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 😀
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
- Spend no more than $100 per week on groceries (it's just me. Cut back on junk food)
- Go through the circulars on Flipp and buy stuff on sale.
- Do not buy anything I do not need.
- 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.
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:
- Gift Cards - We received a few for Christmas and plan to use them some time this month.
- 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.
- Business Expenses - These use a separate account and budget, so they don't really count, but wanted to point these out here.
- 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
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
- Meal plan again from my pantry & freezer.
- Cut my grocery budget down to $400 for January and to continue into Feb, Mar. ($538 avg 2020; $473 since July 2019...apocalypse creep)
- Cut my $200 Dining out budget (average $128 for 2020) to $150 for takeout.
- Get back into intentional eating & intermittent fasting. No more eating/drinking after 8pm in front of Netflix. Tea only.
- 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! :)
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.
- 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.
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!
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 🙂
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?)
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.
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.
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!
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.)
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!!
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!).
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!
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.