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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  • Faness said:
    freezer meals are our game of roulette

     That's hilarious!! 馃槀

    Like 1
  • I shopped for car insurance this week and my regular car insurance company just called me and lowered my rate. I was paying $310 per month and starting February (renewal month) it will be $177!!! I'm still confused how this happened But Yeah GEICO!!! lol

    Like 4
      • Paris 99
      • paris_99
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
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      Stacy C Wow, that's scary ! But at least you're saving a ton of money. Good job ! Is 177$ an acceptable rate in your case ? If not, I'd still look into switching.

      Like 1
    • Stacy C Nice! I'm glad Geico was willing to lower those rates. My dealings with them have always been pleasant, so I had my fingers crossed! :)

      Like 1
      • Stacy C
      • nursepower
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Paris 99 Yes, I was going to stay with them regardless, I've always liked them, but apparently my search triggered something on their end and they called ME....which was the weird part. 

      Like 2
    • Stacy C Excuse me while I go Google rates to see if I can trigger the same phone call. 馃槈

      Like 3
      • Stacy C
      • nursepower
      • 2 mths ago
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      • Reported - view

      Stacy C The good news for this keeps on continuing. I noticed my payment for this month hadn't been taken out yet, so I called Geico and due to the new rate I didn't owe a payment at all this month!! What???!!! 

      Awesome Sauce!!!

      @faness_ynab Try Progressives site...that's what I put info into. 

      Like 2
    • Stacy C Maybe Geico can hear when you type about them. I never made it to Progressive's site, but I got a letter in the mail from Geico asking that we call to talk about lowering our rates. I'll put this on my list of things to do, but just thought the timing was great. 馃槅

      Like 3
  • Just found out that the maximum 401k contribution for 2020 has gone up to $19,500 (from $19,000). So as of next paycheck, I'm having my employer raise my biweekly contribution accordingly. This works out to only about $20 per paycheck, but once I have it deducted automatically, I won't be tempted to spend the money, thus forcing an extra $500 of savings for this upcoming year.

    Like 5
    • Slate Blue Pilot Great job adjusting for that increase early! It's a small change that'll make a big difference! :)

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

    Scheduled an extra double payment on my car loan because of my PTO cashout.

    That takes my estimated finish from June '21 to May '21.  Wooh!

    Like 7
  • Simple and relatively small, but still: packed lunch for a monthly course day. It allways feels a bit as an outing and all the others buy lunch. But I just eat mine, while with them at the table, (that's allowed, nothing awkward) have drinks before and after as in the meeting room there's free coffee/tea.

    And I spent  nothing at all. 馃槉

    Like 6
  • I spent a total of an hour on the phone today with two utility providers to negotiate and/or renew service contracts:  Time very well spent as it will reduce my costs by $1,300-ish over the next few years, and it earned me a $50 credit on an upcoming bill.

    Like 11
    • Vibrant
    • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
    • vibrant
    • 2 mths ago
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    Adjusted my paycheck withholding to account for the fact that I won't be claiming my kids on my 2020 taxes. I haven't quite figured out how to rejigger my budget to fit the smaller checks, but I know I would be a really sad panda next April if I didn't make the adjustment now.

    Like 5
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Vibrant 

      demonstrating both your ability to plan well and avoid predictable financial pain.  Nicely done.

      Like 2
  • Reviewed the Shoppers optimum points deal Plus stuff we use on sale when I went to the drugstore to buy Epson salts.

    The Dr.oetker frozen pizzas were on sale for $2.99 each (limit of 4) so grabbed 4 of those. Also the almond milk was on for 2 for $5 so grabbed for of those. the points deal was 20x points for $50 spend. so had to get up to $50. Then saw they had the PC frozen meat lasagna on for $5.99 (regular $10.99) so grabbed 3 of those (you can鈥檛 mKe a lasagna from scratch for that price). 16,000 points which we will hold onto until a spend your points event when they鈥檒l be worth $25 instead of $16. Gotta work the shoppers points system to get maximum benefit. 

    Like 3
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      MXMOM 

      I love the optimum points system.  And I have to deliberately remind myself to not get so caught up in the game that I exceed my pantry/freezer capacity, which means I'm investing far too much money into stored food.  I did an inventory of pantry and freezer last year, and calculated servings from the food I had already, and that was a shocking reality check. It also meant I had to do a sit-out and no-buy on this latest points extravaganza.

      Like
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance yes. Chasing points can lead to a full freezer. 
      my husband wants to stalk shoppers who don鈥檛 get optimum points and ask if we can have them. Last Christmas we got almost $200 that way from a young man buying perfume gifts. I told my husband it sounds way too creepy to say we need to go seek out young men at the drugstore. 

      Like 1
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 2 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      MXMOM 

      馃槃 馃槀  I have honestly never thought of stalking fellow shoppers for unused points. Too funny.  Your husband is rock star.

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

      HappyDance People often give me their airmiles when I'm in line at the LCBO and have my phone ready. :)

      Like 2
  • Rebalanced my investments in the TD e-Series for my RRSP to new allocations according to my risk survey to avoid hassles. 46% Cdn Bond Index-e, 18% Cdn Index-e, 18% US Index-e, 18% Int'l Index-e. Realized my biweekly contributions were only to the Bond, so set up a monthly contribution to all 4 equally. Nice watching it grow! My contributions are small until my debt is paid, but then I will happily increase the payments to PAY MYSELF FIRST! :)

    Like 3
  • Still on the hunt for a solid side hustle to help pay off our debt. Looked into donating plasma today, but since I just had a baby in October I have 3 more months until I'm eligible. Tried taking surveys, but spent a few hours getting rejected on most of them and only earned $4 in points, can't redeem until $5. Downloaded the Ibotta app to try and save money on groceries, but went shopping over the weekend and completely forgot to use it. Reminded my husband again today to cancel his gym membership we pay $13.33 for every month to not use ever.  I keep scrolling through our YNAB budget to see where we can trim. Made my husband promise not to buy anything until my next paycheck and put everything he thinks he needs on the shopping list. I'm determined to use every skill I have to make dinner at home for the next two weeks. I've promised myself that if I can just use what we have and make it stretch, even if it ends up being pancakes for dinner, there will be funds in future to go try that Indian place I've been wanting to go to. Eating out is our kryptonite. I've deviated from the YNAB rules for a while now, but I am recommitting!

    Like 6
      • Stacy C
      • nursepower
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      PeculiarBella Check out this person on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TrTsRoyH_A

      I'm going to try some of her simple recipes. 

      Also try the app Supercook. You put in your ingredients and it gives you recipes. 

      Like
  • A friend suggested to go out for dinner friday evening, instead of having coffee today, so we won鈥檛 be time-pressured while we catch up. I liked the reason, only don鈥檛 want to spend any more on eating out this month... After some internal struggle I laid out the dilemma and we agreed to cook together at her place! Best of both worlds!

    (Husband and son happy too, pretending they鈥檒l make themselves some salad but already looking forward to pizza, I think 馃槉. I don鈥檛 mind. They would have if I鈥檇 been in a restaurant then. And it鈥檚 not that I don鈥檛 want to spend any money at all, just that the aim for friday is catching up, not eating fancy food)

    Like 5
  • Food again: I took cale out of the freezer wanting to throw it away (the last batch I cooked smelled while cooking and we kept putting off eating it) then I took one last sniff and it smelled fine....

    Son agreed (though not liking cale) we couldn鈥檛 throw away good food, I prepared it after all and we had a nice meal!

    And I finally started a list with freezer content + dates...!

    Like 5
  • Sauna date with friends. They鈥檒l book a combination with a treatment. I won鈥檛. Just the sauna. And I don鈥檛 mind.

    Lucky luxurious me! To the sauna (+ food. Better budget some for that)!

    Like 3
  • PeculiarBella said:
    pancakes for dinner

     BEST THING EVER!

    Like 4
    • MXMOM agree. Made them yesterday, much to the delight of my son. Just how I remember them from back at home; as a treat. I only recently realised they are actually very cheap too. HAHA.

      Like 1
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Pony a friend of mine is posting a lot of sheet pan recipes and one she just did was sheetpan pancakes. Apparently it turned out well.

      Like 2
  • PeculiarBella said:
    Eating out is our kryptonite

     Not sure if you are eating out because of not wanting to cook or busy or whatever, but a really good idea is to eat lunch (or breakfast) at the restaurant and then do a light soup and sandwich kind of dinner.

    Like 4
  • Regifted a very nice beauty products set I received for Christmas to a friend for her 40th birthday. Probably wouldn鈥檛 have bought something as nice, had I been out to buy something, so don鈥檛 feel I shortchanged her.

    Received it from my husbands employer, so no hard feelings there either. 

    I鈥檓 quite content 馃槉

    Like 7
      • Violet Drill
      • Violet_Drill_0bf6fcf19d
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Pony A win all around! :)

      Like 1
    • Powder Blue Pony I regifted beautiful Swarovski earrings to my friend for her 50th. They were still in the original packaging & giftbag. I wouldn't have spent that much on her necessarily so it was a win. :)

      Like 3
  • DOUBLED my monthly payments to my credit cards! Twice as close to my goals.

    Like 5
    • Turquoise Yearling good on you!

      Like
  • Invested a big gift from my parents in stocks. 

    I researched index investing last year and finally started. Still, after a while the concept tends to make me a little nervous again. Don鈥檛 worry, I always remember the 鈥渂uy and hold鈥 bit. But just if we have enough other assets to invest at all (despite sufficient calculation). So I watched Jesses investing series to boost my confidence before 馃槉

    Like 3
    • Powder Blue Pony I read the Millionaire Teacher in the summer, and although it was one of the first books I read on investing, the concept of stocks falling in price resonated with me: when stocks are dropping they are on sale! Just like when groceries go on sale we stock up, same with investments. With my investments, I changed from Mutual Funds with TD to the TD eSeries which are self-directed index funds. I have 20% Cdn Equity, 20% US equity, 20% International equity, and 40% Cdn bonds, which I rebalance once or twice a year following the Couch Potato model. Just keep investing, and then the rebalancing will automatically mean you are stocking up on the "sale" prices. :)

      Like 1
      • TechieM2
      • IT Professional and General Geek
      • techiem2
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Purple Foal Haha so true!  I scrounged up the $100 to start my M1 investment account in December of 2018 when the market was complete trash.  Mostly uphill from there!  lol.

      Like 1
    • TechieM2 Purple Foal Since learning about the principle of index investing I found the very few times something was down a little, easier to deal with than all those times prices were rising. Because of that sale idea and wanting to buy on sale 馃槉

      I do wonder how I鈥檇 react to a crisis like 2008 though.... I just can鈥檛 predict how I鈥檇 feel. That鈥檚 why, every time I start a new journal, on the last page I write 鈥渨hen the market crashes, for me, selling is simply not an option鈥. In nice curly letters. just to remind myself.

      Like 1
    • Purple Foal and I put that book on my list. Thanks!

      Like
      • TechieM2
      • IT Professional and General Geek
      • techiem2
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Pony Yeah.  My M1 account is mostly a playground at this point, although I think I've settled on a combination of stuff and a ratio I like that seems to be going well most of the time.  Right now I just toss a little into it each month and watch it grow (mostly).

      Like 1
    • Powder Blue Pony Check out my journal for other books I recommend, or want to read. :)

      Like 2
    • Powder Blue Pony Your long-term investments are not to be touched. Don't look at them. Don't sell.  Just rebalance the percentages to your set amount once or twice a year. Not very exciting, but that is how you build wealth. :)

      Like 2
  • Rebuilt our buffer, March is officially fully funded with February income. 馃憦

    Applied for a part-time job, haven't worked (for pay) since 2009. 馃

    Sold a few things collecting dust around the house, made $90! AND added it to the budget instead of treating it like free money. 馃

    Like 4
    • Kensington Well done!! I'm using my buffer to get me through the lean times. Glad I have it. Once things have been settled at work and my pay cheque is back to normal, I'm going to pump up my buffer. :)

      Like
    • Purple Foal 

      (but in reply to the post above)

      Yep, thats the plan. I rebalance by putting new money towards the 'down' funds. Whenever buying new, I will see the total amount though. 

      Recently read a post by a financial blogger who panicked in 2008. That made me wonder again how I'd react myself during a recession.

      Thanks for the confirmation. That helps :-)

      Like
    • Powder Blue Pony Yes the buy low & sell high mentality gets people into trouble when they see their investments go down. The market is cyclical and will always have ups & downs. The key is to not sell. Just keep buying. And buy on sale instead of panicking & selling. :)

      Like 2
  • Just small, bit still a double win: cycled a couple of stops, safed 1/2 on the trainticket and got some exercise.

    Like 2
    • Powder Blue Pony That is great! Maybe challenge yourself to keep increasing the stops each week. You might find you don't need the train during the nice weather and then use it when you do. Challenge your fitness & benefit from saving money! :)

      Like
  • After being with the same employer for almost 10 years, I finally started exploring some of the employee benefits in depth. I discovered that I could get car insurance through my employer for $700 less per year than I was paying, and homeowner's insurance for $300 less! And, instead of having to set money aside for 2 big payments a year, it's paid by a small deduction from every paycheck. So besides saving $1000, I am saved the (minor) effort of budgeting for this category each month.

    And, I wrote up a realistic meal plan for my kid and me for the coming week, and started preparing the food on it. I've got banana bread and tofu baking in the oven right now, and tomorrow I'll make a stew, and I'll be on my way to saving the $40-$50 I usually spend on lunches at work every week; plus we'll eat out once or twice during the week - including the weekend - instead of the 5 or more times we used to do.

    Like 5
    • Descriptor Noun said:
      I wrote up a realistic meal plan for my kid and me

      Trying to do this, but that word, Realistic, not always easy to accomplish.  

      The amount you are saving on insurance is amazing! What a little research can do...

       

      Phoned internet provider and reduced monthly bill by $20

      Moved oldest child to own phone plan and reduced data from large to small resulting in about $80.00 savings per month.

      Reassessed weekly garbage situation. With oldest child out of house and some increased recycling efforts decreased size of waste container saving $10.00 per billing cycle. Will evaluate again in a couple weeks to see if we can decrease the frequency of pick up, saving another $10.00

      Currently shopping for auto insurance as oldest (newer driver) backed into a parked vehicle in 2018 and then received a ticket. Needless to say our insurance is ridiculous.

      Like 3
    • Descriptor Noun 

      wow, big wins!

      Like
  • I put a new zip in my (old but) favorite coat! Haven鈥檛 been able to wear it for months. Very content 馃槉

    Like 4
    • Powder Blue Pony That's amazing!! I got my favourite long leather boots resoled so now they'll last longer. :)

      Like 3
    • Purple Foal Nice! On top of the financial and sustainability win: I've come to like leather with some life in it better than new. I should take my old ones to the shoemaker as well.

      Like
    • Powder Blue Pony Absolutely! I did the whole Marie Kondo Japanese purging process last year. Game changer. I still have some sentimental stuff to go through but I have gotten rid of so much stuff. Talking car loads. Then I started selling stuff of FB marketplace. Sold a brand new Lego set today. 

      I'm on a spending freeze. Debt repayment, but also financial uncertainty with my job in a strike position. However, I'm not sad, or deprived, or depressed. I'm content since I have enough. I look at my possessions that I still have with happiness since they are what I chose to keep since they "bring me joy". Luckily, a lot of them are quality items that last well and can be repaired. For the wonderful clothes that don't fit very well, that's not on them, but me. In the mindset of less consumption: spending, wasting utilities, food, money, is also eating too much. That's another focus: eat well 80/20 on the anti-inflammation diet, count calories (for portion sizes), yoga 4x a week (for mind, body, spirit & to get the most out of my unlimited membership), sleep 8 hours, and try fasting, first after dinner (no tv snacks) then fasting for longer. I'm doing this for lent. 40 days to really challenge myself to see what changes I can make if I really try. It's all good to start, but it's the follow-through that's the tough part. :)

      Like 3
    • Purple Foal Wow, so many good things. How wonderfull that they help you stay positive in this insecure strike/income situation. Funny thing is I planned to do some digital downsizing for lent. Because spending too much time on internet or in front of a screen in general make all my other good habits harder to follow through. And here I am, on the forum 馃槉.

      But there鈥檚 inspiration to find as well of course... 

      Like 1
    • Powder Blue Pony  Purple Foal Making repairs and updating old pieces, that still have life left are one of my favorite ways to save! My favorite boots have benefitted from a few trips to the cobbler, and still going strong.

      Like 1
    • Nicole I have a pair of sandals that have been resoled a shocking number of times! 馃憻

      Like 1
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Purple Foal I love this post. It hits in so many elements of how I have been trying to shift my life as well. Konmari is such a huge gift to give oneself! Beautiful words here!

      Like
    • Wiecked Thank you. On a podcast I listened to recently talked about when we get rid of stuff, we want less. Then we can really do more. :)

      Like 1
  • A nice little one.

    I spotted that my mobile phone provider was offering a great deal for 拢4 more than I currently pay which included a lot more data than I currently have in my plan (95GB more to be precise!)

    I am out of contract and found that a rival was offering a slightly better deal so I contacted my provider they offered me the new deal for only 拢1 a month extra to what I'm currently paying. (拢36 better off for the year than had I blindly accepted their initial offer 馃檪)

    Like 4
  • Picked up my son鈥檚 saxophone after being cleaned and repaired.

    Called and canceled the maintenance plan. Savings $6.45 per month.

    Redirected it to this months debt payment.

    Planning to sell the instrument on Craigslist and put the money in his savings account.

    Like 3
  • Turquoise Major said:
    95GB more to be precise

    What?!?!?  I have 6gb and pay $60 CDN. My one son is on what is considered an awesome plan here in Canada ($50 for 10 GB) that we got on a crazy Black Friday sale. Canada has one of the highest cell plan rate structures in the world.  

    Like 1
    • MXMOM wow! Here in the UK the mobile phone industry is highly competitive. My deal is 拢17 (around $30CDN) for unlimited calls and text and 100GB of data. There was another deal I was considering (which I used in my negotiation) which was 拢20 ($35CDN) for unlimited data. 100GB is more than enough to be honest though.

      Like
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Turquoise Major we have 3 national carriers. The government has recently 鈥渕andated鈥 that they reduce the plan costs by at least 25%. We鈥檒l see how that goes  last year they were supposed to reduce it and they all came up with 鈥渦nlimited鈥 (throttled after 10 gb) for $75  

      There are a couple of smaller carriers but they offer very regionalized services  

      Like
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