Yes, I'm at it again! Well, I haven't really stopped with my obsession with YNAB and budgeting - just trying not to blabber about it as much.
But every morning, with my coffee, I go back and forth from staring at my budget to browsing the YNAB forum. Because I am now buffered (i.e., living on last month's income), there's not much for me to do on the budget on a daily basis, but I still like absorbing it.
I have clearly defined savings goals: the first two are $2k in Car Maintenance and $300 for Theatre Tickets, and both should be accomplished with my tax refund. Of course, the Car Maintenance will decrease almost immediately as I believe I'll need brakes next service, but I'll be so much closer! And while I realize most people wouldn't make theatre tickets a number 2 savings goal, I'm still me and if I don't budget for it, I will get myself into trouble. A budget is, after all, not supposed to control you but the other way around. Theatre is an important value and I don't mind spending money on it.
That's truly what YNAB has helped me do. Not just the software and forums, but the blog and the podcasts all remind me that my money should go towards what's important to me.
We haven't missed DirecTV (and my electric bill went down almost $20 this month!). Oh, I've missed a few things here and there. I'd been listening to the State of the Union in the car, and if I still had cable, I would've turned it on when we got home. I could have found it online, but I didn't want to be bothered. Riley had had enough of it anyway, so instead I spent some time with her - way more fun! I purchased a Roku and subscribed to HuluPlus, so I watch The Daily Show a day late (which usually was the case anyway) and a few shows, I will have to wait until the season is over - but then I can binge watch. And even with the monthly subscriptions, I'm still saving over $60 a month. (Not to mention the lower electric bill.)
There are other savings goals waiting in the wings. Those categories are currently hidden because I've decided it's better to take them one at a time rather than trying to sprinkle a little here and there. It's similar to why I don't multi-task; one thing at a time works so much better for me.
Except when it comes to paying down debt. While I'm not doing a "snowball" or "avalanche," as many financial experts say, I'm paying more than the minimum. It's been a year now since I've charged anything, and I'm happy and relieved about that. But I don't want to find myself in a situation like I have before where the credit card is my only option. (Interesting that at that time, I wasn't at all ready to let go of the cable. What a difference a year makes.) It's becoming more important to me to pay off that debt nearly every day, but I also have to do what's comfortable for me. My safety net isn't quite as secure as I'd like it to be to throw everything at it just yet.
But it's so much stronger than it was a year ago. I'm loving the progress I've made, and feel pretty good about it.
So today only, YNAB is available for 50% off using this discount. I do not get any referral fee for that discount, but this link has a smaller discount and generates a small referral fee for me and is available every day.