Time to get serious

It occurred to me yesterday that I keep waiting till we have two incomes to worry about the saving thing. Despite my best efforts, I never seem to be able to save 10% of our income … usually because there’s always `one more thing’ I have to make sure is paid for (to keep us from going into debt again).

While I know we’re in a better position than before, I feel we’re stuck again – instead of being stuck with near-limit credit balances, now we’re stuckat the point where our various commitments keep us just out of debt .. but only just. What would I be doing if I still was paying $170 a week on our credit card like I used to? How would I manage it?

The reality is, I think we have lost our way a bit. I am letting our various expenses creep up because I don’t have the debt, which used to drive me forward. Even though I really want to get savings happening, if I know I have lots of expenses coming up, I always pay them first to ensure we don’t go into debt. But there is always going to be another expense around the corner, and maybe we have to start learning to keep that 10% out of the picture. If that first 10 per cent was already gone, we couldn’t let the expenses creep up either … or we’d go into debt.

This debt and money thing is so psychological ….!

Anyway, while we were away, we lent somebody close to us $740. We really couldn’t afford it and it probably wasn’t the best financial move, but we agreed that we would do it because we believed in the person. However, we made it clear to ourselves that we could not expect to get the money back.

Well, this week the person turned up with the first $450 of what they owed us. It was a very nice surprise. Given the number of expenses we have upcoming, my first inclination is to apply that money to help pay for those upcoming expenses.

But I’ve changed my mind. We are putting that money in our emergency fund. We didn’t expect it back, so it’s `found money’. If we don’t want to go into debt, we’re still going to have to work as hard as we were before this person turned up with the cash.

Forgive me, I think I’m going into a new phase of thinking about how our money should be used, and as usual, it means a lot of soul-searching and thought. ANd you get to read about it whether you want to or not!

My biggest desire is that when that first full-time paycheque arrives in January, I don’t want to use it to pay off bills from graduation or anything else. That first paycheck has to be like all the others coming after it – applied to our emergency fund and house deposit account. If we don’t start that way, I fear we will continue on the wrong track with this. Let’s hope we can do this.

So, the plus side? $450 is going back in our e-fund. The negative side? Almost $1600 of non-recurring bills in the next month, not counting fun stuff like a graduation dress!

How are we going to pay for this?
– cutting down my phone package (which I never adequately use anyway)

– cutting back our cable package (which we share with my father-in-law)

– cutting down my internet package (now I’m not a student, I’m not using it as much)

– food budget savings

– doing a some shifts at my old job (if they’ll have me)

– getting my hubby’s tax return in (will trigger some rebates that will pump up our cash)

I guess we’ll see how we go in a months’ time!

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2 Comments »

  1. This was a major problem for us when we first started budgeting as well but, after a couple of months you will finally work things out. Just give it some time.

    Good Luck 🙂

  2. You just have to work out the kinks I think, but you’re on the right track. YOu have to really force yourself to save, or else (if you’re like me) you forget

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