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 :-)
 

966replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
    • Khaki Storm
    • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
    • Khaki_Storm.1
    • 8 mths ago
    • 2
    • Reported - view

    I had my quartly dental cleaning. The insurance covers it and I'm  keeping the teeth and gums heathly (less cost later).  Received a free Google home mini and listed it for sale. 

    Reply Like 2
  •  

    I found a coupon online for a local Vet near my home.  I took my new kitten there last night for his first check-up and it only cost me $1.00!

    Reply Like 12
    • Whiskey Mama Cute cat pictures yays!

      Reply Like 3
      • TheTabby
      • Just a common cat trying to budget uncommonly well.
      • TheTabby
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Whiskey Mama aww! I want a kitten too! Not that I can have one with our current dog, but still...

      Reply Like 2
    • Whiskey Mama Aww, so cute! 😻

      Reply Like 1
  • Just saw that I have budgeted and spent $450 just on Dining out!! Packed a lunch today! 😂

    Reply Like 2
  • I argued with my health insurer (again) until they finally agreed to (1) cover my therapist appointments (the 6 I've had since my plan started over) as in-network charges because they lied to both me and my therapist about what was needed for me to recieve in-network charges, (2) got them to expedite my therapist's application to join my network; and (3) got them to cover my mastectomy durable items as in-network items even though they were purchased from an out-of-network provider b/c there are 0 in-network providers near me (so they'll be sending me a reimbursement based on in-network coverage).

     

    Being your own health advocate is exhausting, but it occasionally results in financial "wins".

    Reply Like 7
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Black Orchid Gods, you are so right! I'm certain they make it that exhausting on purpose because most of the time people just give up. I just happen to be one of those people that once I get my teeth into something I just. will. not. let. go. 

      Reply Like 1
    • bevocat ditto! I'm fairly certain my insurer rues the day I joined their plans. 

      Taurean stubbornness is not something to mess with.

      Reply Like 3
  • Have had a $150.00 unopened item sitting in a drawer at work that I've been meaning to return for several months now. Submitted an online refund/return request twice last autumn, and each time got a message saying that someone would reach out to me by email to handle. Never happened, so spent 15 minutes on the phone today to get it resolved. Person on the phone is going to have to speak with a supervisor since the return is beyond the 30-day no-questions-asked policy, but I stressed that I just missed that deadline the first time I tried to return, and this is the third time. Hoping it resolves and I see a $150.00 credit on my card statement soon!

    Reply Like 4
    • No response on my $150.00 return/refund request by this past morning, so I wrote an email to the company’s customer service address to stress that this was my fourth request and that the lack of response and decision was unprofessional. Normally I would have given up by now. But just a few hours ago I received an email that my refund had been granted and that it should clear in the next 7 days! So now I have a question for you: When the refund clears, how do I enter it properly into YNAB: as to-be budgeted?

      Reply Like 1
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Pilot back to the original purchase’s category. If you paid by credit card, and already paid the card, you’ll need to add that money back to the cc payment category directly, since the money sent to the credit card company is no longer backed by a budgeted purchase. 

      Reply Like
  • I had to buy a new laptop charging cord  yesterday at Best Buy. Came home, looked on Amazon and found it $16 cheaper. Ordered it and will return to BB. Hey, I'll take that $16 for some slight hassle! The old me would have been like "eh, too lazy. What's $16"

    Reply Like 8
    • MLB
    • Slate_Gray_Dragon.4
    • 8 mths ago
    • 5
    • Reported - view

    I started shopping the bulk section for groceries and am wrapping up March staying on budget for groceries for the first time EVER!  $100 / week for family of 4.

    Reply Like 5
    • MLB Nice job! That is no small feat. 🎉

      Reply Like
  • Switched my wife and my cell phones from Cricket at $70.00/month for 2 lines to Red Pocket, $50/month for 2 lines.  (unlimited talk/text, with 5GB data.  Could save another $10, but the next lowest data plan is only 1GB and I routinely use between 1 and 2, so I'd rather be safe than save the extra $10/month) Even though it's actually more data than we need.

    And as soon as I get a few free moments, I'll be cancelling our Planet Fitness membership (another $20/month).  They make it hard, though.  You actually have to come in to cancel, you can't just call or email, or anything.  Have to be there.  It's just enough trouble that we haven't done it yet, but it needs to happen!

    Reply Like 3
    • Bruce  So jealous of your phone plans!  In Canada, I have a shared family plan for the kids and I (4 lines total) for $274.  We don't have much competition and they soak us.

      Reply Like 1
      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 8 mths ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      Bruce OK.  My wife went today and canceled our memberships at Planet Fitness, so now we're officially $42.00 / month better off than we were before these changes were made.  We're also having a meeting (soon I hope, depending on when wife gets home tonight) having a discussion about priorities, Budget Categories, and going on a hunt to find other places we can save, or other things we can cancel.

      I think our goal is to get everything "essential" (payments, true expenses, and some other personal categories funded strictly by my income, and everything she brings in will go toward increasing savings, and reducing debt.

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

      Bruce our local college gym had a guest membership for $5 a day. If you only go once or twice, you still save a bunch. 

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

      Bruce I'm curious how Red Pocket is working out for you? I've been on a family plan (AT&T) with my ex-brother-in-law but I need to find my own plan soon. I'm thinking I might do better on something like Red Pocket than the standard AT&T plan for a single person, but I don't want to lose coverage or anything. Do you have the yearly plan or monthly? 

      Thanks!

      Reply Like
      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      MacGsMom Currently, I have the monthly, which is already saving me money. I'm considering going with a longer term, since it's even cheaper.

       As far as service is concerned there's no difference. It's actually using the ATT network, so if you have cell service now with ATT, you'll have it with Red Pocket on the "GSMA" sim card.

      you just need to make sure your phones are unlocked from ATT, so you can port them over. The process was simple, and they have live phone Support as well as online chat to help out if you have any issues in the set up phase.

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

    Thanks to comments from nolesrule  and bevocat I've updated my direct deposit to put most of my paycheck directly into my checking account for easier bill paying and I've started looking for a good high yield savings account to use as my primary savings account.

    My current top choices are Ally, Marcus, and Synchrony based on several financial review/opinion sites with recent postings about current savings accounts.  

    Thoughts?

    Reply Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      TechieM2 I use Ally as one of my locations for a savings account. Nothing bad to say about them. I have no opinions on the others.

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

      nolesrule Yeah I am somewhat leaning in that direction currently.  They are 2.20% not 2.25% currently, but that's pretty minimal overall.  There's also the fact that an account there would have me partially setup for their investment service if I want to dive into that at some point. 

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

      TechieM2 The bulk of the cash in my possession is housed at Ally and has been for a few years, so I'd recommend them for a good web interface and helpful customer service.  I haven't used Marcus at all and I haven't used Synchrony for savings, only for a CareCredit account. This was 3-3.5 years ago and at the time Synchrony had a pretty bad reputation. Their CareCredit web interface sucked, but I didn't personally have a bad experience. Perhaps it's better these days.

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

      bevocat Thanks!  It looks like they have some decent CD options as well, so they are really looking like a good place to store and grow savings.

      Reply Like
      • nomade0
      • Silver_Door.5
      • 8 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Thanks guys, I'm going to try Ally for my savings account instead of Capital One 360

      Reply Like 5
      • Stacy C
      • nursepower
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      TechieM2 I'm sure you've already decided by now, but Ally will reimburse you for a few atm withdrawals even if you don't use the ones they say to. 

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

      Stacy C Haha yeah, I'm using Ally as my high yield account.  ATMs aren't an issue since I never use them.

      Reply Like
  • This is my first day using ynab. What I used to do was have multiple savings accounts for different saving purposes and allocate any remaining money (after bills) to these categories. 

     

    After using ynab, I realized I was able to save much more for retirement than I originally was! 

    Reply Like 2
    • Hi Slate Blue Drum !

      Welcome to the forum and to YNAB! We're happy you're here and it sounds like your finances are, too! :)

      Reply Like
      • MLB
      • Slate_Gray_Dragon.4
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Drum I used to use the same strategy with the multiple savings accounts.  I've been using YNAB for a little over a month and feel so much more streamlined and in control.  Enjoy!

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

    I opened my Ally savings account last night so I can start getting my longer term sitting money gaining some decent interest!  There was an initial issue setting up the account (didn't like the odd address I normally use), but the fellow I got when I called in was very helpful and made sure I got it all setup.

    Reply Like 5
    • TechieM2  I've been pleased with Ally. I was so used to seeing monthly interest paid on my Bank of America savings account at something like $0.91, and now with Ally, it's more like $20.00! A small amount of money, but it's effortless and adds up over time.

      Reply Like 2
      • TechieM2
      • IT Professional and General Geek
      • techiem2
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

       Slate Blue Pilot I checked the rates on all my accounts out of curiosity last night.

      S&T Savings: 0.05%

      TFCU Checking: 0.03%

      TFCU Savings: 0.05%

      CapOne Checking: 0.20%

      CapOne Savings: 1.00%

      Ally Savings: 2.20%

      Reply Like 3
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      TechieM2 

      And the savings account is compounded daily.

       

      I will warn everyone that opening an account in the name of a trust is a paaaaaaain, though.  Finally got it done.  Also, apparently the trust will receive a paper statement by law, although you can certainly check online.  

      Reply Like
  • I refinanced my student loans almost a year ago, and as part of the process, they told me that if I ever referred a friend who refinanced as well, I would get a $300 credit. I recommended the lender to a few friends, and one told me she applied a few weeks back. Well, she was approved and the credit was just issued to my account! So, I will be upping my loan payment by that amount this week!

    Reply Like 5
  • Called bank of america to cancel my keep the change. Hopefully, this will help me budget accurately. 

    Reply Like 4
  • The concept that "you learn something everyday" has proven to be true for me a lot lately. I mentioned to my partner that I was "only" paying about $5/month for an Experian credit report membership. He asked why I was doing that when I could access my credit report for free through my Chase credit card. Didn't know that, so called Experian to cancel my membership, which I rarely would access anyway. Expenses are now $5/month less than they were yesterday!

    Reply Like 8
    • Slate Blue Pilot Every little bit counts!

      Reply Like 2
    • Peter
    • Professional Designer, Web Developer
    • lasty
    • 8 mths ago
    • 7
    • Reported - view

    I cooked pasta with broccoli gorgonzola sauce for two friends and myself, totaling a whopping 3 bucks 27 (in total, not per meal)

    Reply Like 7
    • Peter Yum! That gorgonzola sauce with broccoli sounds tasty. Thanks for the idea!

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

    I cancelled my energy supply contract with Direct Energy! I mostly don't name names, but that company takes the cake! First, they gave me a little window (like 1 weeks) to turn off auto renewal. I did that in time. Then, I was only 3 days away from my contact (1 yr term) being over and asked if they could schedule the cancellation. They said no, and if I cancelled within those 3 days, the full $100 cancellation fee would apply. So, I had to wait until the exact day and cancel. Now they say the cancellation process could take 1 to 2 billing cycles (I guess up to 2 months?). Anyway, I'm done with locking in energy rates. I've done it for a long time now and sometimes I've come out ahead and sometimes not. 

    Reply Like 1
  • Not today exactly, but applied for a travel opportunity at work. I was nervous and it will be a challenge, but budget-wise I will have a bit of extra pay at the end of April and four weeks of very minimal spending-money spending as my food etc will be on expenses

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

      gcuk I can eat meal bars for a week for some extra per diem :) 

      Reply Like
      • gcuk
      • gcuk
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Ben Khaki Storm I get reimbursed on actuals unfortunately so can't try and save any extra per diems. Free food though :-)

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

      gcuk ok, that's too bad. But, you're right, should be less costly for you personally during the travel. 

      Reply Like
  • A friend recently mentioned that he found money owed to him on an unclaimed money website in Illinois.  We used to live in Illinois so I did a search and sure enough we had 2 unclaimed items that total $93.  I filed a claim and this morning I received notification from the state treasurer that the claims were approved and checks are in the mail.  I also found money due to one of my daughters and a son-in-law.  If you haven't checked your state, just google unclaimed money (insert your state) and check it out.  For Illinois, the website is https://icash.illinoistreasurer.gov/

    Reply Like 3
    • Whiskey Mama I found money for my parent's and grandfather once. But nothing for our household! 😂

      Reply Like 2
    • Peter
    • Professional Designer, Web Developer
    • lasty
    • 8 mths ago
    • 5
    • Reported - view

    I added a new category to my budget called "I did a dumb" where I'll maintain a balance of 50 bucks for stupid stuff I do like get a speeding ticket or knock over and break a thing

    Reply Like 5
    • Doh! Those things are never fun—but at least you'll be prepared!

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

      Peter I don't like borrowing tools for that reason. I know someone could loan me a 400 whatever, but I'd rather rent it with insurance just in case I break it. 

      Reply Like
  • I discovered the joys of Aquaphor Healing Ointment as a lip salve (all $4 a tube of it), which replaces my typical $26 a tube lip mask.

    Reply Like 6
    • Black Orchid I love a good lip balm/salve/cream and that is one I haven't tried... I'll have to check it out!

      Reply Like 1
      • TheTabby
      • Just a common cat trying to budget uncommonly well.
      • TheTabby
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nicole it works great, it's technically baby butt salve, but who cares? Is great stuff. 

      Reply Like
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      TheTabby Nicole

      People in my family are fond of Bag Balm.  It was originally marketed towards farmers; mine has a lovely picture of a cow's udder on it.   They've since updated the packaging for the majority of us who live in urban and suburban spaces with chapped lips and cracked skin who don't want to compare ourselves to cows for some reason ; )  It works well, I've used it on my lips and heels for decades, but it's technically teat cream for chapped bovine bits.  

      Reply Like
  • I got a raise 😀 effective next paycheck (so will be in effect for the 3 paycheck month). Doesn't affect anything until I budget for next month, but I'm already planning what I will change (deferred income, charity, car replacement...)

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

      adriana01 congrats! Sounds like a big change for you! 

      Reply Like
      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Ben Khaki Storm it's enough to make a difference! I've been funding all of those, but it will allow me to increase them each a reasonable amount.

      Reply Like 1
      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      adriana01 That's great! And the right attitude to plan the money too. One thing in the Book that I actually wrote down to remember was a line that had bit me before... He said, "don't let lifestyle creep steal your raise." it sounds like you're not gonna let that happen. 

      Reply Like 3
    • adriana01 Congratulations! 🎉

      Reply Like
  • We bought a car in November.  In our state we need to pay a use tax on cars, to help maintain the roads.  I estimated our total use tax for the vehicles we own to be $500 bi-annually as I wasn't able to figure out what the use tax on the new vehicle would be.  I didn't want to NOT be saving for the use tax on the new car and have to come up with $200+ when it's due.  They don't usually give a lot of notice.

    I checked over the weekend and found out that the first installment is $402 and the second installments is $341.  So overall $257 per year less than estimated.  So it's not a savings, per se, but dialing in the budget is going to be really helpful as the months roll on.  I only started YNABing two months ago so on many categories, I've only got estimates.  I think I tend to overestimate.  I suspect that I'm saving too much for the DMV/licensing and registration  category for instance.

    Another thing that will be saving me money in time are sinking funds that can be capped once I've reached a set amount.  I don't need $9000 in a veterinarian category when $600 is probably a better amount.  I don't need $10,000 in a car repair category, but $2500 is not unreasonable.  Spouse and I don't need $1000 for clothes for each of us.  I haven't fully funded any of these funds yet but maybe someday! 

    Reply Like 1
  • Cancelled a Hulu Live account we were rarely using.  I had gotten it for Olympics, kept it for other sports, and then this past year because my son liked one show a lot that we could only stream through Hulu live, but when I asked him if it was worth $50 a month to watch it, he agreed that was totally not worth it!  Win!

    Also set kiddo (age 11) up with his own YNAB budget (at his request) so he can track cat sitting and allowance $ and his goals.  I have no illusions he'll choose to stick with it forever, but I am hoping he will learn different habits and ways of thinking about $, and that will also make it easier to have family conversations about $ and goals.  

    Reply Like 5
      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Crab  that's awesome, teach them while they're young. I've got an 11 & 13 year old   that I'm considering setting up a budget for them. Or at LEAST teaching them the principles and the 4 rules and they can keep track in paper or Excel. 

      They're really good at saving, but it's often not for something, just saving for the sake of saving. So I want them to start thinking about categories and true expenses, like birthday presents, Christmas, etc.

      Reply Like 3
    • Bruce my son loves going into YNAB and allocating his $10 cat sitting money! And I think the best part of ynab is the way it asks what you really want your money to do... that way of thinking about goals is so powerful. 

      Reply Like 3
    • Navy Blue Crab That's great! Is that YNAB account linked to yours? I'd like to set them up for my sons but don't want them being able to access mine. Or worse, my ex seeing it.

      Reply Like
    • Hi Purple Foal !

      I hope you don't mind me jumping in here! :)

      Currently, you can have several different budgets in your YNAB account, but there isn't a way to password protect certain budgets. If you allow someone to share your YNAB account, like your son, they'd be able to access any budget in the account. There is an API extension called Family Budgets that Works with YNAB, designed by a fellow YNABer, that allows you to grant access to specific budgets or categories only. However, the user interface is different so the person you grant access to won't see the different layout or features of YNAB.

      Reply Like
    • TechieM2
    • IT Professional and General Geek
    • techiem2
    • 8 mths ago
    • 4
    • Reported - view

    I moved most of the funds from my CapOne Savings to Checking account to more easily pay the bills the next several months, then yesterday I scheduled a transfer of a chunk of that to my Ally Savings account to get some better interest since I shouldn't need to touch that chunk of funds for a while.

    Reply Like 4
    • Peter
    • Professional Designer, Web Developer
    • lasty
    • 8 mths ago
    • 4
    • Reported - view

    I've spotted an item I've ordered online on the weekend for two thirds the price in a shop a few days ago so I bought it and when my online order arrived today I sent it back for a refund

    Reply Like 4
Like38 Follow
  • 38 Likes
  • 10 days agoLast active
  • 966Replies
  • 23072Views
  • 178 Following