The 34 Day Reset!!

Happy New Year, everyone! 🎉

With 2020 officially in our rearview mirror (finally!), we’re kicking off 2021 with a brand new challenge for your budget! I don’t know about anyone else, but I could use a reset from 2020 in general. 

The rules are simple:

  1. Track all your spending. Do it with paper, do it with YNAB, we’re not picky.

  2. Only buy essentials. Good news, you get to decide what essential means.

  3. No eating out. That’s painful, I know, but there’s room for exceptions!

After 34 days of following these rules, you’ll have a nice little nest egg! What you do with this money is up to you - will you pay off debt? Will you save it for a rainy day? Will you buy that fire pit your backyard has always needed? You decide!

Get started by signing up for the challenge on our website. We’ll send you the 34-Day Reset workbook to use during the challenge, and we’ll be here to cheer each other on all the way through! 

If you’re joining in, use this thread to tell us the rules and exceptions you’ve set for your Reset and what you’re aiming to do with the extra money! We’ll be around for the entire 34 days for accountability 😀

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  • Can I ask a question? Good. Thanks.

    I signed up for the challenge last night. I have a limited income (social security and a pension), there's no way I'm going to save anything close to $1000. Is this okay - my goal is a new gas range/oven for $800 and I will save for it over the next 10 months.

    Is the goal supposed to be something you can buy with the $$ saved over the 34 day period? I'm (a little) confused.

    Thanks!

    Like
      • killerog
      • killerog
      • 13 days ago
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      YNAB is all about your priorities, so you don't have to spend the money on something after the 34 days.

       

      A challenge usually is better if there's a prize at the end of the road, but that can also be money in a specific category so you can get that thing sooner. They talk more about it here: https://www.youneedabudget.com/34-day-reset-tips--tricks/

      Like 2
    • MyraJ Your goal doesn't have to be $1,000 - it can be whatever amount you're hoping to save during the month! And, as killerog mentioned, you don't have to spend the money you save - some people are hoping to save an emergency fund, so those dollars will only be used in the future in case of emergency. 

      We do mention budgeting for a reward for yourself, for making it through the challenge, but that's optional, too! :)

      Like 2
  • As I dont have facebook, I'll use this topic for accountability I guess.

    I do have some small things I'd like to buy for my home, so I'll make a wish farm for those (haven't done that before). The rest will go towards my side project.

    My goal is $250, I don't really spend that much on eating out and other stuff, most money goes towards regular bills. I'd be surprised if I managed to save more than that, but who knows :-)

     

    Also used the opportunity to make a fresh start with my budget, too many mistakes made on the old one. A little sad that the age of my money is gone now.

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      • MyraJ
      • Doyoureallyneedthat
      • 13 days ago
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      killerog I did a Fresh Start too this year. 😀

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    • killerog Glad you're joining us! I'll be using this thread to track my progress, as well! I'm hoping that cutting back on discretionary spending will have more of an impact than I'm expecting. 

      I think the new year is the perfect time for a new budget if you're making changes. That Age of Money will be back before you know it! 🎉

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      • killerog
      • killerog
      • 11 days ago
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      killerog I guess I should've listed my rules too, but now I can't edit the post anymore.

       

      - No buying alcohol (I should have enough beers left for a drink every weekend) - €  35 - 40

      - No eating out (we still have a partial lockdown, so only take-away or delivery is allowed anyhow), take-away or delivery - € 55

      - Only buy the neccessary in groceries - € 150 (Can I save € 50 on this?)

      - No purchase of games, books, other entertainment - € 60

      - No new clothes - € 15

       

      I can still buy birthday gifts, and do investments if they're only available this month (I'll just cheat and move them to february temporarily :P ).

       

      That's about what I can shave off I think.

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    • killerog I'm doing the challenge as well.  I do have Facebook, but the threads are a bit overwhelming.  The amounts you listed are amounts you think you may be able to save?  It adds up to 320 euros which is $500 Canadian.  That's a pretty substantial saving.  I'm not sure I can shave that much off my current budget.

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      • killerog
      • killerog
      • 11 days ago
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      Silver Robot Those are my averages in those categories, so I probably still need some groceries :D but I do hope to cut most of the rest.
      And maybe some expenses I'm not currently aware of that I have ;-)

      Like 2
      • killerog
      • killerog
      • 8 days ago
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      killerog Maybe I should stop binging the YNAB youtube channel. I've found so many book, app, and home improvement recommendations already that it's kind of a wonder I didn't spend anything yet 😂

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      • killerog
      • killerog
      • 7 days ago
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      killerog So, the first grocery run is done, and I didn't buy anything I didn't need. Thanks to the pantry and the freezer the total was only € 13,20.

      I did forgot to take my tablet to the store, so I had to enter the receipts at home. And now I seem to have misplaced 50 cents somewhere :D

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      • killerog
      • killerog
      • 5 days ago
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      killerog I managed to cook 12 meals out of it today, and I ate one (plus what was left at the bottom of the pan 😉).

      Of course I'm still going to have to cook the pasta to go with the bolognese, but I might even have enough pasta in the pantry to match. Otherwise I could eat them with noodles too.

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  • I am really looking forward to this, after rather depressing thoughts that I have no where to change any of my spending. I was realizing that I can't even cover my savings categories this month.  I am also worried that my appliance or other long term expenses will  be wiped out if I have to buy a  really big ticket item that isn't fully funded.  So I have revised my budget a bit,  by moving some "over budgeted" expenses (ie: more than 6 weeks ahead on subscriptions). Another change I made, thank you  YNAB team for suggesting this, I should have  paid attention) I changed my food budget to a weekly budget (actually by taking the food budget and dividing it by  31) . This seems to be a real incentive to help me get in and out of the store without all those little things that I could use but do not need 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️ and will make tracking my no spend days easier. No restaurants is not so much a problem, but if I travel I will be bringing my food and will include coffee and a  small snack,***if ***I go out with friends.  I am also on fixed income so,  this is my chance to give myself a "present."and I decided to spend the money on something  I have never managed to fund in my  wish list, a black out curtain for my kitchen window.  It was never a problem, but during the past year the kitchen table is where I sit at the  computer and it has become a "need" not just a want.  The amount is about 500 USD,  Any extra over this amount will  be split among other wish list items only.  As I said, this is a "present" from YNAB to me.  

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    • Hello @rickii when I go to the grocery store, I use this app. (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.panagola.app.shopcalc&hl=en_US&gl=US) When I started to use the app I had to first make my list on the fly as I didn’t have the price for the items. But I was able to put in my food budget dollars. So, when I would put an item on my list it would show me where I was at dollar wise, so I didn’t blow my budget as I was shopping. Now that I have most of the items in and the prices now, I make my list and know how much I need to budget for. Since I found this app I haven’t gone over my budget. I find it really helps me get in and out without blowing my food budget. Maybe this could be a helpful/useful tool for you also.

      Like 3
  • I'm excited to start this challenge. My rule is only to pay the bills, gas for my car, and groceries. With no exceptions. I'm also excited about the no eating out as this will give me a jump start to kick off my diet.

    I can't wait to see how much weight I lose during this time and how much money will end up in my account. I’m pushing for $800 anything over that is a cherry on top. I’m not sure what I want to spend this money one so, I’m going to put it in my true expense.

    As this is one of my goals for this year. This seems to be my downfall. I do well with the 4 rules, but when I need to shift money around I take from my true expenses and tell myself I can always put it back before the bill is due and that doesn’t seem to be working out so well. And that became very clear last night when I listed to get out of debt and stay out (https://www.youneedabudget.com/video-courses/how-to-get-out-of-debt-and-stay-out) and reflected back over 2020 budget.

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    • Corruptress I'd love to hear what you're doing as far as meals! Are you meal planning or do you have go to dishes you want to stick to? Cutting out fast food is definitely a great way to start a diet and I think the challenge will bring a lot of added benefits!

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    • Faness Yes, I also meal plan. The program that I have been using is https://www.eatthismuch.com/a/Kis1gtfe otherwise I get into a "I don't know what to make" And what to go out to eat. I've found the food ideas to be pretty good. And I'm able to adjust my weight goals as I need to. I've lost 25 lbs using this program.

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  • I checked with my husband and he is onboard to participate in the 34 Day Reset!  Here are our rules and exceptions: 

    • No buying alcohol (this is a big one).  We sat down and discussed year goals and one of those was to drink less, so I this helps us physically AND financially. 
    • Only planned fun money expenses (my husband has been saving for a bike trainer). 
    • If our favorite restaurant/bar reopens during these 34 days, we will go out to eat.  
    • If movie theaters reopen, my husband will go out to eat to celebrate (we don't expect this to happen but he wanted it in writing).  

    Here are the challenges that I foresee:

    • My husband has been supportive, but not hands on with the budget.  Although he doesn't spend much, I think it'll be hard for him to remember to track the spending if he does.  
    • It will be hard for my husband not to drive through for breakfast or lunch after his runs. 
    • Not spending money on alcohol means we need to ration the alcohol we have this month.  My husband has a collection of scotch that I don't drink.  So he could survive for months where as my lousy bottle of vodka isn't going to last as long.  (I know... we drink too much...)
    • I am terrible with the little spending here and there so only buying essentials will be hardest for me.  Hopefully there are no amazing makeup releases this month otherwise I'm going to be really sad.  

    I'm not sure what our goal is, but we will put our savings into our savings for a down payment for our first house.  I know we can for sure save $600 (Alcohol, Dining Out, and my Fun Money).  We'll see where else we see savings.  
     

    Like 3
    • atoznewlyweds I got my husband onboard, too! We were going to start on the first, but someone made a last minute donation to a veteran's fund, so tomorrow it is! 

      We decided that if we see anything we Really want, we'll write it down and re-evaluate if we still want it after the challenge (so don't tell yourself "No make-up" just "Make-up later").

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    • Faness Love that way to shift my mindset!  Thanks

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    • atoznewlyweds I'm curious, why go out to eat if movie theatres open and not to a movie?  Can you ask your husband to use his debit card for all his spending?  Then if he doesn't track it, at least it's recorded by the bank, unlike cash that just goes *pouf*  I'm am also terrible for the little spending that adds up.

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    • Silver Robot Oh haha he WILL go to a movie.  He goes to our favorite mexican place for their great happy hour and then to a movie (which is "free" because he is an A-List member).  It's his ritual and his favorite thing in life (exaggerating but only slightly).  

      He does use his debit card but one of the "rules" for the challenge is to manually record each purchase.  Normally we just let it import from the bank.  

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  • This is a great start to the year for us. Finished paying off all consumer debt last year in December, so we have to set some new goals. We have never been minimalists or frugalists (in spite of having raised 8 kids on one regular income) but are thinking of moving that way. We don't spend a lot extra anyway, but are wondering just how much we can cut back. So we set a $1000 goal. We need paint and new flooring and table/ chairs to complete the dining room + kitchen remodel (in order to sell and downsize for retirement). 

    Like 4
    • Lemon Pie Congratulations! 🎉 Knocking out that consumer debt is a huge accomplishment, and I love that you're following that up with the challenge! I hope you'll share pictures after the remodel! :)

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      • Lemon Pie
      • Orange_Jackal.10
      • 10 days ago
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      Faness Thanks. The remodel is going on over a time, as we can afford it- all new kitchen, knocked out a wall, etc. Worked as a renovator for a number of years, so no labor costs.  I can knock off a major kitchen remodel for someone else in about 5 weeks, but it has taken eons longer doing it for myself in 'spare' time.  I would like to see those finished pictures also😄. 

      Like 2
  • My rules:

    1. Spend no more than $100 per week on groceries (it's just me. Cut back on junk food)
    2. Go through the circulars on Flipp and buy stuff on sale.
    3. Do not buy anything I do not need.
    4. Just stay off of amazon.com and bedbathandbeyond.com

    I don't think I have any exceptions. Eating out is really not an issue in this COVID-induced dystopian state of affairs.

    I will start saving for a new gas range, which will take me about 10 months to save up for. This challenge will give me a good start.

    Like 2
    • MyraJ Thank you for mentioning the circulars! With the pantry clean out, we truly only need produce to get us through the month, but catching things on sale never hurts! 😉

      I wish there was a way to temporarily block certain site advertisements - it's easier to avoid temptation when it doesn't pop up every time you open a laptop.

      Like
  • Is everyone officially ready for tomorrow?

    In preparation for the challenge, I did a full inventory of our freezers, pantry and fridge. Someone recommended the Kitchen Pal app to keep a digital record of the pantry, but it's currently written in a notebook. 😅

    I have meal plans written out for the next two weeks and I'm planning to attend the Saving Money on Groceries workshop (there's a recording of it on YouTube that I'll include below), the Cutting Spending workshop is a good one, too!

    We're hoping to follow the rules as closely as possible, with the following exceptions:

    1. Gift Cards - We received a few for Christmas and plan to use them some time this month.
    2. Gifts - We have a dear friend with a milestone birthday this month. Gifts have been bought, but we're expecting/hoping for brunch at a restaurant we have a gift card to.
    3. Business Expenses - These use a separate account and budget, so they don't really count, but wanted to point these out here.
    4. Dining Out - After overspending my Dining Out category by Hundreds last month, I never want to see another drive-thru again (it was a rough month) 😖. However, we decided that if someone wants to treat us to lunch (or some other nicety), that's okay. We won't buy fast food, but we can still eat it. 

    Here's to the next 34-days YNABers! 😁

     

    if you can't make the live workshop) the Cutting Spending workshop is a good one, too! I plan on following the rules as closely as possible with the following exception

    Like 1
      • MyraJ
      • Doyoureallyneedthat
      • 11 days ago
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      Faness I just now signed up for the 7:30 ET Saving Money on Groceries workshop. I love the workshops and this will be good inspiration (and maybe pick up a few tips along the way). 👍

      Like 1
  • When I read the rules initially, I didn't feel very motivated since we've been in a lockdown for so long that I haven't been out to dinner since early Nov and haven't been ordering in much since the food isn't great (unless it's sushi). However, the cutting groceries has resonated with me. I started YNAB in July 2019 in anticipation of a major strike at work. I put myself in lockdown to avoid spending and managed to live well below my means and avoid depleting my EF. Then covid happened in Mar and the real lockdown began. Yes I had remorse that I didn't go out more before when I could, but at least my financial situation was in check. I've been very frugal and intentional about spending. Now I don't really enjoy shopping much at all! Equal parts Marie Kondo declutter : Frugal Living to brace for the strike : Covid mask wearing shopping sucks. I managed to meet my goal for my Debt Bootcamp contributions for 2020 and had Xmas paid for in cash & within budget. Yeah!

    But...I'm still shopping for groceries like it's the apocalypse. I like bulking up on sale items to fill my freezer, pantry, and cellar. I like having plenty of food on hand to fill my teenagers, albeit I don't like cooking. I use Flipp and price match. I don't buy many processed foods or snacks. I bought A LOT of food one Saturday night in December when the store was empty in anticipation of Christmas. There is still a lot of it in the cupboards and freezers. We received a lot of gifts of cookies/squares from neighbours and "I" and most of them. Yoga went into lockdown mid-Dec and my time got replaced by Netflix and eating. Not good. Now like everybody in January, I'm on the get fit and lean again bandwagon. I was doing so well before yoga ended :(

    This challenge for me is in line with my 31 days of working out / drinking 4L water / steps / sleep / no sugar. Then followed by 28 days. Then 31 days...lol

    1. Meal plan again from my pantry & freezer.
    2. Cut my grocery budget down to $400 for January and to continue into Feb, Mar. ($538 avg 2020; $473 since July 2019...apocalypse creep)
    3. Cut my $200 Dining out budget (average $128 for 2020) to $150 for takeout.
    4. Get back into intentional eating & intermittent fasting. No more eating/drinking after 8pm in front of Netflix. Tea only.
    5. Trim monthly budget to $1000: $400 groceries, $200 gas, $150 dining out, $250 (health/toiletries/boys). Not much need to spend this month since WFH for one week & it's a lockdown. 

    Looking forward to seeing everybody's progress! :)

    Like 4
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 11 days ago
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      Purple Foal I'm going to start saving for my Pop Up Camper in my Wish Farm. $2000-3000. Rather than using my TD TFSA. 

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    • Purple Foal I'm a sucker for a nice chart! Your lower spending months are about what I aim for as far as groceries but it's highly supplemented (which should basically be counted as overspending) by all the Dining Out. 😓

      When I did the pantry inventory we had three pages worth of food, so I'm buying bare minimum this month!

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      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 8 days ago
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      Faness Numbers don't lie! Gotta get those groceries under control. It's either food budget for money for food budget for calories. Gotta do both this year! I should do an inventory too. I have been WAMing a lot from other categories to fill up my daily expenses with the "whatever" attitude because of the pandemic. Now it's a wakeup call...creeping up. :)

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      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 8 days ago
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      Purple Foal Or I might just save for a new light fixture for the dining room for $250. That's attainable and I can say: I bought this with the money I saved in January not eating out, driving anywhere (WFH lockdown), and cutting my grocery spending! :)

      Like 3
    • Purple Foal I love the idea of a physical "trophy" for completing the challenge. It would be a good reminder that reigning in spending on things you don't necessarily need, makes brighter things possible (sorry, I couldn't help that one! 😅).

      Like 4
      • Gironaso
      • gironaso
      • 7 days ago
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      Purple Foal are you doing a Whole 30 round?

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      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 7 days ago
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      Faness HaHa!! Yes it will be good to see that light was my January savings! :)

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      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 7 days ago
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      Gironaso Is that a program? No just doing my own thing. Made a tracker since I need to see something visual, not just on an app. I've attached it if anybody wants one. :)

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      • Gironaso
      • gironaso
      • 7 days ago
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      Purple Foal  Yes, pretty much you cut out sugars and whatnot for a month and then reintroduce certain foods one at a time. Its supposed to show how your body handles certain foods, kind of an allergic sensitivity experiment for your body.

      Like 1
  • Faness This might seem like an obvious question, but how do you actually track your savings? I've just read the 34 day workbook and I understand the trimming of the fat & the no spending rules & ideas, but how do you actually track how much progress you've made in the month? Thoughts by others? :)

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      • MyraJ
      • Doyoureallyneedthat
      • 11 days ago
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      Purple Foal I had the exact same question in my head. Was staring at the winding path in the workbook and thinking - okay, how do I know how much I am saving day by day? I will be on the look-out for thoughts by others as well.

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      • killerog
      • killerog
      • 11 days ago
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      MyraJ I was thinking about using the average spending in the Income vs. Expense report as a number to compare it to. But maybe that Isn't the best number?

      Love to hear other people's way of tracking that.

      Like 1
    • Purple Foal Have you seen this blog post on tracking the 34 Day Challenge if you already use YNAB? The blog goes over using a new 34 Day Challenge category or a Wish Farm item to move unspent funds to from the categories where you cut spending.

      If you usually budget a certain amount for something and you spend less (like Groceries) - move the saved amount to the category you selected. If you usually budget a certain amount and you don't plan to use any of it (like Dining Out or Entertainment) - move that amount. If you find or receive extra or irregular income (maybe a refund you weren't expecting or selling something around the house) - move those funds. 

      Personally, after going completely overboard last month, after not eating out this month I'll be moving the amount I spent last month on Dining Out to the Challenge category. I'll also be moving anything left over in Groceries at the end of the month (usually $300, but with the pantry clean out I'm hoping to spend much much less). I'm expecting some extra income this month and that will go directly to the Challenge category, as well (because I'm not letting myself spend it anywhere else and all non-discretionary spending will already be covered).

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      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 8 days ago
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      Faness Yes I just read that - thank you! My problem has been going over budget on my categories so it will be a challenge to have money left over. But I put my target goals beside each category: dining out $150, gas $200, groceries $400 etc. so hopefully there will be money left in some of them!

      Since Ontario is now in a strict lockdown and all schools are closed for another 2 weeks, I won't be spending money on gas. I'm taking total advantage of the situation to look at the benefits: saving money, walking at lunch and after school during the daylight with my neighbours, sleeping in an extra hour, loungewear, working on my house projects, and eating pb & j on my toast! :)

      Like 2
  • I think how you track your success depends on your "why."  I'm saving for a new roof.  I will fund my categories according to the new math, and the rest goes in my "Roof" category.  At the end of the month, leftovers from discretionary categories (food, cats, fuel, etc...) will go in as well, and I will have a total for the challenge.  I'm not sure the pathway tracker will be useful for me unless I colour it in at the end to post on Facebook as a celebration at the end of the challenge of how much over my target I saved.

    Like
    • January is my birthday month so I have made an exception for eating out on my birthday. It's also my sisters birthday this month and I have a nephew leaving the country so there may be some spending there. Money is budgeted.
    • I'm putting off any other discretionary spending for the month.  
    • I'm keeping track of things I contemplate buying this month in a note on my phone.  It will be interesting to see how much of it I still want after having thought about it for a few days or weeks.  
    • I'm committing to unsubscribing from all consumer emails that come in this month.

    Like  Purple Foal I'm interested to know how others will track their savings.  I fresh started my budget Jan 1 and have budgeted all my categories.  Not spending from them means the funds will stay there, so as not to mess with goals or cause lumpiness next month.

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    • QC Happy almost birthday to you and your sister! I tried to buy the birthday presents I needed before the challenge began, but I have a very strong feeling that something else will pop up once the day is actually here. And safe travels to your nephew!

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    • QC Love the idea of unsubscribing from all consumer emails that come in.  We are already well into the challenge, but I'm going to follow your lead.  

      Like 1
  • I am starting with a fresh budget for 2021 and inputting my transactions  manually & automatically. I have added a new category title 34 Day Reset Challenge and moved around as much money as I could from other categories and sinking funds. I will get one paycheck throughout this challenge so it is going to be fun allocating funds in a different manner for the next 34 days. My fiance and myself have agreed to not pickup or eat out, also this will be a great opportunity to kick start our fitness goals. 

    We are pretty efficient at meal prepping for work, but it will be challenging to not have our occasional eating out run. Although it will be hard to reach it, my goal is to save $1,000 for an extra payment towards a loan and a possible $100 splurge towards our favorite store. 

    My rules are: 

    -No Amazon purchases, I will add to cart and save them for later

    -No adding non-essential items to our grocery runs

    -No buying alcohol

    -Sell items that have not been worn in a long time

    -No eating out

    My only exception is buying present for upcoming birthdays. 

    Good luck to everyone!

    Like 3
  • Kind of excited for this challenge. 2020 was a doozy so the "treat yourself" moments increased. 

    I don't have many deviations from the basic rules set up above but in regards to eating out, for me, I'll allow it if it's to do with catching up with friends/others (I am from NZ where COVID is under control).

    Good luck everyone! I'm hoping to use my nest egg to get my car serviced 🙂

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    • pureneon After being in lock down for the majority of 2020, I completely understand the exception to catch up with friends! We still have a long way to go where I am.

      Like
  • I don't eat out very much especially these days but I buy way too much at the grocery!  I have so many leftover pantry and freezer items from December purchases that I  will not buy any groceries except a few produce items.  I'm moving what was left over from December categories (not savings or sinking funds-just where i budgeted too much).   I hope to be able to buy a pool cleaner with my savings on this challenge.  I'm getting too old to dip out leaves and scrub the sides!  (Anyone know a good brand?)  

    Like
  • Am I missing any kind of announcements or group leader posts in the Facebook group? I wasn't sure if the group was going to be used as a workshop with guided questions/discussions or just a place to cheer each other on.  I will enjoy either - just want to make sure I am not missing out. There might have been a schedule of something, somewhere but I can't seem to find it. 

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    • Peripherie The 34 Day Reset doesn't have a strict schedule. The Facebook group is meant to be a check-in area for camaraderie and questions (same as the forum)! You're free to post there, here or both - whatever makes you feel comfortable! :)

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      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 8 days ago
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      Faness I prefer here...don't want to use FB. :)

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  • Well last night I got organised and made a Kitchen Inventory Sheet for the Fridge Door. Very basic, but I know know exactly what is in my Pantry and the shopping bill this week will be minimal - Pretty much creating meals out of what we already have. Going to save a fortune this week!

     

    Attached the blank sheet if anyone else fancies it.

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      • killerog
      • killerog
      • 9 days ago
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      Wyvern Thanks! I'm going to replicate that one in a spreadsheet, as I mostly do me shopping directly after leaving the office I should probably carry it around digitally.

      Like 1
      • Wyvern
      • wyvern
      • 9 days ago
      • 3
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      killerog I can share my Google Sheet if you like. You can make a copy

      https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gWraTwk9G0BBy-xwLV9EE3KqwaO4ZkVz0vmbG7qi0YY/edit?usp=sharing

      Like 3
    • Wyvern Thank you for sharing!! My hand written 3-page note wasn't nearly this pretty. 😅 

      Like
      • killerog
      • killerog
      • 9 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Wyvern Thank you! Now lets dive into the freezer / pantry

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      • MyraJ
      • Doyoureallyneedthat
      • 9 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Wyvern  Thank you sooo much for posting this. It's great!

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      • killerog
      • killerog
      • 9 days ago
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      Wyvern Just found out about this today, might be useful when indexing :-)

       

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  • Hello hello hello!  I'm very much anxiously (in a good way) anticipating the results of this reset.   My major goal for 2021 is to pay off the rest of my consumer debt.  It's a hefty chunk of $$ so if I can squeeze an additional $1000 out of January that would be an excellent start to the year!  Of course what I love about the YNAB method is that it is not a forecasting budget... so I accept that I might not  be able to save everything in each category that I consider non-essential.   But I believe (barring un-foreseeable events) that I have about $525 that I can shave from already funded categories.   This weekend I get paid and that generally funds the rest of the month. I hope to have at least $200-300 I can keep back from that check.  My 2nd check is usually reserved for the next month... but I'm contemplating using some of that to reach my reset goal.  That sort of feels like cheating... but 🤷🏻‍♀️

    I have a couple restaurant gift cards that I plan to use if I need a take out fix. 

    At the end if the month, I will re-allocate all the excess amounts to my debt payoff category.   I hope to have at least $1525 (it's already funded with$525)... that will allow me to payoff a month early my first of 3 loans that are my remaining consumer debt.

    If this is successful, I might have to try another spending freeze to jumpstart the next loan payoff!  Maybe I can be debt free by the end of August,  rather than the end of October.   Wouldn't that be something! 

    Like 4
    • Violet Yeti Rooting for you and hoping that debt is gone as soon as possible! :) 

      I had the same thought about repeating the reset later in the year (maybe every few months, depending on how it goes). Instead of a full reset, it could be more of a Budget Break where I'm not putting my budget through its paces like usual. 

      Like 1
  • Two days in and I've learned it's safer if I do the grocery shopping. 😅 The damage wasn't too bad (a little over $60), but should (hopefully) last us through next week.

    When I did the pantry inventory, we had 3 cans of green salsa and 3 boxes of lasagna noodles, plus two containers of ricotta cheese in the fridge - and one of each of those equalled tonight's dinner of Green Chile Chicken and Cheese Lasagna. I thought I was making it up, but there are recipes for it and it came out great! Plus, lots of leftovers for lunch later in the week (also plenty of ingredients left, so we'll probably have a regular lasagna at some point this month). 

    Any recipes you're looking forward to making with your pantry finds? If anyone has a good recipe for ham leftovers I'm all ears! (We have a whole ham in our deep freezer and I'm trying to think ahead.)

    Like 3
      • xgirlmama
      • Purple_Griffin
      • 8 days ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      Faness one of my kids' favorite ham meals is split pea soup. I make it in the instant pot and it's literally the easiest and cheapest meal. Split peas are like $2 for a bag, then the rest of the ingredients are ham cubes (I've never had a bone on-hand, but I bet that would be good), carrots, celery, onion, broth, butter. Here's the one I use and it's perfection every time:

      https://www.bowlofdelicious.com/instant-pot-split-pea-soup-ham-bone/

      Like 6
      • killerog
      • killerog
      • 8 days ago
      • 2
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      Faness I found 6! cans of peeled tomatoes, so tomorrow I'll buy the missing ingredients to cook it twice. As it's a recipe for 8 persons, I hope I have enough containers / freezer space to store it all. Maybe I should only cook it once at first and see how much space I have left. Just noticed I forgot to put onions on my list, so this was a good checking exercise.

      Really excited to try my crockpot for the first time for this recipe.

      I also have 9 cans of soup apparently, at least I have something for when I don't feel like cooking 😉

       

      Sadly I also found a few sauces in the back of the pantry that expired in 2015. So, I should probably take everything out and see if there's more I could better throw away.

      Like 2
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 8 days ago
      • 1
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      killerog I use freezer bags with a canning spout so the zipper stays clean. I try to get the air out and lay them flat to freeze and once frozen, I'll line them up vertically like books. Works for meat, chicken, sauces, soups, etc. :)

      Like 1
    • xgirlmama Confession: I have heard of split pea soup but never knew it was a ham recipe! I have everything else needed for that recipe except the split peas. I was going to make a chicken pesto soup next week, but it will now be pea soup (mostly because I want to use the celery I have before it wilts 😬). I'm excited to try it!

      Like 1
    • killerog You are not alone! We had frozen salmon fillets that were older than the toddler in the house (so those promptly went in the trash) and we have 8 cans of Great Northern beans (which I'd gladly trade you for tomatoes 😂). 

      We bought a deep freezer specifically for bulk frozen meals, but if you're short on space and the tomatoes don't expire anytime soon, I'd cook half now and see if you can fit the rest in later.

      Like 2
    • Faness I have an awful lot of pork bones in the freezer that need to be turned into bone broth. I don't even know if pork bone broth is a thing, but ribs were on deep sale months ago, we cooked a bunch in the crock pot, and it seemed silly toss the bones. 

      I also need to plant the onion from Thanksgiving that is providing an elegantly abstract, sprouting shelf decoration at the moment.

      I will also attempt to cook dried beans somehow. I got the Nourishing Traditions cookbook for Christmas, so I'm hoping it will instruct me. 

      Didn't know about the 34 day challenge, but we are already needing to cut back our budget to handle some choices. $175 less on groceries/dining out is the goal. 

      I'm impressed with your pantry list. We need to do that with the freezer!

      Like 2
      • killerog
      • killerog
      • 8 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Purple Foal Do you have a picture of that? I'm not sure how to translate that into my local language 😄

      I use disposable freezer bags for meat, but usually I have containers for prepared meals as the bags are quite small. Zipper bags are on my list to look into... next month 😉

      Like 1
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 7 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      killerog No picture but just buy the Medium Ziplock bags. I like that brand because of the double zipper that actually works easy. Fill them up 3/4 then lie them flat to freeze. That's key. Then your freezer can become a bookshelf. 🤓

      Like 2
      • xgirlmama
      • Purple_Griffin
      • 7 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Faness then dinner will be like $2 for 5 servings!

      Like 2
    • killerog Since starting ynab a few years ago, I make the week between 12/25 and 1/1 my "check all the expiration dates, organize the pantry, and replenish spices" week. It has worked fairly well, although I do a mid-year check in. It has kept me from buying too many of the things I only use once in a while. 

      Like 3
    • bookyarncafe When I inventoried the pantry, a friend told me she remembered me doing the same thing last year - except I didn't write it down (and apparently wasn't very thorough considering I missed 2-year old salmon patties 😬). Definitely something I should do more than once a year, though!

      Like 1
    • Move Light Sound Life I asked and I hear pork bone broth is Great for ramen recipes! We're pretty big ramen people, but I'm to assume it would be great in other soup dishes, too!

      Now that I've organized everything, I'm hoping for better bulk shopping trips after the challenge. We have plenty of space and I'd love to put it to organized use!

      Like 2
    • xgirlmama My husband saw the split peas and asked if I was making soup! News to me, but he's had it before! Apparently, it was a thing for his family growing up. 😯 So if he doesn't like it, I can't blame having never had it before (and since he's the better cook, it will definitely be my cooking skills to blame 😂).

      Like 1
      • xgirlmama
      • Purple_Griffin
      • yesterday
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      Faness if you do it in an instant pot there's like no way to mess it up (with that recipe I shared).

      Like 1
  • day 4 and I haven't spent anything but have saved $45. $20 because my kids didn't clean their room to get allowance this week and $25 because my wife filled up my gas tank when borrowing my car ;)

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      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 8 days ago
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      Like 2
      • rickii
      • rickii
      • 7 days ago
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      xgirlmama  I do not want to imply anything about your method of allowance setting, I just want to share my story. No sum of money would have encouraged me clean my room, or my home as an adult.  I even paid a cleaning lady once a week so a few hours of walking into the house would make me feel better *****until**** the kids and I trashed it again. I would hear my mother saying " why don't you just put it away when you walk in? What is so hard about making a bed and taking the clothes to the laundry room?  How can you find anything in this mess"??  Much later, I learned some things from FlyLady (which is where I first found out about YNAB).  It was hard going, but  today there are many sites out there which can help to install good organization habits,   I agree with Killerog, you do have to ignore all the adds for the products they are pushing. I wonder if financially challenged goes with organizationally challenged?? Anyway, Today, my budget is solid with YNAB and my home is clean and "company ready" for a home where I work from the kitchen table, where there are children,  grandchildren and the dog in an out. Where I have friends to share my journey with. Why am I doing this YNAB challenge? If nothing changes then nothing changes and I need to shake up my budget a bit. So far , from the grocery budget I have saved about 25 USD from the groceries and have not touched my non essential stuff. I may not save as much as I would like but I am becoming more aware of the waste in my food budget and am cleaning out my food pantry and freezer.  Good luck to us all.

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      • xgirlmama
      • Purple_Griffin
      • 4 days ago
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      rickii You mean there is hope for them? The kids have very few chores because school is their job. They are expected to help around the house (empty dishwasher, take trash to the curb) and to tidy their room once a week. The allowance exists because a couple years ago when it looked like squatters lived in their room I couldn't think of anything else to do to encourage them to tidy it once a week. It did help! This is only the second time they've lost allowance since then. I spent something like $1800 last year to re-do their room so that it can be nice and pretty and organized, but they don't seem to care to have nice things. Oh right, I know why. Teens.

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      • xgirlmama
      • Purple_Griffin
      • yesterday
      • 2
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      day 10 (?) and I'm soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bored.

      $ spent since Jan 4:

      allowance - $20

      rite aid (rx meds): $2.74, $23.61, $3.40 (we had a bunch of different deliveries. This amount is usually higher at the beginning of the year)

      car/life insurance: $149.85 (I pay monthly)

      That's it. Note: I sent mortgage and the month's food $ to wife on Jan 1, so I pay a lump sum every month ($2272 mortgage - yay refinancing; $850 groceries) - no way to save $ here.

      Last night I was SO BORED, so I reached for my phone to look at the amazon app. I stopped myself and grabbed some knitting for my idle hands instead.

      Like 2
      • killerog
      • killerog
      • 14 hrs ago
      • Reported - view

      xgirlmama So am I, the lockdown got even stricter here. I joined a challenge last week to clean/declutter/reorganize one room each week. At least I've something to keep me busy this way ;-)

      Like
  • Just scheduled our first grocery run during this challenge, we usually order on Thursday and Pickup on Saturdays. I did add somethings that were not "essential" but overall kept it under $100 for the week. After this grocery haul, we will take a look at our pantry in order to stretch this as most as possible. Our usual monthly budget for 2 people is around $280 per person (we split groceries 50/50) so if I can keep each order under $50 per person, my fiance and I will save around $80 per per person each month.  I think we can drop down that number even further next time. 

    We are pretty efficient at meal prepping as we dedicated a lot of time during early March last year in order to limit our exposure. We created "Menus" each week using a graph function on Notes, adding each recipe with a Youtube link for reference, and each individual ingredient needed for such recipe x the many times we were eating such recipe during the week.  

    We have many different menus we did and so we just alternate between them.  Afterwards, we just add each ingredient to the online order and then just go and pick them up at our local HEB grocery. If you guys would like to see them, just reply to my post and I can definitely show you more examples!!

    Like 4
      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 7 days ago
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      Gironaso this is pretty awesome... I do something very similar  - just not nearly so organized! 

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      • Gironaso
      • gironaso
      • 7 days ago
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      Violet Yeti Yes I think it really helps us out by minimizing food waste. The only meals that we actually change are on Saturday and Sunday dinner. All of the weekday meals are "easy" with very cheap ingredients and we usually splurge on some salmon or ribs on Saturday or Sunday. 

      Like 4
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 7 days ago
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      Gironaso Very impressive! I find with the meal planning, you end up only making 4 things then repeat with leftovers. My challenge is feeding my boys (meat & carbs to fill them up) but then I end up eating the pasta too. 🐷 However, the weeks I don't have them, I eat pretty clean. Actually even when I have them, my breakfasts, lunches, snacks are pretty healthy & clean, then I just watch my portions with their meals. I write my weekly plan on my kitchen chalkboard...but haven't in a month probably. Guess what I'm doing this weekend? Lol

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      • Yes I can
      • yesican2020
      • 7 days ago
      • 2
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      Gironaso love this approach!  Eating well and by that I mean inexpensively, healthily, without too much fuss / work, without too any leftovers) is a bit like budgeting isn't it. Try ideas out and tweak util you find out how to make it work for you and your situation!

      Like 2
    • Gironaso I both love and envy this level of organization! So impressive - especially with the breakdown and links for reference! Do you use a local market for grocery pickup? I've considered online ordering with in-store pickup to help cut back on those last second temptation buys.

      Like 2
      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 4 days ago
      • 1
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      Faness That's what I do, and it's a huge savings opportunity for me.  When I started YNAB in September my grocery "budget" was $400, I blew past that every month.  On YNAB, it's $250, I've stayed +/- $10 each month, and I'm shooting for $200 during the reset.  I highly recommend checking it out.  I am no where near as organized as Gironaso  (life goals) but I do try to have a general ideas of recipes I want to do for the month and when I'm extra high speed, I write out all of the ingredients for each week... then after I put in week 1's order, I update my cart with week 2 and then during the week if I realize I need something else, ie eggs, creamer, toilet paper... I just add too it. It's really great 😊

      Like 1
      • Gironaso
      • gironaso
      • 4 days ago
      • 2
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      Faness Thank you! Yes, we order from our regional market HEB, but Walmart also has grocery pickup. I have found that it keeps us more organized and we are usually pretty good about editing any "impulse" buys through the app. Since we started using this approach, we no longer go inside the grocery and have found it to be a huge time saver as we just do curbside pickup. Also, a lot of the cravings associated with groceries have diminished! 

      Like 2
      • Gironaso
      • gironaso
      • 4 days ago
      • 3
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      Violet Yeti Thank you! Its very simple, we just created a table template and we would make a "Grocery" day where we searched Youtube for different recipes based on a Mediterranean diet. We would copy and paste the Youtube link into our notes and create a title for it including the servings appropriated in the video. We would look for 5-6 recipes each week for breakfast and dinner. Once we found them, we would just choose them and write down the ingredients for each one, this makes it easier when inputting items into our HEB App. 
      We would then do this approach to each recipe for the week. We would do this for maybe 4 times during the month until we had a large enough "recipe bank". Afterwards, we just copy the note, change the date to the day we are actually picking up our groceries, choose enough recipes for the week,and tweak the dates on the menu. 
      Due to the pandemic, we agreed that we would no longer cook meal preps that needed to be heated at work as to decrease social interactions during lunch time.
      So we implemented our 3/2 Rule which is: Look for a cold meal in which the servings can be multiplied times 6 (3 my fiance and 3 for me) for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday meal preps. Then look for a recipe that can be multiplied times 4 (2 my fiance and 2 for me) for Tuesday and Thursday meal preps. This is where Buddha Bowls, which are mainly quinoa, veggies, and protein, came in handy. 

      If you guys want me to share the menus, just let me know. I wrote them on iPad Notes so I can definitely share them if you guys want, just PM me. 

      Like 3
  • How do you combat midnight fast food cravings? In our house, it's with Eggo waffles and frozen sausage breakfast sandwiches. 😂

    My husband is about ready to throw in the towel. He said he doesn't think he's ever gone this long without fast food (it hasn't even been a week yet 😣), but was able to poach a few frozen White Castle burgers from his parents. It doesn't help that we live near just about every fast food chain you can think of, but I'm hoping avoiding them for the month will make him crave them less in the future (fingers crossed!).

    Like 2
      • killerog
      • killerog
      • 5 days ago
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      Faness Sorry, you're not getting help from me here. I'm an early riser, and I'd like to go to sleep around 21.30.

      Although sometimes it becomes 22.00 - 23.00. Especially in the weekends.

       

      Maybe it's an idea to have dinner at a later hour, if you go to bed later? Currently I'm reading "sleep smarter" by Shawn Stevenson and he recommends not eating after 22.30.

      Like 1
      • xgirlmama
      • Purple_Griffin
      • 4 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Faness it's been easy for us because we literally don't go anywhere (haven't since March). But I highly recommend an air fryer + ore ida fast food fries. With a dash of salt, they taste just like McDonald's to us! If you don't have an air fryer, think about getting one when this reset is over. It has saved my arse during this pandemic!

      Like 2
    • xgirlmama An air fryer we have and ore ida fries are going on the grocery list! 

      Like
    • killerog Fridays are the only days we're usually up pretty late, since we both get to sleep in on Saturday. I'm hoping french fries will make for a good snack but the idea of better managing sleep definitely sounds appealing. 

      Like
  • Omigosh... can I just say how grateful I am for the undo button??? It's a long story, but the gist of it is - my paycheck is taking a hit because my employer is now deducting OASDI tax and repaying the deferred OASDI.  So I knew I was going to have to adjust my TE goals.  Getting to the point... I was reducing soooo many categories and I was barely squeaking by... then all of the sudden I realized that the goal for one of my loans was set up for a target date not for a spending goal...  so fully funded was about $500 more than what I needed it to be...  If I stay the course for the reset, I'm going to be close (barring unforeseen stuff) to reaching my goal... yes I plan to use part of my second check to make that goal.. but I still will have everything funded that I need to have funded on Feb 1 and I expect a tax refund, so I should be on track again next month.  I am floored!

    Like 2
      • xgirlmama
      • Purple_Griffin
      • 4 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Violet Yeti isn't it awesome when you "find" $ thanks to YNAB?

      Like 2
      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 4 days ago
      • Reported - view

      xgirlmama yes (well after I kicked myself for messing it up in the first place!)

      Like
    • Violet Yeti Some mistakes are nice to recover from! Yay for progress! :)

      Like 1
      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 3 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness I didn't kick too hard!! Lol

      Like 1
  • I joined the 34 day reset challenge because I knew that I had let my Amazon spending and stocking up grocery spending get out of hand. I did not really expect it to be that difficult. I was WRONG!!

    I told myself that in order to facilitate my "No Amazon spending" I needed to stay off of Amazon completely. Good advice to myself, but I have not been successful staying off of Amazon. My ignoring my goal of staying off of Amazon resulted in my making several purchases that I later canceled. Why oh why won't I just stay off of Amazon completely??🤨I have seen just how difficult it is for me to keep from making purchases. 

    I also found myself having difficulty buying only the essentials at the grocery store. It seems like such a simple objective, yet I find it VERY difficult.  I have decided that I need to to online grocery shopping and then pick it up in order to keep myself from buying nonessential items and also to keep from stocking up on things for the future. I think because of all of the shortages that we had last year, I find it very difficult not to stock up.

    I am very thankful for the accountability that this challenge has given me. I love hearing how all of you are doing with it as well

    I typically don't care about eating out so the goal of "No eating out" is very easy for me. I wish I could say the same for Amazon and grocery spending.

    Like 2
    • Gadget Girl I plan on giving online shopping and local pick up a try for our next grocery run (probably next week).

      As for Amazon, have you tried the "Save for later" option? I like that I'm able to put an item aside without leaving it sit in the cart, so I don't get that constant reminder to check out and buy it. Also, when the challenge is over, I plan to go through that list and see exactly what I wanted to buy and if I still want it (so far, there's only a hair dryer and a baking pan on the list).

      Like 3
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