Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Two Month Mark with

Two months down, the rest of my life to go!!! At the beginning of April, I took a big step (for me) and started tracking my budget on I was doubtful at first, still tracking my expense by hand in excel, but then I learned to love it. By the end of April, I felt like a pro and had ditched my beloved excel spreadsheet!

This month, I took to a whole new level, I learned how to make it work for me. One of the few things I do not like about is its “goal setting” section. When you set a financial goal, it wants you to designate a bank account. Well I just do not have enough bank accounts for my saving goals!!! So instead, I started using the “Make this budget roll over” option.


As I explain in April:

I went way over budget for Auto: Service and Parts because I had some car maintenance done. I do not drive often and only get my oil changed 3 times a year, but it is a good practice to budget about $50 a month for your car just in case. allows you to choose for budgets to roll over. While my car maintenance cost me about $250 this month, it is also the first time I have paid for maintenance (besides oil changes) in the 3 years I have owned the car. So in a few months, my car budget will start building up again.

Other areas where I have set up roll over budgets include Health, Dates with Jay, Running, Travel, Wedding Expenses and Running Expenses. These categories vary from month to month, but I still want the money there just in case I need it. Just think, if you budget about $100 a month an entire year, you can go on a pretty decent vacation!

Well, guess what?!?! I am still over budget for car maintenance in May, but this time a little less. Also, notice how some those areas I set in April with roll over budget now show a negative amount!! For example in my travel category, I move into May with $334 built up. I love being financially prepared!

may mint

Other categories I added to my “roll over” saving plan included Friends Weddings, Personal Care and Auto Payment. The Friends Wedding category is designated specifically for weddings I have to participate in. As I am learning from my bridesmaids, being in a wedding can be expensive!!! Why not start saving now?

Personal Care is now designated for haircuts, pedicures (I have never actually had one) and the like. This month I did get my hair-cut right before a friend’s wedding. I normally try to get my hair cut four times a year, sometimes less depending on training. My next haircut is already scheduled for the week after the marathon!!

Those that know me personally are probably wondering why I am already saving for my next car. My current car is a great 2006 Mazda 3 that I LOVE. I am also a realist, as much as I hope I drive that car until my grave, the reality is I will probably have to buy a new car before 2020. If I start saving $75 a month towards a car now, I will have a nice healthy down payment when the time comes.

I would also like to point out that even though my Budget looks pretty red, I actually was under-budget this month by almost $600. Besides my massive shopping trip, most categories I went over by only a few dollars or made purchases that only occur every few months. I can’t wait to start watching my new categories grow!!

How do you earmark your savings money?