Ah... getting serious about YNAB again...

So, freshly single, freshly subscribed to YNAB, got all my accounts and stuff in... Wait. What am I missing? All my liabilities? ... Oh yes, those.

So I am a man. making about 2100 a month. I pay 300 in rent, 64 in phone, and 150 in groceries, 61.60 in internet, and 55.50 in gym.... and I have a laundry list of debt I need to pay off, a laundry list of essential items I need (car and a pair of rain boots) and a coping mechanism... that isn't healthy.

 

I don't know, I know some of you have done it on this level... but how do I get into that grind without going insane?

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  • As someone that has gone through the breakup, and divorce, of a 16-year marriage and a roller coaster ride of a rebound relationship in the past 18 months, I can feel your pain.

    Getting into the "grind" think of it as swimming, you can either dip your toe in and slowly enter the pool or just dive off the deep end.

    Personally, I take the dive in approach. What I did about 6 months ago when I started YNAB is list everything I owe, I also had a "shopping" list, I was doing some major work to my truck, needed to fill out my wardrobe and things I wanted/needed to buy. Now several of these lists I actually already had, thanks to the ex-girlfriend. Then I put everything in YNAB and started assigning goals based on what I wanted/needed to accomplish and due dates. I have 2 personal loans to friends that are due by my birthday in March, I am just starting to pay those back, repairing my truck, clothes and other things too priority.

    I also took the classes that YNAB offers, several times even, I would always catch something new that I could apply to my situation and plan. Aggressive Debt Pay Down is a very good one in our situation, it outlines the different ways to pay off debt.

    I hope that this helps, I can say that with time life does even out.

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      • Zensei
      • Poor as Shit
      • Hot_Pink_Tiger_d157aeb5
      • 3 yrs ago
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      Ruff16965 (05bd62cee897) 

      I appreciate the reply! Mine was a 3 year engagement that broke off 6 months ago... and I can only imagine your pain. Mine seems like a papercut! Relativity always helps :) So thank you.

      And I also appreciate the abstraction. While I've basically slowly slid into what I call a momentum engine, where I layer habits with momentum until its turning by itself.. adding all the debt into YNAB actually had me regress since it was so overwhelming. but frontloading pain seems to be key so I don't have to deal with anymore. I'll dive in!

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    • Zensei Actually the relationship hurts worse than the divorce, that was a slow death that took about 4 years. So her leaving was not a surprise.

      By listing everything you know where you are and can better plan., yes it might be a shock, don't beat yourself up, but resolve to do better.

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      • Zensei
      • Poor as Shit
      • Hot_Pink_Tiger_d157aeb5
      • 3 yrs ago
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      Ruff16965 (05bd62cee897) 

       

      Thank you :) 

       

      One question though. How does one balance enjoying themselves while being frugal as well?

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    • Zensei I am approaching debt reduction like I do a diet. Moderation, my ex-wife is diabetic, she would go on diets and no soda, no deserts and do fine for a month to 6 weeks, the she would go off the rails and go through a case of soda, ice cream and over things in a night. Where I would have a small treat every few days and stayed the course.

      Same with debt reduction, Jersey Meacham who created YNAB in a podcast talks about when he was in school and him and the wife had the budget so tight that he could not even afford a donut. Him and the wife carved out $5.00 a month each, just enough to receive the pressure.

      So in your budget put some money aside to enjoy yourself. I have about 5% of my budget for fun stuff, movies, dining out, what not. But that is also the first place I look in case of a shortage, also in the 6 months I have been doing YNAB, I have cut the amount budgeted to fun about 3% and don't feel deprived. So find something that feels good to you and in 2 months revisit it and see how you are doing.

      Like 1
    •  Also look for free and low cost options to enjoy yourself. Here hey had free concerts in the park. The local museum is free the first Saturday of the month. Cinemark Theatres the first movie of the day the cheapest, and Tuesdays cheaper even than that.

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  • Dude, you're a saviour!

     

    I have a tendency for extremes, so much like your ex wife, I too would swing from extreme health (1300 cals a day, intense cardio and lifting) to binging like hell. Moderation truly is key in more layers than health, finance as well :)

    Those are all super tips, and I do need to get out more. I tend to hole up and learn to program and figure out what I'm going to pay off next, and it makes complete sense why im going a lil crazy. THanks for all the info, it is much appreciated :)

    Like 1
    • Zensei You are welcome. Check out meetup.com , think of it as an electronic bulitten board like used to be in supermarkets. A lot of things to check out, free meetings, new hobbies, and people. Not sure where you are, each area has a little different flavor, I have done everything from book clubs, photography classes. I know that there are biking and hiking, dancing, music, and food are common.

      Like 1
  • If you like to read at all, read good personal finance blogs. There's lots of PF bloggers that are great at motivating and establishing the right mindset to help you succeed. Everybody has their own favorites, but Mr. Money Mustache and the Millennial Revolution have done a great job of motivating me, personally. They tend to keep the WHY in focus, which helps a big picture guy like me.

    Personal finance blogs also tend to be full of tips and tricks for saving, living a more frugal lifestyle, investing, etc. You may not totally agree with every blogger you read, but most of them have something valuable to add to your toolkit. 

    Best of luck! 

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      • Zensei
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      • Hot_Pink_Tiger_d157aeb5
      • 3 yrs ago
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      Frugalitarian Thanks for the tips! Ironically, it was those blogs that started my journey into frugality and eventually led to my installing YNAB4 and upgrading here to this newfangled YNAB.

      However I find a lot of blogs assume n = 50k, where n is the average consumers annual net income. I am 32k, and I've cut everything that I find it *extremely* difficult to modify the content to fit into my life.

      Any blogs for the already frugal? :P

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      • Frugalitarian
      • Optimizing spending, one purchase at a time.
      • Sky_Blue_Octopus_990955
      • 3 yrs ago
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      Zensei  I hear you about the income stuff. Before I got married, I was making about $33k in Seattle. I'm always a bit surprised how often case studies on those blogs involve people with $90k+ income. Seems like a lot of people would benefit from hearing about lower income folks? 

      Since your expenses are pretty tight, now could also be a great time to start a side hustle BudgetsAreSexy has a surprisingly extensive series about side hustle ideas). It will definitely still be a grind, but if you pick a side hustle that involves something you actually enjoy (i.e. dog walking if you love animals, yard work if you love being outside) it might make it easier. And having extra money will definitely help take the stress out of your money situation. 

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      • Zensei
      • Poor as Shit
      • Hot_Pink_Tiger_d157aeb5
      • 3 yrs ago
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      Frugalitarian 

      Something I've been heavily looking at.

      Minor issues such as currently investing myself by going to university part time (upgrading to start a CS degree) and also learning programming on the side absorbs my time... Although I could definitely use a second job. Thanks for that :)

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    • Zensei Since you are at school, tutoring at something if you are very good at it. 

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  • Zensei , You can only cut so deep in every sense.  My advice would be to stop looking at the whole picture and start looking at it in slices.

    First, the breakup....that pain will go away but you can't make it move any faster.  So the best is to remind yourself everyday that you need to focus elsewhere. 

    Second, the debt...stop looking at all the debt as one big number you'll never climb out of and as a monthly  or weekly number that's manageable.  My SO has XXk in student loan debt.  She'd freak out each time she logged in looking at that number and think, I am never going to pay it off.  It took a lot of coaching for me to get her to see that it was only a XXX hundred payment per month.  Once she saw that the first paycheck covered the payment and that the second paycheck was for everything else, it relaxed her quite a bit.  We set a budget goal to pay off the debt and when that budget goal goes green, she knows everything is all right. 

    Third, you need more income.  Side hustles, second jobs, whatever it takes.  This is hard for a lot of people.  My buddy, I'll call him S complains all the time about making 40K.  He comes home at work at 6, opens a beer. watches netflix till 1am, goes to bed, repeats.   I tell him to drive uber/lyft for a few hours and he's like, nah, I just need to decompress.  WTF.  

    I get off work at 6 and then come home and do freelance work till 10PM.  Yes, it sucks to work from 8AM to 10PM but guess what, I make a lot more. 

    At the end of the day, you have to be honest with yourself about what you are or aren't willing to do and be ok with those choices.  

    Good luck with your healing.  

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      • Zensei
      • Poor as Shit
      • Hot_Pink_Tiger_d157aeb5
      • 3 yrs ago
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      King 

      Good advice and thank you!

      Like I mentioned to frugalitarian, finding time to wedge between part time school and self learning python is a struggle in and of itself, but like they say no rest for the wicked.

       

      Slicing it up is definitely good advice. I am a big picture guy, so this will definitely be a challenge. Appreciate the advice :)

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