A few years ago, I realized that I needed to find a way to budget my money better. I was making my bills but at times was sinking. After a divorce from a man that made three times what I make, trying to maintain the same house is very difficult. Very few of the expenses have gone down. Electric a little, food is the most. Propane probably but not significantly. Water is a well so that didn’t change. Then I had car trouble that cost me  a couple of thousand and the ex reneged on paying for auto insurance for our son so I had to pay that. I started drowning and started looking for a program to help me budget. I had used money software before but it didn’t help with budgeting, just tracking. I felt I needed more than that so did an online search. I found YNAB (click for referral link) also known as You Need A Budget. I found a few others but the reviews on this one were very good. I signed up for my thirty day trial and have never looked back. I am still struggling but at least I have a plan and I know where my money is supposed to go. The web site has many online classes to help you get your finances in order and four basic rules.

  1. Give every dollar a job.
  2. Embrace your true expenses.
  3. Roll with the punches.
  4. Age your money.

I love these rules. No other budget program that I have looked at has ever had anything besides tracking money. These rules work and make life so much less stressful. I may not have aged my money enough to be relaxed about things but it is getting better and since I know where every dollar is going, it is so much easier to plan.

Rule number one is exactly what it says. You get paid, you plan where it is going to be spent. You not plan money until you have it.

Rule number two helps you plan ahead for the big expenses so you don’t have “sticker shock” when the bills arrive or Christmas comes or whatever your expenses are.

Rule number three is to be flexible. It gives you permission to move money from a category that you didn’t use all the funds and put it in a category that needs more.

Rule number four will get you out of the paycheck to paycheck cycle. If your money is over thirty days old, you are spending last months money for this months expenses. It sure helps if you run into a problem.

I love YNAB. My eldest daughter loves it and a friend of mine uses it for her business, too. Working on the budget is actually not something I dread anymore. I look forward to getting more money so I can do step one with it, not spend it. I haven’t bounced a check since I started using this. I no longer make the mistakes or oversights. I know longer dread paying bills as I know the money  is there.

I am sharing this here because I believe in the product and if someone signs up with my referral link, I actually get a free month. Does anyone else already use YNAB? Do you have success stories? This is helping me get out of debt and stop stressing about money. That alone makes it worth it.

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This morning, after scanning another receipt, I thought I would share this with my readers. I joined this a few months ago.  It’s an easy to use, cash back rewards app. I use it every time I shop, and thought you would like it too! Use my referral code, txfndct, and you can get a $10 welcome bonus. Sign up at https://ibotta.com/r/txfndct

I have earned almost $45 so far just by scanning receipts. I haven’t bought anything that I don’ normally buy. I have noticed that often the weekly items parallel the sale items, too. You buy your items, come home, scan your receipt and the products.

I have started trying to find ways to make money with not doing much. This is one that I have been using and I have had the most success with this one.

I am trying so hard to not be negative and not distrust but it is so hard for me.

Ice Cream guy and I were supposed to be together on Friday night. I have a friend that I occasionally go out with for drinks on Friday night.  Two weeks ago, I didn’t join him and his wife (also a good friend) to be with ice cream man. I haven’t hung out with this friend in a while and wanted to catch up. I asked ice cream guy if he would mind us joining the other friend for a short while. If he had said no, I would have been okay with it. He doesn’t drink but has also told me that he is regularly a DD for his friends and was okay in bars. He had met my friend briefly a couple of weeks ago and wanted them to get to know each other, The other guy (Coke dealer) and I have been friends for 31 years. I met him and his wife before they knew each other at the same time.  We have maintained this friendship. Our families are close. He is like a brother to me. He looks out for me and my kids and I am there for him and his family. I didn’t want to stay long but thought it would go okay. Boy, was I wrong.

I had thought the wife was coming also until the last minute. She ended up going to one of their kids as she was in crisis AGAIN. Ice Cream guy shows up, the guys talk for a minute but my guy is very quiet. Coke guy goes to restroom and ice cream guy says this isn’t his scene and was very cold. Friend came back, ice cream guy leaves minutes later and won’t talk to me. I freak out. I cannot date someone that won’t talk to me, that just walks away upset and won’t tell me why. Friend tells me to go after him. I did but he told me to leave him alone and kept walking. I went back to bar and proceeded to cry. Coke guy asked if he was the problem or the bar but I had no idea what triggered him. I tried calling him but his phone was off. I finished my beer and went home and cried for hours.

I texted him good morning on Saturday and he finally responded. He stated that I did nothing wrong. He had spent the afternoon looking at finances and was upset about his income.  He said he needed the weekend. So I texted him back and told him I would give him his space. I haven’t heard from or contacted him since.

There is a part of me that wants to just say to hell with him. He was a jerk and unreasonable to not talk to me.  I also know that it is hard to make it here financially and he really wants to stay here. He is having a hard time finding a decent place to live that is affordable. Having me in his life has definitely complicated matters. He actually found a place a couple of weeks ago but told me it wouldn’t work because WE would have no privacy. I know how men can internalize these things and how money can be such an issue. He actually has told me that he has had gals break up with him in the past because he didn’t make enough.  I don’t know what is going to happen now. I do know that if this continues with us, he needs to know that for me, what he did the other day was way to hard for me to deal with. I need communication. If he had just said, I had a rough day and cannot handle this I would have understood. I will not be with a man that just shuts down like that when upset. I did that for years. Never again.

As difficult as it is, I will not contact him until he contacts me. No good morning, no good night, no how are you? There is part of me that wants to just close off my heart to  men completely now. It hurt so much the other night. Is it worth it? I am not sure. My playing the field with guys with no thought of a future was not painful at all just lonely at times. I guess I will wait and see for now and give him a chance, if he wants it. If not, I will continue taking care of myself and enjoying life.