I have been using YNAB for over a year and in the beginning it was such a game changer and I really stuck to my budget. I feel over the last few months I have become more lax on moving funds around and in doing so, my grocery budget, my eating out budget and family fun have grown and grown, and my sinking funds for the future haven't grown as I would have liked. I am still making progress, but when I look at my first 6 months, if I had continued in that mind-set, I would be so much closer to being completely out from under my student loans.
Any advice on how to get that fire reignited?
Can you find a short term goal - 1-3 months - that you can attainably hit? I've been doing that for my EF/Debt payoff...Say...by the first quarter of next year, I want $1200 debt paid off, and $600 saved up in the EF. That way I know what goals to set in YNAB and hit them.
I agree with you though, I've been complacent before but adding new financial goals for those small victories really helps keep things fresh. Sometimes I look at my networth chart and ask myself, "What I can I do better to make that networth a little bit more over the next few months?"
Hope this helps. Best of luck!
I've used a spending freeze before to help me with that "lifestyle creep." I choose a month, and call it a Buy Nothing Month -- no dining out, no small purchases, no movies, nothing except groceries, medicine, and other absolute necessities. (It's only for 30 days!)
I get creative, taking the kids to the park, using what I have instead of buying something new. Then, when the month is over, a smaller budget feels like a lot to me. That's one idea, let me know if you try it! 😀
I find that I tend to get more complacent with the use of credit cards. I pay them off each month, but it just makes me feel invincible for some reason. I think I am going to do a no cc spend month. I like to see the large bank balance and, by simply not using the cc, and just use my cash and debit card, I will think twice about spending because my balance goes down immediately, rather than just once a month. I think I'll be less likely to spend just by making that one change. We'll see, wish me luck!
I renamed some categories to make me think more about spending. Black Hole of Cable/Internet finally prompted me to call Comcast and downgrade. Apocalypse Please (yes MUSE) makes me think twice before borrowing from my Emergency Fund. I think I'm going to head over and rename groceries to "Groceries? Be honest. You are at Target."