At the beginning of this month, Shane and I sat down to look over all of our spending for the month of February.
No purchase or expense stood out as, "Whoa! What were we thinking?!" but we spent more than I think we should have. Had it not been for our federal income tax refund, things could have gotten a little scary.
For March, we’re going to do things a little differently.
For starters, we’re only going to use our credit cards for gasoline. In the past, I’ve charged online purchases and a few random things. We pay the balance before the bill even comes out, but it’s no fun paying a $200 credit card charge. I’d rather pay it once with my debit card and be done with it. I know I can use my debit card for that, but I’m freaked out by the $50 hold or whatever they might put on the account. I guess I should look into my bank’s specific policy…yeah that would be good.
We’re aggressively loading our emergency fund, and we need to know how much we really need each month to get by. Right now, it’s looking like it’s about $1,800, but I want to make sure that’s a correct and doable amount, if we ever need to. I’m going to try to be more discriminating with what I buy this month to help get a good gauge of what’s what. Right now, the goal amount for our fully funded emergency stash is $10,000. So, if we have $1,800 worth of expenses each month, that would be about 5.5 months worth of wiggle room. If it turns out that we probably need more than $1,800 on a bare-bones month, then I’ll know to increase that amount.
We’re starting to use our ING Direct account more than before. I don’t know if we’ll eventually use that as our main account, but that’s the direction we’re taking.
Finally, Shane’s laptop is on its last legs. It shuts off without warning, the mouse thing doesn’t always work, and just exhibits general symptoms of laptop death. We have a separate account in our ING savings to start saving toward a new laptop,
if when we need to buy one.
Goals for the month summary:
- Keep "unnecessary" spending to a minimum (whatever that means)
- No credit card usage, except at the gas pump
- Put at least $1,000 in ING savings account
- Stay positive about living la vida frugal
Head over to Money Saving Mom to see others’ financial updates.