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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  • We passed on Starbucks while at Target. While this doesn't necessarily affect our budget since I already have money on my Starbucks card that is off budget, it leaves that money for another day!

    We also ate leftovers out of the fridge instead of giving in to a "snow day" deal at our favourite restaurant (buy one get one half off meals). Tempted, but we had leftovers that needed to be eaten soon, so I am glad we're not throwing those away.

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      • Coral Projector
      • backyard gardener and minimalist want-a-be
      • Coral_Projector
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      imaginaryannie Hi.  You are doing great!  It has taken me years but I've finally learned that small changes (like your Starbucks card) can be repeated often, slowly, but they'll surely start rolling into more changes which I found get easier and easier to make, eventually with unconscious thought reminders.  We build on our tiny successes, and that makes us feel confident to move onto others.  For example, if you make a positive habit change once a week, that is 52 changes a year.   That's real progress.  I do have to tell myself often NOT to take on too many changes at once.

      Leftovers out of the fridge and freezer planned-overs is my present habit to become autonomous.  IF we eat out, it is on gift cards that we've received or planned CASH.    You are on your way, congrats. 

      Reply Like 1
  • I added next year's tax preparation fees to my annualized fee category so I could start saving now. I didn't know what it would cost with a new accountant/new business, and fortunately the money I'd set aside to cover my expected tax liability was repurposed to pay the accountant when I ended up getting a tiny bit back on my return instead of owing. But damn is he expensive, and after talking to several other small business owners I'm not feeling optimistic about finding a better rate. At least this way I'll be ready to pay him next year.

    Reply Like 2
      • TechieM2
      • IT Professional and General Geek
      • techiem2
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Kombucha Kid I'm still figuring out all the odd yearly expenses that pop up and how to deal with them

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

      Kombucha Kid same, I used to wait until I got a refund deposit to pay the tax prep, but saving up for it each month is a better plan.

      Reply Like
  • I had to purchase several clothing items to help with my post-mastectomy recovery, which totally blew through my health care budget. BUT I took the time to check into (1) my health care reimbursement policy and learned that the nearest in-network provider is more than 40 minutes away, so I should be able to get reimbursed at 75% for some of the items (which should result in a $200 reimbursement), and (2) looked at the store's site today and found that many of the items I purchased have gone on sale for 40%, saving me an additional $160.

    Reply Like 4
  • Applied and got approved for a rewards credit card that pays unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases to replace my current pif non-rewards card.

    Reply Like 2
      • nomade0
      • Silver_Door.5
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Coral Battery Interesting, which one?

      Reply Like 1
  • Reactivated some store credit (for a faulty purchase I returned a few years ago...) and then rather than letting that credit just languish there used it to buy new trainers. Double win of not leaving my money tied up on the plus side of a big corporation's credit sheet and loosening pressure on my clothing category. Plus the trainers are cute :-)

    Reply Like 3
  • Finished my current phone contract (which included paying back my phone) so moved from £45~ a month to £9. Also moved a balance from one credit card with higher interest to an interest free one and set up an aggressive payment plan I can stick too saving me £17 a month in interest. Along with cancelling Spotify I'm going to be saving myself approximately £60 a month! Woop!

    Reply Like 4
  • Spotted an error on my broadband bill this morning. Fixed - saving £14/month for a year: £168!

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

    Finished taxes as early as possible to get refund as quick as possible. 

    Reply Like 1
    • MacGsMom
    • Editor. Artist. Book fiend.
    • bookgirl1010
    • 8 mths ago
    • 3
    • Reported - view

    Opened a new interest-bearing savings account with Capital One and changed my auto-deduction at work to go to that new account. Also upped the amount by $100/month. My goal is to incrementally increase the amount going to savings (whether cash or investment) twice yearly. 

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

    Got on consumer reports before making a major purchase. Literally saved hundreds based on their advice. They testing Sonic toothbrushes and rotating bushes at all price points and said their wasn't any real difference in plaque removal as long as you brushed properly and flossed. The $20 one does as good as the $200 one as long as you spend 2mins, use soft bristles, hold the brush lightly, and a 45 degree angle, all twice a day. They actually said there's a danger of brushing too often with to the powered bushes and removing enamel. I went with a 40 model that warns you about bushing too hard and has a 2 min timer. 

    Reply Like 2
      • Coral Projector
      • backyard gardener and minimalist want-a-be
      • Coral_Projector
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Ben Khaki Storm Hi.  We do as well.  We can access CONSUMER REPORTS for free through our local library.  The reviews are very helpful in decision-making.

      Reply Like 1
  • Set up a second interview for a new position with a possible title and salary increase.

    Reply Like 7
    • TechieM2
    • IT Professional and General Geek
    • techiem2
    • 8 mths ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    Dad got my taxes done today.  I entered the transactions for the checks heading out for the State and Local stuff I owe (getting a nice refund from Fed), moved the rest of the Taxes category money back to Inflow and used it to cover the few odd things that popped up this month and finish up a couple budget categories for the month that were a bit low due to surprises and setup a new savings goal for the category starting next month for next year's taxes.  There's even a little left over that I haven't decided what to do with yet.  Having those funds freed up to cover the rest of my budget and the surprise expenses means I'll be able to put the full amount I was hoping to from my extra paycheck this month on the student loan since I won't have to use any of it to cover the surprise expenses that popped up!

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

    Always question! Thanks to this forum questioning me about my credit card points, I found out that only part of my points go to support overseas missions. I still get some (not much, but some). Well, I didn't realize that so they've been collecting for years. In addition, the credit union added a checking deposit option to redeem the points. That was the best points to cash conversion offered, others were like gift cards and electronics I didn't want.

    Reply Like 1
      • TechieM2
      • IT Professional and General Geek
      • techiem2
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Ben Khaki Storm That's the one option I wish my card had - rewards directly into checking.  For now they just mail me a check when it hits $100 in rewards..which I then immediately deposit into the checking account...

      Reply Like 2
    • Khaki Storm
    • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
    • Khaki_Storm.1
    • 8 mths ago
    • Reported - view
    TechieM2 said:
    student loan

     That's great news! I've been on this soapbox before on the forum, so I'll keep it short: Please make sure your extra payment are really going toward the principle. I've run into this personally, thru family members, and also someone on the forum. Those student loan companies are...well I said I'd keep it short.

    Reply Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 8 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Ben Khaki Storm This reply is principally to remind readers that you mean the loan's "principal". It's the principle of the thing, sir. 😂

      Reply Like 5
      • TechieM2
      • IT Professional and General Geek
      • techiem2
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Ben Khaki Storm Yeah that's one of the things that kicked me into getting my finances in order -  when I realized that a chunk of my monthly scheduled payment was just interest, and that the loan was gaining about $80/mo in interest...made me realize just how much I was really paying extra.

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

      bevocat Math, I can math. English, I can't English today.

      Reply Like 2
    • TechieM2 That, and when you make a payment can matter.  I wanted to make an excess payment, but because of rules my loan servicer has, the only way I can make it go to the principal is to pay on the due date with the regular payment, and there was a hang-up there.  The girl on the phone said I could pay the next business day.... earlier payments make more of a difference to the interest earned.  

      Sure, they do, but only if you can control them going to the principal of choice.  I mathed it out.   Letting the service provider chose where even part of my extra payment went, 28 days before I was authorized to have that control would have COST me over $800 over the remaining life of my (hopefully avalanched) student loans.  I can't imagine the effect on a longer payment plan.

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

      Move Light Sound Life That's crazy!  The student loan I can make an extra payment any time.  The monthly payment is auto scheduled.  The car I haven't looked into much, I just do the extra amount when I do the monthly payment - there's a field for that when scheduling the payment.

      Reply Like
  • Filed my taxes today. Got less back than last year, in part due to changes in taxes, changes to my withholding (I did 2 instead of 1 most of the year), and part because of a big chunk of interest from cashing in fully matured savings bonds. It's still a decent bit, but I was used to getting over 1k back. I like getting a little more paycheck each month though, so I'll probably keep my withholding at 2 and check again midyear that it is correct.

    Reply Like 2
  • Did planned Costco shop today where I split half the order with my next-door-neighbour.  Happy-halfy!

    Reply Like 4
    • Frugalflamesfan I'm jealous! I've tried this a number of times and Costco somehow manages to win every trip.

      Reply Like
    • Faness My neighbour and I have it worked out that I shop and try to buy things on sale. I make a quick spreadsheet and work out the price per unit and then she "shops" off my spreadsheet.  This week we shared apples, oranges, bread, tomatoes, sliced turkey, pancake mix, power bowls, yogurt. Of my $200 Costco bill, she gave me $55 and I have to think that I probably would have wasted at least $20 worth when my excess would have expired or wilted. She sends a kid over with a bin and it's a win/win.

      Reply Like 2
  • Contacted my gas/electricity provider now that my one year new customer discount is over to see what other deals were available to me. Got a new discount on rates, backdated to February, and valid for the next year. Not as good as the new customer discount, but this company is good while the cheaper competitors tend to have terrible reviews on forums and from friends, so I'm happy to stay with them.

    Reply Like 2
      • Coral Projector
      • backyard gardener and minimalist want-a-be
      • Coral_Projector
      • 7 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Coral J Hammerhead Wow!  that is great.  Every bit of savings adds up.  You have prompted me to call my gas/electricity providers.  Thanks, Coral.

      Reply Like 2
    • Coral Projector Great!! I used QC 's really helpful guide at https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/80wzrg , should that be of help to you too 🙂

      Reply Like 1
  • Checked my credit score today and had a significant unexpected jump. Checked into it and basically with the new credit card I opened up for a balance transfer, I now use less than 50% of my total credit! Yay!

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

    Cleaned out the crawlspace ahead of the next contractor. Either past home owner or contactors left their construction trash down their. 2 contactors turned me down just looking at the space. So, off to cleaning I went! Now to call for the real repairs needed. 

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

    The fees to maintain my 401(k) went down by $1.00 annually ($33 down to $32). I should see $0.25 less taken out every 3 months when looking at the statements, says the email. At first I was thinking, well let's skip that, then I was thinking, with the number of employees my employer has this adds up fast for the 401(k) provider. I think their US headcount is close to 100,000. 

    Reply Like 1
  • I cancelled a monthly ground coffee subscription. £7 better off ☕

    Reply Like 2
  • I downgraded my Costco membership to regular & cashed in my card rebate. And I could use two discounts at the gas station today which made it cheaper than Costco.

    Reply Like 2
    • adriana01 I did this a couple of year's ago. I kept trying to make the executive membership worth it, but with a household of two it just didn't balance out. 

      Reply Like 1
      • xgirlmama
      • Purple_Griffin
      • 7 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      adriana01 omg. I'm so dumb. It didn't even occur to me to switch to a "muggle" account! I only got $50 last year on executive membership cash back and am spending WAY less this year. Thank you for the suggestion!

      Reply Like 4
  • I'm new here, so I'm cheating a bit on this one, but so far this year I've switched Gas and Electricity providers, which should save me ~$1,000 this year.

    I've also cancelled a TV subscription for another $15/month.

    Small steps for sure, and won't cover the cost of school for the kids, but it's something.

    Reply Like 6
    • TechieM2
    • IT Professional and General Geek
    • techiem2
    • 7 mths ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    I got my tax refund in Monday morning.  Between that and the extra left over from my Taxes budget category (which I cleared out after the state and local payments - new contributions to that category start next month for next year), I made an extra payment on my student loan, ordered a new jacket I need (coming tomorrow), ordered some photography gear (also coming tomorrow, gotta have SOME fun with that refund!), and paid a Lab bill that showed up yesterday that I forgot was coming (stupid deductibles...).

    Reply Like 1
    • MLB
    • Slate_Gray_Dragon.4
    • 7 mths ago
    • 6
    • Reported - view

    Changed our internet plan to save almost $60/month ($720/year)!  Also canceled a few more subscriptions that we can live without.  We will save about $2k a year from cancelled subscriptions!  Feeling very in control of the money exiting my checking account.

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

      MLB Way to go! Those subscriptions add up. 

      Reply Like
      • Paris 99
      • paris_99
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      MLB Wow, that's huge savings ! Time well spent canceling those subscriptions !

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