I have mentioned before that I use a zero based budget but I also have a snowflaking habit. Snowflaking refers to putting aside small amounts of money which later go reducing debt or building up savings. I currently have my budget set up so that every month I transfer $25 from my ING Electric checking account to a saving sub account called Snowflake. This account also receives money from Paypal when someone pays for advertising on the blog.

Another way the snowflake account grows is when I receive money from Pinecone for doing surveys. I deposit that money at the local bank and then transfer it to my ING account when it clears since I only use the local bank to get quarters for laundry and to have a quick access to cash.

Any money that I find on the ground goes into the snowflake account as well, once it is enough to make a deposit. I use the snowflake account to make extra payments towards my debt at different times. I do not have a regular schedule for it but every now and then I will check the account after a few transfers have gone through and will use some of the money to make an extra payment towards one of my debts.

When I am ready to make a snowflake payment I transfer the amount out of savings into my Electric orange checking account and then have ING sent out the payment. Well actually sometimes I just check to see if the amount is available in savings but do not make the transfer right away…but that is another story.

Because of the randomosity of these payments I do not classify any snowflake payments in Mint as part of my budget because that would throw it off. Snowflakes are always $25 in Mint but if there is $123 in the account then I classify it as a transfer so that Mint does not show my balance as going over budget. I know it sounds a bit complicated but it makes sense to me.