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WHY on EARTH am I just now discovering YNAB?

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I’ve tried making nice with Mint but I don’t like it….at all…so Mint and I are about to break up and I’m going to try YNAB.

Can anyone give me any special pointers or tips that you wish you had known about when you were first setting up and using YNAB?

Jolene (Mama Bear to 7 blessings….our littlest turns 1 today! I can’t believe its been a year!)

YNAB

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I had never heard about YNAB before (I just chimed in on this group after a bit of a hiatus), but am really trying to fine tune my own budget on spreadsheet. Any help being disciplined to get a budget going is worth it. I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it yet, but am going to do the trial myself.
I went through Financial Peace University in approx. 2001, and there’s been times when I haven’t budgeted at all, but I’m back to it, and plan to never stop (we’re a one-income homeschooling family, so it’s a must!). I would think most people need it, with today’s “economy”.
If you do it, let us know how it goes. It looks like a good program.

Weekly payment

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Hmmmm, I went to call in my weekly payment (because we have checks in varying amounts come in every week) to Best Buy and the gal IMMEDIATELY started telling me I could pay online and save everyone a lot of time and money.

I said “Noooo, I tried that last week and was told I wasn’t eligible because I closed my account four years ago and was in the process of paying them off.”

The gal hem hawed around and then said “Well, we’ve reconsidered that and I can help you get set up right now!” Not only did I get set-up, they also had a change of heart on when my payment was credited. It went in last week on the day I paid it and today’s will go in on today’s date.

Hmmm, wonder if it was the bean counters or the lawyers that to them they had to make online payments available to everyone.

Yesterday was the annual company picnic

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It’s one of the two parties the company puts on a year for the employees. It’s generally catered for the main dishes (bbq yesterday) and we potluck for the sides and desserts. They always have a disc jokey—theme was country western this year, and hand out a few door prizes in the way of center pieces, small gifts and gift cards. We weren’t lucky enough to win any of them this time, but it was fun and the food was good.
They provide a balloon jump house for the little guys, games for them too and we all just meander around and chat at the picnic—the Christmas party there is generally a lot more to it and it’s completely catered. The one this December is going to be at the Hard Rock Café and Casino here in Tulsa.
Toward the end of the day I was talking to the owner’s wife and I bravely asked her if she and her dh followed the DR way of life, something I’ve suspected for a long while. She looked surprised and asked me how I knew. I told her it showed in the way they handled the business and from some remarks about getting the last business debt paid off last year at the Christmas Party.
She blushed and said “Yes, they were very proud of that, and they felt sharing the profit was one of the ways they could ‘thank’ the employees for making it possible.” I thanked her. We chatted about DR for a bit and were just getting around to talking about possibly the company paying for an FPU or at least handing out TMMO to the employees who wanted them when we got interrupted. She tried to get back to me a couple of times, but by then it was time to tear down the party and leave.
During our conversation she mentioned they had their ffef not only for their personal lives put back for a full year, but for the company for TWO years as well. In today’s economy that was music to my ears. She said her husband listens to DR daily and re-listens to pod casts every time he’s in the car. Her homeschooled kids are little “Ramseyittes” as she called them. She has included the DR principles in her homeschooling.
She said she should have realized that we were on the plan when dh had told them on every trip he has taken for them we do not use credit cards, but she hadn’t thought about it. She asked about ds and I told her he is finished with step #2 and is trying to pay off his mortgage sized student loans now. She was pleased with that and told me how much her husband likes ds and thinks he will become one of the company’s biggest assets in the future. She said dh already was—gotta love a diplomatic boss’ wife. LOL!
We know of one other person in the company for certain that is just finishing up her baby step #1 and we think that one other family there has already completed all the steps and considering they have 8 kids that’s a good thing. They are quite a bit younger than us.
Isn’t it funny how certain things come together?
After we left the picnic dh took me by Barnes Noble. Ree Drummond, aka: the Pioneer Woman (food network tv show) was doing a book signing of her latest children’s book “Charlie Goes to School” there. We had no plans to purchase a book, I simply wanted to see her and put a real person image in my mind to go with the tv image—we watch her every week and LOVE her recipes—good basic country food.
She was suppose to start the book signing at 2:30pm and when we got there we had a horrible time finding a parking place for our big old truck, but when we finally did we went in to be a lookie loo. I went ahead and accepted a ticket to stand in line—they only do a certain number or her hand would fall off from signing so many books.
It was after 2:30pm and she wasn’t there yet. Guess what even tv personalities have baby sitter troubles. Two of her four kids were sick and she couldn’t leave them without a sitter, so she had to wait until one got there. She looked pretty much the same in real life as she does on tv, her hair looked a little lighter, more blonde in fact than on tv (Miss Clairol?) but her voice and everything was pretty much the same.
Dh told me to pick out one of the cookbooks if I wanted it as a “gift” for all I’ve been doing on the budget lately and then we’d stand in line to get it signed, but my DR bug kicked in when I looked at the $30 price tag and I told him she’d be back because Pawhuska is not that far from Tulsa. That after we were debt free he could get me an autographed copy, but between now and then I’d just snitch her recipes off the web. He called me a Ramseyette, then took a couple of photos of her on his cell phone for me.
On the way home we hit the library and picked up a different DR book for me to read—forget which one this is and it’s all the way downstairs, so I’ll do a blog review of it later and you’ll know which one it is when I finish reading it. LOL!

Rhetorical question..

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I, too, am glad your father wasn’t severely affected but how many were? Sometimes after effects of poor treatment don’t show up for weeks or months.

When I first read your post I immediately thought, “Oh, no. Now they will really do something to him out of retribution!” I certainly hope they DO NOT retaliate but are called on the carpet with real consequences.

I think it is the shape of things to come

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Live and let live has taken an ugly selfish turn. We no longer care about others, in favor of only caring about ourselves.
So glad your father wasn’t severely affected…. Is he a candidate for at home dialysis? Because now I fear for his safety should he return there too many more times. The manager put on a good show this time, but the minute the manager isn’t there I fear retaliation.

Good for him

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Because we live in a completely narcissistic world, yet another sign (if you are Bible believing) that we are in the last days…(This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. 2 Tim 3:1-2)

Doesn’t mean one just has to throw up their hands and give up. No. Like your father, one can insist that it be done correctly. The plus side is that for a person who has a strong work ethic, you really stand out in a crowd once you get hired.

Think of all the lives he just saved.

I heard these stories both within the last few days, and I have to stop and wonder

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what the heck is happening in this country, that folks don’t give a fig about doing their jobs correctly? Used to be that gosh, if you didn’t care about your job and didn’t do it very well, no worries – you wouldn’t be burdened with it for very long. Is this really what we’ve come to? I know these are just two stories of two companies amongst the hundreds of thousands of companies in business at the moment. But geez, this is pathetic. How do people sleep at night knowing that they didn’t care about the quality of the work they did that day? I guess I’m just hoping someone can tell me these are isolated issues, and not the shape of things to come.

Situation Two:

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My dad has been receiving dialysis for several years now. In general his health is pretty good, and it was definitely improved when he finally went on dialysis after resisting the idea for several years. But over the last two months, he’s been having issues. Too much fluid taken off, or too little. Irregular heartbeats afterwards. Lots of bleeding afterwards. Etc etc etc. Then last Friday he was admitted to the hospital within an hour or so after dialysis because his heart was skipping beats, a lot of beats. The ER doctor called the clinic to get his records to see if there had been some cardiac issue which started during the dialysis. When he got the records, he hit the roof. The dialysis clinic had been repeatedly, deliberately, and some would say criminally ignoring his particular dialysis treatment protocol, in favor of doing whatever was easiest. It almost killed him. He and his doctor tried to figure out if they could send him to another clinic ASAP, but none of the other clinics in the area could take him that soon. Get instant approval payday loans – pbcloans.com. So he went back for his next treatment, three days later, and tried to talk to the check-in nurse. He explained that he’d been having more and more issues, and this last one had sent him to the ER, and it traced back to them not following his protocol. She blew him off. He understandably got angry, but he needs his treatment so he sat down and did his thing. But before doing so, he read the little card that tells the staff which treatments to give him, how long to have him on dialysis, etc etc. He saw them once again changing that protocol, right in front of him. When he tried to point that out, the staff told him to his face he didn’t know what he was talking about, didn’t know how to read the card, and to sit down and be quiet. After his 3 hour dialysis treatment (and it said right on the card that it should have lasted for 3.5 hrs), he got all unhooked, then stood up, and at the top of his lungs shouted that this staff was a bunch of bone-head incompetents, who didn’t follow instructions and didn’t listen to his concerns and that their conduct had repeatedly caused health issues, the last of which sent him to the ER for the weekend. And then he stormed out. My folks tried really hard to find some other clinic before his next appt, but once again no one could take him. So he went back for his next treatment. The director of the facility met him at the door, told him everything had been taken care of, the staff had received additional training, and so on. The director did the dialysis himself that day, to ensure it would be done correctly. And as the other patients walked or were wheeled past him, they all gave him high-fives or thumbs-up or shook his hand, because they too had been having issues, and no one would listen.

Situation One:

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A good friend of ours is the customer liaison for a major manufacturer out here. I won’t say who, but suffice to say you all would probably instantly recognize the brand name. Anyway, this friend will inspect every new product before it goes out the door. When he first started the job, it was relatively easy; very little was ever missed by the manufacturing teams. He just basically gave it one more set of eyeballs to make sure that all was well, and away it went. But lately, say the past year or so, he’s been spotting more and more mistakes. Sometimes a piece is mis-installed, or installed upside down or backwards. Sometimes it’s installed in a way that it will never ever work as intended, and anyone walking in off the street, without training, would recognize that it would never ever work. At first these were rare occasions. Then they started to get more common. Recently it’s become so common, that he can count on half dozen issues to deal with, AFTER the product has been “certified” as being ready to go. His increasingly angry conversations with the various manufacturing teams has found that it’s one part training, one part a loss of experienced personnel, and apparently several parts sheer apathy. After each such instance, he hopes he’s finally gotten across to the manufacturing teams that this is simply unacceptable. Except it keeps happening.

There were other frustrations like the stupid Best Buy debacle

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which as you already know they came around to my way of thinking, but here’s an example of how frustrating just one day was:
1.I read my news feed on facebook every day, answer the interesting stuff and move on. Only that morning right off the bat facebook wasn’t co-operating. Not the end of the world. I had a life before facebook and I still have one so I moved on to next on my agenda.
2.Decided to be productive using the Cricut Craft room to get several cards and a moveable skeleton wall hanging cut out that day. Only the Craft Room said I needed to update both the firmware and software on my Cricut. Went through the steps and the sucker wouldn’t work. Okay, irritating, but I still had plenty on my agenda for the day, moving right along.
3.Decided to work on my next Patterson’s Pantry up date (The Butter Betty Botta Bought) and include several flavored butter, Ghee, and Clarified butter recipes linked over to the Recipes blog, along with photos of my French Butter Keepers and hit two major hiccups. The program I use for recipes to upload from (Master Cook Deluxe) for some reason didn’t transfer the exact cookbook I needed over when dh moved it to the new machine (dh is still trying to get that fixed to no avail—suggestions anyone?) and I couldn’t find ds’ camera to take the photos with—later discovered it in his truck. How dare he use his own camera! LOL!
4.Moving on I became determined to find a name for the new blog on silent languages and the original meanings/origins of words—three hours later finally found one blogspot would accept. I was a bull dog by this point determined to get SOMETHING accomplished. As you already know that post made it to the web finally—see link below.
5.I had three projects I needed to do some major research on. I hit roadblock after roadblock on all 3—very frustrating.

I’m in the same situation

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I simply don’t make enough to put 15% for retirement and 10% for charity, and still have a life. I still haven’t finished step 3 yet, but step 4 will be my brick wall…

You are correct

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Our mortgage is the one that is higher. But when we first got our mortgage 8 years ago we were following DR and had debt. Not a lot, but enough. Since following Dr we’ve paid off $5000 in credit card debt, $3400 in braces for our oldest son, started saving for braces for our younger son, car loan of $3000, and paid off a second mortgage of about $9500. Wow, when I list it that way, it’s amazing to see all we’ve done. Most of all that really is in the last 5 years….but like I said when we got our mortgage we weren’t following Dr and got suckered into a bad type of loan. We did an 80/10/10. 80% on one loan, 10% on another, and 10% down. The 80% is a 10 year interest free only loan. Then the housing market dropped and we were upside down. So we paid off what was left of the second loan and have been putting extra money each month to our main mortgage. We want to get it down to a reasonable amount since right now we pay interest only at 3%. We have two more years for it to be interest only. We were going to refinance but it made more since to leave it and pay extra. Our cap is at 7%, so when the two years are up we can’t pay more than that in intestest. If at that time mortgage rates are still low, we will refinance at a 15 year…..if all that makes sense. We will just play around with the money and see what makes more financial sense at the time.

DH and the kids have been doing martial arts for about 12 yrs in 2 different styles

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He has been talking about opening a school for about 5 yrs and when he got his “early” retirement handed to him last year, he decided it was now or never. He is a 3 dan, I have 2 kids at 2nd and 2 at 1st.

He went and got certified as a personal trainer, so he can do martial fitness too. We have been looking at different spaces since last Feb. We were not getting anywhere with the first landlord as for negotiations, the second location is an older building that needs the fire suppression system installed, so we are onto a 3rd. It is looking good.

We are lucky that we can use the name of the school we already go to, but just add a different location. No franchise fee. I’ll let you know when the web site is launched–can’t do that without the lease.

Well, it was an interesting week

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I’m finally getting the budget where I want it and the karate school could be open by November–giving us some money coming in.
We broke down and got the dreaded “car loan”. We’ve been searching for over 1 year to find a decent car at a good price that we felt wouldn’t need major repairs. well, DD was looking last Monday and found a 2013 Jetta at a great price. It has all the extras, still under warranty, no accidents and only 7250 miles. so, the first year of depreciation was already taken off the price and then they came down a bit.
The way that I look at this loan is that it is under 2% and she can throw more money at the loan. It is also a dependable car, still under warranty, so I don’t have to worry about her driving home from work late at night.

We’ve been doing pretty well at staying on budget lately

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I am proud of that. It’s been an area of struggle for us…especially at this time of year with back to school stuff and christmas coming up.
I do have a question for everyone. We are stuck at step 4. We are up to 11% being put away for retirement. But once we do that, we have no extra. We can’t get up to 15%. We tried to slowly increase the % but found that beyond 11% we just don’t have the money for it and all our other monthly bills such as mortgage, food, utilities…etc..
Anyone else had this issue? We aren’t back sliding which is good, but we aren’t moving forward. I worry that as long as we have two kids at home (ages 13 and 11) we will be stuck at step 4

I’m all for travelling!

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What fun! Where are you planning on going?
A friend of mine has 10 children and takes a big vacation every year. Being debt free has its advantages. He can save $1,000 a month and really have a great family vacation every year. Last year they all went to Hawaii, the year before Washington DC and New York.

Much of last week was dealing with a really nasty stomach virus

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which hit me hard – I was down for days. But on a fun note, apparently Keisha and I have birthdays not too far apart – mine was the 16th. Annoyingly, that was the first day of my stomach thing. So last week wasn’t much fun and we didn’t get a whole lot of new ground conquered. But last night we attended a seminar hosted by a neighboring county, about alternative financing for large farm parcels. Y’all will remember I was asking questions about that a few months back. We finally got some answers to those questions. Turns out there are a variety of legal and financial contracts which allow for either owner financing or “alternative” financing, ie investors or the sellers. Some of them are as folks warned us, where the deed or title doesn’t convey until the end and the buyer takes all the risk. I’m happy to report there are also versions where the deed and/or title convey to the buyer, at the START of the contract, just like a mortgage, rather than at the end. One option is for the seller to finance with the deed/title going to the buyer up front. Then the seller essentially becomes the lender, with the buyer making payments under a promissory note or mortgage just like from a regular lender. The buyer is free to sell or refinance at any time like with any mortgage. So we were very pleased to learn that yes there are options which preserve/protect buyer options. Given that any sort of farm expansion in the next few years would involve some big land transaction, it was nice to know we have options.
I have also been thinking a lot about how to boost my oh-so-holy (NOT!) credit score, given our previous conversations about those pro’s/con’s. No we don’t want to borrow money but yes it does have other impacts, such as insurance premiums. We’re holding off with reactivating any credit cards, because that thought still sickens me now. Food poisoning is bad enough; I hate the thought of credit cards more. But I am going back through my couple-months-old credit report to see who thinks I owe them money. There are several accounts there which I had already blown off in my pre-DR existence, which I’m going back and paying off now. And there are a few where I was trying to take the high ground of moral principle to say I shouldn’t have to pay them because they didn’t deliver some product/service as they promised, so by golly I shouldn’t have to pay for it. But when push comes to shove, I’m not going to win those arguments regardless of how much documentation I have on my side. So I’m going to pay those annoying cheetah pups too. That won’t take care of the entire credit score, but it’ll clean it up a lot.
So, we don’t have any big changes in the immediate future. Yet we have a better idea of how to accomplish a medium-to-long-term financial goal, and some related cleanup work to do in the process. A decent bit of progress all told. And I’m back on solid foods now. A better week so far.

We had someone on one of the homesteading forum

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that would constantly be “needing a little help.” But when folks actually offered something other than money she always had an excuse that it wouldn’t work. One time some us totally called her bluff. She lived in the country but claimed she couldn’t feed her family. I gave her garden seed, another fellow tilled up her garden plot for her. One gal gave her some chickens for eggs, you get the idea there were several of us who gave “just a little” of something to help “feed” her family. Guess what “something happened” to every last bit of it and she disappeared from that list and showed up on an entirely different one, same song and dance. I gave the list owner a heads up on her and let’s just say there were no more posts from her.
Unfortunately there are people like my dmil that will fall for the sob story and give big bucks, part of the reason we had to bail dmil out from under so much debt. She never found a charity she didn’t like, even when she couldn’t buy food for herself. I can tell you for certain I don’t mind helping people who truly want to help themselves (and not just to my stuff), but those who want to sit with their hand out, they better wave it in another direction.

I’ve seen similar Freecycle posts

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People want a whole lot of stuff, and they’re VERY specific on the items(brands, age of items, etc.). I can understand if someone has lost everything in a fire or flood, then they would need home furnishings. But then these people also ask for Playstations and Xbox systems, and flat-screen TVs. It seems that if people give them the rest of their home furnishings, they could buy their *own* Playstations and TVs. I mean, you don’t lose your JOB because your house burns down, do you? Maybe I *am* just too cynical…

I see some of that stuff and I would have reacted the same way

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It is that sense of entitlement. everyone seems to want something from someone else. just in the past few days, I’ve seen 5 people wanting their whole house/apt furnished by freecycle. I see so many on facebook that are doing the go fund me because I don’t have the cash for school/lawyer/utilities.

The moment I started reading

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my little mental filter started screaming Scam! Scam! Scam! Some craigslist managers (in different geographical areas) along with freecycle groups, refuse to permit “mercy listings” like this because so often it’s someone looking for the sympathy handout. Our county freecycle for instance will allow Wanted ads, but not if they try to tug at the heartstrings in any way. I think this is totally bogus. Even if it’s real, there are a lot of big red flags on this one.

So tell me, am I reading too much into this?

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There was a similar message a while ago from someone who wanted people to give her money so she could go to school. Many of us who offered constructive suggestions were shouted down as being cruel and unfeeling

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hello their folks my name is vic and my sister is looking for a new place to live and she needs a loan she has no credit their has to be someone who can please help her asap. she wants to move asap terrible living condtions were she is at now. she is very clean no pets. she is polish decent if that helps. she can only pay up to 400.00 per month with gas and water included.she wants in the areas of sterling hgts.
saint clair shores, fraser. so if someone you know wants a nice tentant in their home please email me. she wants a home, condo ,or townhouse. no apts please. I know I am asking for a miracle but someone out there please help my sister before the snow hits the ground.this will be greatly appreciated. I thank you for your time in this matter

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I originally just deleted this post, but another group member sent me an e-mail offline about it. Here’s my response to him:

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Why does it matter if she’s Polish? Why can’t *Vic* put her up, if her living situation is so bad? What’s wrong with an apartment?
If her current situation is so ‘terrible’, why doe she have specific places she wants to live? Just get out!
Then there’s the issue of she needs a loan but has no credit. What’s the loan for if she can pay $400 in rent?

So many things wrong with this…

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