28th February 2022

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.

Crawling into March with literally £10.27 in any category other than sinking funds! Wringing every penny out of the budget this month!

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A confession: I’ve made a slight boo-boo with my budget

Basically earlier this year I increased the standing order from my current account to my house deposit savings account to £200 pm… buuuut forgot to increase my YNAB goal 😬 🤦‍♂️ Anyway so now my House Deposit category has less money in than my House Deposit Account

Not ideal

Luckily I am getting that company bonus in March (budget it on 1st April) so I can figure that out then. There’s a difference of £350

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As a reminder, my pre-tax bonus is roughly £2700, I’m not sure the post tax amount.

High Priority Items (£1190 – £1690)

Sort out HSB ISA discrepancy – £350

Gym – Between £500 and £1000

Food Processor – £40

Extra House Deposit – £200

Extra to yearly goals – £100

Medium Priority Items (£130)

Investment – £100

Birthday Sims – £30

Low Priority (£450)

GoFundMe – £250

4DayWeek – £20

Birthday Knife – £50

Milk Frother – £20

Red Bubble – £20

Scrivener – £50

Books – £40

Total is between £1770 and £2270

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A more detailed breakdown of my current financial standing

On Feb 28th 2021:

My Bank Accounts Net Worth Is £10,596.98

£3050 of that is my Emergency Fund

£1524.78 is in my “Next Month Income” category

£1257 is my House Deposit

£1000 is in my “Next Move” category

£720 is in my “Next Laptop” category

£589 is in my “Next Phone” category

£500 is in my “Canal Boat” category

And then the rest is in smaller categories

My Investing & Pension Net Worth is £11,745.41

£11,335.04 of that is in my work pension, to which I am currently (that is, from my March Paycheque) contributing 8% and my employer is contributing 12.5%

£303.25 is in my bank’s Investment service, I put £25 a month in there and some fund managers do hopefully smart things with it. It’s telling me that over time my investment through them has gone down in value by £6.53

£74.99 is in my Freetrade Account, where I like to pretend I know how to day trade. I dont contribute to this on a regular schedule, but so far I’ve put £71 in it so technically I’m making a profit.

£12.05 is in my Paypal Crypto account, where I like to pretend I know how Bitcoin works. I dont contribute to this on a regular schedule, but so far I’ve put £15 in so I am making a loss at this point.

£20.08 is in a Crowdcube account. This doesn’t seem to change in value so I think it was more of a GoFundMe rather than an Investment.

23rd February 2022

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.

Autism hyperfixation is starting to engage on blogging lol… It’s a powerful one because it’s a hyperfixation (writing) that feeds off another hyperfixation (money). Kind of makes me want to start a Sims blog too. But one thing at a time. Maybe once this is safely transferred across to the new place lol. 

It’s making me want to write more, especially when I keep coming across months where I’ve only posted once or twice. I want to get into a more regular habit of writing on the blog.

I’m currently moving posts across from Feb/Mar 2021 so hopefully within a fortnight the new site will be live? Weird thing about reading posts from a year ago – I’m reading all the posts about my 2021 birthday and how I was wondering if my family would forget my birthday again like they did in 2020, so now I’m wondering it again for 2022 haha

19th February 2022

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 buy a domain name for the blog through wordpress, it’s only £16 annually

I wouldn’t have minded except the free domain has a jumble of numbers in

My free WordPress address is lifeafterdebt518335007.wordpress.com

If it didnt have the numbers in, if it was just .wordpress.com I probably wouldn’t have bothered

I know it’s just a hobby, but so is sims, and god knows I spend more than £16 pa on sims

The domain I’ve bought is life-after-debt.co.uk but the site still isn’t live yet 🙂  but soon! I’m going to transfer posts from Sept 2020 tonight

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It’s reached the 6 monthly mark where I increase my pension % by 1% – I’m now up to 8% personal contributions, and my employer is contributing 12.5%

Is 8% a good contribution rate? A quick google shows me almost as many opinions as there are pages on the internet haha

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In other news: Look at these cute little logos my friend made for me for the site!!!! I’m going to start with the grey gradient one for now but its good to have options.

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A commenter suggested seeing if my Government offered a retirement income calculator, to help me figure out if I was contributing enough

So it turns out they do, but they need me to sign up and provide ID… idk why, I’m not asking for a written promise in stone, I’m 28, I just want a rough idea haha. So that might be a weekend jobbie to try calculate. 

A commenter shared their % investments of their after-tax dollars

 I havent worked out the % because it’ll be quite low but I’ve got a few different investments… one is through my work/bank, where I set up a contribution of £25 pm and put it into a fund that some very smart people manage. I view this as my “serious” investments, where I hope to make money. I just checked it and its actually down by £1.52 so thats disappointing but we’re playing the long game here.

I have a couple of “play” investments, through Freetrade, Crowdcube, and Paypal Crypto. Obviously I hope these will do something productive but they are for fun and I dont contribute to them regularly, its very much whenever I find some change under the metaphorical couch cushion. 

16th & 17th February 2022

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.

16th February 2022

Do you want to hear about an incredibly first world irritation I’m having?

So occasionally I buy small amount of bitcoin through PayPal. And I do mean **small** I’m talking like £5 at a time

It’s mostly as a sort of learning by doing exercise, and also to scratch that FOMO itch without overcommitting

But banks tend to block crypto transactions – which is fine, there are way too many people YOLOing their life savings into dogecoin – but I dont want to get my account blocked over £5

So first I upload the money to / top up my PayPal account, then once the money is in my PayPal account, buy the crypto from there

But the money takes 7 working days to reach PayPal

Not regular days, working days

I requested some money on the 8th and it still hasn’t filtered through, it’s not due to arrive at PayPal until the 17th

(It does show on my account as a transaction, it hasn’t gone wrong)

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I ended up getting a Garmin VivoSmart, it should arrive this weekend. I found one on Amazon – with insurance – for £70, so seemed good.

I’m definitely more tracker than smartwatch, I get too easily distracted by too many different functions. 


17th February 2022

Went to get a pack of Bird Blend chocolate Digestive teabags for my work locker, but they’d run out, which is clearly God’s way of telling me to put in an online order 😛

I got paid today, so obviously that’s nestled in my “income for next month” category now… we got a little extra money this month, a covid bonus of £250 (pre tax) separate to the standard annual bonus next month

I’m really tempted to pull £40 out of my I.F.N.M. category before the 1st to buy a food processor. I’ve compared what I got paid to previous months and I’ll still easily have enough money to cover all my categories. But it would be against the rules. And it wont hurt to wait two weeks. This weekends meal are pretty low intensive on the meal prep. When I was skimming the blog posts I’m transferring across to WordPress for spelling errors etc, I kept catching reference to these BBQ beef wraps I used to make, so I’m going to do those.

14th & 15th February 2022

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.

14th February 2022

OH MY FUCKING GOD you NEED to read this line I just found from a blog post I wrote in January 2020

“This has been great for character building but if 2020 could chill, just a little, I wouldn’t mind”

2020

….This has been great for character building but if I could avoid winning the lottery in 2022 I wouldn’t mind 👀

Anyway another item has snuck it’s way onto my wishlist: a food processor. I eat a lot of veg in my batch cooks, which is great, but prep time is awful and my knees hurt from standing so long. I’ve seen some promising ones for about £40 ish from Argos


15th February 2022

My fitbit broke again yesterday and I am incredibly done w the brand, in the years I’ve had them I’ve had as many replaced as I’ve actually bought

I’m looking at the Garmin range rn. I’ve got about £100 which will get me one of the more basic models.

And hopefully their products will actually last

 I ended up getting a Garmin VivoSmart, it should arrive this weekend. I found one on Amazon – with insurance – for £70, so seemed good.

I’m definitely more tracker than smartwatch, I get too easily distracted by too many different functions. 

12th February 2022

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 working on moving all posts across to WordPress, both from MSE and YNAB forums, and putting it into one chronological blog. I’m slowly remembering how to use wordpress.

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I didnt get the most recent job I went for, but I asked for feedback this time and basically summarised, I looked good on paper but my interview skills need work. But, as a silver lining, work has announced the annual bonuses and they’re pretty tasty this year, making up for last year I guess. I’m pretty sure that if I’d handed in my resignation I wouldn’t get the bonus, even if it was due during my notice. Theoretically, I should, its a reward for out work over the previous year… but I’m pretty sure, if I handed in my notice, I wouldn’t. Now that wouldn’t have been a good enough to turn down a job offer, but it does take the sting out of staying.

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I’ve been given a pre-tax figure of £2700 approx. Not really sure what that works out to, post-tax, but I’ve already written myself up a little wish list. 

The main thing I’d want is a gym membership. Ideally I’d to put enough aside for two years, to give me time to work out how to pay for it monthly. Depending on what kind of membership this seems to be anywhere from £500 to £1000 for two years.

I’d like to put £200 towards the extra house deposit. Overall for the year I want to put £400 extra. 

Similarly, I’d like to put a chunk towards my yearly goals, the bag and the decanter, about £100 total. This wont fulfil the goals for the year but will make them easier to meet of the course of the year. 

I’d like to put £100 into the investment hub thing I do. Normally I just put away the automatic £25 a month but I can make extra deposits when possible. It feels like a responsible thing to do?

There’s a GoFundMe thing I want to do that I want to put £250 in. It feels like a lot so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do it.

In the smaller purchases, there’s a computer program I want to buy for £50 (scrivener, I think I’ve mentioned it before), I want to get one of those sgian dubh kilt knives, they’re so pretty, I want to put £30 towards my birthday Sims expansion, I want to buy a milk frother for £20, a redbubble notebook for £20, and another charity donation for £20. 

Overall this adds up to £1340 to £1840 (depending on gym membership) so depending on how much tax is taken off depends on how much of that I can achieve. 

I’m also somewhat concerned that maybe I should be putting me away more permanently in case of cost of living rises, which are starting to creep in at the edges, so maybe I shouldn’t spend all of it?

I have time to think about it though as this paycheck doesn’t hit until late march so I dont even budget it until April 1st.

Also, when I’m transferring posts across to WordPress, I keep coming across little moments like “Oh I just finished the month without going into my overdraft, I still have money the day before payday!” and in my head I just hear this clip.

9th February 2022

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 February started with an email that the YNAB forums (where I was double-posting this journal) are closing, so now I’m in the process of digging up my wordpress account and moving this somewhere a bit more accessible

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In the meantime, some updates from the most hectic fortnight I’ve had in while

– I’m officially dating someone! As in, Facebook-official and everything  😎  They’re non-binary like I am and they’re wonderful

– My ex has agreed to go ahead with the divorce – as long as I pay for it, which I can afford if it doesn’t get messy. I expected him to say as much. At this point in time I’ve sent in my documents and paid the big fee, so now I’m just waiting to see if he keeps to his word. Even if he does, it’s still a 6 month process.

– Made some progress towards a diagnosis on some joint issues. This is also a long term process, about 18  months before I see the person I really need to see. In the meantime I bought some knee braces, which arrived today. Its a weird mix of emotions. On the hand, excited at the prospect of some relief on my knees. On the other hand… I guess I’m just wearing these forever now? They’re a very visible symbol of disability, and I’m kind of uncomfortable with that, although I think some of my trousers are loose enough to cover them.

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But this is a finance blog, not a health blog

It’s been a rough few months – my net worth has dropped two months in a row. First Christmas, then Divorce, both saved up for and budgeted for, but it pains me a little to see my new worth drop by that much. It’s dipped below 10k again. 

But that’s also insane, by the way, that I’m irritated my Net Worth has dipped below 10k? That I even have a Net Worth to care about?

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I’ve decided not to pursue the financial advisor diploma anymore. It doesnt seem to be working for me, and honestly I felt so relieved when I made that decision, and that in itself told me it was the right thing to do.

I haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to do instead. I’m pondering a mortgage qualification instead – I have transferable credits – but I’ve also got some non-financial job interviews lined up, Well, one interview, and one application I feel really good about. 

I finally decided to break down that leftover money from Dad’s Holiday Birthday Present and redistributed the money for myself. Some of it went into buying a black suit jacket for interviews. Some of it went into buying an electric blanket and a weighted blanket. One for temperature cozies and one for emotional cozies.

Part of me also wants to join a gym, more specifically one with a swimming pool. It’s meant to be easier on the joints than running. But its figuring out what to cut to fund that subscription… I’m going to have a yearly bonus in March, and hopefully I’ll have some leftover money from the Divorce category later in the year. Maybe one of those could be used to buy a  years subscription? But then I have to save up for next year… 

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I’m going to be resurrecting my wordpress account and moving this over to there. I’ll post the link when it’s ready. Partly I’m going to ask a friend to draw a lil logo for me, I’m guessing once it leaves official YNAB forums its probably a bad idea to use a recolour of the logo, legally speaking. 

I’ll probably be publishing old posts from previous months/years first of all so that it all makes sense. I haven’t decided exactly how I’ll copy across comments, but I’ll paraphrase as much as I can, because I dont want to spend time tracking down anyone who ever commented on here and ask them for permission to copy their words across to a new site. 

Hopefully I’ll put another update here soon! About WordPress, or about budgeting

A lot of commenters talked about moving to A Budget That Works, but you do have to have an invite