16th October 2020

These posts were originally posted on the YNAB forums and MoneySavingForums (a UK money management site), I am moving my journals across to WordPress to have them in chronological order, and because the YNAB forums are closing as of March 2022. 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.

Moving tomorrow! Payday today! Took a short break from packing to budget because I am EXHAUSTED.


Initially I thought I’d been able to put enough into my Emergency Savings category to cover any spending I’ve done from it this month PLUS the usual £100 per month I’m currently trying to grow it by. So far I’ve spent £178.87 on the move which is honestly not too bad. The most expensive thing was the postal redirect. However putting that much (£278.87 total) into my Emergency Savings made everything else really tight, and then even as I wrote this I realised I hadn’t put any money in public transport. 
Last month my Emergency Savings were £1976.47, if I can keep it above that I’ll be happy. Heck, to be honest, I should let myself be happy if it stays above £1500, just being able to do this in cash is such an achievement for me. The category is currently at £2025.02 but looking at my other categories I can envison myself dipping into it once or twice more before payday. I have made some assumptions regarding social and grocery spending – not entirely unreasonable ones, given that I’m moving so close to an Aldi and we’re clearly going into lockdown again soon, but assumptions nonetheless.


I also found out I’d made a sliiiiight calculation error with the YNAB app goals today. So for those who don’t use YNAB, one of the goals you can set is “Save [x] by [date]”
The thing is, the app is assuming you are a “month ahead” (i.e. have saved a months worth of salary in your bank account) which means you can budget on the first of each month. When you have a months salary set aside, it doesn’t matter which day of the month your salary actually comes in, because you are budgeting last months salary. 
So when you tell your app to save, for example, £73 by December 1st for some New Year Whiskey – the app is assuming you will make a contribution on 1st December. 
I’m not a month ahead yet, so I don’t budget on the 1st of the month. Being a month ahead is certainly on my wishlist, but so are a lot of things. Because I don’t budget on the 1st of the month, I won’t make a contribution on 1st December.
Now it’s an easy fix – I just changed the date to 30th November. But from the app’s point of view, I have one month less to save up for the whiskey, and it increases the amount I need to set aside. 
This was only relevant on three yearly goals, but I only noticed because I jumped into the November budget briefly to edit some goals for next month in my new house. The goals were for YNAB (due on 9th Nov, I should have put in the last contribution today as I won’t get another paycheck before then – but admittedly I oversave for this one because of exchange rates), New Year Whiskey and another yearly subscription. 


From my November paycheck I’m going to start putting some money into a “Next Move” category as well, £50pm. My goal for that category will be £1000 – which I know is over 5 times what I spent on this move so far BUT I’m moving from one place without a deposit to another without a deposit. My soon to be ex landlord may chase me for any perceived damages to this room, so spending may not be done yet, and the place after this may want a deposit up front. Next time I may not be able to get help from family and may need to hire a man with a van. My next landlord wants me to hire a cleaners when I move out because I have a dog. 

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