Monday, April 1, 2013

Living and Saving on a Budget

At the start of the year, Daddykins and I started a new budget and so far, it is working well.  We have a few savings options and ideas kicking around, but what I love most is my file folder of savings.  Our amounts saved grow little by little every week and so far, so good!  

I have a few categories that were immediate needs for us, and so those became the categories we contribute to on a weekly basis (most of the time...).  All of the accounts have a capped limit, and once the limit is reached, the funds will be diverted into another account.  If I have to take money out of an account, then I will revert to building the emptied account as I did before it was full.   

  • Girl's Food - Amount contributed: $20/week -  we buy the girl's food from amazon, but I did not want it sitting attached to my debit card, so I pull $20 out a week, and then put it back in my account when we need to purchase.  This is the only account that has money coming and going on a regular basis.  The account will be frozen at $200, and new incoming money will be put into their emergency fund.
  • Girl's Emergency - Amount contributed: $10/week - we do have pet
    Just a simple file folder found at the dollar
    bin in Target!  Love my dollar finds!
    insurance on the girls, but just in case anything happens, we have something to go on.  I have the account to be frozen once funds reach $400 and then we will contribute new incoming money to our vacation fund.  
  • General Emergency - Amount contributed: $5/week - this is for those unexpected dryer repairs, calls to the plumber, 'last pair of sneakers finally worn out' things that come up in our lives.  I have less contributed to this account than others because we historically have had few of these 'emergencies' and I am banking on the trend continuing.  Once the account reaches $400 and then new incoming money will be put towards our "car emergency" fund.   
  • Car Emergency - Amount contributed: $5/week - I hate cars, hate hate hate them... they always break.  And cost a lot.  So I have this fund, and I hope I never have to use it!  This is capped at $400, and I am sure it will be forever in use and never actually full, but in the event that it is, money will then be diverted to my oil changes and tolls fund.  
  • Oil Changes/Tolls - Amount contributed: anything extra - I couldn't justify having a real amount given to this, so when I have a mileage check come in or an extra few bucks, it goes into this account.  
  • The ledger I created to help keep track
    of what was going in/out of the accoutns.
  • Camping - Amount contributed:  My Nannying Money - we love to go camping and have most of our supplies but food and gas still cost money, and so I don't blow our weekly budget when we want to go, I have a fund!  And it is full at $300!  So now all my money from part-time Nannying will go into General Emergency!  So happy to have an account full... I never thought it would happen!
Other accounts that will be contributed to in the future... but our budget didn't allow for it now, but I have plans for it!
  • vacation 
  • home improvement 
  • health emergency 
  • wedding fund

To keep track:

  • I ended up making a ledger for each file within the folder.  It allows me to keep track and add/subtract as things change, and I can easily remember how much I contribute and what my goal is so I know when I can stop.  I also put a sticker on the back of each one which tells me what I will be contributing to next, once my account is full. 
So, what does this look like on a weekly basis?  
  • To do the saving I want/can do, it is only $40 a week, which fits into our budget well. 
  • Pop it in, adjust my ledger and move on!  So fast and easy once I had it set up and I have a little cushion to fall back on in case of emergency. 

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