With my new austerity measures starting to fall into place, mind you with a few bumps and glitches, I thought it might be good to put down some actual goals. None of these categories will be for a full 12 months, just what I am going to aim for in each short and long term savings goal by December 31st to keep us firmly on track. As DH has a variable income, and I will have one three pay pay period month, I do not anticipate this being a linear path to savings-more a meandering one. We have a variety of buckets of funds and savings set aside already, so this a clean slate savings statement. Almost like a brand new piggy bank, but with ear marked categories already. I'm not implying that our other banks are full, but you get the picture.
The game is to not touch any of those previously mentioned funds above, hopefully adding to it if things pick up for DH, and successfully meet these categorical targets. Some categories will include savings that might be non cash, such as gift card bonuses or rewards that exchange for something in the category, for instance towards Christmas gifts, or credit towards DD2's activity fees. As some payments or fees may be coming due, when they are paid, I will count towards that category as if it was put in a savings fund. In no particular order, here's the accounts I will be tracking:
|DD2 College Fund||$6,000|
|Get Away Trip(s)||$800|
Wowser! Putting it down like this, we may be eating beans, rice, and water. It isn't quite as dire as it appears looking at it in one lump sum. I know a good chunk can be whittled down with my third paycheck month. We haven't touched the points on our VISA rewards, and there is substantial there to draw down on either as cash, or through shopping. I'm going to feel the extra 10% of my pretax pay going into my deferred compensation plan as I try and play "catch-up" now that I am 50 and can put aside up to $24,000. I know long term that is the smart thing to do, but means creativity for now. It is very much a stretch though, as to achieve it, DH is going to have to get closer to his historical averages. Cost cutting can only go so far. Earnings have to play into it as well. I'm fearful July might start with a negative balance, but if so, I'll be honest and hold myself to finding out the spending flaw.
I read over and over that savings without goals seems overwhelming and unfocused. Hopefully by seeing the tangibles laid out in front of me, like that first bike or car I bought with my own money, I'll make the better choices. One choice, to drink from the stockpile of wine on hand instead of buying new bottles, is easy to make. And with that, I think a nice glass of white has my name on it.