YNAB budget and Murphy's Law - Anyone else relate?

Had been saving up an EF prior to settling on YNAB as a budgeting tool to step up our goals/planning this year and February is our first YNAB budge month (most of January and up until this week still :) I immersed myself in videos, podcasts, YNAB docs, Reddit, FB, etc)

Happy for that EF too because (naturally?) it seemed as if the universe noticed us getting our finances in order and sent Murphy in to lay down his Law so that the $200 we allocated for "Stuff I Forgot To Budget For" turned out to be severely underfunded due to costly, unforeseen expenses we had to handle immediately. Life came at us fast this month!

However, as the dust settles on February we're now heading into March with all accounts reconciled,  no budget overspending, and our categories for true expenses are nearly 100% funded.

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    • MsTJ
    • YNAB has given me back my future
    • Believer_in_YNAb
    • 7 mths ago
    • 6
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    Isn't that a wonderful feeling?  

    Spent so much time, before finding YNAB, trying to find the money when Murphy's next visit came around.  I love having some money put aside, for next time. Haven't been able to fund with as much as I would like, and there's something in my budget to help.

    BeforeYNAB, I didn't have anything set aside.  After a few years with YNAB I have much more than I did, and  even now, sometimes, it isn't enough.  Those true expenses (what I call them) are much more costly than I once thought.  

    Have found I couldn't absorb all YNAB had to teach initially.  I had a bad relationship with money.  With time, and absorbing what I can, when I can, has helped more than I imagined I could be helped.  It looks like you are way ahead of me when starting.  Hoping your experiences get even better than I have experienced, and it looks like you are well on your way to doing that,

    Like 6
  • Whoop! I bet that feels good, being able to reconcile! I've been on ynab for two years and it totally took some time for me to stop bleeding out of the "stuff I forgot to budget for" category. It helped me create new categories, it's your teacher! haha! I was totally like you in that I attended like every single workshop for about 3 weeks. Sometimes going to the same ones 4 or 5 times. But I really learned the tool. My 2020 challenge to myself is to reconcile my ynab every night. Sometimes I would let a week go by. 

    Awesome work!

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  • MsTJ Wiecked thanks! I can't wait to experience living one month ahead and building up an EF! #determined

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      • Wiecked
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      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
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      Indebted_Dude you will get there! I feel it! 

      Like 1
  • We think Murphy likes to test people who try to take control of their finances.  In January, we got serious about budgeting and paying off debt.  (The first time in 32 years of marriage.)

    Within three weeks:

    • The wife's car dumped all its oil on the ground at a stoplight. $2,200 later and it was running again.
      (Goodbye, sweet emergency fund and all of our savings. Goodbye.)
    • Kitchen fridge died
      (Two months later we're still using a TINY mini-fridge we had in the basement.)
    • I slid on black ice and took out a traffic light.
      (Thankfully, it was very low speed and I was not hurt.  Also, all except the fine was paid by the insurance... eventually.)

    Fast-forward a month and we were starting to build up a little in savings again.  Then:

    • The wife's car started running really rough. $2,000 later (at a different garage) and the things the first garage didn't fix right were finally repaired correctly.
      (I'm sure that's what savings and tax refunds are for, right?)
    • The cat suddenly got VERY sick and we had to put it down at the emergency vet.
      (Honestly, I'm not making this stuff up.)

    As bad as all of that was, we still felt lucky that we had dived deep into budgeting.  We (just) managed to deal with all of that without resorting to credit cards or loans. 

    It was also a great example of the YNAB rule to only budget money you actually have and rule three to role with the punches.

    Like 4
    • Cory and Carrie Yikes! That is a lot to deal with in such a short period.  We're on our third home "emergency" for the year... and feel like I'm being tested too. Glad to hear you two were able to roll with the punches! Fingers crossed you get a break. 🙂

      Like 1
    • Nicole No big surprises have popped up since those.  We had decided that more debt would be the absolute last option so we moved $, cleaned out our savings and emergency fund, and spent our tax refund.   As far as emergencies go, they probably couldn't have been timed much better. 

      It sure would have been easy to solve the money problems with debt.  But we're tired of carrying debt after doing it for three decades!

      Instead of trading in the twice-broken car for a new car loan, we fixed it (after some assurances that we should get at least a few more years out of it once repaired.) 

      We could have charged a new refrigerator on a credit card.  We even talked about getting a "cheap" model.  Instead, we plan to use the mini-fridge and a somewhat larger one in the basement until we can save up to remodel the kitchen (hopefully in late 2022.)   We have a budget and a financial plan now. Replacing the inconvenience of the tiny fridge is a "want", not a "need."

      Like 1
  • No visit from Murphy yet, but it's only a matter of time! Do you cover these "surprises" with an Emergency fund or Stuff I Forgot to Budget for, or Unexpected Costs?

    I suppose it depends on how you define Emergency and Unexpected... 

  • It probably depends on how much the surprises cost and how much you can move from other categories.  We try to pull from "spending" categories then the more fun or frivolous ones (vacation, bird food), then emergency fund.  Worst case, we'll start pulling from the categories we are using to save up for planned expenses but we don't want to be caught unable to pay for those when the due dates roll around.

    Like 1
  • I've actually named my EF category "That Guy, Murphy!" for this very reason. 🤣

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