Mar 05 2008

Financial goals and whatever for March

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.

6 Responses to “Financial goals and whatever for March”

  1. Kacie, we always seem to be in similar situations… When we built up our emergency fund, we found our bare-bone monthly expenses- bills, groceries, gas, plus payments we HAD to save for like car insurance & car registration, to come out to $1800, and that’s the number we based our emergency fund off of. When my husband’s laptop died recently, we decided to hold off buying another one & go down to one computer until other priorities are taken care of. So far, so good.

    We DO use our ING Direct account as our main account, for the most part. The only money in our brick-and-mortar account is what we need to cover bills and gas. Everything else sits in ING making interest, or is withdrawn for our “envelope system” This is what works for us.

  2. I would check with your bank about the debit card. For us there is only a $1 hold for gas purchases with our card. I didn’t like using the credit card because the bill came due in a different month than when we purchased the gas so it messed up the budget.
    Living on $1,800 is impressive. We pay more than that in rent! (don’t think we are living in a mansion, it is a 3 bdrm townhouse!)

  3. Okay I have to say that this line cracked me up: “It shuts off without warning, the mouse thing doesn’t always work, and just exhibits general symptoms of laptop death.”

  4. Hey Girlie!

    First of all, I am still alive! I am just working on some side stuff right now so the blog has been on the back burner. I am really trying to make some extra money to put into savings :)

    Looks like you are headed in the right track and speeding the fast lane with your savings plan. You go girl! I wish I could save that much per month.

    Well, I just wanted to let you know I still stop by everyday and I will talk to you later


  5. I will be interested to know how things go once you start using you ING account more. We have been researching this ever since I read about it on your blog. We heard great things from people putting money in, but for those using it more often, ING was actually closing their account. I will be interested in reading how things go once you increase your usage with ING.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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