Steps 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21

on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'm trying hard to get caught up with these steps to finish out Financial Literacy Month on time. I have just had so many things on my mind lately with O's minor health scare, trying to get things organized for S before he comes home and a lot going on at work.

Ok, back to business. Step 17 deals with savings. The first bullet says make it automatic. I have a small amount being automatically saved each month. I really should change this but will do that once S and I reevaluate our budget when he starts working. The next bullet says to turn your hobbies into cash. We I do know how to knit but I haven't knit anything worthy of being sold. I highly doubt I'll end up doing this bullet. The third bullet says downsize. While we can't really downsize we did decided this weekend to hold off on getting a new car for a while longer. My car has some major issues going on but we're going to try to just run the car down and then look into getting a different one. The final bullet says use gifts and found money wisely. We are saving all of our wedding presents for our trip to Germany. I received two target gift cards today through a diaper deal they have this week. I am going to use those towards O's birthday presents. Any other found money will be snowflaked into our emergency fund.

Step 18 deals with tracking daily expenses. I am already doing this by logging everything into our budgeting program.

Step 19 deals with documenting fixed expenses. We have very few fixed expenses. They are the cell phone and student loans. Everything else is pretty variable. I do put $100 for baby expenses in the budget but usually it comes in somewhere around $90. This is pretty variable as are most of our other categories at this point.

Step 20 deals with reoccuring but not monthly expenses. I have a seperate account that I stick money in each month for these bills. It is call my reocurring bills account. It pays for car insurance, clothing, oil changes, car tires, among other things. I added all of these expenses up and then divided them by 12 and then put that amount into the reoccuring bills account each month. I take them out at the start of the money that they will be used in by putting them into my regular checking account.

Step 21 deals with documenting spending. I have been tracking my expenses and spending in Microsoft Money since before I met S. I will continue to do this just adding his information as well. This steps pretty much explains how to create a budget. I will be posting my budget on or around May 1st. It will be as up to date and workable as possible. We may need to make some changes a long the way but we'll see what happens when the time comes.

I am now all caught up with these steps until the next time I fall behind.