Once again, I’m snowed in. I don’t think it’s actually snowed any more since late Sunday, but it’s been so cold that everyone is having trouble digging out. So the office was closed again today. In the mean time, I’ve been working on the blog. I’m not sure how I feel about the changes; I’m not very fond of how some of the text is formatted. But, it is coming along. Let me know what you like/don’t like, and I’ll try to make changes when and where I can.
Financially this week has been cutting it sort of close. I have exactly $4.84 in my spending account until Thursday. Not that I’m going anywhere to spend money, obviously. But that’s just what’s in my spending account; I still have my emergency fund, plus my savings for all of my housing projects. If I need money for something, I have it. I just don’t have any spending money left for a few days.
I’ve become used to having more of a cushion in my spending account. Each week my check is divided between my expenses, my savings, and my spending. That leaves about $71 each week. Most of that money used to go towards gas. The rest was left as a slush fund. It was a nice way to save small amounts for things like clothes, or small unexpected expenses. Which is exactly where the money went. Over the Holidays I spent some money on new clothes. I didn’t go wild; I spent ~$150 on sweaters and tops, a new pair of jeans, and a pair of khakis. All clothes for work. The clothes I was wearing were starting to show a lot of wear, and I barely had enough items to make it through a week. I also spent some of the money on repairing my furnace when it broke down.
So, I spent all of my slush fund. That’s what the money was there for. But I still feel weird about having spent it. Going forward, I think I’m going to make an adjustment. I’d like to cut back slightly on the amount of money that goes into the gas/slush fund. The Escape has a smaller gas tank, and gets better gas mileage than the Honda did. I’m also spending a lot more time at the boyfriend’s house, which is closer to work. Instead of spending $50+ a week on gas, I’m now spending $30-40 every week and a half to two weeks. I’m not comfortable leaving all that extra money as a slush fund. It gives me too much leeway to spend freely.
My plan is to start small, and make adjustments from there. I’ll adjust my savings amount from $100 to $120, bringing my gas/slush fund money down to $51 a week. After a couple of months I plan to reevaluate, and adjust if needed. It isn’t a huge adjustment. But 52 weeks times $20 is still $1,040. That’s not exactly a small amount! Actually, that one small change equals a 15% reduction to my student loan debt. Every penny helps!
– Cindy W.