Tag: savings

Managing Funds for October

With it being the first weekend in October, the tingling sensation to go out and buy everything pumpkin, boots, flannel, and anything fall is literally gnawing at me. It is taking every ounce of my will to not go to HomeGoods or Kirkland’s (or Michael’s thinking yeah, I totally can craft…). I love fall and everything that comes with it, especially being outdoors or bringing the outside in! I love to decorate and I love to warm up the home with scents and flavors of fall. There is something about roasting acorn squash or baking maple cookies during this time of the year…

But alas, with this time of the year comes the mental recollection that the holiday season is literally around the corner. There are 90 days left of the year (okay, less than that but I didn’t want to officially panic) and for my family, the holidays also mean birthday season (my husband, my father, then me…)! So I cannot overindulge despite my inner Martha Stewart wannabe.

So I am taking some time to make some budgeting plans, which will be a challenge with a couple of travel opportunities coming up. But I need to make sure that I have all my affairs in order so I am making some drastic changes!

As you may know from earlier posts, my husband and I are saving a LOT of money by cooking exciting new meals at home during the week (and cooking them together is a great way to spend time together AND cut down on the time it takes). Sunbasket has been great and with their organic menu, we are eating cleaner and healthier while saving money — now THAT is a win-win. If you are interested in getting a box of your own and saving $40, I do have an affiliate code you can use: click here.


So with groceries off the list, there are a few other items we have to account for, like bills and yes, some fun even for an introvert like myself! So here is the plan for October:

I get paid bi-weekly and get my paycheck a day early thanks to my wonderful bank. I get those funds deposited into a checking account. So I am allocating my take-home into four expense categories:
Standard
Frivolous
Savings
Miscellaneous/emergencies

Let’s start with the “Savings” expenses:
I immediately, and automatically, pay myself in terms of a savings account. I consider ‘savings’ as a bill so without thinking, I set an auto-transfer and don’t touch that account. It is associated with my checking and is a fail-safe in case of a rainy day but otherwise, I don’t acknowledge that account at all. So ~10% of my pay, every paycheck, goes here.

Then I look at “Standard” expenses:
This is the bulk of my expenses as I strive for a debt-free lifestyle (with the exclusion of my student loans because, well, education isn’t free).
So in this bucket are expenses like rent, credit cards, utilities, and car payments. This is ~60% of the month’s income.

“Frivolous” expenses:
Withdraw $100. That is my spending limit for anything frivolous outside staple items like medication or groceries. So if I want to go out at lunch or want to go to the movies – that’s all I have for the whole month. ~2.5% of the month goes here.

Miscellaneous expenses or emergencies:
Use my debit card and spend less than 10% for the month. This is for those desperate food cravings or emergency items that we didn’t have in the house. When we can, we go to our local farmers’ market for those one-off items like zucchini for bread or peaches for dessert. “Miscellaneous” items do not count towards frivolous purchases like clothes, makeup or unnecessary items (see how that works?).

Only allowing myself $100 cash means I will not need to go into my wallet to grab a card OR allow me to spend any additional money. Credit cards should not see any daylight with the exception of our rental car or hotel (this is a preplanned trip). And if I don’t have the money, there is no way to spend it -so I have to spend wisely! I also have gift cards that I can and need to use so those will come in handy.

So inquiring minds want to know… What are you doing to prepare for the holidays? How do you budget? Who is ready to join me!?

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Frugal Tip – Automatic Savings

Part of adulting is learning to put some money aside in case of that rainy day or emergency or, if you are being really frugal, for those long-term goals like vacations or holiday shopping. However with the state of the economy and the cost of living increasing and paychecks not keeping up, how can we conscientiously put away $$ every week, paycheck, or month?

Introducing AI that helps you save automatically and in increments that your budget allows! I have been using Digit for over a year now and have created several different goals over the course the year which has helped me save over $1.5K with me barely noticing and not having to be actively calculating my bottom line.

Digit is a secure app that links to your bank account to automatically withdraw small increments on a daily basis per your goal(s). The way that it saves you money is by tracking your spending and calculating upcoming bills so it never depletes your account. Plus, you can setup a “low balance protection” clause so when your account dips below your set amount, Digit will automatically transfer money back to get it above that minimum.

For example, I currently have three goals – “Rainy Day” which is simply a pot for emergency funds; “Credit Card” which is a newer feature of Digit that automatically saves money from your checking account and pays your credit card, lowering your monthly balance; and “Gifts” for the Christmas season (this one also has a count down so it’ll automatically stop saving after December 1st).

So yesterday, Digit reviewed my account and my spending habits and automatically saved me $19.94 across my three goals. I also have a maximum amount setup so Digit can never pull more than $10 per goal, regardless of what my checking account says.

There are some days that Digit does not save me anything at all because of what I have upcoming financially. There are others, like yesterday, that it moves over higher amounts. Additionally, you can pause your savings if you ever need to for any reason and set an automatic window so Digit resumes without you having to stress.

Every new Digit subscriber gets about 90 days without a charge and there is a $2.99 charge monthly thereafter, but between its efficiency and ease, I feel that the charge is justifiable.

You also get a savings boost which essentially similar to your savings account interest. This is quarterly and it does start at 1%, so it is not that big, but I have been able to accrue about $7 since October 2018.

If you want to save some money without the stress of having to move money every month or want another way to save, try Digit! And let me know if you find this app helpful OR if you have another way that YOU save!

Disclaimer: This post is NOT sponsored and it my personal opinion of the app. There are links in this post that are affiliate and do provide a small payment to me but do not alter the experience or savings benefit for you.