cool state. I closed the blinds a little, took the tower fan out of the storage room, cleaned off the dust, and plugged it in. So far no need for A/C yet! The electric bills have been very reasonable.

    Like 5
  • I pulled my head out of my arse today!  We started this year with my hubby's knee replacement surgery and were buffered and all set to kick our 2nd mortgage debt to the curb once he returned to work, then COVID hit.  Thankfully we had our buffer to help through his lack of hours and eventual layoff.  Unemployment has been messed up and we had to use some of our savings to make ends meet, plus the extra spending we've been doing because our budget (and diets) went out the window with the Pandemic.  But no more!  Hubby is back to work and I got everything posted and caught up in YNAB, just sent an extra $621 to the 2nd mortgage and adjusted our goal to have it paid off by year end (instead of May, which of course didn't happen).   Simply acknowledging that we have to "roll with the punches" instead of giving up will help us to succeed at this next goal.  Now to work on our diets, LOL!

    Like 6
    • TechieM2
    • IT Professional and General Geek
    • techiem2
    • 2 mths ago
    • 4
    • Reported - view

    Moved some money into my M1 account while the market is still a bit iffy to get it where I want it for now and hopefully get some of those buys at decent prices before things get back to normal.

    While cleaning and reorganizing things I found a nice chunk of money I'd overbudgeted in a category, so I was able to hit the B&H sale for a few things from my list (yay!) and have a nice bit left over to allocate elsewhere.

    Like 4
  • Hi,
    My most recent wheeze to help with my YNAB budgeting is fiddly, but gets the job done.
    I was really fed up with going over-budget on my weekly shopping allowances, but I realised I was stocking up a little (Covid-19 related), and also sometimes the stuff you are buying is not just for this week, but weeks or even months into the future.
    So we have reduced the weekly food budget a little and put those savings into a Meat for Freezer Category and also a Longer Term Produce Category, so that way I can reduce the drain on my weekly budget.
    So far, the early indications are that it might work.
    Stay well everyone,
    Nev

    Like 7
  • I am a newby here, but I found a good trick to prevent "emotional comfort" shopping. I used to go to the big shopping centers and buy clothes, stuff I don't have to and don't need to.  But shopping feels good. 

    So instead, when the urge comes, I take a long walk /ride my bycicle or run, till I get so tired that I don't have the energy to go shopping. 

    It is free and good for the health also, and I always realize I didn't need to go shopping on the first place.

    Like 7
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Tan Hammer Excellent idea! I realized after reading The Latte Factor, that my weakness is adding things to my cart when I'm shopping that are not on my list. Now I'm more mindful. Knowledge is power! :)

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

      Tan Hammer Yes, that's the habit cycle hacked! Keep the reward but replace the action. 

      Like 1
    • TerbaTron
    • my mom is an accountant. I think I love budgeting
    • Green_Boat.7
    • 2 mths ago
    • 5
    • Reported - view

    I realized $200 per month is not enough for gas.  I made next months budget $250.  

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

      TerbaTron I'm guessing this is car gas and not home heating gas. If car gas, have you tried switching gas brands. My cars do so much better on BP or Marathon vs Speedway, Shell, Citgo, etc. That I don't even consider the other brands, even if they are 20% cheaper! 

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    • Vibrant
    • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
    • vibrant
    • 2 mths ago
    • 9
    • Reported - view

    1) Reinstated my renters insurance after (🙈) not carrying any for two years, and

    2) Let them quote my car insurance - and, to my surprise, shaved $100 off my monthly premium! Savings would've been even greater if I'd been in a position to PIF - but I've set a new savings goal for next year.

    Like 9
  • Summer began to get too hot and humid to work effectively from home. My partner and I discussed the possibility of buying a $400-500 standing portable A/C...then we remembered the landlord said he had a spare sitting around. We asked to rent it for $25/month for the next 2 months—done! Everybody wins.

    Like 8
  • As of yesterday, I am now a month ahead on my finances! It's only taken me a year and a half to get here. 😂

    I also contacted VGLI (Veterans Group Life Insurance) and reinstated my policy after letting it relapse two years ago. 🙈 Thankfully, they'll suspend it for up to five years before canceling it outright. Also changed my beneficiaries to my children only since my ex-husband was still on there as a primary beneficiary from before our divorce.

    In the last week, I've put a lot of my bills on Autopay since I'm finally at the place where I feel comfortable doing that. Last month I totally missed a payment, and the month before that I thought I'd paid a bill when I actually hadn't. I've been sick for a few months and even though I'm recovering, I'm also dealing with some major brain fog and cognitive issues and probably will be for awhile, so this is one less thing for my poor brain to remember. 😅

    Like 5
    • Violet Rain Autopay will really help you and with YNAB, you know you have the money there to pay your bills. Win/win. No more late fees. :)

      Like 4
      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 1 mth ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Purple Foal Violet Rain And if you put them in as scheduled transactions, it's even easier, because you'll see it come through and then see the matching transaction come through.  This can also serve as a reminder if the matching transaction DOESN'T come through, you can research what went wrong before it's too late.

      And if you have your register view enabled, you can see what your balance will be based on the scheduled transactions, which will help in your decision of whether you need to pull more from savings to cover a particularly large transaction, etc.

      Great job getting this far!  It's just one more step towards lower and lower money stress, and more power.

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

      Bruce Thank you! Yep, I have also put everything that's on Autopay as a scheduled transaction! So much easier! And I love the "running balance" feature on the register view. 

      Like 3
    • Bruce Definitely a game changer!! I love seeing what is coming up in each account & for how much. Then when I get the email notification, I can edit as necessary but at least the ballpark amount is budgeted for if the bill fluctuates. :)

      Like 2
  • Food again; nothing big, but I still like it: made pizza’s from scratch, which everyone likes a lot, hardly costs anything (haven’t counted it out, but it really can’t be a lot) and will be enough for tomorrow as well 😊.

    For greens on top I used the leafs of the beetroot I just bought. I used to throw those away, untill I realised they aren’t that different from swiss chard.

    Like 5
  • Well this 'weeks' big one would be Getting Back Into YNAB After Ignoring It for a long time.... After paying of my CC I've sort of been a bit.... Budget Absent.

     

    The other big one has been a really solid plan between me and my SO about how we're going to reduce unneccesary spending on Eating Out / Drinking. 

     

    Living where we leave it's super *easy* to just go out. And I guess we're fortunate in that we have enough disposable income where it doesn't really hurt too much to go out a few times more than we plan. 

     

    So our new plan instead: Instead of thinking of "eating out" vs "savings" - we're starting the month with a fully funded Weekend Break category. Small fund to treat ourselves to a little trip somewhere. In theory every month. 

    Every time we go over our alloted Booze/Eating Out fund, the extra comes from here. 

     

    Rather than being a case of "where in the budget will it come from" - we've decided on a specific consequence of our indulegence. 

     

    It's good because it's helping keeping us both accountable, motivated, and slightly healthier too..... And it's nice to engage SO in YNAB a bit more than usual :D    

    Like 7
    • BritishMuseum Welcome back!

      Like 1
  • I went through my expenses and found couple small things I could not spend on: one online service I don't really use with monthly fee, a membership to an association I haven't been involved in year, and a extra service attached to my phone bill I don't really need. The overall savings are not major, maybe 15€ per month or so, but I still feel great about finding these small expenses I don't need to keep paying.

    Like 8
    • Rakuna Every bit counts, and now you can budget that money for something else.

      Like 1
  • I found out this morning that my credit card has a promotion where you can "pay yourself back" on purchases that you have already made, using points that you have accrued and cashing them in for statement credits. Normally, I save up credit card points and use them to buy flights for travel. However, with this never-ending pandemic, I don't envision taking any flights in the next several months. The promotion adds a 50% bonus to the value of your points if you redeem them as a statement credit, so if X points are normally worth $600, they are now worth $900.  That is about the amount I was able to cash in.

    In the debt repayment challenge thread, I recently mentioned a pay cut at work due to the pandemic, and the consequence of me having to cut back on my debt repayments. Well, this had me thinking of potential things I could do to at least keep paying *something* extra toward my debt, and this statement credit will allow it this month!

    Like 10
  • BritishMuseum said:
    I've sort of been a bit.... Budget Absent

     YNAB MIA!

    Like 3
  • After we moved our table to the other side of the room (months ago!) it still lacked a light. At the same time our three table lamps were still tied up against the ceiling in the middle of the room.

    We planned to get a specific designer lamp with a long arm that could swivel to the table. Second hand would do. I just didn’t get round to seriously searching for one. Also, even second hand they are still quite expensive....

    Last week I ordered nice power cord (orange, fabric covered) and a socket, this morning we reconnected everything (credits for electric to husband) and now we have a table lamp and one in the other corner of the room. Both to be used separately. At only the cost of some cord and a simple fitting.

    I’m very content! Who needs a designer lamp?! Not us.

    Like 6
    • Powder Blue Pony It blows my mind how expensive "small" household items are - like lamps and rugs. Great job fixing that issue without breaking the budget. 😉

      Like 3
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 6 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Pony Exactly!! Repurpose needs/wants to serve you better. How empowering to think too that you beat the urge to just spend on something new versus Doing It Yourself!! Amazing! :)

      Like 2
    • Purple Foal I saw on here somewhere someone that categorized “needs” vs “wants” by color (a square color coded emoji maybe?). Thought this was brilliant, especially if it shows up in reports that way (needs/wants). Any idea how to do this? I’m new and this feature would be helpful!

      Like
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 3 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Purple Foal There's actually a decorating "movement" that does redecorate with your stuff from other rooms. Gives the room a new look without spending anything.

      Like 1
    • MXMOM oh wow, we’re all hot and happening and didn’t even know it! 😂

      Like 1
    • Khaki Griffin Great idea!! On a MAC: Control + Command + Space = emoji keyboard

      PC windows: Windows button + period

      Have fun! :)

      Like
    • MXMOM Cool!! Repurpose! :)

      Like
  • 1) Cut my cell phone bill in half by switching to Mint mobile.

    2) Moved several extra $s into future months.

    Like 6
  • I've paid of my credit card. It wasn't a large balance (c. £1.5K) and it was on a 0% deal so was not costing me much. I had enough money sat in my savings account which only had a small interest rate and i got fed up of seeing the credit card balance so i paid it off. I am now debt free 😄

    Like 8
    • tinkerbell88 Goodbye credit card, hello debt-freedom!! Congratulations!! 🎉🎉🎉 

      Like
  • I am so proud of myself.  Only because of my FINANCIAL AWARENESS through YNAB did I take the initiative.  I have been paying $86 for internet and $63 for cell with Verizon.  I've been with them for decades.  I finally walked into Xfinity and asked if they could do better.  Try $53 for internet (including all the taxes, etc)  and $15 for cell!!!!   When I got on the internet with Verizon to get the details on making the switch, they totally agreed to give me my internet for the Xfinity price.  I've asked before and they said I had the lowest package.  But this time when I was planning to walk and had an exact quote they suddenly could DO SOMETHING for me!  It was exciting!  Thank you YNAB for giving me the power to handle my finances!

    Like 8
      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 3 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Silver Lightning Now, just be on the lookout for creeping charges, and inflated prices in the coming months.  They'll give you a great price, but it will inch up bit by bit.  Just be ready for that.  At some point it might be worth the switch if they don't keep the prices down.

      Like
    • Silver Lightning Nice to have choices - Spectrum is the only choice where were are and they know it. An increase of $40/month over two years! I would also prefer they stop spending money sending us mailers about buying more of their services. They're having the opposite effect for sure!

      Like
    • Silver Lightning Good for you!! Now use that new sense of empowerment for all your bills. Look at every line item to see if you can do better! Agreed about watching charge increases. Might be worth to switch if you aren't locked into a contract. :)

      Like
  • Thank you.  I'm sure you are right.  Neither company has contracts anymore....which is good on one hand - I'm not locked in, but on the other, they aren't locked in and the creep may begin.  Good point!  But it was empowering to have a say in a price for a month.  And competition is GREAT for pricing!

    Like 1
  • Decided to invest part of my savings that is earmarked for a renovation for our apartment complex looming in the future some years away to a low risk investment fund. The interest on all savings accounts in my country are basically nonexistent so it makes sense to do this and let my money grow in the fund while I wait for the renovation to happen and the bill to come my way (won't happen until the renovation is done).

    Like
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 3 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Rakuna every little bit helps.  Not sure where you live but if you can put it in a non taxable account that would be best so that the teeny tiny interest doesn't get taxed too.

      Like
      • Rakuna
      • rakuna
      • 3 days ago
      • Reported - view

      MXMOM Those are not a think here so not an option. The investment funds are quite well regarded way of getting some profit from your savings.

      Like
  • Powder Blue Pony said:
    We planned to get a specific designer lamp with a long arm

     We were in a hotel a while back and liked the lamp so much I took photos of it so I could source it at home. I guess I have good taste, that lamp was $1200!!! Suffice to say I did not purchase this lamp. 

    Like 2
  • Silver Lightning said:
    they suddenly could DO SOMETHING for me!

     Why can't they just do this in the first place?!?!?  Irritating how they chase new customers with deals and won't give existing customers a break.  This just happened with our mortgage company but I said so sad, too bad, too little, too late and went with the other company.

    Like 1
    • MXMOM I've been listening to the Build Wealth Canada podcast. Really good! Great episodes on mortgage brokers. When mine comes up for a renewal, I am totally going through a broker and then using a warehouse lender (think it's called). Basically no-frills but way cheaper interest. Just make sure you can get good pre-payment terms (whenever you want, 15% or better) and other points I've forgotten. I'm not gonna be loyal to a bank that doesn't value me. They have such a turn-over of staff since all the "financial advisors" are just sales people that learn more about sales tactics then financial literacy. :)

      Like
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 2 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Purple Foal yes we have a 20 + 20 prepayment option. Lump sum 20% per year and/or we can increase monthly payment by 20% once per year.  I highly recommend Butler.  This is the second mortgage we have done through them and this time its seamless because no stupid collateral mortgage to deal with.  Banks 😒

      I'll have to listen to that podcast.  

      Like
  • Not today, but over the last few weeks got a new certification, came across a position that is related to that skillset, and in a bit over a week will be starting that job and making >50% more. Figure that'll help my finances.

    Like 11
      • TechieM2
      • IT Professional and General Geek
      • techiem2
      • 2 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Karabats Awesome!

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

      Karabats Congrats!

      Like
    • Karabats Amazing! Congratulations on the new position.

      Like
    • Karabats Amazing!!

      Like
    • Karabats  Impressive.  Our job skills and income-related certification is a HUGE key to financial management.  Congrats!

      Like 1
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