8th June 2022

Sims 4 werewolves have been announced! I’m really excited for them.

I do technically have enough for the pack, but I’m wary of another wedding stories disaster so I might let other people play test the pack for me first…

I’m worried that the pack will be essentially non-functional upon release due to massive amounts of bugs

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I finally signed up for gym and have been swimming once. It was kind of bittersweet because I used to be really good at swimming, but now I’m… not.

I’ve only been swimming once (now twice) in a decade since trans body image issues kicked in. I also just dont have the stamina in general that I used to. I wanted to stay in the water for longer than half an hour, but I was getting too tired to swim by the end so I ended up doing walking laps on the pool which I saw someone else suggest in an EDS group.

I think because I’ve been told that swimming is an easier exercise, I may have conflated easier and easy in my head, and didnt into account the “exercise” part. It did take me months to work up to jogging for half an hour. I just way overdid it and was kind of reduced to mush for the rest of the day.

I was also having trouble holding my breath underwater for some reason. I just kept panicking slightly any time I ducked underwater, which I havent done since I was very small. I’ve bought sold swimming goggles, in case chlorine is the issue, and some dive sticks to practice with.

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I did buy that Etsy shopping trolley in the end, its arrived. Its smaller and flimiser than ideal – but it was £7 to be fair – but it should be a good practice one whilst I save up for the good one.

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I’m making progress on the PIP application, my partner is helping me review the answers to each question and has sent me away with a whole bundle of notes and things to talk out. I did buy a guide from a website that seems/seemed useful, but it didn’t tell me until after I bought it that the guide is 108 pages long! So I havent quite been able to tackle that just yet.

29th 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.

My parents mentioned last night that there might finally be movement on that money from my nan’s will, which they were originally talking about in January 

Which is kind of funny because I was planning on using the money to pay off debt

Right now I’m hoping I’ll be able to split it £500 for canal boat training, £400 for the H2B ISA and £100 for some creature comforts (namely a shapeshifter binder and some wireless headphones)

I seem to remember that earlier in the year I was planning £500 for canal boat training but I’m not sure if that’s right – I’ve emailed the local Marina to double check course prices.

28th 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.

Now I’ll start this post by acknowledging that it’s a bit of a 180° turnaround from my previous post. Last time I was worried about my moral responsibility to help others. This time I’m going to be ranting excitedly about something I’ve been saving up for. I do hold both of these opinions simultaneously  –  hence the confusion and dilemma.
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I’ve been saving up since January for a celebratory Debt Free Whiskey, that’ll I’ll get to buy and enjoy next month. And I am so looking forward to this whiskey. Partly because debt free – but also because it tastes soooooo good it’s such a good tasting one and I’ve been saving up 6 months for it!
   
I cant often afford the savouring kind of alcohol (as I said, I’ve literally been saving 6 months for it) and this is for savouring and enjoying!
  
I’m hoping I might be able to start a tradition of savings up for a bottle of New Years Whiskey for myself, literally take 12 months to save up for it and toast the New Year. I don’t know if I’ll have time to save for Jan ’21, but I might not need to – I intend to treat this bottle of debt free whiskey with respect. There might be some left come New Year.
   
That being said it does feel ridiculously decadent to be spending £65 to £70 on Whiskey…  but I feel I’ve earned it, both through working to pay off my debt, and taking the time to save up for it. I’m not buying it on a whim and throwing it on the credit card anymore. 

In response to a commenter congratulating me on my progress and encouraging me to look to my own savings before I focus on charity

Thank you  😊  Its July I’ll officially become debt free but theres only £100 left right now
  
I do have a H2B ISA earning 0.75% and a savings account earning I think 0.1% and a staff bank account, which earns about 1% interest with no fee (specifically because I’m a member of bank staff) (but I think that 1% is about to drop to 0.6%) 
  
There are probably better accounts out there but because I’m still relatively new to budgeting I’m going for simplicity right now and I dont want 8 different accounts I have to juggle about every 6 months. On top of that – I dont have so much money that switching accounts is suddenly going to unlock vast amounts of interest for me. Even at the current 1% I’m earning less than £2 of interest per month, and I don’t think theres anywhere offering significantly above 1% right now.

26th 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.

I only have £100 left on my credit card! (once the payments clear)
​​​​​​​Not including the Fitbit – which I just flat out had the money for, I just routed the payment through the CC – I paid off £196.56  this month. That’s so close to £200 I’m tempted to just… just a little bit… 
But whether I do or don’t, it’ll be paid off in full next month and I’ll be debt free! 
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One thing I’ve been struggling with this month is, what is my moral responsibility to help others – in terms of things like donating to charity, or more specifically, to personal GoFundMe’s of friends that are struggling really really badly.
Some days I feel like I have so much money these days compared to what I used to – and one person saw my budgeting sheet about 6 months back and was like “oh my god you have so much money” – so I want to help people, I want to help them when they literally can’t pay their bills or have enough to eat.
But I’m not exactly living the high life here. I’m living in a shared house with a second hand laptop and I know that one bad month could ruin all my progress – maybe two if I’m lucky or smart. I’m not saving up for golden plated laptops, I’m saving up an Emergency Fund. The most frivolous things I’m saving up for are (next year’s) Pride, my next Fitbit in two years, and my debt free celebration whiskey. Everything else I would argue is either a necessity or one step removed from it. 
But I’m no longer struggling to pay my bills, and they are, and I’ve been there, and I want to help. 
But to give them the kind of help they need – they need more than £20 – I would have to take from my Emergency Fund. Which. Agh. 
**bangs head on wall**
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Focus on the good stuff. Almost debt free!

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.

Payday! 
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.  🙂

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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.
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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.
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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.

6th 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.

So I got the £100 cheque from the complaint
   
I was going to try hang onto it and use it to pay off my credit card at the end of month (I’m still unclear if I get the work bonus)
  
Unfortunately I’ve realised that when (whenever) I go back to work I’ll need more face masks in order to wash them properly so I’ve spent £45 on more masks. Mostly just a multi pack of simple black and white ones but I did treat myself to two Pride ones…