Age of Money 2019

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  • Thanks, bevocat

    I'm playing along again this year.  I actually find following the bouncing number mildly entertaining.  My starting # is 247, and I'm predicting that I will hit an AoM of 315 by the end of December, 2019.

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  • I am in, my goal is actually to make it to 30 days. Can not seem to crack that window. Might be fixed income and high expenses due to area that I live in. 

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      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 11 mths ago
      • 7
      • Reported - view

      Ruff16965 (05bd62cee897) 

      Are you aggressively paying down debt or transferring funds to investments?  Both of those activities will keep your AoM low, but at the same time your financial situation and net worth could well be increasing and improving by leaps and bounds.

      Reply Like 7
    • HappyDance I cleaned up about $8K in old debt last year. Also accumulating the items I need to furnish my own place after a divorce, a very toxic rebound relationship and moving halfway across the country to get away from it.

      All bills are paid, every month, my set-asides are funded. I have been able to handle emergencies, blowing 2 truck tires and needing a tow and new tires is a good example, without adding credit card debt.

      Reply Like 5
    • HappyDance I did not know that paying down debt aggressively would negatively affect the AoM. Makes sense. Thanks

      Reply Like 2
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 9 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Ruff16965 (05bd62cee897) I can't seem to get past the 30 mark either. However, March is fully budgeted (funded) and so is April. That happened mostly due to the tax refund I just received, so maybe as time rolls on AoM will increase, not sure.

      Reply Like 1
    • Ben Khaki Storm If April is already fully funded I predict you will see a big jump in your AOM as long as you don't go wild.

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

      Ruff16965 (05bd62cee897) It is.  No going wild here.  This is also after using YNAB for about 4 months and adding True Expense categories I wasnt really tracking before.  

      Reply Like 1
    • Ben Khaki Storm I have been using YNAB for almost 2 years now, my biggest problem is that I am on a fixed income and there is no way to increase it. This is the longest that I have ever stuck to a budget, probably because it all makes perfect sense and I see where my money goes. I have heard YNAB described as "the roadmap to get you where you want to go."

      Reply Like 3
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ruff16965 (05bd62cee897) That's great to hear! There's definitely some long term strategy built into the 4 rules, no doubt!

      Reply Like
  • I'm in! Thanks for starting it. 

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  • Well especially after my recent confusion, this is made for me! I hope no one minds I have two budgets - quite separate - for my two countries. The two sets of spending both go on more or less all the time (with occasional short breaks in Kuwait) but they aren’t connected, except in that Kuwait is the source of income and funds 🇬🇧.

    Reply Like 1
  • I'm in this year.  Hoping for progress like HappyDance's.  

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  • This could be interesting! Today I am sitting at 90 days AoM and 148 Days of Buffering.

    Reply Like 1
      • Bamadiva
      • Budgeting aligns my life...
      • bamadiva
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      kittenpants  Thats pretty impressive!

      Reply Like
  • kittenpants  quick question, what's the difference between AOM and buffering?

    Reply Like 1
      • Formal Dribble
      • 😎👌
      • Turquoise_Storm.3
      • 11 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Bamadiva - regarding Days of Buffering - the comment quoted below is from a developer of the YNAB Toolkit (which is an extension for your computer's browser, created independently of official YNAB by the community)

      Ben

      Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer

      furiousfalcon

      5 mths ago 

      Jannelle Just FYI: Days of Buffering tells the users how many days their current money would last based on their average daily spending.

      Reply Like 3
    • Bamadiva They’re slightly different formulas, and as Formal Dribble says the Days of Buffering metric is from the YNAB Toolkit extension for Chrome. 

      My understanding is that Age of Money looks at how long ago you deposited the money that you’ll spend next.

      Days of Buffering is how long the money in your account could last if you spend as usual. The Toolkit allows you to change how many months it looks back to decide what your “usual” spending pattern is.

      Reply Like
    • Oh, and neither of these is the same as “being buffered”. 😆

      Reply Like 1
      • Bamadiva
      • Budgeting aligns my life...
      • bamadiva
      • 11 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      kittenpants  - this is clear as mud😂

      Reply Like 1
  • Just re-started with YNAB on 1/1 - this is the year I get a handle on my finances!!  I'm in!

    Reply Like
  • How fun! Our AOM was 52 in December, but that's down significantly due to buying both a car and a house in the second half of 2018. It was up to 156 before that, so I made that my goal. I wouldn't be surprised if we get higher, though, since we are focusing on saving this year... just have no way of guessing how high! 😊

    Reply Like 2
  • Interesting to see this is still going. I started it when nYNAB first came out. Pretty cool!

    Reply Like 1
  • WOOT!!! I'm in!

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  • Awesome! I just hit 138 which is my record high! This will be a challenge to maintain as we will be moving at some point this year (whether it be to another city or just a different house locally- selling/buying). But I am ready for the challenge!

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  • I'm in.  My goal in the 34 day challenge is to increase my AOM to 10.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I've got to start somewhere.  I'm in awe of 247!  Wow.  That's amazing, HappyDance

    Reply Like 4
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Rachael Loucks 

      When I was in debt smackdown mode, I didn't let money sit in my account for long.  It was out the door asap and paying off debt, and my AoM pretty much stayed at around 30 because I use all of this month's income to budget next month. Building up my true expenses categories and emergency funds after paying off debt has increased that number pretty steadily.

      My 247 just dropped to 219 on Saturday when I entered my usual handful of weekend shopping transactions, and that tells me I used up the last of one month-end paycheque and began using the next month-end paycheque which was deposited 28 days later.

      Reply Like
      • Rachael Loucks
      • Equestrian. Educator. Trying to figure out how to blend the two.
      • Blue_Mill.2
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance  :-) This is good to know and where we are kind of at (smacking down debt).

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

      Rachael Loucks 

      In debt smack down mode I enjoyed watching my progress in the net worth report.

      Reply Like 2
      • Rachael Loucks
      • Equestrian. Educator. Trying to figure out how to blend the two.
      • Blue_Mill.2
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance I love this!  What I'm not sure how to categorize are things like collections.   We're working on "live debt" first and then collections; unless I've made a payment arrangement with collection agency--then I'm treating the collection as live debt.  I do see our net worth rising but it is so slow!

      Reply Like
  • Feeling good about the challenge 1 week in... I took last year's annual bonus and instead of using it for something "fun," I used it for something that will actually improve my happiness in the long term. All of January and February is budgeted out already! That AoM number should start movin' on up.

    Reply Like 4
  • I will give it a try.

     

    being a YNAB 3/4 user since 2012, I recently (December) bit the bullet and switched to nYNAB. 

    So far, the AOM increases every day. I have no idea where I‘ll end up, but I‘m looking forward to it. 

    Reply Like 2
  • 2018 ended with AoM of 350. I have a few already funded big-ticket items coming up this year, so I predict AoM to decrease by a lot and then to build up again to around 320. If I complete my goals and manage to keep AoM about same as now I'm even happier! Failing to complete any of the set goals for 2019 it should end up somewhere around 470.

    Ben Shortbread

    If you start off with a starting balance greater than 0, then it should keep building by 1 day every day, until you stop spending from your initial starting balance and start spending from your next income source. Afterward, it'll keep building if you on average spend less than you earn, but it won't grow as rapidly as it did initially.

    Reply Like 1
      • Pink Mixer
      • Pink_Mixer.5
      • 10 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Moohouse That seems like the logical way that it *should* work, but in my experience, it sits at the same level for quite awhile, then jumps up or down as is appropriate. For example, mine has been at 24 days for about a week now. I don't quite get it, but I'm also not too bothered as we're just updating the spreadsheet monthly.

      Reply Like 1
      • Moohouse
      • Software developer
      • Moohouse
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Pink Mixer Yeah, it's also averaged over the last 10 transactions, so if you have few transactions weekly it will move quite slowly. If you mostly pay expenses with untracked cash or a credit card, then AoM won't move as fluidly as it averages over a longer period.

      Reply Like
  • I am in, I would love to see my number move to the 90 area. It is a lofty goal as I am currently sitting at 16 days.  

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  • I should have my money there by March 1, it’s so hard to get this mindset when I’m used to sending every cent to debt.🤢 

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  • Does a very high AoM number wipe out the need for an emergency fund, I wonder? Are they the same thing?

    Reply Like
      • Moohouse
      • Software developer
      • Moohouse
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      lindsay_g Yes and no. AoM looks at the 'age' of money you spend, while the (on budget) emergency fund is a budget allocation of money to use in an emergency. Having an emergency fund (or other on budget savings) will, however, make it easier to increase AoM since these funds (hopefully) won't be spent in the immediate future.

      Which label you put on your budget categories doesn't matter to AoM - it only cares about income and outflows, and you should be easier able to cover an emergency expense with a cost of say a month's income with AoM 45 opposed to with AoM 15. And it should be easier to build and maintain an emergency fund, or cover an emergency expense.

      And you could, of course, have AoM 15 with a sizable off-budget emergency fund, making you well prepared for pretty much anything. Since you, as I understand it, hold two different budgets, keeping duplicate emergency funds might not be your top priority?

      Reply Like
      • lindsay_g
      • Beige_Banjo.3
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Moohouse But let’s say you have AOM 200 , and some posters on here have that and more, then that’s a 7 months buffer, in effect. So isn’t it the same as the 6-month emergency fund many advocate? Because you are fully funded six months into the future.

      As for me, yes (you’re good!) I do have two budgets and recently decided to only save one emergency fund. :)

      Reply Like
      • Moohouse
      • Software developer
      • Moohouse
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      lindsay_g There are edge cases where you could have AoM 200 because you're saving up something big like a college education or a pension in an on-budget account (normally this would be off-budget) or a down payment of some sort, but in general, yes. Money is money, no matter what the budgeted purpose may be, so reallocating it into a 6-month emergency fund should be achievable if so desired. My emergency fund is currently inflated to 10x monthly expenses, way above my last EF target of 3x monthly expenses. This, in turn, pushes my AoM to where it stands now at 355.

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

      lindsay_g Also, for me, my dollars cannot simultaneously do the job of being an income replacement fund and wait for needing a new roof, plumbing repairs, painting, siding, HVAC replacement, or the entirely too numerous other rainy-day funds I have. So practically speaking, even though my age of money is 227 today, I only have one month of basic expenses in my income replacement fund.

      At this rate, I'll probably have it fully funded, oh, say, by the time I retire...

      Reply Like
  • I'm in.  I think I first started using YNAB in 2014, but I've fallen off the wagon many times, unfortunately.  I started budgeting again in October 2018, so I'm using that as my start date.  My AOM at the end of December was 24, but we are currently at 12.  I put 45 as my goal for 2019.  We are planning to pay off a lot of debt this year, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.  Honestly, I'd be thrilled if we could get to a steady 30... but hey!  Dream big!  

    Reply Like 1
      • Moohouse
      • Software developer
      • Moohouse
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Karen Harris Best of luck! Paying down debt is a great way to improve cash flow, net worth, sleep, happiness, credit and what not but it isn't really the fast track to (steady and) high AoM.


      AoM will grow naturally once your expenses are (well) below your income and this will normally not happen while you have a lot of high-interest debt. YNAB is a great tool for getting there in any event and helps out in both (all?) situations. 🙂

      Reply Like
    • Moohouse Oh, you are absolutely right. The fact that we want to pay down a lot of debt will certainly have an affect on the AoM.  The way our budget is currently set up (but always a work in progress, ha) allows for us to contribute a little bit to our buffer each month, and I'm expecting that will help us reach the 30 AoM. (We are budgeting a little extra to all of our utilities right now until we are a full month ahead, and then we will branch out category by category).    As for the 45 AoM, I may be dreaming a bit too big! But I am hoping for some extra income from side jobs and selling some things that will hopefully make a difference in our debt and AoM.  We are also looking at cutting back on some discretionary spending (dining out is a big one!) - so if we can do that, it will help us progress as well. 

      We have been paying down debt at a tortoise pace, and I don't think we are ready for 'gazelle intense' so I am probably looking at a nice 'rabbit/hare' pace for now that will hopefully be a happy medium!   If we don't reach our AoM goals, it will be OK, because reducing our debt is my most important goal.  I stayed out of the Savings Challenge because outside of our tiny attempt to grow our buffer a few dollars at a time, that just ain't happening until the debt is gone!  LOL

      Reply Like
  • I'm joining in! I struggle with how important AOM is because despite a number above 50 I am not buffered. I'm hoping to hit 75 this year, 100 would be amazing, but more importantly than that I am trying to get my full month's buffer in place. 

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

      luvdgame I felt much the same way, which is why I started using the artificial buffer category.  Once I could put every dollar I earned this month into the buffer category and not touch it until it was time to budget out the next month when the month rolled over, I knew I was fully buffered. Until then, it was like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

      Reply Like
  • Very new to YNAB! Just hoping for 30 by the end of the year. A lot of uncertain variables - I'm graduating from my MA program and moving a few states over, so the whole finding a job thing is obviously going to have a huge impact on this for me. But hey, gotta start planning sometime...

    Reply Like 3
  • I really have no idea how it works, I've only been doing YNAB for about a week now, but I'm going to set my goal at 30, just because I would like to have a month ahead of budget. We'll see how it goes.

    Reply Like 1
  • Bought a new water heater and paid my property taxes, but evidently we still haven't moved to the next bucket of money yet.

    Reply Like 1
      • Courtney Lane
      • Mother. Lover. Budgeter.
      • cocolove
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat  is this YNAB4? I don't have a days of buffering!!! Tell me more!

      Reply Like
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 10 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Courtney Lane 

      The days of buffering metric is provided in the YNAB Tool Kit, a free browser extension created by enthusiastic and talented YNABers.  The metric calculates how many days your current pool of money would last if you continued to spend at your previous rate.  Read about the tool kit in this thread here.

      Reply Like 1
      • Courtney Lane
      • Mother. Lover. Budgeter.
      • cocolove
      • 10 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance Wow, this sounds awesome! Thank you!

      Reply Like 1
    • bevocat  What are you using for your settings Days of Buffering?  I am trying to figure out what I should use for that.  I know everyone is different but just wondering what people are using. 

      Reply Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      VoltaicShock One of my largest expenses is property taxes, but it's only paid on a yearly basis, so anything less than one year gives me bad information. Unfortunately, there's nothing in between "one year" and "all", and I have a little bit of budgeting information that goes back about 5 years before I really started budgeting, so there's a whole lot of years of what looks like low spending skewing the results. So, one year it is.

      Reply Like 2
    • bevocat  Thanks!  I have changed it around and finally just left it at 1 year for now.  I do notice some big spends do cause it to go lower which makes sense but it fixes itself in a few.

      Reply Like
      • Moohouse
      • Software developer
      • Moohouse
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      VoltaicShock As long as my AOM stays above 365 using any setting below 'all' would lower my AOM.

      Reply Like 2
  • I feel like I'm finally starting to get comfortable with YNAB so I'm ready for a new challenge!  

    Reply Like 2
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