The Birth of Fearless Budgeting

Listen to this blog post: “I Can’t Stop Spending!” podcast, Episode 053.

I’ve decided to create a series of spending plan training podcasts because it feels like that is the most important information I can offer you right now. If you want help creating or maintaining a spending plan, this podcast series is for you. Even if you already have a spending plan, the training will be a helpful refresher and will likely provide you a with new perspectives and tips. It’s the exact same process I’ve successfully used with my one-on-one students for seven years. And there’s no charge for this podcast series.

The Birth of Fearless Budgeting

I decided to call my training podcast “Fearless Budgeting.” I wrestled with this name for months. As you may know, I despise the word budget, but I strongly believe in the act of allocating money to categories, which is the definition of budgeting. I’ll go into more detail about spending plans vs. budgets in a later episode. But “Fearless Budgeting” truly encapsulates my overriding approach … to gently take you by the hand and help you overcome your terror around facing the truth of your spending, which is a crucial first step in the process, and to ease you into a practice that will keep you clear around your money and engaged with your spending plan ongoing.

By the end of the series, you will have a spending plan foundation and you will know how to work with your spending plan ongoing. And, you can always arrange a one-on-one session with me if you need additional help. Just go to for details.
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Recorded YNAB for DA Members Workshop (Accounts)

The workshop went very well and I’m so excited that the recording worked! Now, aside from my sounding like Daffy Duck, I’m hopeful that this recording can help anyone, even a complete beginner. I really tried to keep it simple and resolve the issues that seem to be problematic for DA members.

Total time is 1:21 (one hour and 21 minutes). The great part is that you can stop and rewind as needed.
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REMINDER! YNAB for DA Members Workshop Tomorrow

I will be conducting a free conference call tomorrow (Sunday, 11/8/15) from 2:00 PM EST to 3:30 PM EST to walk you through the Register portion of using YNAB. This workshop is specifically geared toward the tasks DA members need.

No need to register; just call in! 2:00 PM EST to 3:30 PM EST
If you cannot make it, I will HOPEFULLY be able to record the call and will post it later, so you can follow along at your convenience.

Here is the call-in information:
Dial-in Number: (641) 715-3580
Access Code: 479117

International callers
Click here for a PDF with associated country numbers.

What you will need

* A working copy of YNAB on your computer.
* Pen and paper to take notes

You can either work in your existing YNAB spending plan or create a new plan along with me for the workshop. NOTE: YNAB calls it a “budget,” so I will use that terminology though we know ours is a spending plan! 🙂

Here is the Agenda:

  1. Walkthrough to create a new budget
  2. Where to save your YNAB Spending Plan
  3. Auto-download transactions or not?
  4. Setting up on and off budget accounts
  5. Entering transactions with and without a check number
  6. Transferring between accounts
  7. Dealing with cash
  8. Splitting transactions
  9. Scheduling recurring transactions
  10. Reconciling with your bank account (CRUCIAL!)

There will definitely be time for questions.

If people find this helpful, there will be a second workshop dealing with the spending plan side of YNAB for DA members.

Hope to “see” you there tomorrow!

Taking the Spending Plan Seriously

For many years in my other 12 step program, I went to meetings, spoke to people, but never took the Big Book seriously. Didn’t really read or study it. It was kind of there, on the side. It wasn’t until I understood that the Big Book contains the instructions, the “meat” of the program, and began to seriously study and follow the directions that my recovery gained traction.

In DA, the Big Book is just as important for the reasons outlined above. But so, too, is my spending plan. In it is the outline for how I spend (and save) my money. I consider my spending plan Divinely inspired as it was developed not just by me, but with the loving guidance of more than one pressure relief group team over the years.
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Shipping Costs are a Thorn in My Side

I have to admit to having a resentment about shipping costs when I order online. Despite the fact that my sponsor has worked hard to help me understand that this is simply the cost of doing business when you have a health issue, it still bugs me royally.
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Free Spending Plan Spreadsheet available (no longer available – other options listed)

If you have reached this page, I apologize, but the spreadsheet is no longer available. Over time, we found some mistakes and that raised a concern that there might be other errors which would mean you wouldn’t be able to trust the spreadsheet.

UPDATE: I’m developing an online video training program to take the fear and anxiety out of creating your spending plan. The way I’m envisioning the course, it will be as if I’m holding your hand and guiding you every step of the way. I’d really appreciate it of you would complete the short one question survey at the end of this post. Thank you! Susan B.

There are many options available for tracking your spending.
(YNAB stands for “You Need a Budget”)
This is the spending plan software I use.

Other spending plan resources:

Excel Deluxe “Envelopes” Check Register Spreadsheet
(with One-Click Sort, plus Reconcile Section): $11.95

I played around with this and found it to be a really great option. The only downside for me was that you are limited to only 50 categories. You can test it out with the free version, which only allows five categories.





Budget Pulse

Calendar Budget

Pear Budget

Snow Mint


There are plenty more … just ran out of energy. 🙂

I’m sorry for the inconvenience, and I hope you find something that works for you.

Parts of a Spending Plan

Before you can have a spending plan, there are a number of steps to take. But today, I want to briefly describe the various components of a solid spending plan. DA is a program about clarity. We need to be willing to live in reality and that means that our money is finite.

We can no longer afford to just spend arbitrarily and hope for the best. For me, it is not enough simply not to debt. If I don’t have a detailed spending plan, I can easily fool myself into thinking I can afford one item, totally forgetting about a fixed expense (for example, car insurance) that is coming up.

I’m developing an online video training program to take the fear and anxiety out of creating your spending plan. The way I’m envisioning the course, it will be as if I’m holding your hand and guiding you every step of the way. I’d really appreciate it of you would complete the short one question survey at the end of this post. Thank you! Susan B.

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