22nd November 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 should put a line item/savings goal in my budget for Sims Packs  **longing sigh** 

So as I said, I’m going to start saving up for a new passport with my new name – £80 😬😬 but I’m not happy with my middle name, and it suddenly occurs to me that it would be better to make a decision BEFORE I drop money on the passport. Got a few months to figure it out but I don’t know what to do.

18th November 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.

Payday! So naturally the first thing I did was go out and buy a whole ton of onions, I want to experiment with making slow cooker caramelised onions. I plan on doing a mix of red and white onions, with some demerara sugar, balsamic vinegar, whiskey, and a touch of bicarb soda to help break down the onions a little more. I’ll chop them all up tomorrow morning before work and leave them for like 8 to 10 hours. 

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I’m grudgingly proud of myself for one smart decision I made. I had a little leftover money when I met all my goals and I decided to put it into my Diploma study fund rather than into hobbies. I’ve always been able to find hobby money before, I’m sure I’ll find it somewhere again if I need it.
I find traitorous thoughts sneaking in, like “I’ll put it in takeout and if/when I have some leftover I can move it to the Diploma category”, but I just need to remind myself that if I put the money in groceries or takeout or hobbies it inevitably gets spent and if I put it elsewhere it magically doesn’t. I just need to stay strong. 

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I technically put slightly more into my E-Fund than usual as well – 42p more haha. When I went to fill out my saving thermometer I realised I was 42p short of the next notch, so I added a little more to the pile to make it an even £2100.
I also filled out my GC2B binder goal, I just to get around to ordering it. Christ these things are expensive. 
I slightly renamed my “New Degree Certificate” to “Name Update Documents” – the initial goal is still the degree certificate, but after that I might as well continue saving for my passport update as well. 

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I’ve been thinking a little bit about my next YNAB-year. Obviously the immediate goal is to hit 3K E-Fund, then I want to focus on getting a month ahead, and I really want to pick up the pace on my FA Diploma study. Hopefully early next year I can kick off the divorce proceedings, assuming the other party is cooperative, if I can get that done then that’s a BIG chunk of my budget available to be repurposed. £75 a month I won’t be setting aside for that, and fingers crossed I’ve over saved and I’ll have a little leftover money to treat myself/repurpose elsewhere. 

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I’ve also been thinking about how weird it is that, despite how much less I’m spending now than a year ago, two years ago – evidenced by my growing savings – I don’t often feel like my quality of life has suffered much. I use “often” and “much” because there are still moments, but 98% of the time my quality of life feels the same, if not better than, a few years back. If someone had told me that I’d have just casually dropped £80 on a bottle of whiskey for a celebration, and then a few months later had another £80 ready to go for Christmas/New Year Whiskey (I plan to buy it early December) I’d have laughed at them. That was just beyond me. And now I’ve dropped to a single income household but I can just, do that. No big deal, just a little foreplanning. 
Christmas has been weirdly chill so far this year. I mean, its not exactly a normal year, no socials to worry about – but also I’ve saved up a lot more this year and I have three Christmas categories (“Family”, “Friends” and “Misc”). If it had been a normal year I suspect I still would have been slightly short, but I’d have made it work. Next year I’ll save up more. 
It’s a good feeling. I hope YNAB stays around a long time

17th November 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.

Tapping my fingers, impatiently waiting for payday so that I can budget… I went pretty close to the wire this month on ALL my categories. Everything is showing as grey, grey, £0 left. 

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I’ve been using YNAB for a year now! I’m kind of surprised I didn’t get an anniversary email from them. When I first subscribed, they sent me emails every now and then saying things like “Now you’re X months in… etc…”. In the last email they did say “…our emails will become less frequent from this time forward…” but I sort of assumed they’d do a first anniversary one – but all I got was a receipt. Ho hum. 

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I started YNAB in October 2019 (approx) and my net worth then was £1353.89, including debt – today my net worth is £5442.75 and I’m debt free! Two of my accounts each individually have more in than my entire net worth when I started YNAB. 
Technically that net worth is less than last month, but it’s the day before payday so it should be higher by the end of November. And I’ll forgive myself if my Net Worth takes a dip in the November and December months. 

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Speaking of, I’m near-done on the Christmas shopping. I just don’t have many people I’ve established a gift buying habit for. There’s two people I’m going to try buy for, I just need to figure out what. 

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I’m pretty happy with my budget categories this year and don’t feel the need to mix it up this January – occasionally I find new categories I want but the overall structure of the budget suits me. When I do have new categories they tend to be temporary savings goals, and I run the actual transaction through another category. I’d rather have the long term data easily accessible than rework things I think. Last January I sat down 01/01 and rewrote my entire budget, this year I might just sit down and bask in the progress I’ve made

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In response to a commenter saying I was doing well with my savings

Thank you 🙂 I was hoping to say something more emotional and nostalgic and inspirational, a reflection on where I’ve been and how far I’ve come and how far I want to go, but words failed me haha

In response to a commenter pointing out I had money in other categories I could have moved if I needed to

haha yes it was definitely YNAB broke, not actual broke
Which is always nice to see 

In response to people tagging the support staff on YNAB forums regarding the renewal email

It’s not the biggest deal in the world, I just sort of assumed there’d be one (probably last) email on the first renewal date. Its not the end of the world heh. 
Although now I’m thinking of those Facebook style end of year videos where they cut and paste photos and most liked statuses into the video, but for YNAB… 🤣🤣🤣 
This is the only email I got in advance, so I did get a “your subscription is about to renew” one

11th November 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 haven’t dipped further into my Emergency Savings as of yet – at this point it’s about £23 higher than the amount I had saved up in September (I haven’t received my November pay check yet) so I’m technically making progress. I’m thinking when my Emergency Fund hits my initial goal of 3k (not quite 3 months pay, that would be closer to 4k, it’s just the goal I picked initially) I’m going to try “get a month ahead” according to YNAB. This just means I’ll have enough on hand that I can budget on 1st of the month no matter what date I get paid.
It’ll just make the app and goals slightly easier to use. In bank balance terms it’ll just mean I have an extra months worth of Emergency Fund, in my current act instead of the savings act. So to my mind I’ve basically just split my Emergency Fund into two; If I lost my job abruptly, I’d have a month before I needed to start dipping into the E-Fund.  
I plan to use a “Next Month Income” category where each time I get paid I put the money into that category where it waits until the 1st of the next month where I then use it fill my categories/pay my bills. I reckon I’ll hit my E-Fund goal mid to late next year, so I’ll start my Next Months Income category then. 

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I’ve started the dreaded Christmas shopping, and I can already see I haven’t quite saved up enough to buy as many presents as I wanted to – but three of the people I want to buy for, I haven’t established a habit of doing so. I just secretly hoped I could (I hadn’t made any promises yet).  Despite using YNAB last Christmas, I didn’t quite have the categories set up right so I have less of an eye on how much I spent on gifts last year. I also think I’m trying to spend more per person than I did last year, so need to keep an eye on that.