24th 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.

I decided to create two new savings goals in my budget. I’m not deleting the Shapeshifter Binder category but I haven’t any plans for it right now either. I use an Excel document to see if I have room in my budget for each new goal and it says I have room for these. The spreadsheet literally just has my average salary and my goals for each category, a simple X-Y equation. So we’ll give these goals a go. They’re not high priority though. 

One category is to get my degree certificate reissued in my new name – it’s currently in my deadname. I like to hang up my degree, but when I moved this time I felt weird about displaying it with the wrong name on.
The other is for a tattoo. I haven’t even picked what tattoo yet, but every time I think of one I’d like I go round and round in circles before eventually concluding its pointless as I have no money. Well, I’m sick of it. I’m going to try save up some money and get it done. Or at least have the option to get it done if I do land on one I’d like. 

Both goals are £10 a month. If nothing else, in 2020 I’m not using up all my “public transport” category and I usually have at least £20 a month left in there, so the money I don’t need to put in public transport can go to these goals. But they’re not high priority. Of the two, the degree certificate is possibly a slightly higher priority as I’d like to get that done for my birthday next March. For the tattoo, I don’t know how much I need, or by when, I’m just putting money aside and will figure out the rest later.

In response to a commenter asking if I use a “Monthly Spending” goal for my categories

Because I don’t budget on the 1st yet, those goals never seem to work right for me. I’m adding into the categories mid month and the quick budget cant seem to give me the amount needed to top up to my goal. If I set “Target Balance – No Date” then the information widget on the right hand side of the screen tells me the difference between the current balance and the goal.

For me, ideally, if I used a top up goal I would want it to ignore all past behaviour and just focus on what the balance of the category is at that second, and how much is needed to make it up to the goal. Currently the monthly spending goals seem to take into account any spending behaviours between the 1st and my payday which confuses things a bit.

However, if I set a target balance no date goal, as you can see below, I can use the “To Go” line to know how much more to put into that category

23rd 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.

Good News! I ordered that Shapeshifter Binder. It cost £3 more than I had saved up, which was easy enough to find. They can’t give wait times right now, because 2020, but they said if I don’t hear from them in 4 weeks to check my spam folder so it could be a while. Plus it has to come to England from the USA. Also, another subscription I save up for (I haven’t named it on here, I just call it “subscription”) went on offer, so I could purchase a years worth for about £15 less than I had saved up. The subscriptions stack, so it just added 365 days to the 70 odd I already had remaining – so I wasn’t short on time, I just wanted to take advantage of the offer. I redistributed £10 of the remaining to the New Year Whiskey category, to make up for that slip up with the goals. Of course now the subscription category is a little confused, but it’ll figure itself out on the 1st. 

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Both of these purchases were in foreign currencies so I used the one remaining, normally empty, credit card I have left. Once the transactions clear I’ll pay it off immediately, not looking to carry a balance there.

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I’m leaving the shapeshifter binder category on there for now, in case I’m able to save up for another one. They have a lot of cool looking ones. A few weeks back they had some Halloween themed ones that don’t seem to be on there anymore. I like to think I’ll save up for another one, but… £70… well, I’ll have a think.

Edit: I went with green btw 🙂

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

10th & 13th 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.

10th October 2020

7 days to go! I’m at that weird point where its hard to pack anything because all that left is stuff I need in the next week. Also having trouble booking a charity collection because c*vid. But I think I’ve found somewhere now? I have to call them on Monday to find out.

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My sibling messaged us today to talk about Christmas presents. It was kind of weird because it was kind of like the Ghost of Christmas Past because she was talking about amounts and splitting a present that was [x] and in my head I was like “you want to split that? that’s tiny!” before realising that was literally me a few years back. It’s not that I won’t be worried about Christmas spending come December, but I think I’ll be worried about larger amount. It’s kind of like groceries; you’ll always spend £10 more than you set aside. So far I’ve set aside £100 for Family Christmas Gifts, £50 for Friends Christmas Gifts, and £50 for Christmas Misc. I suspect it won’t be quite enough, but fingers crossed I can WAM this year and save a little more next year. Certainly it’s the most I’ve saved in advance for Christmas any year so far!

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I’ve been torn on this extra £50 pm I’ll have spare from paying less rent. I think I need to put it into a fresh “Next Move” fund and start building that up but I’d also like to contribute more to retirement. A lot of my podcasts lately have been talking about people not paying enough into their retirement and it’s making me antsy to save more. But I don’t even have a real E-Fund saved up yet so that needs to be the priority. I read once that a good % to put aside into retirement is half of the age you start saving at. So if you start putting aside for retirement at 20, you save 10%. At 25, you put aside 12.5%, and so on. That includes Employer contributions though. And I am following that rule, although I can’t remember the exact % I (and my employer) am saving offhand. I just really want to save even 1% more. Just 1%. But. E-Fund first.

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One episode of the YNAB podcast (I can’t remember which episode, there are a few hundred of them) talked about when you are making a large purchase or otherwise having a high spend month, it gets easy to tack little extras on. Jesse’s example was buying a car; it’s easy to get sucked into paying extra for floor mats. I’m certainly finding it a little too easy to spend money this month, now I’ve come to terms with spending some of my E-Fund to move. Got to rein it in a little. 


13th October 2020

Mini update:
Good news – those Shapeshifters binders are open again, so as soon as I finish moving house I can order one of those dragonscale binders I was talking about a while back!
Bad news – separate to the shapeshifter binder, I had a different savings goal for a plain black GC2B binder but I had to dip into that fund to buy new running shoes 😦

 I mean the shoes literally had a hole in, and I’m moving away from the store so I would have had to look for a new brand of shoe, so it had to be done

In response to a commenter commiserating that I had to dip into my binder fund, but that sometimes it was necessary

yeah trainers are more important, technically

I think oversaved in my YNAB category by about £20 though so maybe I can use the remainder of that to get the binder, or maybe I’ll have some leftover from the dragon scale binder fund. By the end of the year, hopefully. 

1st 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.

I’ve found the place I’m moving into, will move around the 18th or so. Kinda wish I could fast forward three weeks and have it all be done already. 
But still, whilst I’m still stressed, this is a more manageable stress than “oh my GOD where am I going to LIVE I’m going to be HOMELESS”
I’m trying to remind myself frequently that is the first move I’ve ever made that doesn’t involve me trying to finance it through credit cards and overdrafts. I’m grumpy about using my E-Fund, but that’s all I am. It’s a nice change of pace.
I’m moving into another house share, this time with two people. They’ve met my dog, he’s already picked a favourite housemate ❤
Its about £50 cheaper per month, but I’m just going to funnel that straight into building up a “Next Move” fund, parallel to my E-Fund.
I did look into Studio Flats but I would need an extra £200-£250 per month, so basically no saving for the future.
I hate capitalism. The minimum wage was introduced so one person (one man) could support a family and have a home by working full time. I work full time, I dont have a family, but I cant really support myself. 
This flipping FA Diploma better make me rich.

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Speaking of the Diploma, I havent been studying whilst trying to sort moving house. My January goal was 1, maybe 2 modules this year.
Well I’ve done one, and 2020 hasn’t exactly gone according to plan, so I’m happy.

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The students have descended on my city. If I were a betting person… I’d say by the time I move, we’ll will be in local lockdown… simply because Freshers Flu is a thing. Covid cases don’t necessarily have to increase, but if enough coughs, cold, and seasonal flus increase then we’ll be locked down. Because they wont have enough tests to distinguish. I want to try avoid contributing to the general demonising of students that’s going on nationwide…. But also I dont exactly see any of these guys wearing masks  :/  

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I was listening to a podcast (Millennial Money) as I jogged and they said something interesting. They said to think of improving your finances like improving your health. One healthy meal or one workout by itself wont do much. You have to consistently practice and keep making good decisions, and over time you improve. 

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In response to a commenter saying it was good I’d save £50 pm

Theres probably other costs I havent foreseen but yes good news for that  🙂   kinda feels like I dont get the benefit though as it’s already spoken for haha – but I know I will, really