Navigating Self

My attempt to have a writing habit. Writing forces me to have clarity with how I'm living my life.

ComputersFinancesSystems and ProcessesThoughtsUncategorized

Category: Finances

Generous on people, frugal on things

I’ve been wanting a 3D printer for years. The model I’m looking to purchase is around 10k. 

While I technically have the means to afford it, it also means adding another “thing” in my life. There will be a mental burden to get the most out of it, and there will be guilt if I end up not using it as much. 

Whenever I consider purchasing something for myself, there is always a lot to consider. I’m very frugal when it comes to things.

On the other hand, dining out with family or friends, particularly in larger groups, can easily reach the same cost. In those cases, I don’t even hesitate to cover the bill.

The key difference is I’m spending on people.

I feel like time spent together is always worth it, regardless of the cost.

This phrase encapsulates my general approach to spending: generous on people, frugal on things

There are other ways I try to be generous on people:

  • Always giving tip for any service, knowing that an unexpected extra income might help to the person that served me
  • Gifting things for people that has the potential to make their lives better
  • Appreciate people helpful to me and/or my family
  • Giving when opportunity of kindness presents itself

Related: Fill your cup and let it overflow around you

Switching back to YNAB 4 and Making a Fresh Start

YNAB 4 running on a macOS Ventura

I haven’t done budgeting since November 2022 (9 months!). Mainly because I’m out of track.

Before getting out of track, I’ve been consistently doing it for the past 5 years.

I’ve attempted twice to get my budget in order, but the backlog is just too much. There’s a lot to account for, there’s a lot to tally. After spending several hours hours backtracking, I gave up.

Fresh start

YNAB have this concept of not caring about past expenses. There’s nothing you can do with money already spent.

Even though it’s good to have 5 years worth of data, it’s only a nice-to-have. If I continue to operate without a budget, I’m risking myself to be in a position where I anxiously wait when my next paycheck will be. Kahig-tuka ba.

Another side-effect is it’s also getting incredibly difficult to make big financial decisions without knowing where I stand financially.

I decided to let go and do a fresh start.

Switching back to Classic YNAB

Since I’m going to start fresh, it’s a perfect time to switch back to Classic YNAB.

I love YNAB methodology. It fits my thinking. It helped me manage my money when I started earning.

Over the years, the company behind YNAB changed and they pivoted the product to one-time purchase to a monthly subscription. I had no problem with it, especially with a grandfather’ed pricing where I got a discounted monthly fee. I’m happy to pay because it literally changed how I think about money.

A couple of years more, they increased the price twice. It felt like they lock you down with their methods, and leave you no choice but to accept their pricing change.

It’s been on my list to move out of YNAB. I was looking for something that I can use in my lifetime. I tried Firefly III (an open-source alternative but with different methodology), GnuCash (another open-source alternative), but the YNAB method is already ingrained in me.

Luckily, I’m not alone feeling this way. The community made the classic YNAB 4 work on a modern OS.

Knowing for a fact that it will not change (it hasn’t been updated since 2019) gives me confidence it will still work for the foreseeable future. I can build my budgeting process without getting affected on any change of direction of the company behind it.


Y64 provides a bash script that will download the latest YNAB 4 and the latest Adobe AIR 64-bit runtime and compile it to a working app. Running the script will output a working YNAB 4 app.

Grabe nostalgia when I opened the app

The app itself aged like a fine wine. It’s still perfectly usable and does not feel old.


YNAB does not sell license anymore for the classic YNAB. Since it’s already unsupported, the way to workaround this is to adjust the trial mode end-date by editing the license file.


~/Library/Application\ Support/com.ynab.YNAB4.LiveCaptive/Local\ Store/.lic


%APPDATA%\com.ynab.YNAB4.LiveCaptive\Local Store\.lic

Edit the date and save

Starting fresh

With all this prepared, I’m now in a good position to make a fresh start.

Age of Money

I remember getting shocked with my first credit card bill. Total amount is almost the same amount as my full-time job salary. 😅

That was 8 years ago.

Mabilis ako madala e. Soon after that, I looked up how to properly manage my money. This is when I found YNAB (You Need A Budget). It’s a budgeting software. Its value isn’t in the software itself, it’s in their methodology. It provided me structure on how I should think about money.

First phase is explicitly deciding where to put in all my money.

The goal here is to have an idea where my money is going. I can’t improve what I can’t measure right? Having a handy list of my budget, upcoming expenses, and current state of my net worth made it really easy to decide on unplanned purchases.

This also made me treat credit card spendings as money spent. It’s instantly deducted to my net worth as soon as I spend it.

Second phase is aging my money.

YNAB have this concept called “Age of Money”. It means how long your money stays with you before you use it.

I recently got to a point where my age of money reached 180 days. This gave me flexibility to plan ahead, take risks, and try new things.

Beyond YNAB

What I’m looking for to do next are investing on a business and stocks.

I’m like a sponge now absorbing information from r/phinvest. Taking action to things that’s starting to make sense to me.

Let’s see where this takes me.

2020 © Jerico Aragon