As you all know I am a teacher and sadly I do not get paid a lot. I do get a small increase in salary every year but the amount is so small as to be insignificant on a monthly basis.

With the new school year we got a slight increase (even after increasing contributions to my Flexible Savings Account) that now gives me $70 more per month.

I have decided to keep my budget the same as before the increase and to pretend that the $70 does not exist. I am doing this for three main reasons:
1. I can treat the ‘extra’ money like a bonus
2. It will add to the buffer in my ING Electric Orange checking account
3. I am not experiencing lifestyle inflation.

Lifestyle inflation usually occurs when you start to earn more money. In an effort to not see any ‘extra’ you increase your spending to match the increased level of income. I have decided to keep my budget the same and let the additional income roll over in my ING account where it is earning interest.

I actually will be using the extra money until December to pay off the LASIK card so that I can be free of that particular debt before January, when the interest rate becomes retroactive. I am not going to add that money to the budget however because I do not want to see it there.

I know this is a silly mind trick but it does help to keep me on track with my budget and it is one tool that really works for me.Since I do a sweep on the last day of the month to move extra money from my low interest checking to my higher interest savings accounts in ING then I will have a good amount that goes into the Overage account that can be used to reduce debt.

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