I need to be in on this! Just did the math: if we want to give dd €1,000 on her 18th birthday, we have to set aside €5 a month starting NOW. (She is 19 months) That's not counting interest, but these days, that doesn't count for much anyway.....
We would like to buy a slightly bigger car this year, and we will be moving, and I would like to start a private pension fund.
Private pension fund: €780 per year (tax free scheme in Belgium)
Car: €3,000 (approx)
Move: €1,500 (approx)
In April I have €600 coming from a savings account I started 4 years ago and that will mature now, so that will be a nice start to the pension fund. It's money I've never 'had', so I won't miss it if it sits in another savings account.
Let me think about what to do with the other expected costs. I have a budget of sorts, which has €700 in savings listed every month. Dh is an unknown factor, he spends while it's there. Maybe we should just take out the grocery money in cash, so that he knows exactly how much there is for the month (he does most of the shopping and cooking). But my household probs are not for this thread....
Money management is always a work in progress. Since I signed up for this in January, I have changed what I'm doing.
1. I have decided to base my EF on $1500 a month expenses, rather than $1200, so it is not quite fully funded to my 4 month target. That needs to be worked on, but not urgently.
2. I have separated my sinking fund from it. I opened a second HSBC online account (its where I have my EF) for it.
3. Instead of adding a steady prorated insurance amount each month, I'll add more erratically, since I"ll also still be adding to the EF. I'll just be sure that the insurance is covered by the time it falls due. I have $350 in it now, some normal saving, some tax refund. I need $400 by mid April.
I considered also adding some additional to it for car replacement/maintenance costs. However, I've decided against this. I know this is not orthodoxy, but I really hate to have much sitting in savings accounts at such pathetic interest, when I am desperately pushing retirement funds. Time's running out and I'm behind. Sure, the market's not great now, but that's a good time to buy. So I'm hoping for car luck, and if not, there's the EF I could tap for repairs, good insurance to help if it's replacement, because I would only replace for now if it was totaled.
Other thoughts. I have a checking account at my work credit union, but no savings account. I could open one and put in just a few dollars a month for a locally available savings. It could be the tiny beginning of an eventual car fund. Maybe I'll look into that, even though the interest is almost nothing. I wouldn't have much in it so that wouldn't really matter. I'll think about it.
Our Sinking Fund isn't doing so well. We had a young man show up on our doorstep at the beginning of the month with no place to stay -- a family member. We took him in and have been raiding the Sinking Fund to cover for extra groceries.
He's also very good with audio, so we took the opportunity to upgrade our 30 year old sound system in the house. He managed to get us a whale of a deal, but it still meant drawing from the Sinking Fund. He also upgraded my computer from Sinking Fund money.
There were other expenses associated with him that we were more than glad to pay. But it will mean a draw on the Sinking Fund again. Oh well...this is what the Sinking Fund is for...right?
Sinking fund on hold. I just posted days ago I was hoping for car luck. I know better than to say that. Big repair bill. I pulled it out from EF, so I need to focus more on that for a bit. I'm only about $50 short of where I need to be for April. That can come from the April cash flow.
Well we tapped into our window replacement fund to buy 4 of the 10 windows we'll need. We got 3 coats of the Low E glass so we will qualify for the tax credit and that will save us more than the cost of that extra coating.
We're hoping that since some of the windows we'll be installing later in the project are smaller.. they will cost less. We also had them price out a garden window... :thud: 4x the amount of a regular window. So that won't be in the plans. hehehe
$3000 trip to see girls in the Maritimes
$15,000 kitchen renovations
$4950 taxes and insurance
$1200 gifts to give (birthdays and Christmas)
$2000 furniture and appliances
What I've actually done is...
1) we decided to do the kitchen reno ourselves. That will cut costs.
2) we are not doing the entry reno this year. Instead we are going to the Re-Store to look for an old doorknob to fit our door. Then it will just be a case of painting everything in the entryway and putting doors on the closet.
3) We've approached the girls about paying to fly them out for Christmas. They're both thinking about it...
4) Taxes and insurance are fixed...can't do nuthing about them!
5) Christmas funds are being saved up from my allowance as well as from inside our Sinking Fund. That will decrease the amount necessary for gifts.
6) There has been no move on new-to-us furniture yet. We'll see if this actually pans out...
We've been able to put aside an extra $2000 in the Sinking Fund so far this year. And that's with installing the new wireless sound system and upgrading my computer. Not bad.
So the bills all came for those February expenses on the Sinking Fund. DH came to me to ask me if I had any money to help pay the bill! Duh...I don't work outside the home. Where would I get the money? From my personal allowance? I'm saving that for Christmas this year. And to tithe to the church...a concept DH doesn't like.
However, I have been stashing away extras from our budget category jars at the end of each pay period...before I fill the jars with more money. In the end I was able to turn up over $300 for DH to pay some bills.
I must admit I'm a bit miffed. We knew when we spent the money it was coming out of the sinking fund in the bank. Why did he change his mind? Well I had a chat with him last night about it. Turns out his set point in regards to how much money we should have in the bank has risen. Used to be if we had $100 in chequing and $3000 in short term savings for taxes and insurance, he was happy. Now he would like to see $10,000 in short term savings. Hmmm...well we're there, but with these bills our sinking fund goes below that.
I don't mind that his set point has risen...I just wish I'd known about it before the expenses were incurred...but I suspect he didn't know his set point had risen until he went to pay the bills! At any rate, we know now and it won't take long to get short term savings above $10,000 again.
A forum community dedicated to the frugal lifestyle and the enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about simple and green living, cost effective tips, life hacks, debt reduction, recycling, gardening, other homesteading techniques, and more!