Posts tagged Savings

Saving Money

I don’t really follow Suze Orman, but I think her new advice is good advice. Now is definitely the time to start saving as much as you can, and only make the minimum payments on debt. With all the layoffs and companys that have closed, it’s scary not to have a well funded Emergency Fund. I only make the basic payments on my debt now. The rest goes to savings. I also just consolidated my student loans again. I had consolidated my original student loans when I was in college the first time. I hadn’t done anything with the new loans I had when I started school the second time. Through the consolidation, I will save an extra $40 a month. My payment is changing from $187.28 to $141.61. This is a very good thing for me.

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Savings Accounts

I have 3 main savings accounts. They are my Emergency fund, Car Maintenance fund, and Long-Term savings.

Here is the interest I’ve accured for each; Month-To-Date:

Emergency – $1.24

Car Maintenance – $0.08

Long-Term – $1.73

My long-term account is actually a 6-month CD right now. I took $100 from my emergency fund Since I don’t plan on using that money (hopefully) any time soon. Plus, with working over time, I had a little more wiggle room with my finances this paycheck. Hopefully, more over time will be offered occasionally. I say, occasionally because after working 14 hours of over time last week, I thought I’d lost my mind. From now on I plan to keep my over time at 10 hours or less. The stress isn’t always worth the money.

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Finding Ways To Save

I was reading an article from earlier this week, Stashing Your Cash on Yahoo Finance. The article’s author, Brett Arends, makes a good point in my opinion. I may not be as frightened by the market as he is, but I do think it’s important to stop wasting money & start stashing some away. Today, I took the time to cancel a few things that I absolutely didn’t need to be spending money one. One them being Ringback Tones. Who cares if my phone plays music when someone calls me or if it just rings? I don’t call my own phone so it’s not like I get some kind of enjoyment out of it. That’s $0.99 a month I’m wasting. Although that may not seem like much, it definitely can add up. Another thing I’ve decided to get rid of is the data package on my cell phone. Do I really need to spend $35.99 a month so I can check my email from my phone? Not really. That’s why I pay for internet at home. So I’ll be cancelling that as well. Another item I’ve gotten rid of is a credit score tracker. I was spending $7.99 a month for someone else to keep track of my credit score. I don’t need to do that. I can receive a free credit report from each of the three credit buearus once a year for free. Add just those three things up & I spent $44.97 a month on things I really don’t need. How crazy! That’s money I could be putting towards my debt or saving in my emergency fund. Next month, since my membership should be up for the year, I plan on cancelling my gym membership. I don’t use it nearly as often as I should. Plus when the weather starts to get bad, I won’t want to risk my life trying to get to the gym. That’s another $85.00 a month for me, my mom & sister. All in all, that’s almost $140 I waste on things that aren’t important! Holy cow!! I really need to get my prorities straightened out & quit spending.

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Savings Goals

There is the current situation on my savings accounts:

Emergency Fund – Goal = $1000.00 / Current = $796.28

Car Maintenance Fund – Goal $500.00 / Current = $100.59

Regular Savings – Current = $35.65

I don’t keep much in my regular savings & the reason for that is because the interest rate is not very good. Plus I’m still trying to get my Emergency & Car Funds fully funded first. Then I would like to start an Emergency Pet Fund for any unexpected things that might happen to my dogs. Also I would like to start a Vacation Fund so that one day maybe I’ll actually be able to afford to go on a real vacation. It would be nice.

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This Week’s Paycheck

$797.15 – Net pay after health, dental & vision insurance; 401k & HSA contributions.

– $30.00 – Emergency Savings

– $40.00 – Vehicle Maintenance Savings

                                                             

= $722.15 – Left for bills & misc.

– $141.14 – Utilities

– $187.28 – Student Loans

– $21.00 – Citibank Credit Card

– $105.00 – Parent Loans

– $31.00 – Investments

– $85.60 – Gym Memberships on Bank of America Credit Card

– $20.00 – Oil Change

                                             

= $131.13 Left Over

I think I might be going to a movie with my mother & sister Saturday night, so I should set $20.00 aside. Also, as always, I need more fuel in my vehicle. I’ll have to set another $40.00 aside for that. I will also need to set aside some money for dog food & treats. My dogs eat like they never get fed. I really need to put them on a diet.

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CVS Trip

2 Bic Wite Out – 2/$3.00 – $1.00 Off Coupon = $2.00

2 Glade Airfreshner – $0.88 ea – BOGO Free Coupon = $0.88

2 Puffs boxes – $0.88 ea – (2) $0.25 off Coupons = $1.26

3 Crest Toothpaste – $1.99 ea – (3) $1.00 EBC ea – (3) $1.00 Off Coupons = +0.03

4 Oral-B Toothbrushes – $1.99 ea – (4) EBC ea – (2) 2/$1.00 Off Coupons = $1.96

 

Subtotal = $14.50

Total ECB = $7.00

Grand Total = $7.50

 

Not bad I’d say. Yes, I still spent $7.50 of my own money. But I still think I did a good job. Toothpaste & toothbrushes should last a while!

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Balance Transfer

Yesterday I received some balance transfer checks in the mail from Citibank. Normally, I would rip them up & then shred them. However, last night I decided to open the envelope & see what they were offering. Citibank is offering me No-Interest on any balance transfer until March 1, 2009. I’ve decided to take them up on their offer. Right now I’m paying 10.99% on both my Bank of America card & my  Discover card. I will deposit one of the checks, in the total amount that I owe on my other cards, into my bank account & then use the money to pay them off. My goal is to have my credit cards paid off by January 2009 anyway. So now I’ll be paying them off faster because I won’t be paying any interest. I think it’s a great idea if I do say so myself! Also, it will give me until March to get the card paid off if I don’t get it accomplished by January. However I have every intention of getting it paid off by then.

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