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YNAB doesn't work!

August 21st, 2015 at 05:33 pm

Just after I started to use YNAB, I made a quick trip to my local food co-op to grab two items that I knew were on last day of sale. I ended up spending $50! I thought my new found budgeting with YNAB would prevent such impulsive spending. Ok, guess I can't really blame a program for my own poor habits. Smile

Actually, I have been enjoying tinkering with YNAB, figuring out how it works and whether or not I will take the plunge and purchase it for $60 (I most likely will). It's fun!

Shout outs to Buendia and BudgetBrillance - thank you for taking time to share your YNAB experiences on my last post - very helpful. I have taken two of the live classes and continue to play with it. I still don't fully understand the entire process, but I assume that mastery will come soon enough. I know I will have to face some feelings of disappointment and anger when I realize how I have NOT been utilizing my money in satisfying ways or, in other words, have been wasting a lot of it. But I guess there's no time like the present to march forth and try again.
One thing that I have noticed is that when I track my spending, I tend to spend less! I've been a tracking machine this August, but consequently, I don't really have much to track.

My biggest challenge now is that I am moving into a very busy and stressful time at work that will last through early December. This is when I start to lose my grip and then it's hello stress eating. I spend too much money on takeout food (mostly lunch), junk food (why yes, I would love to veg out on the couch with a pint of chocolate peanut butter ice cream after a long day at work...thank you for suggesting it evil subconscious) and buying healthy food that I never get around to preparing and end up wasting. I will also forget about YNAB and then my newfound budgeting skills will languish. My health, waistline and finances will suffer. Sounds very dramatic, but I know myself and my patterns very well. I will have to think about ways to help myself through this time so that I don't completely fall apart.

I've managed to shed a little weight in the last few weeks and would like to keep it off. I know that self care is all about daily routines and habits, but I'm not a "routine" person. I will just need to take it one day at time.

Ok, so now I will focus on today in a positive way. It's gorgeous outside. I'm having a productive day at work. I want to walk after work and then spend a quiet evening at home. I'll spend Saturday at home puttering and relaxing. My friend D is visiting on Sunday. I'm taking Monday off for a road trip to see an art exhibit with my friend A, which should be a fun and not too expensive day ($20 admission, maybe $10 gas and I am planning on taking food with me although my friend will probably want to eat out).

I've received more free food - a handful of small tomatoes from a neighbor's garden, a pint of cherry tomatoes from a work colleague, and two peaches from another colleague's tree. I also scored some leftover crackers, cheese and grapes from a work reception last week.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

6 Responses to “YNAB doesn't work! ”

  1. snafu Says:

    Kudos to you for a very honest outline of your money management. What is your goal for the money you wish to retain? Would you consider leaving ATM & CCs in the fridge freezer and use cash only to help curb your tendency toward impulse spending? with a serving of fruit to look after your body with energy needed for the upcoming stressful day? The thing is to train your brain to understand that take-out or fast food is twice as expensive and offers less than half the health benefits because it's full of unpronounceable chemicals and preservatives, along with a ton of sugar, salt and fat to make it palatable. Better to burn $ 20. bills on the doorstep.

    Please understand I don't want to upset you or make you angry, I'm seeking a path to make it easy peasy to use money in a way that benefits you, gets you through each day with feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction even if you had to conscientiously follow a boring, 21 days of routine to establish important habits that benefits you the most.

  2. snafu Says:

    Oh, I didn't notice this wretched computer dropped an entire paragraph. I was trying to suggest dropping 5 ingredients in a crockpot/slo cook each Saturday morning to create sufficient food to make up 5 different take to work lunches supported by an different easy peasy side each day like bagged salad, rice, pasta, potato, squash, quinoa, dinner roll, pita etc. Even worse, I wanted you to have a hot breakfast like cooked oatmeal or wheatlets or kasha supported with a helping of fruit to get you through travel, arrival and kick off of a difficult, stressful day...

  3. VS_ozgirl Says:

    I totally agree with the tracking- when I use my phone app to track (which is most weekends except for on holidays and the rare super busy weekend) it is much easier to stay within your allocated spend. As for snacks when in your super busy time- start with making a few small changes here and there.. When bored on the couch work out some bulk preparation ideas like the crockpot idea, preparation of food bags for smoothies which you can freeze? And maybe get yourself into the mindset of how much time it takes in a busy day to go out and buy your lunch (how I personally think on this one)- if you spend 3 minutes making a sandwich the night before you don't have to spend 10 minutes out of the office buying it, you just eat and take a few minutes to recharge

  4. alice4now Says:

    Ah yes, YNAB has a way of pointing out the "uglies" in our spending! I just blogged about this very thing, how I discovered just how much I have really been spending on clothes and personal maintenance for the family.

    I also see fast food as an easy fix when I'm feeling super tired or stressed, even though I feel worse afterwards. That is on my list of habits to change!

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I'm right with you with the fast food and the chocolate peanut butter ice cream when stressed ... and the total losing track of money. This year is the first time I've gone so long with almost 100% accurate tracking - almost 9 months - before I might make it 3 or 4 months before stopping tracking.

  6. rob62521 Says:

    You aren't going to change habits overnight, but you are trying and learning from your mistakes!

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