Realizing What You Can't Afford

I've been YNABing for about 3 months now. Saw a YNAB video on saving a "car payment" (why didn't I ever think of that?) and immediately started saving to replace my husband's aging vehicle. I plopped in the payment we'd had on my car. If we could afford it then, we could afford now.

Nope. Budgeting for month 4 and I'm short. No more bonus/tax returns greasing the skids. My kiddo's dyslexia tutoring is simply too expensive and too important, and summer camps are pricey! Those weren't factors when I'd bough my car 6 years ago.

Before YNAB, I'd have plopped down my (not ginormous annual) bonus money as a down payment, picked a reasonable budget number, and gone for it. Instead, I'm saving for it and knowing what I can afford. 

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  • Good for you! I agree. Prior to YNAB, everything was: Can we afford to add this monthly bill? It's fine, we will figure it out.

    Actually being able to see the reality of your real numbers is both liberating and uncomfortable. Oh and I also saw that video and thought, how did I never think of that?!

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    • Melissa
    • Routinely questioning every assumption I have about my budget, my spending, and my savings habits.
    • todays_mel
    • 1 mth ago
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    Spring Green Lobster said:
    Saw a YNAB video on saving a "car payment" (why didn't I ever think of that?) 

     I had the same revelation not long after starting YNAB. I never thought to set a plan for things like car replacement, home repairs/maintenance, bi-annual car insurance, etc. I always just dealt with whatever unfortunate (or forgotten) financial scenario came along, which usually meant charging whatever the expense was to my credit card. 

    I’m also trying to pre-fund my car replacement along with my other goals/priorities, and like you, the numbers weren’t working out with the initial timeframe I chose because I haven’t had a car payment in over 14 years (my car is 17 years old this month)! So I’ve given myself around 1.5 - 2 years to put money aside for a good used replacement vehicle, rather than new, and so far I’m able to accommodate that in my budget. Plus any extra funds, if I get lucky, to throw at it! Good luck saving for yours, too! 🚘

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  • It isn’t just knowing what you can’t afford. It is having the clarity as to what are your priorities right now. That is the big win!

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  • I love this win, Spring Green Lobster ! There is an important distinction between a fixed bill you're committed to pay, and something you want to fund (and can adjust as priorities change). When you are ready to replace the vehicle, it will be that much sweeter!

    Was is the Can I Afford This? video from Hannah? Just in case other folks would like to check it out.

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    • Nicole That's the one! 

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