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Archive for May, 2018

Forecasting

May 30th, 2018 at 06:04 am

The one drawback (and that's debatable since it's not the purpose) of YNAB is being able to forecast. I get the methodology, but I do like to think ahead a bit. Right now, I'm still forecasting through my Excel spreadsheet. This morning was enlightening...

DH will be going away for most of June. During this time, he will not be collecting a paycheck. (Side note: he will get paid afterwards for the entire time. Plus, he will get the difference in pay between his normal work and the 3 weeks' pay.) I don't know why it didn't occur to me before to look at this info and make sure we were covered.

In my forecasting today, I mapped out scenarios for budgeting for all expenses, only the 'necessary' ones (including cash for groceries/fuel/pets), and only the ones that required cash on hand (not ideal, but I could set groceries/pets to 0, and assume minimal fuel costs which would come out of only my fuel money). I also mapped out scenarios where I finished paying the BoA CC as planned versus using that money to cut into the deficit.

I still have to discuss with DH to make a decision, but it looks like if we only go with paying the minimums on things that require cash on hand, hold off on BoA payoff (no payment due this money/0% until September) and assume no grocery or pet money/minimal fuel costs, then we can get by without adding debt. We will have to temporarily borrow from the EF until DH's pay comes in, but that will only be a week at the beginning of July. And realistically, we probably won't have to raid it all because I don't account for rent payments from little bro, but that will cover the deficit.

It's going to be a really tough June...tax money may come in during the month which would alleviate some pressure, but again, not counting on it. When that arrives and DH's bigger checks come in July, we'll be able to put a pretty decent buffer in place to prep for when this happens again in August. I'm not sure why I stuck my head in the sand when I knew this was coming, but c'est la vie. We'll get through it.

About the car and another debt gone

May 22nd, 2018 at 04:37 am

The car's been on our radar for awhile. I have a 8 year old coupe style car. DH and I would like to have kids and we knew that at that point, we'd have to get something a bit bigger and safer. DH gets a bonus this summer that should be between 5 and 6k take home. The plan was to use that and bank the snowball after these next two debt payoffs to put about 10k down on a new CR-V (the redesigned model with the safety driving features). However, after reading Total Money Makeover and thinking it through, I decided it wasn't worth it. **Side note** I'm still pro-new car. Despite the cost and instant depreciation, I find comfort in the fact that I know exactly what's happened to it and where it's been. **End Note** Right now, it just doesn't make financial sense. We can get a decent older CR-V for that same 10k outright, bank the monthly car payment, insurance & property tax difference for 5-7 years and then buy something nicer. For now, I will continue to drive my car until kids become more of a reality than a pipe dream.

In other news, goodbye Wells Fargo student loan! It was kind of silly to pay it since it was only 5%, but it was the next smallest one and freed up $50 to the snowball. Next month is the BoA CC that has 0% interest (the promotional period ends later this year and it was low-hanging fruit) and then we'll split the snowball into the higher CC debts and the car savings.

This is why I love YNAB.

May 21st, 2018 at 04:39 am

So that $53 I got refunded? I had put it in as a refund inflow transaction to the Home Maintenance category. Imagine surprise when my credit card went negative! Thinking it through, I realized this makes perfect sense because I had already paid the credit card bill including the $53, so those dollars already had a job: credit card payback. I was able to fix it by budgeting more to the credit card payment (we're still carrying some debt on our everyday use card from DD1's euthanasia/cancer treatments last year). Then my TBB went negative until I cleared the $53 from my Home Maintenance fund. Here I was thinking we had that money back when realistically, it had already done a different job.

Fortunately, I'll be able to replenish that $53 on my next paycheck by allocating the money that was going to go to credit card payments to the Home Maintenance fund instead.

In other news, we have very loose plans to buy a car in the next year or so. I think I've finally managed to get DH on board with the plan to pay cash for a used car! That's a story for another day, but quite the win.

Thanks Google!

May 19th, 2018 at 07:39 pm

Normally, I'm weirded out by Google's stalking, but in this case, it paid off. DH got a Google notification that an item he had viewed was the cheapest it's been in 3 weeks. It was a battery push mower that we had bought for $200. I looked up Home Depot's policy and sure enough, they do price adjustments. The mower was 25% off, so we'll be getting $53 back. Pretty awesome deal.

Small Payday

May 18th, 2018 at 03:50 am

DH got his check today. It was smaller than normal due to him being out of town for two days last week. Everything's been budgeted. We decided to forgo a big anniversary dinner. Instead, we'll see the new Star Wars movie for $6.25 each on Regal's discount day. I'm even going to forgo the snacks which is kind of a huge deal for me. I budgeted $15 to entertainment to cover that. I think the 23rd is Chick-Fil-A's military appreciation day, so we'll probably do that as well since it's a free meal.

I've topped off most of my sinking fund categories and have a few more to do when my paycheck comes in next week.

I'm waiting on several items to come in/resolve: state and federal returns (totaling about $900) and a Swagbucks order (about $5 which would give me the $25 I need to do a Paypal withdrawal).

Rough Weekend

May 15th, 2018 at 05:04 am

This weekend was really tough. We had a 1-yr. old's birthday party and Mother's Day. Suffice it to say, I didn't handle it well. I took yesterday off and am feeling much better today. On the positive side, DH's parents came over to grill for Mother's Day dinner. They brought everything which was a bunch of steaks, ribs, hot dogs, and wings, plus rice and cake. Other than making one plate for DH's brother who was working, they left everything else with us. So while there's only $27ish left in the grocery budget and half a month to go, we should be okay. This will be the second month sticking to the $250 and minimal eating out. (We did get Five Guys one night since they opened one close by to us, and we'll have our anniversary dinner somewhere - both budgeted.)

Money In, Money Out

May 9th, 2018 at 12:57 pm

I got an email two days ago reminding me that two of my animals have their annual wellness visits coming up. Even though I'm working on building up an Animal Fund, there certainly isn't enough in there to handle their checkups. I was a little bummed that we'd likely have to add debt or raid our small EF, but decided to do what I could to mitigate the damage. One of those things was finally following up on our Aflac claim from the early delivery. I was expecting a couple hundred from that, but it turns out that we're getting just under $1200 back. We'll be using that to cover the animals' checkups, knock out one of the smaller debts, and add some to our sinking funds/buffer.

Weekend Spending and other musings

May 7th, 2018 at 05:06 am

This was the first weekend in a long time where there was frivolous spending, and even then, it wasn't terrible. There was a local air show that my brothers and I attended. Although it was free, there was a suggested donation of $5/adult. I put in $5 to cover all 3 of us. It is a completely free, amazing event covered only by donations and sponsors. In future years, I'd like to donate the full suggested amount (or more), but for this year, I stuck to 5 bucks. We also spent $12 at 7-11 beforehand to get some snacks/waters to round out the pb&j sandwiches I'd packed. (Our pantry was pretty meager since I'd been so determined to stick to the $250 grocery budget.)

All told, we had a full day of fun for less than $18 since the snacks lasted past that day. I gave the last $2 of that $20 to my older brother to buy 2 burritos on his 1.5 hr drive home. I also spent $4 later Saturday evening to buy a Wendy's 4 for $4 for my little brother.

No eating out for me, but I actually will be eating out today from my $5 fun money as I didn't pack lunch. In my ridiculously poor planning, I left my wallet in my husband's car this past weekend which ended up on base during his drill time. Since I couldn't access it, I didn't make it to Costco as planned to do the grocery shopping for the week because I didn't get my wallet back until after they closed yesterday.

Dinner meal plan for the week is all set up. I plan on doing the $250 grocery budget again, but added a separate Household category which will start with $50. I know we'll need to split it eventually and since I'm feeling more comfortable with YNAB, I decided to do it now. I know we'll need laundry detergent and cooktop scrubbing pads out of household, but that's all for the moment. I also need to start a separate Zaycon Fresh category.

We (sort of) made it!

May 1st, 2018 at 07:24 am

There's about a buck in the grocery budget until Friday (maybe Thursday) with a dinner meal plan in place. Lunches and breakfasts are a little more up in the air. I did slightly cheat in that I got $8 cash on Saturday and used that yesterday for spaghetti sauce and creamer.

May is our anniversary month. I'm right behind Laura and we'll hit our two years in 3 weeks. DH got me the Xbox Kinect and 2 dancing games. I'd been debating signing up for Zumba classes somewhere, so this lets me do it at home. I had budgeted fun money out of joint account for a soccer jersey for DH, but I'm going to pay that money back from my own funds so the jersey can be his gift.

Otherwise, we're just waiting for Friday's paycheck to begin May budgeting.