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 😀

129replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • Yes, I have used Save for Later, but typically my impulse buying on Amazon is on lightning deals where I'm convinced that if I don't buy the item right then, I will have to pay a higher price later. That is why I think I would do better to stay off of Amazon altogether.  Let us know how the online shopping and grocery pickup works for you. My adult kids with their own families all use it and love it. I don't really know why I have not used it yet. On a positive note regarding my groceries, I typically go to the grocery store once/week and have only gone once in January so far.

    Like 1
  • So... have any "big" spenders found the challenge so far... easier than what they anticipated? 

    I love to shop and am pretty mindful about what I buy and where it comes from - this normally comes with a much higher price tag. To give this up for 34 days was somewhat do-able.

    I can't however,  say no to one of the five cafes I pass on my way to work each morning. I would be spending ~$20 per day on coffees, lunch, breakfast... snacks.... anything. If I'm at work late, what do you know there's a food delivery on the doorstep. 

    Relying quite heavily on eating out made me think I for sure couldn't do this reset but it has actually been fine! I haven't given in to the temptation nor have felt the need to. I have felt a bit of a sting when I see some clothing brands I like are having sales - it's hard. 

    With all this being said, I've probably saved a couple hundred (single income, no kids) and actually have some categories funded for Feb. I get paid bi-weekly and live paycheck to paycheck. It's currently the 'off' week so normally I'd have under $100 to tide me over for unexpected expenses. I currently have ~$650 in my checking account.  

    I know this isn't necessarily sustainable to do in the long term but I have been thinking of ways I can "spring" a mini reset on myself to save more. 🎉

    Like 4
    • pureneon I don't think of myself as a "big" spender normally. I'm pretty frugal but I felt the same way about eating out - way too dependent on it for this to go well (the hundreds of dollars spent on fast food last month can attest to that). However, so far it's been great! Some rough days of course but I'm enjoying the meal planning and the variety (I can have whatever I feel like making and not just what's on the menu). 

      I'm definitely going to plan for another Reset or no spend month sometime this year!

      Like 1
  • I wanted to do a progress check as far as the challenge goes and I'm both very proud and ashamed of my findings. 😓

    By this time last month, we had spent $496.49 on food ($378.36 of which was fast food). I know I mentioned previously that it had been a rough month (a Really rough month), but in hindsight, having spent almost $500 in two weeks did not make the month better.

    In comparison, we've spent $85.69 on Groceries so far this month with No fast food purchases! Other than gas and groceries, the only payments have been for scheduled bills (mortgage and home warranty).

    I know we're not even to the half way point yet, but I can definitely say I Needed this reset. 🥳

    Like 3
      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 4 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Faness that’s  awesome progress!  My progress report is all bubbles green... I have fully funded categories that I haven’t touched, or only barely.  That’s where I’m going to see the actual results of the reset.  I usually use my second paycheck to fund the coming month as much as I can, but I think I’m going to divert more than usual to my “let’s get 🐿ly” and then next month see if I can’t use the reset savings and what I’ve held back to pay off a loan... woot - a month early!

      Like 2
    • Violet Yeti Woot! Green is such a pretty color! 😉 I love the name of your category, too! Progress checks are nice, but I definitely think the big tell tale signs will be at the end!

      Like 2
  • So far so good. Spent some money on a necessary basking light for my bearded dragon $10, but will get a refund for the previous one I bought  from Petco(which ended up dying in 1 week). 
    No money has been spent on eating out. No money has been spent on unnecessary stuff. I want to sell some of my clothes, but don't really know how that will work with COVID. Ex: If someone doesn't fit into the clothes, I wouldn't want to accept the return. I will wait until after the situation has been stabilized. 

    Furthermore, my fiance has been on board with the 34 day reset. She constantly asks me, "Would this count towards the reset?" I tell her that birthdays are fine as long as they had been previously budgeted before we started YNAB. 

    I have lost 11.5lbs since the New Year stated, of course most of it is water. Nonetheless, I am interested in tracking my progress and will see how effective this reset will be for my pocket and pants! 

    Like 3
    • Gironaso Losing over 11lbs in two weeks is amazing progress! Add that to reigning in unnecessary spending and your new year is off to a productive start in multiple areas! 🎉

      Like 2
  • Hi there.

    I'm just getting started back with YNAB again.  Is it too late to join in the challenge?

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

      Persephone's Mom never! the FB group for the challenge has people in it that started late as well, you might enjoy joining us there too!

      Like 3
    • xgirlmama Wonderful.  I will do that. Thank you.

      Like 2
  • My husband and I have been doing the challenge, and are long-time YNABers. We're in a dispute about whether we should be funding some of our categories for January, even though we won't be spending from them. "Grooming" is a good example, which covers haircuts, brow-waxing, etc. "Gifts/celebrations" is another. We usually fund those as true expenses, even though we don't necessarily use them every month. So for purposes of the 34-day challenge, absolutely we won't spend from those categories.  I still think we should fund it, because we're still going to need the same amount later on. But he interprets the challenge as: every non-essential dollar should be funded into the goal category (in our case, a down-payment fund). What are others' feelings? Save before or after funding those non-essential categories (even though we definitely won't spend from them)?

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

      Sky Blue Boat I’ve funded all of my categories and there are some that I will redirect at the end of the month partially or completely into my “let’s get 🐿ly” account.  I’ve got a reset goal I am stretching for.  But I recognize that there are some categories that I’ll still want $$ to rollover into Feb.   

      Like 3
      • rickii
      • rickii
      • 2 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Sky Blue Boat interesting  questions. I funded all my categories as if this was a normal month, which it isn't because 1) strict quarantine and 2) 34 day challenge. I figured that when my income for February comes in it will cover all my expenses and the extra in feb can go either into the true expenses funds ( emergency, appliances, travel etc). If I am able to save from the groceries budget, and I almost forgot, for my wish list purchase from the savings (right now about still about 80 usd). Another thought that I had was if my categories  were not funded this month and I had to use them I would have to remove money from the "goal" I am trying for.  Very discouraging.  It will be interesting to hear how others are doing their budgeting fir the challenge. 

      Like 1
    • Sky Blue Boat I think a good question to ask is if moving funds now can be adjusted for later. For instance, since you don't plan on using the funds in the grooming category this month, are you planning for two hair cuts next month or is it safe to leave those funds in your challenge category? I'm moving anything left over in groceries. I know I Could spend more on groceries in future months, but those funds serve a better purpose being saved instead of trying to make up for the calories I didn't eat this month. 😉

       I think Gifts is a harder category to balance because you won't know if you really needed those funds until it comes time to buy gifts. You can always adjust to buy cheaper or fewer gifts, but if that is a priority (I know Christmas depresses me if I can't find the perfect thing for everyone on my list) I'd still fund the category.

      Like 1
  • How did I spend $250 on eating out the first 2 weeks of the month? Holy cow!!! I know 2 of my daughters came home, but still... Ouch.  I’m actually looking forward to not eating out.  I’m hoping the benefits will be for more than just my bottom line. 
     

    I am also debating deactivating my Facebook account for a bit.  I love to craft... or, more honestly, I love to buy craft supplies.  I’m in a lot of craft related FB groups and seeing everyone’s projects with their new Cricuts and such makes me want to go buy more.  
     

    I did see this meme today, and I thought it was appropriate for this forum. 

    Like 2
      • MyraJ
      • Doyoureallyneedthat
      • 2 days ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Persephone's Mom that ^^^^ is precisely my dilemma. So, it took me half a month to come up with a reward that basically won’t cost me anything. I have a credit card that gives me Amazon credits (bucks, as I like to call them) on my purchases. I’ve been racking up "bucks" for a couple of months and will rack up more this month because I use it to buy groceries and other necessities. My reward: buy myself something with those Amazon bucks I really want that I’ve been putting off because I keep telling myself I don’t need it. Yay 🙂

      Like 4
    • Persephone's Mom I'm glad you're joining us for the challenge! We don't plan on getting rid of this thread, so anyone can jump in at any time and we'll still be here! 😉

      As for Dining Out, I was in the exact same boat last month. It's Astonishing how quickly dinner here and lunch there adds up. We're only a couple of weeks in and seeing a Huge difference.

      I'm also a crafter and I understand project envy! 😖 But, realistically, between time constraints and other priorities there is no reason for me to buy more yarn (I sternly tell myself as I look at the yarn stash I have that just isn't as vibrant as all the other colors in the store). 

      Like 2
  • Mid challenge check-in:

    (My WAMable categories)

    90% of my take out budget remains (I had one last take out hurrah before the challenge started);

    90% of my fun money remain (online book);

    100% of pet fund (this goes towards grooming and food);

    100% of Amazon; 

    100% of gas;

    60% of groceries; 

    100% of clothing; 

    100% of giving; and

    70% of stuff I forgot to budget for (this is for a subscription that I haven't committed either way to... to keep or not to keep... ?).

    My pets have all the food for the end of the month and I'm forgoing grooming this month. I will possibly need to fill up once so gas should have leftovers. I'm ahead of the game with groceries, so leftovers there as well (no pun intended). Not buying any new clothes or use Amazon this month and won't roll those funds over. I thought about skipping giving this month... but this isn't someplace I'm willing to sacrifice from.

    My goal is to have an additional $1100 in my "let's get 🐿ly" category.   Right now I've stashed an extra $180 there.  My calculations based on following the spending trajectory for this month... I should have an additional $400+ that I can move into 🐿's account.   I get one more paycheck this month.  That generally funds the beginning of the next month.  However, I am going to divert some of it to help me reach my goal. 

    All in all... I'm pretty pleased with the progress 🎉

    Like 3
  • When is the last day, 34, of the challenge?

    Like
  • Ok- dumb question here: if you haven’t been tracking before now, how will I know what I saved?  Is it how much I have left over from my funded categories?  
     

    Like
Like12 Follow
  • 12 Likes
  • 12 hrs agoLast active
  • 129Replies
  • 829Views
  • 33 Following