28th December 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.

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’m alive! 
It’s been a hectic time, but I have two whole days to breathe before rushing off somewhere else so I though I’d take 5 minutes to check in on my budget.

~*~

So the good news is nothing went into the red, the bad news is I kind of overspent on Christmas. That seems like a contradiction. But the mess with switching from budgeting on payday to budgeting a month – it was always going to be a messy month whether it was December or January – and then adjusting goals, and then fulfilling the goals, but I’d already bought some presents, essentially I paid extra into the Christmas categories but because the categories weren’t empty I just saw I still had money to spend. Which I did, so thats ok, but I spent more than I intended. But it was money I actually had. 

I sort of suspected that was happening but I didnt actually confirm it until I checked the reports just now.

2021

Christmas Family Intended Spend: £150

Christmas Family Actual Spend: £206.47

Christmas Friends Intended Spend: £60

Christmas Friends Actual Spend: £0 (but they didnt spend anything on me either…. I think we all silently agreed not to do anything this year? Idk, I only noticed this 5 minutes ago)

Christmas Misc Intended Spend: £90

Christmas Misc Actual Spend: £118.70

None of the categories actually went red though, somehow, and I feel thats the important thing.

Anyway for 2022 I’m setting the goals to be £210, £60 and £120 respectively, though with inflation god knows what that’ll look like in practice.

~*~

When switching back and forth between January and December I noticed that January has an extra £30 in “Ready To Assign” Compared to December. I’m not sure why that would be, but seeing as January is all of three days away I might just let it roll over and sort itself out. 

~*~

That tea advent calendar was really nice, but I don’t think I’ll be doing it again. In fact I actually went so far as to delete the category. Simply because – and I didn’t think I would say this – there was too much teaThe calendar had 2 teabags in per day, so I was having one in the morning, one at lunch, and I wouldn’t always feel like a third cup of tea in the evening before bed. My tea stash has been growing uncontrollably because I havent been able to drink any of my at-home stuff! 

I think if someone didnt know the brand or didnt have as much of  a stash at home it would be a really food buy, it just didnt suit me personally. 

~*~

So this is what my budget looks like for the New Year. As always, this does technically add up to more than my average salary is, but I dont often empty every category all the way to zero, so it usually works out 

If you don’t want to read the whole thing, the highlights are

  1. The Dog Food category has gotten more complicated because I want to switch to bulk orders to save money
  2. I’m saving up for a fancy whiskey decanter next year
  3. I bought myself some Sims Packs for Christmas
  4. I’m increasing my House Deposit monthly contribution from £25 to £200! Also I put in £90 extra in December, from that money I couldn’t decide what to do with 
  5. I’m putting extra money into my Emergency Savings, £25 per month, to try get it to a true 3x monthly income instead of 3x expenditure. I’m also putting £25 per month aside for a big emotional goal I mentioned previously, and for general vacation savings, because I’ve heard those are nice occasionally. 

~*~

Weekly Spends

Groceries £160

Household £20

Hobbies £20

Takeout £25

Online Shopping  (no target set)

Stuff I forgot to budget for £20

Medical £10

Monthly Expenses and Bills

Birthday Of The Month £25

Work Misc £10

Human Groom £20

Public Transport £60

Rent £350

Mobile Phone £18

Fancy Tea £31.95 (subscription + a little extra)

Investing £25

Social Spends £50

Charity/Artists (no target set)

RPG Night £20 – I actually don’t know why I still have this category, this group hasn’t met since prepandemic… I guess I’m just not ready to let go yet haha. I should find an online group.

Clothes £25

Dog

Food & Treats £15 – This was actually really hard to set a target for as I want to start ordering bulk food online, but also want to get small treats along the way, but dont really know how long this current bag of dog food will last me. So this is a bit of a guesstimate

Dog Groom £40

Dog Vet Plan £14

Dog Insurance £44.76

Yearly Expenses and Savings Pots

Dr Marten (work shoes) £20 out of £180 – this has been sitting here a while, I guess I don’t want it as much as I originally thought I did, but also I don’t want to take it off or empty it. So here it stays.

Works Night Out £5 per month, let it build up

Whiskey Decanter £90 by Dec ’22 – I really want something like this or this or this or this… I haven’t picked the exact one yet, I can decide in December

Bird Blend Christmas In July £40 by July ’22 

Prescription Prepayment Certificate £110 by Nov ’22

Sims £10 per month, let it build up – Currently at £0 because I bought some packs over Christmas. I’d been letting the category build up for a while as I couldn’t decide between packs, then they had a massive Christmas sale and I spent £60 all at once and with the sale prices I actually managed to get almost everything I wanted 

Tattoo £5 per month, let it build up (currently at £90, sometime in 2022 I can get something done!)(Also, haven’t 100% decided what yet… though I’ve narrowed it down to top 5)

Name Update Documents £10 per month – Just my passport to go, I think

Microsoft Office £5.50 per month (I need to check into when that needs renewing)

Fitbit £130 by July ’22

New Year Whiskey £100 by Dec ’22 – I actually spent £110 in Dec ’21, they’re good salesmen, but I was able to WAM it as I’d only saved £90

Glasses £70 – achieved, just sits there waiting for its moment

FA Diploma £30 per month

Subscription £50 by Feb ’22

Next Phone £31 per month – Currently sitting at £527, not feeling the need to replace my phone just yet, though its been maybe 4 years now

Next Laptop £30 per month – Currently sitting at £660, wanting to stretch this laptop out as long as possible in the hope of saving up enough for a desktop (and desk, and screen, and speakers) next time

Pride Savings £5 per month – Currently sitting at £93.96, Pride seems very much a thing of the Before Times

Dad’s birthday £100 (no target set) – Still havent decided what to do with this

YNAB £90 by Nov ’22 – To account for currency fluctuations, as of today that would be $120 USD but in 11 months who can say

Divorce £1000 (no target set)

Christmas Misc £120 by 25th Dec ’22

Christmas Friends £60 by 25th Dec ’22 (achieved)

Christmas Misc £210 by 25th Dec ’22

Therapy Refill to £200 each month

House Deposit – BIG NEWS – I’m increasing this to £200 at last! The type of account I’m using for this in the UK you can only put a maximum of £200 per calendar month in, Until now I’ve been putting in £25 per month just to keep it ticking over and I’ve been frustrated that I’m not making more progress. So I’ve decided to listen to those frustrations and, now I’m a month ahead, prioritise this. I mean, £200 per month still wont get me very far in a hurry, but I am very excited about this change in pace and direction. Hopefully at some point in the future I can start putting £300 per month aside, then £400. I would need to keep the money stored in two separate places instead of one discrete unit but YNAB doesn’t care about where your money is kept anyway.  Also, I said before I had some money I wasn’t sure what to do with? I did, in the end, move £90 extra than my usual December contribution in my house deposit category & account. It needed to be done by Dec 31st because of the “£200 per calendar month” rule. As of tonight there’s £1207.11 in that account & category. 

Next Move £1000 (no target set)

Emergency Savings £25 per month – Currently at £3000

Big Emotional Goal £25 per month – To try get it to a true 3x monthly income instead of 3x expenditure

Vacation

Canal Boat Training £500 (no target set) – I still need to do this at some point

Vacation Misc £25 per month -No concrete plans just yet, not even a whisper of a plan, just a vague intention to set some money aside to do something fun at some point

~*~

I do have a wishlist category as well but I’m not actively funding those and this post is already long enough

3rd December 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 have had complete choice paralysis over which wishlist categories to put that £200 into (actually £230 because I ran out of regular categories to overfill) 

In the end I’ve tried to “break the seal” and just thrown bits of it into some smaller wishlist items – a travel dog water bottle, a filter for my laptop screen to make it easier on the eyes, and a tea cold brew bottle 

I’ve also taken the opportunity to buy a bulk bag of dog food, see if that works out more cost effective or just more hassle

Big spender, I know

I took a gamble on a £5 puzzle dog toy and he really took to it so I’ve ordered a £20 one to arrive along with the food

Why is it easier to spend money on the dog then myself?!?!

It just feels like theres nothing I really want, double especially theres nothing I want **now**, that I could get for £200

It’s like, either I want a bag of tea and a sims expansion pack (which are both budgeted for)… or I want a house

So I’ve got about £87 left on that holding category that I cant decide on yet

If I cant think of what to do with it by January I’ll put it in my house deposit fund

My other anxiety is that by leaving it unplanned I’ll frittle it away on tat

This may be the most first world problem ever, and there is no one outside of budgeting forums I could talk to about this 

“Oh no, I cant decide what to do with my spare money!”

It’s not exactly that its spare, it’s that it’s an amount large enough I feel I should do something special with it, but too small to do anything truly significant with it

In response to someone asking which dog puzzle I got

are you in the UK? I got mine from Wilko and Pets At Home

This is the Wilkos one 

https://www.wilko.com/en-uk/wilko-interactive-paw-search-reward-dog-toy/p/0507007

This is the Pets At Home one 

https://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/trixie-dog-activity-chess-%28web-exclusive%29

In response to someone asking which RPG games, and games in general, I play

Hi 🙂 Sims and Minecraft would be my main ones, I don’t have much time around work haha. In terms of RPG I do like Divinity: Original Sin 2. I think Massive Chalice could also be called an RPG? 

Stardew Valley is quite a relaxing game, think of it similar to Animal Crossing you may have heard people talk about, you’re a little farmer tending your farm, but there are monsters you can fight if you choose, but you dont have to. 

For something completely different I like Game Dev Tycoon, Rimworld, Prison Architect – but those are more strategy or simulation games, where you have to manage a colony or a prison or a game development company, you don’t play one character, you control multiple characters. Those are more similar to Sims I guess, but slightly more story driven instead of the sandbox style of play Sims has. 

1st December 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’m a month ahead 🥳

I’ve switched all my goals to spending monthly (or spend by date in the case of some of my yearly goals)

I switched the Christmas goals to needed for spending, by date, repeat yearly, but because I’d already spent some on Christmas presents it got a bit confused and wanted me to contribute even more to make up the numbers

I don’t mind that so much – it’s not as if I wont be able to find reasons to spend it, this time of year!

I needed even less than I thought. I knew I wouldn’t need the full £1000 as not all my categories were empty yet, but it was very challenging to work out how much I would need

In the end I had £316 left over after all my categories were refilled

I’ve decided to sprinkle £116 among various categories and overfill them for the Christmas season – I’m talking categories like Social, Take away, etc (…I may have already this morning put in a special Christmas tea order) 

£200 I’ll put into wishlist items, I just havent decided which items yet. At least one wish list item is also on the Christmas list I gave family, so might need to wait and see

Its nice getting to the first of the month and seeing everything in green instead of orange, because the goals are set up properly now

Edit to add: I was also able to refill my E-Fund to £3000, which I originally thought would wait until March

Also, starting my tea advent calendar today! 

In response to a comment

 I did like budgeting on payday but I got fed up with all the goals not quite working right because I budgeted mud month lol 

I’m still going to budget once a month, I’m just shifting the day (though this pay cycle I kind of got to budget twice!)

The actual month ahead/1 month replacement category is just an E-Fund from a different angle