31st August 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.

The vet said Sherlock was healing nicely and I could even start reintroducing dry food if I wet it first

She also said to stop stirring cooked chicken through his wet food to try persuade him to eat it, that he wouldn’t starve himself if it was all I gave him 😳😳😳 but honestly his willpower is stronger than I am 

I’m going to try shift him to a healthier brand of kibble when his mouth is 100% healed, but one food battle at a time.

Regarding pension contribution %, by coincidence some of the YNAB podcasts and YouTube vids have mentioned one of Jesse’s experiments where you raise your pension % by 1% every quarter. This stirred a memory in me, and when I looked at my September calendar, I found I’ve set up reminders in September and March – so every half, not every quarter – to increase my pension % ! So that was forward thinking of me.

In response to a commenter asking what my target pension contribution is

I dont have a target contribution yet, I’m just plagued by a sense of “not contributing enough”

I honestly couldn’t tell you what my current contribution is. At one point I was using the formula “my contributions + employer match = half the age I start saving for retirement”

I know I’m now 1% beyond that

The retirement calculator on my pension provider website says I cant afford to retire until I’m in my 70’s, which is not ideal. I dont even know what age I want to retire, but before I’m 70.

A commenter suggested a retirement calculator

I’ll do a calculation at some point, but for now I’m happy to just keep increasing by 1% until the retirement calculator starts dropping 

I know the overall direction is “up” and I know I cant make any big jumps in savings rates right now so I’ll figure out the specifics in a bit  🙂

Probably one day I’ll wake up with a burning need to know and thats the day I work out my FIRE number or whatever 

26th & 28th August 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.

26th August 2021

So my prescription prepayment certificate has come due, and it looks like I set up my savings goal wrong, so I didn’t have the money to buy 12 months this time around. There isn’t a 6 month option, but I did have the money for a 3 month certificate, so I’ve extended the deadline and have a little more time to save – because of the money saved I’m already halfway to the 12 month price (that’s *after* paying for the 3 months) so I’ll get there before the next time it rolls around.

In response to a commenter pointing out you can set up a monthly Direct Debit

yeahhhh I thought of that after but eh, it all works out in the end

28th August 2021

So all in all it looks like the dogs vet visit has set me back  £400.06 – which pre-YNAB would have been a devastating blow, but now I can just be like “ok we can deal with that”, which honestly frees up a lot of mental energy which now can be spent on panicking over whether I’m a good dog parent  🤦‍♂️

That £400 isn’t solely the vet bill, it’s also the taxi home from the vet, and online orders of some dental supplements the vet recommended for going forward, and some online order of a new pet food brand because his current kibble might not be the greatest, and also ordering some wet food online because he needs to have wet food for the next 10 days whilst his mouth heals, and finally some in store wet food for until the online order arrives and some chicken & eggs to make what I affectionally call “tummy porridge” for immediately after I got home from the vet yesterday

“Tummy porridge” is basically plain chicken, plain eggs, and plain rice, put through a blender into a porridge-like consistency because he will just pick out the chicken otherwise. It has literally 4 ingredients, including water. Its technically human safe I guess, though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. 

He’s mostly fine now, although he’s a bit tender round the mouth, but last night was horrible 😦 I think his pain meds had worn off but I wasn’t allowed to give him any more until morning, and he just kept pacing the room and crying.  He had to have a few more extracted than we were expecting. The vet did tell me though that yorkshire terriers (of which he’s half) often have tooth problems, and it wont affect his quality of life yet, and my aunt said this isn’t unusual for a 5 year old dog, but I just feel bad I apparently wasn’t doing proper dental hygiene with him. 

Anyway so I’ve had a pretty miserable couple of days. And when I go back for his check up on Tuesday I’ve got to start wrangling with the pet insurance and figure out how to make a claim for the first time in my life. 

In response to commiserations from a commenter

The dog picked up a toy and chewed on it/wrestled with it this morning so his mouth must be a bit less tender today! Having trouble persuading him to eat official dog food though, he keeps shunning it in favour of tummy porridge haha

In response to a commenter saying “Tummy Porridge” sounded a lot like chicken fried rice

That was pointed out to me later by a friend haha
But obviously no salt, pepper, chilli, definitely no soy sauce… no seasoning… and then through a blender! 
The individual elements are cooked though, I’m not giving him raw chicken, eggs or rice

A commenter said they dont do any dental hygiene with their dog as he was too nervous

My vet recommended this supplement called plaque off, its not as good as brushing their teeth but it’ll help a little
I’m not starting him on it until after his mouth has healed obv but I’m ordered two types, some kibble like treats you can sprinkle onto his regular kibble, and some powder/granules you can also sprinkle over his food
I’ve also seen water additives but the vet didnt mention those

24th August 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.

So. One thing I didn’t mention before is that I did actually sit my Financial Exam and I unfortunately missed the pass mark by 2 points. As in, I need 65 to pass, and I scored 63. So I need to buy a new textbook/exam (as the syllabus resets on 1st sept) and I’m weighing up my options.

At minimum I need to buy the exam. For members this costs £252.29, for non-members this costs £344.30.

Membership has benefits, but the only one I really care about is cheaper exams. Membership has an inital set up fee of £37 and is either £6.67 pm or £80 pa. 

My concern is, if I cancel the membership within a certain time period, do I lose access to any digital assets purchased within that time frame? Or am I temporarily locked out until I pay the difference to the non member price? I have emailed customer service for more info.

There is also optional Audio Guides, Revisionmate and Calculation Workbook. I can see all of them being useful. 

Technically I have £494.89 in my FA Diploma category, but if I’m setting up a new monthly direct debit I’d rather leave a little room in the category. Also, I’m hoping to do the resit comparatively soon-ish so I don’t want to absolutely drain the category. 

But these days cause so much stress, these purchases are so big. I’m going to wait and see what customer services says and then buy tomorrow.

In other other news I’m anxious about my pension again. I’m 28. It’s been in the news a bit lately (pensions in general, not mine haha). I got an annual statement recently from my work pension and on the one hand my pension pot more or less tripled in the last year – but that wasn’t saying much, it’s still under 10k total. The retirement calculator puts me as retiring in my 70’s. So that’s not great. I can only increase my contribution % in the gap between payday and the end of the month, I was intending to raise it by another % this month but the combination of the dogs vet visit and the exam purchase coming together is making me hesitate. 

18th August 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.

Payday!

Due to a few things cropping up right at the end of the month, I didn’t have as much “left over” money after budgeting as I usually do. The left overs usually come around because I don’t always spend 100% of the money in the categories, so I dont need as much to refill them next month. This last month however more of my categories went to zero than normal.

So after it all I only had about £37 left over money. Admittedly that’s after I fulfilled the new goals on the Takeout, Hobby, and Fancy Tea categories.

Still, I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t have a goal to fulfil on the Takeout, Hobby, and Fancy Tea categories I would have put that £37 into one of those. Instead I put it into my Emergency Fund, as that’s where I’ll be pulling money from for the dogs dental treatment. I wont know how much I’ll be spending on him until the day itself. 

I’m kind of hoping that I can get both a month ahead and restore my E-Fund to £3000 by the end of 2021… but that may not be possible, depending on how much the dog costs me. The things we do for love. I’m on track to get a month ahead by the end of 2021, and that’s probably my priority now, I’ll sort out the E Fund in January if need be. 

The fancy tea shop had an equity fund raiser, so I threw £20 into that and I’ll get some shares in return. I was hoping to do more, but as I said, more of my categories made it to zero than normal this month. Maybe that tea sale had something to do w it 🤔😳 I have started a savings category for that sale for next summer so I don’t do that twice lol. 

I wasn’t able to put any money into wish list items this month – the one time purchase items – but I was able to get myself some new sims expansion packs. (Country Living, Dream Home Decorator, and Nifty Knitting for my fellow Sims players. I have a white chicken called Snuggles and I knitted her a blue hat!) 

Weirdly, one of my wish list items may have become redundant? I was going to save up for a really good pair of work shoes – but now work has decided they will provide shoes as part of the uniform. I assume not great quality ones though, I actually bought new shoes relatively recently so I haven’t needed to order any to compare. It could be that they wear out more often than work is willing to replace them. I’m not sure whether to keep saving for the nice shoes or not.

I mean, at the end of that day, the money isn’t truly committed until it’s spent – I could save up the shoes amount and then spend it on something else if I change my mind. 

It’s occurred to me there’s going to be this weird almost double-payday the first month I get ahead. So I’ll get paid on the 17th December, put £184 into the “Next Month Income” category, then budget out the rest of the salary like normal. Then, on 1st January, I’ll release the money from “Next Month Income” and start filling up the categories…. the ones that I only filled up a fortnight ago and wont have fully emptied yet. 

Now this is happening over the Christmas/New Year period, not the worst time to get a weird almost double-payday. But still, if I haven’t refilled my E-Fund by then, that’s definitely the time to do it. 

4th August 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.

I posted 2 months ago a milestone about how, immediately after being paid, my net worth was briefly over £10k. And then I bought one thing and my net worth dipped below again. Well now I have a new milestone – on the 31st of the month, my bet worth was still over £10k! And then I paid rent on the 1st and it dipped below again. Hopefully in a few more months I’ll be above 10k the day before payday.

The dog is booked in for his dental treatments for late August. I have a rough idea of the cost, but not an exact idea because they need to get in to see what it’s like. Ah well.

I’ve been thinking about it, and I think my spending has been deviating from my priorities slightly. As much as that’s likely to be a lifelong feeling, some of my fun money categories have been creeping higher and higher. 

So I think I’m going to do something a little counter intuitive: I’m going to put goals on categories I dont want to spend from.

Essentially what’s happening now it’s some categories eg takeout dont have a goal on. The idea being I just put the leftover money in those once I’m done budgeting. But if I have a month where I have £50 left over, then suddenly I have a £50 takeout budget. And once it’s in that category you know its getting spent.

Maybe if I put a £25 goal on that category, I’ll be less inclined to put more than £25 in there? Idk. I think it’s worth a shot.

I put a £25 goal on takeout, £20 on hobbies, and £20 (in addition to the subscription) on my fancy tea category.