There will be a free workshop for DA members who use YNAB for their spending plan software on Sunday, November 8 from 2-3:30 PM EST. This workshop will be specific to the tasks relevant to solvency and keeping our numbers in DA.
No registration is needed. Just call in if you would like to participate!
Many DA members ask me to help them use YNAB. YNAB is short for “You Need a Budget,” and it’s been a fantastic resource for lots of DA members to track their spending (it’s a “virtual envelope system”). There is a cost associated with using this software and, of course, there are many ways to track our numbers. But since I get lots of calls asking for help, it occurred to me that going over some of the core concepts and functions in a group might be effective.
Oh, disclaimer: I get no money or any type of payment from YNAB. I have just used the software since 2009 and have found it invaluable in keeping me sober with money.
When thinking about the physical part of my recovery from compulsive debting and spending — tracking my spending — I cannot think of two words that bring me more peace.
In April, I celebrated six years of back to back abstinence from compulsive debting. But it has become clear to me recently that I am still a seriously compulsive spender. And I now truly understand why the primary purpose of Debtors Anonymous (DA) is not incurring unsecured debt.
If we just never had to spend money again, we wouldn’t have a problem, right? But unfortunately, we must learn to forge a new relationship with money that doesn’t include incurring unsecured debt. As I’ve written before, we must walk the razor’s edge.
If you don’t know about “The Retention department,” you are missing out on savings for services many of us use. The Retention department is the last stop when you are going to leave your current cable, Internet, or phone provider. You can actually request to speak to someone in this department, and I have saved a lot of money over the years by negotiating with them.
So, here’s what happened the other day. The promotions on our current services were about to expire. Our services were going to go from about $160/month (a ridiculous amount to pay) to CHOKE, GASP — $250 (an obscene amount to pay)!
A DA friend recently helped me see how I was creating unnecessary suffering for myself. While she wasn’t speaking about me in our conversation, her words seeped deep down inside me, creating a growing disturbance until I realized that I was doing the very thing she described. (Please bear with me as I walk you through the path to exactly what I mean.)
I just came across an article that perfectly describes the difference between a spending plan and a budget:
“Why I Like Spending Plans Better than Budgets”
We are blessed that our program recognizes that a budget won’t work for compulsive debtors and spenders, who rebel against deprivation. While we live within our means in D.A., how we do that is where the art of creating a spending plan comes into play. This is why it is wonderful that we have the tool of a PRG (pressure relief group), where two other recovering members meet with us to help us develop and maintain our spending plan, which can change with life circumstances. This team also keeps us from going to extremes either way — by allocating too much to our wants or or debts — helping us live a balanced financial life.