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:
Track all your spending. Do it with paper, do it with YNAB, we’re not picky.
Only buy essentials. Good news, you get to decide what essential means.
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 😀
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.
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. 🎉
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. 🥳
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!
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)?
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.
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 🎉