Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Delaney's Endless F*cking Blanket shall not defeat me. I'm about, oh, three more rows of stripes from done:

But those stripes are getting really long. Like, really long. I'm happy with how it's turning out, though. I was skeptical about her color selection at first, it seemed pretty garish, but I have to admit it's pretty now. The dark stripe is actually purple, though it photographed more like navy blue. As summer refuses to let go here and the heat index is still over 100 working on this for her is truly a labor of love, or insanity. Even with the AC running full blast, it's a sweaty job.

So far, my great ambitions for October haven't panned out as I'd hoped. September and Irma drained my energy and my bank account, but things are looking up. I finally caved and downloaded You Need a Budget and have been playing with it, getting it set up. I'm still figuring it out, but it does seem fun to use. I've had a Mint account for years and sort of carried my budget around in my head and that has worked okay...sort of...but I'm determined to get more specific about my money management. September was an expensive month in so many ways, thanks IRMA, that it left me stressed and depressed about my cash flow issues. So, yesterday I decided to call my mortgage company about a forbearance - because we are officially a disaster area (the entire country is at this point, I swear) I could get a short term waiver of my mortgage payments.

I called my mortgage company to ask, expecting them to waive a month or two at most, and expecting it to be a more onerous process, and in five minutes flat I got a four month break from payments! It truly was a load off my mind, because after AC repair and replacing ALL the food in the fridge and the garage door is still stuck shut and I can't fix it myself and still have to call a's been a barrage of unexpected expenses I'm still struggling to absorb. My emergency funds are seriously depleted, my Discover card balance is alarmingly high, and I know I came out of this relatively unscathed. I know people dealing with serious structural damage to their homes who are getting the runaround from insurance and FEMA, so I'm not complaining, just working through the issues.

And that's where YNAB comes in, though I am still finding it confusing at the moment. They really do have an extensive support system, including lots of webinars, and I'm taking advantage of those. I'll figure it out, and I do think it will be really helpful in a way Mint is not. Mint is more hands-off; it's a quick overview of account balances and such, and you CAN make a budget in it, but you can't quickly adjust money between categories. Once I get YNAB figured out and set up properly I think it'll actually be fun to use, and I never thought I'd use "budgeting" and "fun" in the same sentence, but so far I'm actually enjoying figuring it out.

And I guess it says something about my life at the moment that I find budgeting software "fun." I need a better definition of fun, don't I?


wednesday said...

I am right there with you on the fun of finances. Took over all our financial doings earlier this year after ages of the husband acting like it was a full time job involving sweating blood and chanting spells.

So far I've saved us a few thousand dollars on stupid crap he sets up on auto pay and then forgets about. It's really eye-opening when it's all right there in front of you in columns of numbers.

Catherine said...

"Sweating blood and chanting spells!" OMG!! I've always managed the household finances, but my late husband made a big ceremony over Doing the Taxes each year. (Even when he was sick he did them, somewhat to my chagrin when I realized years later that he'd left money on the table and it was too late amend the return, but that's neither here nor there now.) My first year Doing the Taxes all by myself was a particularly busy one, with both a job change AND a refi on the house, and yet, somehow I managed to do them correctly and without summoning an accountant. I've already killed all my auto-pay stuff long ago, I'm now in the nitty-gritty details of "I spent WHAT at Amazon last month?" But I swear YNAB is almost like a computer game of moving money around, and once I figure out the program completely, I may become a Budget Ninja.