Financial Doldrums

In which I reflect on the process of creating a money management plan and fight financial inertia (#23).

I have a few financial goals on this list. They are lofty. Ambitious. Daunting.

Sigh. That’s a lie. I’m just trying to justify the complete lack of enthusiasm I am currently fighting through in order to get started on them. I know from experience that setting things up will not take too much time or energy, and that I’ll feel a lot better about things after I do. After all, I can forget about things after I get them set up to distribute our money automatically.

In that spirit, I have turned my attention to updating our joint finances to reflect joy of dual incomes. The hubs and I have just entered into this glorious state, and we are definitely not used to having that much money coming in.

I’m determined that we will not get used to it, either. Our plan is to have our main living expenses and basic saving come out of the hubs’ salary alone. We intend to have the majority of my salary go to various savings goals. What’s left over will be our “fun money” for the month. I’ve only begun crunching the numbers, so I’m not completely sure how the percentages to each will break down. I do know that I won’t be tracking spending too closely.  I prefer to “manage” rather than “budget.” We’ll have our savings automatically transferred to their proper places, and the bills will all be paid by web bill pay from our main account. I intend to have a buffer so that if we ever go “over budget” on one section, we won’t have to beat ourselves up about it. For me, the key is the automatic transfer of savings.

We plan to have a long-term savings pot for buying a house and replacing our cars someday. We’ll also have an irregular spending designation for yearly expenses like insurance and clothing updates. We’ll be contributing to our employers’ retirement plans to get the matching benefits, and then maxing out our IRAs each year. And we’ll be adding a few accounts to save up for having kids in a few years: a fund for the baby stuff (including travel to show the infant off) and a fund that will hopefully enable me to stay home for the first few years.

Of course, we are more looking forward to the fun goals we’re working on. We will be saving for a big vacation out of the country. We’re really looking forward to it after the modest vacations we took over the past couple of years while the hubs was in grad school. We’ll be saving for a few big purchases, including my new fancy camera.

I hope to have our money management all ready to go over the next few weeks. I’ll be back for a report on our initial breakdowns and how they compare to what we were doing when we were a single-salary family. Wish me luck!

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One thought on “Financial Doldrums

  1. Good luck! Maybe get yourself a treat when you get it all crunched and set up! Perhaps a new Trenta drink from Starbucks! Nothing is better than 30 ounces of Starbucks!

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