16th July 2021

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.

This one’s going to be a long one….

So I’ve been having a bit of a rough time of it. I was planning to sit one of my financial advisor exams on Wed 7th July. This is a very very important exam, especially as I think there may be a vacancy soon, in my company, in the city I currently live in. I didn’t mention it on here partly because I didn’t want to jinx it and partly because I was a keyed up ball of stress and couldn’t think stress. I wanted to just come on here be like “Surprise! I passed!”… or you know, not.

But then, in the space of 7 days:

– On Tues 6th July my colleague tested positive and I had to self isolate the day before this very very important exam

– I last minute rebooked my very very important exam to September… only to realise I’d accidentally rebooked to a day after the syllabus changes so I had to rebook a second time to August. This is now an at-home/remote invigilated exam, which is frankly extremely inconvenient as I need to borrow my housemate’s office to take the exam in. I don’t have an office myself.

– I had a housemate move in, stay 48 hours, then left with all their possessions & escorted by the police

– And then my housemate has tested positive and my isolation period reset

– Also, the other day across the street I saw a police car, then a few hours later I looked again and the police officers were still outside, but now there was a van saying [company name] funeral directors ambulance… I don’t think they were ok 😳😬

Because it’s been happening on a week by week basis, work didn’t know in advance that I’d be off this long, but it takes like 3-4 days to set up from home working and they’d need to send me a laptop, I’ve basically just been paid to sit at home and play sims. Which is a very privileged position to be in, I know. I haven’t been able to get myself to use the time to study. I was so focused on making it to exam day and I knew I was going to crash after. Exam day came, even if the exam didn’t, so now I’ve crashed/am crashing and I’m only just starting to put myself back together.
But moving on. This is a budgeting diary, not a life diary. 


Payday! I was really tempted to use the shiny new auto-assign feature but I looked at the numbers it was giving me and I suspect it’s going to have similar issues to the goals if you try to assign money midmonth. I essentially can’t tell it “This is my payday, I’m not a month ahead yet, ignore any money spent between the 1st of the month and today”. It takes into account any money spent this calendar month (but last pay-month).

Ah well, I’m on track to be a month ahead by the end of the year. 

I don’t think I’ve updated in my categories in a while so here’s where my savings are at:

 Current Wish List Goals

Laptop Cooling Fan – £30 – a recent addition to my wish list but I think it’s needed pretty quickly. or maybe it’s just because I’ve had time off and been playing games all day, it’s not used to that. I usually only use it for a couple hours at a time. But regardless – if you any recommendations, let me know 🙂 

Good Quality Work Shoes – £20 budgeted out of £200 goal, no date assigned – this is actually listed as “Dr Marten Work Shoes but I’ll shop about a little before I buy

Whiskey Glass – £4.60 out of £23 goal by this Christmas – it’s just a small Christmas present to myself

Minecraft – £30 – a group I’m in is planning to set up a Minecraft server. They’ve been planning to for 2 or 3 months now, so I haven’t actually gone and bought the game yet.

Regular Savings Goals

Prescription Prepayment Certificate – £61.67 budgeted out of £110 goal needed by September – In the UK you can buy this prepayment certificates to cover all your prescriptions. I currently I the 3 month one, it runs out in September, but by then I’m intending to have enough money set aside to cover an entire year’s prepayment certificate

Sims – £48 out of £62 goal needed by September – There’s a particular pack I want to buy by September to get some early access items, but as I have time to save up I wanted to buy a bundle and get 3 packs at once

Tattoo – £65, contributing £5pm – I have lots of ideas, but I don’t feel the virus situation is stable enough to make this a priority 

Name Update Documents – £59.73, contributing £10pm – vague goal of getting £90 by the end of the year to update my passport, but not a priority 

Microsoft Office – £27.51, contributing £5.50pm

Fitbit – £70.01 out of £130 goal by July 2022 – I’m really not sure why, on that first month, it asked me to put an extra penny in. But if I take the penny out I’m underfunded. Every other month it’s been £5pm

New Year Whiskey – £59.25 out of £90 goal by Dec – the new update seemed to shift this and the subscription category from target balance to needed for spending for some reason, but it only took a moment to shift them back. Odd.

Glasses – £70, goal achieved. I don’t know when I’ll next need them but this seems like one of those true expenses thingys. 

FA Diploma – £464.89, contributing £30pm

Subscription – £20.56 out of £50 goal needed by Feb 2022

New Phone – £372, contributing £31pm – I think I’m just coming up to a year since my contract ended and I’m just now starting to get irritated by some limitations of my phone, Storage space mostly. Hopefully I can stick it out a bit longer. The longer I can wait, the bigger deposit I can put down on my next phone. If I wanted to buy my next phone outright, I’d probably need to wait another 12-18 months ish, but we’ll see how much patience I have. I want to try do the same thing with my phone as I do with laptops/computers: over buy and get a really really good top of the range phone, then use it for longer and replace less frequently. Kind of like what I’m trying to do with work shoes as well. Vimes Theory Of Boots strikes again. 

New Laptop – £510, contributing £30pm – If this laptop last another year I’ll have £870, if it last two years I’ll have £1230, if it last three years I’ll have £1950… hopefully this cooling fan will help with that.

Pride Savings – £117.78, contributing £5pm – I used bits of this for a few things, but I guess Pride 2022 will be a blowout year for me haha

Dad’s Vacation Money – £107.06, goal achieved – I’ve sent off the money for the tickets. I need to decide what to do with the rest. Still pondering giving it to them as extra spending money before they go. Or maybe I’ll spend it on myself. Haven’t decided. 

YNAB subscription – £72.54 out of £90 goal by November – because of currency fluctuations, I oversave for this one. It hasn’t actually been £90 yet. 

Divorce – £1000, goal achieved – I was going to get on this and nudge the guy after my exam. Just got too much to think about right now.

Christmas Misc – £60, contributing £7.40pm 

Christmas Friends – £40, contributing £5pm 

Christmas Family – £102.41, contributing £12.50pm

Therapy – £200, goal achieved – not currently going, but the money is here if I need to suddenly

House Deposit – £992.11, contributing £25pm 

Next Move – £1000, goal achieved

Emergency Savings – £3000, initial goal achieved – at some point I need to boost this, but also realistically if I lost my job tomorrow things like “Pride Savings” and “New Year Whiskey” would be reallocated real fast

Next Months Income – £396 out £1312 goal – that was last year’s average salary so that’s what I’ve used as a target. Apparently I’m 30% of the way there! And on track to finish by the end of 2021. 

Canal Boat Course – £500, goal achieved – one day…


My Wish List category is ever growing. Which I suppose is fairly realistic. I’ve been able to put rough goals on all but two categories. This list is in no particular order. The newest at the top and the oldest are at the bottom, but in the middle I sometimes shuffle things about as I change my priorities.

Fitbit Band – £25 – My current one is cracking, a little, but I think it has another month in it. 

Laptop Blue Screen Filter – £30 – one of those stick on ones that make the light gentler on your eyes

Tea Infuser – £20 – I want a good quality cute novelty one. Right now I have very cheap boring metal ones.

Teapot with built in Infuser – £40

Cold Brew Bottle – £35 – I have a cheap amazon one currently, I’m thinking of one of the specialised ones from the fancy tea shop

Reusable Travel Mug – £25 – This one is actually intended for coffee, not tea

Cologne – £100 – I want a masculine scent, but they’re all so expensive

Whiskey Decanter – £80 – There are some really cute ones out there, but this might be a Christmas 2022 present to myself, if I start saving in January

Alexhynerart.com – £100 – Specifically I want some kind of print of Nine Nights and Twenty Skies

Headphones – no goal set – I want some chunky bluetooth headphones for around the house/walking music. My current in-ear headphones are great for running, but they can hurt after a little while. I want some with the cups on the side that cover your entire ear, then I could alternate between headphones for the task at hand.

Etsy Calligrapher – £100

Extra House deposit contribution – £150 – I should be putting more away for this

Extra Investment Lump sum – £100 – see above

Kindle – £150 – my current one is starting to show it’s age. I don’t use it much though, only for one task… but I don’t have another device that would any good at that specific task…

Period Panties – £150 – this has dropped WAY down on my priority list tbh as the reusable pads are really working for me. It would be nice, one day, but it’s not as urgent as it was before. 

Weighted Blanket – £200

Pride Knight Merch – no goal set – when I added this to the list there was more in their store, I hope they’re not winding down. 

When I started this list I was thinking, “hmm, maybe I could spend some of that pride savings fund on Pride Knight Merch” but I guess not with only one design available :/ maybe a new tea infuser though? I’m sure pride tea infusers exist… I’m VERY confident rainbow Fitbit charge 4 bands exist. I don’t want to use my whole Pride fund, but it’d be nice to get myself a little something 


I’m getting a lot of that nagging feeling lately that I’m not spending enough money on the  important things, and too much money on frivolous things. Trying to figure out if this a genuine problem or some sort of weird budgeting FOMO. It’s just really really hard to prioritise goals of £10k+ (in the example of house deposits) that will take years to achieve over goals of £30. Delayed gratification is a skill I have yet to master. But also I genuinely don’t think I can go full rice-and-beans (as Dave Ramsey would say) for more than a month. I just don’t have it in me. I’m making good progress on my goals, I don’t think I’ve ever(…?) missed a goal, and a lot of goals I hit sooner than originally expected, but sometimes I wonder if I could be doing even more. 

But maybe that feeling never goes away. Maybe that’s just a life thing, similar to feeling you’re not truly an adult yet. Let me know! haha 😂 


In response to someone saying that as long as I paid attention to my priorities, the long term vs short term would sort itself out

But what if it’s ALL my priority? 🤔🤔🤣🤣

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