18th June 2020

These posts were originally posted on the MoneySavingForums (a UK money management site), I am moving my journals across to WordPress to have them in chronological order. I’m not sure how much of other people’s words I’m allowed to copy across from one site to another, so in some sections I may summarise conversations.

Unfortunately I did not get the Covid bonus from my work, sigh, I guess I wasn’t eligible. The rules around who was and wasn’t eligible were very confusing and listed differently in different places. So, not debt free this month.
It was really bizarre when I got paid today to look at my budget and see my net worth was just £5 off from £5000 across all my accounts. I mean, in 2017 I think I was about £2000 in debt across both. I then immediately bought a Fitbit which brought the numbers back down, but still. For the first time in my life, I feel a small amount of stability.
I know, realistically, that if I lost my job I would have maaaaaaaybe 3 months savings here (and after about 1.5 months I run of Emergency Savings and start to raid things I’ve been savings up for – but Groceries and Rent trumps Pride) and it would not take much to knock a serious hole in these. But still. I feel like that I can relax a bit and as long as I’m sensible I no longer have to choose between hanging out with friends and eating dinner.
Pay day puts me in such a good mood these days.  🙂

Spending Categories
I’m aiming to get my groceries spending back under control, its kind of run away with me in lockdown. And take out spending too, definitely takeout spending had got out of hand (although I did promise myself one on payday…  😉  )
I’m trying to slip money back into my social spends as well, though at this point I’m not 100% sure what’s for. I can reassign it if need be. It’s only £30 so far, most of my previous Social spends are in that new category Charity/Artists, because its all livestreams and whatnot these days. Or if not that category, then into my new Therapy category, to help me get through the rest of lockdown. 
I’m still putting money into the Birthday Of The Month category even though the next birthday I’m aware of is August – if nothing else it can be a secondary Stuff I Forgot To Budget For, but chances are it’s SOMEONE’S birthday and I forgot.
I’ve paid my last Amazon Prime subscription now.
Because I filled up the Tram Card category last month but then didn’t go back to work, so didn’t buy a monthly tram card, the category was still mostly full. I had dipped into it twice for single journeys. This meant I only needed to throw £8 at it to get it full again and could use the rest of the money for Therapy/Credit Card shenanigans.
Debt Categories
I’ve changed my credit card direct debit to £103 which sounds odd but the monthly fee is £3 and I want to pay off a clean £100 each month. Once the direct debit goes – I’m not sure if I changed it in time to affect this month’s payment – I’ll pay off enough to round it down to an even number. I also bought that Fitbit this month, as I had the money set aside. I paid through the credit card to take advantage of the extra protection, and set a new goal on the Fitbit category for two years time.
I didn’t quite manage to hang onto ALL of that £100 cheque, some went to face masks (and £18 went to a Sims expansion pack, ssh), but I hung onto enough that with this paycheck I’ve scraped together enough money to pay off an extra months worth early this month. I’ve got the extra money to pay off the extra month of credit card waiting in my “Holding Category” right now – £109.56. The amount I need to pay off the credit card to round it to an even number is £96.56, and I want to add an extra month’s payment to the Debt Free Whiskey at the same time, and then an extra £3 because honestly between my regular payment, the money for the Fitbit, and the extra payment, I’ve sort of lost track of if the monthly fee is getting paid. So I threw an extra £3 into the pile.
The goal of all of this is that by the start of July I should only have £100 remaining on the credit card. Right now the balance of the credit card stands at £426.55 (including the Fitbit) and I have £342.55 set aside to pay it off.
Savings Categories
I created the new Fitbit Category, as I said above, and set a savings goal for £130 in two years time. That’s how long they’re meant to last. It may not quuuuite be enough by then – I noticed this time there was a special edition one that was £10 more than I’d saved, and the prices will increase over time, but I’m sure in two years time I can sort that out if need be. Maybe I’ll review it in 12 and 18 months idk. 
I’ve got another temporary category set up on my budget for a program called “Scrivener”. It’ll be a one time purchase, so I’m just using the category to remember what I’m saving up for. When it comes time to actually pay for the program I’ll put it through my “Online Purchases” category and delete the Scrivener category. In YNAB if you put transactions through a category and then delete the category you have to reassign the purchases to a new category, which is just fussy. 
I mentioned last month that I had adjust my Pride savings category to save up for next year’s Pride instead of this years so I’m paying vastly less into that for the time being. In fact a lot of the figures I was talking about last month – like savings less for my Dad’s birthday holiday idea now I’ve hit the goal and more towards my Divorce – have kicked in now. 

As a side note, when I pay off this particular credit card I’ll be shutting it down immediately as it’s costing me £3 a month. As you probably know, in the UK you get extra protections if you run large purchases through a credit card, so I’m wondering if I should get out a different (free) credit card in case I have large purchases in future?
I’d still be saving up for things – a laptop or whatever – so I’d have the money to pay off the card immediately, but running the purchase through a credit card would give me extra protection.
I’m just wondering if I should get a card out in advance when I have no plans for purchases anytime soon or if I should wait until I actually intend to make a purchase. Food for thought.
I guess I’m probably still a little bit wedded to the idea of a CC as a backup when I don’t really need that anymore.

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