My husband and I live by a few monetary rules.
Rule #1: once we move money from the checking account to the savings account we will not move it back. Well there are exceptions to every rule, for example an emergency would force us to break this rule, but in our day to day lives this rule stands.
Rule #2: all non-wage income is transferred into our savings account. This includes bonuses, rental income, our federal tax return, etc.
Rule #3: contribute as much money as we can to our retirement accounts.
As the end of the year approaches these rules have forced us to pull the money belts quite tight. In October my husband transferred money into our savings account. He then began contributing a larger portion of his paycheck to his 401k, thereby shrinking his monthly salary. Needless to say, our once sizeable checking account is a mere shadow of it’s former self. But my husband and I are sticking to our rules and trying our best not to pull money from our savings account. The golden rule for the last three months of the year is to spend as little money as possible. We’re hoping that the money in the checking account will last through January.
Although I’m naturally pretty frugal and thrifty I’m finding this task exceptionally difficult. I keep telling myself not to spend money but somehow or another I keep pulling credit and debit cards out of my wallet. It started innocently enough. My friend’s baby threw up on my favorite pair of dress pants. After spending $3.00 to have them dry cleaned I was told they are ruined. I replaced that $80 pair of ruined pants, with two new pairs of pants and a belt (because I can’t find the only other belt I own) for $52. With trick-or-treaters arriving on Tuesday I bought $12 worth of candy. My new, longer commute forces me to buy more gas. Total cost, $32 to fill up the tank. We got home too late to cook dinner last night, fast food dinner bill $18.
With Christmas right around the corner I don’t know how long we’ll be able to make the money in the checking account last. Savings bonds for my niece and nephew alone are $50 a pop. But my husband and I are determined to stick with our rules. We’ll see if the balance in our checking account can last through December.