Saturday, March 14, 2009

Budgeting from afar

I am currently working for a family that I babysit for in Florida. It has been a wonderful break from spending money and has really let me sit down and take a good hard look at where my money has been going and what I need to do in order to be prepared the next time the universe decides to smack me in the face with more vet bills that you can shake a stick at.

Since I got paid yesterday, I have taken a few steps to make this happen:
  1. Opened up a second savings account at HSBC for a dog E-Fund and put $100 in it.
  2. I put $100 into my Car Fund, which I have been neglecting lately. And if I ever needed to be putting money into it, it's now.
  3. Made a small payment towards my credit card ($89.79).
And then I stopped. One of the problems that I have with spending all of my money in between paychecks is that I try to squirrel away all of my money into my savings accounts, or I end up making a huge payment on my credit card and then I have nothing in my bank account to use on groceries or gas or anything else that I might need/want to spend money on. So this time I took it easy. I accounted for the $224.62 that is going to be coming out of my account for the last vet bill payment, took another $200 for savings, and with the credit card payment I will have $300 left in my account.

At least, if I did my math right, that's how much I will have left in my account.

Something I have never thought about before, is the balance that I need to find between my spending and my savings. I never really thought that it would be something that I would need to work on.

My E-Fund is starting to really bounce back from it's huge depletion at the beginning of January when I used it to pay for all of my deposits for the apartment. Yesterday morning it made it all the way to $701. I am hoping to have it up to $1400 in the near future (that will cover me more or less for two months with no other income). The wonderful part of all of this is that my E-Fund is getting $212 a month automatically from my paycheck, so it grows without me having to lift a finger (which is the only way to save, as far as I am concerned).

The savings are really coming along. I am getting back into the mindset of saving money as being the most awesome thing ever. I have also been inspired by this blog of a Mom who has a budget of $800 for the year for everything (and she has two daughters and a dog or two). Which made me realize that if I could make myself live off of $800 for the year (not including rent) I could save about $20,000 which is almost a brand spankin' new Mini Cooper (!!). Makes you wonder if you could it, doesn't it?

What about you? Have you ever found yourself running out of money between paychecks because you were too quick to save it rather than leave it in a place where you can spend it when you need it? Is this a common problem?

No comments: