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    • Jigglebiz
    • By Jigglebiz 27th Jan 18, 12:54 PM
    • 21Posts
    • 31Thanks
    Geeking out with YNAB
    • #1
    • 27th Jan 18, 12:54 PM
    Geeking out with YNAB 27th Jan 18 at 12:54 PM
    Hello all

    I'm a long time lurker but thought it was time to start my own DFD and get these numbers out of my head. It's exhausting trying to calculate things constantly and helps so much to get it down.

    The level of my debt is small compared to many, and for that I'm grateful. At the moment it stands at:

    £1000 - family debt, have committed to repaying £167 per month for six months from Feb
    £813 - student overdraft - now graduate and still at 0%. Reverts to 18.9% in September 18.
    TOTAL = £1813

    The problem lies in our ability to pay it back as we have a low income. My income is highly variable and my partner's is fixed but low. We are both working on increasing income but due to study alongside this work we will likely stay on the income for the next 3+ years. I promise I will post a full SOA as soon as I am able to clarify things.

    I have been using YNAB this month as it has dawned on me that we should really be having a better hold on the finances. I used it a year or two ago for at least 18 months and made great progress, but dropped off it when I took time out to study (am mid career change hence the low and variable salary right now). I know that I could have used YNAB while a student, but there was guilt at play because I was using savings to pay for my living costs (planned, but most of the money originated from an inheritance from a close relative and that money has now pretty much gone). Hence the guilt.

    I'm learning to save and have a £1000 emergency fund so now I'm prioritising reducing the debt. Unfortunately we have already committed to a 2 week but modest holiday in April - if flights and accommodation hadn't already been booked I would be cancelling, but if we do so now we will lose the lot. I need to save £400 £300 spending money and £100 towards car rental and petrol.

    The family debt is my priority because the person that lent it to me needs it urgently. So I will try and throw any spare cash at this first - my original plan was to pay £167 to the family debt for 6 months and £100ish to the student overdraft every month. However, the advice seems to be that it's more motivating to eliminate one debt at a time.

    Unfortunately living costs and the commitment to the holiday in April now mean spare cash is low. I also am forseeing an income shortfall in July-September of around £950 a month due to my job ceasing at that time. I have made enough to get by writing on freelancing sites before so my plan of action is to address those. My income is likely to be higher in March, April, and June so I will be skimming off anything above a certain level to put towards the 'lean' Summer months.

    Any other ideas for topping up income over the summer? I would be limited to evenings due to holiday childcare. I can earn £25-40 ph writing as it is a specialist area but perhaps a more regular evening job on top could help things along? I struggle with the idea of £7.50 for bar work etc. simply as it is so much less and involves more expenses (travel, food) than the higher rate I can earn from writing. However, this is very variable and I would like to have a plan in place that means I don't risk increasing the debt.

    A big impetus for getting back into reading MSE forums and starting again with YNAB was the feeling that we were risking falling deeper into debt, so we are budgeting carefully at the moment.

    So my priorities are in this order:

    1. Emergency fund of £1000 to try and limit immediate debt (DONE Jan 18)
    2. Repay family debt at £167 per month for 6 months (Started Feb 18)
    3. Save £250 per month for holiday in April (£232 saved Feb 18)
    4. Pay off student overdraft

    5. Contribute to rainy day funds
    5. Save up a larger emergency fund to cover 3-6 months expenses

    I am looking forward to being paid over the next few days so I can geek out with YNAB!

    Last edited by Jigglebiz; 31-01-2018 at 10:07 AM.
Page 2
    • Jigglebiz
    • By Jigglebiz 20th Feb 18, 8:12 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    Updates on my plans for the month:

    - Been saving up pennies and a couple of foreign coins I've found Done, have - - added at least £5 of loose change over the month
    - lowered the price of my eBay BIN prices in an attempt to shift them ASAP Done, and it worked! Need to list more
    - been walking to or from work every day, only saves £1 each time but it means I get a bit more exercise in and improves my mood Less than once a day, plus have been buying weekly bus pass as it does save me a little
    - Go to the computer place and get them to wipe the data on my old (broken) laptop. They said they'd do this for free. I have scheduled to do this early next month due to time restrictions with preparing for interviews this month
    - List said laptop on eBay - should fetch £150ish just for parts.
    - Stick a couple of other items online Will be early March
    - Allocate £60 I've earned through business insurance with Quidco towards the student O/D This has been delayed but is earmarked for debt
    - NOT book the hotel I was tempted to book the night before my 2nd important interview coming up. I've already booked a 7am train that day and while staying in a hotel might mean I arrive a little fresher, the £60 for the room plus dinner and breakfast feels a bit of a luxury right now TBH Didnít book it, and was glad of it

    Progress made, but still some way to go
    • Jigglebiz
    • By Jigglebiz 25th Feb 18, 8:54 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    Quick update as it's nearly the end of the month now.

    I'm falling into the risky trap of spending based on projected income - I know that this is totally not YNAB's ethos. It's difficult when you've been scrimping so hard for months/years and finally the prospect of a little more money... new underwear! a heated propagator! Grass seed! I must keep myself focused.

    As I have the third (and final) of this gruelling round of interviews coming up, the stress of it all led to an overspend in Home Bargains on garden lawn seed, fertiliser, and plastic boxes I have managed to adjust my categories accordingly, but stole money from the car insurance category which is very naughty.

    I find meal planning very beneficial for economising but hate the process of planning it all. We're starting afresh with a Google sheet rather than paper (partner can't read my writing) and going to try on a monthly basis instead (reduces the frequency of doing the bloody thing and could save on bulk buying). First delivery is scheduled to arrive to coincide with payday next week but I need to fill and sort out my basket.

    Busy week ahead so will try and get some baking done today. Trying to cut down eating vegetable oils at the moment and finding they turn up in all store bought foods really.
    • Jigglebiz
    • By Jigglebiz 28th Feb 18, 4:38 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    Payday update!
    We've received income from our jobs and the rent has been paid.

    This month my pay is significantly up from last month's. This is because I worked more hours and I have been refunded the tax deducted in error from last month. Using a spreadsheet, I've worked out a base level income of £940 per month and anything over that I will put aside for the leaner months. If I stick to this, it should mean that during the Summer I won't need to frantically look for additional freelance work.

    Here's what I've allocated to each master category:

    Total income received: £3,318.03

    Debt Repayments: £371
    Fixed Monthly Bills: £1217.44
    Fixed Expenses Rental Flat: £314 (this includes tax saved this month)
    Variable Monthly Expenses: £471.37
    Fixed Non-Monthly Expenses: £133.47
    Savings toward selling and buying properties: £284
    Holiday: £170
    Optional Expenses (Fun): £55
    Long-term Savings Goals: £240

    Future income

    • I turned down one of the freelance jobs I'd been offered last month. It could have netted me an extra £700 but I no longer have time and there is a potential conflict of interest there that could be risky for me. I am grateful not to have to say yes to everything - this marks definite progress over the last 3-6 months

    • I'm expecting around £250 for some work I'll do during March that is relevant to my career change, so it has benefits beyond the pay. I expect to receive pay for this in April or even May.

    • I have just put in a pay claim for this month that will allow me to budget similarly to the above but also put around £700 towards the variable income fund

    I'm not sure if it would be better thrown at the debt? At the moment neither are accumulating interest and I'm paying a fixed amount each month.
    • savingholmes
    • By savingholmes 4th Mar 18, 10:48 PM
    • 8,945 Posts
    • 16,946 Thanks
    Congratulations. Great progress.

    emergency fund sounds like a good plan if you are in a 0% deal anyway - no point overpaying other than to reduce temptation. Try to put it somewhere you can earn some interest...
    Today is a new day £33/310 £10 a day Mar Challenge DFD August 2021
    • Jigglebiz
    • By Jigglebiz 6th Mar 18, 5:45 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    Thanks savingholmes yes Iím keeping my variable income fund in an account that pays de
    cent in-credit interest, and I get gift card top ups as long as I pay in a certain amount.

    I have slipped up again lately, and I think this is due to my original plans being overly ambitious. I really find the emotional grind of restricting so much very difficult. I guess I got used to splurging often over the years - I grew up with pretty poor financial role models and its only in my twenties that I taught myself about th8ngs like interest, investments, etc. Still feel I have a long way to go.

    I find one area particularly challenging - buying clothes for myself. I can happily eradicate almost all eating out and cafe spending, but for clothing itís difficult to draw a line because obviously I do NEED some clothes, but I can never tell whether Iím being reasonable in terms of how much it costs. I lost some weight over the past few years and Marie Komdoíd my wardrobe. I was left with barely anything ! I tried on all possible combinations the other day and got to 13, but 4 of those are interview/funeral/wedding outfits,,

    If I buy cheap stuff from primark it lasts no more than 3-6 months, so I prefer to get better quality stuff (not designer or branded, just better fabrics like wool) . I always buy in the sales or via secondhand or eBay, but even so I can find this racking into the hundreds at the start of the season. Is this normal??!! My job needs me to be well professionally dressed, Iím just not paid enough to reflect this in my wardrobe!

    I would love a proper splurge without thinking about the cost implications. Iím just trying to identify what is a fair amount to put towards clothing. Find myself feeling really guilty when I spend anything at all these days, then it leads to a vicious cycle...
    • savingholmes
    • By savingholmes 10th Mar 18, 3:02 PM
    • 8,945 Posts
    • 16,946 Thanks
    I suppose the question on clothes is what can you afford. I decided to allow each member of the family £25 per person per month - but only give it as an allowance quarterly - that way we had £75 to spend at once. I found compared to fritter spending on clothes I had to have for me or others it saved me money..... If I want more - I have to use my "pocket money" for the month. I allow myself and OH £50 each to spend guilt-free.
    Today is a new day £33/310 £10 a day Mar Challenge DFD August 2021
    • Jigglebiz
    • By Jigglebiz 10th Mar 18, 10:12 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    Yes, I!!!8217;ve realised that I need to treat clothes just like another (non-monthly) expense. I get a lot of pleasure from clothes so I!!!8217;m happy to spend my fun money on them too, so my renewed plan is similar to what you suggest B]savingholmes[/B]. Our fun money is currently only £10 a month each though, I need to cut the budget some slack and be more realistic...

    Plans that still need attention:
    - clear and list old laptop on eBay
    - go through old clothes that have been put aside and decide what to sell and what to donate to charity
    - photo and list for eBay
    - exchange money in advance of holiday in April. Have already sorted a Revolut card and charged it with £10 so far

    Good news...
    - £29 extra income to allocate to categories with overspend (birthdays this month)
    - £45 income to allocate to holiday spending
    - monthly shop has gone well and we have only needed to buy the odd milk and a cheap ready meal for Friday night
    - making own bread with bread maker
    - bought very cheap seeds from Wilko and resisted heated propogator in favour of a DIY hot water bottle design using leftover kettle water after tea and coffee. Going to set this up tomorrow !

    All going ok.
    • Jigglebiz
    • By Jigglebiz 11th Mar 18, 8:27 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    Oh dear ! Donít know what happened to the formatting on my previous post. Have created a signature, letís see if this works...

    Total debt outstanding: Jan 18 -£1813 / Feb 18 -£1649 / Mar 18 -£1278
    Emergency fund (includes variable income fund): Jan 18 £1000 / Feb 18 £1000 / Mar 18 £1220
    House Buy/Sell Fund: Jan 18 £0 / Feb 18 £184 / Mar 18 £568

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