I am always tweaking my budget every few months as new things come up or major changes happen in my life. The latest change is that I no longer have any debts (woo hoo) so all my income can go towards daily living and future savings. I decided to make a major tweak to the budget to reflect this new status and finally ended up with a budget that is $200 less than my monthly salary.
I created the budget based solely on my regular monthly salary and did not take into account any money coming in from interest, dividends, gifts or advertising on the blog because I do not like to deal with irregular income. I increased some spending categories such as Food and Personal/Household because I found that I did not like the levels I had previously set for myself.
I kept some categories such as ‘Car’ the same, but even though I paid off my car in full I am continuing to send the ‘car payment’ to a sub account in ING to build up my savings for my next car.
I increased the amount that I am putting in church and just to keep myself on the straight and narrow I will write out four checks for the upcoming month at the end of every month. That way even if I miss a Sunday of church I will already have the check ready and will just put two checks in the collection the following week.
I reduced the budget for Irregular expenses from $450 to $195 because I no longer have to pay credit card balances or personal loans. I am already catering for irregular car expenses like registration, inspection and maintenance with the Car Fund so this Irregular Expense fund will just take care of things that I cannot possibly think of right now. Of course I have a $5000 Emergency Fund to take care of small emergencies but I am going to continue building that up as well.
If I can stick to the budget every month then my buffer in the checking account in ING can grow by $200 every month until I can get to the point where I have a full paycheck in the account to take care of the rare instance that something happens to my direct deposit. Of course I will be transferring some of this money every month over to savings so that I can grow my Never Go Back To Fresno Fund, my Car Fund and my Irregular Expenses fund so that I do not get burnt out or just have money sitting idle in the checking account.
I am happy with the new changes and I am looking forward to starting off the new year with my new budget.
Having an emergency fund is good advice for sure. I really just don’t like the way we are told to plan our investments. 401k’s tie all your money up. Pumping money into your mortgage is only good if you actually pay off your house. There is a better way to have your savings, your retirement, and your emergency fund in the same place growing AND also liquid.
Wow, you’re doing really really good with your ‘saving money plan’ lulu. best of luck.
LuLuGal, please tell me, normal people can live in the US free credits? And what are the interest rates in the US?
In Russia people are mad at the credits. But I do not want to get into debt. In my country, extortionate interest rates. From 18% to 25% or even more!