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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  • A bill I was expecting came in today -- it was WAY less than I had budget for (worst case plan) and so not I've funded date night, my deck replacement and some retirement savings. SO happy!!

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    • NewYNABer BostonGirl Wow that's massive! :-) 

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  • Realized today that both my wife and I are paying for Amazon prime, and I didn't know (until I googled it) that Amazon has a 'family plan' that allows family members to all use a single prime account.  Happy to save $100.

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    • Slate Gray Storm Wow that's a nice saving for sure! I'm in the midst of moving in together with my partner, and I can't wait to figure out which things we don't need to pay double for anymore :-) 

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

      Slate Gray Storm Thank you! It never occurred to me to even google such a thing! ...off to save $$$...

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    • Kate
    • Joyful Technical Writer 🌴
    • sweet_sunshine
    • 1 yr ago
    • 4
    • Reported - view

    I've been watching what I eat and I can say it's been three days since I have bout take-away coffee, take out lunches, and junk food for dinner. I definitely didn't expect this to happen when I decided to become healthier!

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    • Kate Woo Hoo! Bonus.

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    • Kate Well done!

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  • After working casual for the past 7 years to make sure I was there for my 3 kids (my husband has a good job), I  accepted a permanent part-time position today!  Time to put some $ away for my wishlist.

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

      Frugalflamesfan That is so exciting! Congrats on the job!!!

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    • Frugalflamesfan Congrats! Anything specific on the wishlist you're working towards?

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    • Winterlover Renting a house in rural France for a couple of months.  Riding my bike with a baguette and a chunk of cheese in the basket. 

      Or renovating my golden harvest kitchen circa 1973.

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    • Frugalflamesfan Congratulations from a frugal Oilers fan ;)

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    • Turquoise Trumpet I guess we'll both have more time to YNAB now that our hockey seasons are over.  Or more time to shovel all of that snow.  If only we could sell it...

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    • Frugalflamesfan Ironically I think I need less YNAB time now.  I was obsessed with it for a while, but its becoming more automatic now.  I have systems in place, my CC debt is gone, I have plans.  Now its just the boring work of following through on those plans.  "Boring" has never been so exciting, lol!

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    • Turquoise Trumpet That is great news!  We don't carry any debt now either, except our mortgage.  I use YNAB mostly to stay accountable to myself and to help stash money away towards our goals.   I'm so excited to have new front doors installed this week--I've been saving up since October for them and it's finally happening.  Before, I would have put in on the the Line of Credit and whined to my husband that we really needed them and then we would fight.  Now he's cool with it and knows the money is sitting there.

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  • I'm a knitter and have a lovely stash of yarn, but more than I will ever be able to knit, so I've been selling some of my yarn since I started YNAB in December, 2018. In looking at my YNAB reports, I noticed this was the first month since starting that I had not sold any yarn, and 2 days later, I did sell some. I mailed that yarn today and listed some more for sale. Nothing massive, but every dollar is making a difference. 

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    • veggiegeek Well done! We're in the midst of moving house and I realised what a massive stash of paper craft materials I have! I'm not really selling it I think, but it also made me realise I don't need to buy anything new anytime soon - even though I may want to at time, because... cuuuute :-) 

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    • Winterlover I agree, it's so easy to see something "shiny and new and cute" and think, "I must have that", or "It's on sale!", but looking through all of my crafty supplies that I already own, I find that I love what I have  and have more than I need.  Paying off student loans and planning for true expenses while enjoying what I already have is one of the many lessons I have learned from my short time with YNAB. Good luck with your move and enjoy all of your paper crafty-ness!

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  • I've been following a new strategy over the past few weeks of batch cooking then always freezing some.  Almost everything I cook - like soup, curry, rice and quinoa - I try to put at least one portion into the freezer.  Then I rotate eating freshly prepared food with frozen.

    This weekend I'm really getting the benefit of it.  I've got a horrible cold and don't feel up to even boiling pasta.  But I've been able to defrost healthy home-made soup and lentils, and I have enough in the freezer that I don't need to worry about cooking anything for the first few days of the week.

    So I'm resting, eating well and having some unexpected no-spend days too.

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    • Pikayo Wow well done! And I hope you'll feel better again soon!

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    • Pikayo Love this trick, and how wonderful that past-you is helping comfort sick-you back to health! :)

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    • Pikayo Hope you are feeling better!

      I do the same- I cook a full batch of lasagna, chicken soup, fried rice, or chili every weekend.   I then freeze in individual portions for myself and my family for lunches or when we need an instant meal.  My work life is CRAZY, so this has saved me big $ and also helped me to eat healthier.

      NOTE: Veggie Ground Round is cheaper than ground beef and you don't notice the difference in things like chili or lasagna.  Also helps out those looking to reduce red meat consumption!

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    • Pikayo that’s so inspiring! Food is one of my biggest expenses. I’ll be trying this! 

      Hope you feel better soon ✨

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  • Cancelled comcast ONLINE after they raised our bill 30 bucks (to a total of 99 a month) for a different service giving us the same speeds for 50 a month!! All without even having the stress of talking to a real life person. Next move is to cancel my gym membership now that it's getting nice out and I have a free membership to our community athletic center that just opened up (steam room I will miss you).

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  • Used my salary increase to get close to maxing out my 401k contribution and successfully negotiated with my less than budget minded partner to increase his contribution our joint savings so that its on parity with my contributions. Not the easiest conversation but a good outcome where we both feel we're contributing to our future - with clear goals in mind. 

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  • I've made many changes in the past few months, but today in particular I did two things:

    1. I signed up with Questrade- commission free purchases of ETFs here I come!! (Currently paying $10/trade)

    2. I put a plan together to get my kids on budgets, too.  Tomorrow I will sit them down and help them hash out a budget for each of them.  Makes me feel like a great mom!!

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    • Turquoise Trumpet Those are both great ideas! Great work.

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  • Had a home-date with my husband today.  Played board games all afternoon with a couple of beverages, a bowl of our favourite chips and a plate of veggies.  Probably cost less than $10 and we agreed it was really fun.

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    • Frugalflamesfan Nice!  I did the same with my kids tonight.  Quality time, MUCH cheaper than going to a movie, and meant we didn't have to go out in the snow, lol!

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    • Turquoise Trumpet Yes, the snow was a big motivator to stay in!  Our kids are all older teens and we are getting a taste of empty nesting!  Usually we would go out for an expensive meal together if the kids weren't around.  Realizing we would become obese alcoholics if we did that now every time the kids were out.

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      • Stacy C
      • nursepower
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Frugalflamesfan That would be a divorce in my house...lol. We can not play board games together. 

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  • I looked at my personal budget today.  This is my second month using YNAB. Still fresh here, and paying attention at all is a big deal. Being able to see what you spent last month is really satisfying! I’m excited to be armed with information and it’s a huge relief, although things will be tight for a minute. Knowing where you stand means you can take appropriate action. 

    I also created a budget for my ceramics business. The app makes it so easy to switch between them.  

    Thats it. Big little steps.  🙌🤑

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  • since deciding to use my cash back credit card for all purchases and simply pay in full when the bill arrives (like an adult) I dropped my chequing account to a lower category and will save myself $5 per month in account fees. $60 per year ain't bad! and a new goal for me is to see if I can drop another category by year's end and save myself an additional $7 per month! 

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  • I picked up a $5.00 take-and-bake pizza from my local grocery store and doctored it up instead of paying for not so great delivery- it was delicious!

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  • I just renewed for my second year, and at the same time finally got my spouse to start using YNAB -- and what a change!  We both approach finances differently, but I think YNAB is finally bridging the gap between us we couldn't cross on our own, to get us to a place where we can manage our money together effectively.  Here's to another great year!

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    • Vibrant
    • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
    • vibrant
    • 1 yr ago
    • 4
    • Reported - view

    Small scale: I negotiated my Sirius XM renewal down from 10.99/mo to $5/mo so that after fees my bill went from $85/6 months to $29/5 months. I'll renegotiate again in September and see if I can lock in the $5/mo for a year I've read about.

    Large scale: I'm moving in June! The rent for my new place is $210/mo cheaper. It all happened very fast and I didn't have savings to draw on, but fortunately the Bank of Mom doesn't charge interest 😂.

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  • I balances YNAB for my business and myself. Very cool!

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  • YNAB has helped me  get current and have enough of a buffer in checking that I was able to put both my student loans on auto debt so that I can take advantage of the .25 percent interest deduction on both loans. Plus I’ll have  An extra 100 to throw at the debt at the end of this month and  another 600 the first week of May!

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    • Navy Blue Case Wow well done!!

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  • A little thing: I bought a large, black no ice iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts that I can stretch into at least four drinks using creamer from the store. Total cost, around $5.00 for four drinks versus $5.00 EACH when buying it daily from them. Eventually I'll graduate to cold-brewing my own coffee at home, but for right now, it's a little win...

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    • Violet Drill I like the creative thinking! Well done!

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    • Violet Drill And they probably taste all the better knowing you're saving so much!

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  • I cancelled Netflix last month. Just hit the one month mark am managing just fine with Hulu. I figure if there is something I want to watch on Netflix, I can always re-up for a month, but am saving $10/month in the meantime.

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    • veggiegeek Good idea!

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  • Another small win today. Used gas buddy to find slightly cheaper gas and saved $4 on a full tank.

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  • Starting month 2 on YNAB.  While we were starting from a good deficit because of lack of income for 45 days, we were still able to get the mortgage back under the 30 day late window, get our 2 auto loans back under the 30 day late window *AND* pay 2 months worth of health insurance premiums to get that active for this month.

    My next influx of money is a couple days before the end of the month and about 1/2 will go towards budgeting May while the other 1/2 will backfill categories that are spent on the credit card.  As long as we stick to the plan we will see ourselves budgeting ahead on most categories paid by the credit card and finally get that back to the point where we can PIF at the end of each week.

    Also found a debt calculator ( https://undebt.it/ ) where we can plan out our debt reduction while looking at tweaks to the plan and have worked it such that in 20 months we will be debt free *AND* have an Emergency Fund filled to 1 full month of cash. I treated the EF as if it were a debt (in my mind it is until it is full!) and it will be full before the end of this year. Without it, our debt reduction would only be 2 months shorter so I am willing to trade those 2 months for peace of mind.

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    • Keith & Kittery Barrows Well done, you're on a roll!

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  • I finally took pictures of a few items I haven't used for years and put them up for sale online. We'll see how it goes!

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    • Coral Hammerhead Awesome! I hope they'll sell well, keep us posted! And do you have a specific idea of what you'll do with the money you'll be making?

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    • Winterlover Thanks! It's only small things so should they ever sell I expect to use that handful of euros to water the wish farm 🙂 Though if it happens soon enough it may well go into my new Cycling category - who knew getting a bike required so many tools and accessories 😱

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  • This was last weekend, but it was a BIG win! Both of us got rid of our personal checking accounts and put everything into our joint account. Then we changed the joint account to one that has no fees because I have direct deposit. Then we changed our savings account to one that would be more beneficial. All that was a savings of $62 a month. Then we eliminated two subscriptions that add up to $50 a month. $112 a month....boom! Then yesterday, I got my oldest daughter started on YNAB (using the referral, of course!). She feels better already! They don't have a regular income, so she was afraid to "look at it." I assured her that it was much better than not knowing!

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    • Inger Orr That's a lot of nice actions right there! 

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      • Inger Orr
      • Embalmer, Mom, Grandma
      • Khaki_Display.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Winterlover ....I am pretty stoked! This has changed our lives in a major way!

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    • Inger Orr So glad to hear that! :) 

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  • Well had one set back this week. Had a 75 subscription hit my account this week that I hadn’t accounted for. But I rolled with the punches and cash flowed it out of what I had set aside as extra payment on my student loan. The. I had an unexpected refund of 120 come for cancellation of my gap insurance after paying off my car. So Net I now have 150 extra to throw at the student loan instead of the original 100

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    • Navy Blue Case Congrats on rolling with it and still coming out on top! Way to go! I'm new to YNAB (5 months) and have had the same experience of being "surprised" by some true expenses (most recent was driver's license renewal fees). I find that putting some extra $ in my "stuff I forgot to budget for" line item under true expenses helps. When those "surprises" come up, I pay from that line item, then create a new line item under true expenses for the next time. (So now I have line items for AAA renewals, driver's license renewals, and a subscription). It has helped me roll with it while getting a real understanding of my true expenses, especially those that occur once a year or less. Best of luck!

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    • Navy Blue Case Nice!!

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    • veggiegeek Good idea to set it up that way! And you'll find that you'll have less and less of these unexpected items come up over time :) 

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  • And this is why we have a category for unplanned trips into New York City.

    On Friday afternoon my wife won the lottery for discount tickets for the Saturday 8pm performance of Kinky Boots on Broadway. How can you say no to a pair of $45 tickets (very close to the stage in a box) for the hardest night to get tickets for a show that's been next to impossible to get reasonably priced tickets and is in the final week that Wayne Brady is in the show ?

    And as a bonus Wayne Brady did some very "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"-style freestyling after the show with audience participation. It was an awesome evening.

    The whole evening, including dinner, transportation and babysitter cost about 4x the tickets alone. But it was worth every penny, and that's why we budget for unexpected trips into the city.

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    • nolesrule Wow!  What a cool night!  Love Wayne Brady and the fact you could thoroughly enjoy your night. Way to go.

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    • nolesrule Great idea to budget for these instances! Sounds like you've had such a fab night, and that without taking a massive cut to the budget because you had planned for it :-) 

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