Thursday, February 19, 2009

Savings & Emergency Fund....contiuned series....

Look familiar?:

"Financial Bank..........Account Number....00001"

Transactions Amount
ck #100 $ -50.00
overdraft fee $-35.00
phone bill $-100.00
overdraft fee $-35.00
car payment $-200.00
overdraft fee $35.00

Total Balance $-455.00!!!!

Early in our relationship, my husband and I were used to seeing our account in red. We didn't like but we felt as if we couldn't come up from there considering our situation. We always wanted to save money but never got around to it. Either something would come up, we'd buy something we didn't need, we'd go out to eat, or spend it on something else. Before we knew it, we were saying, " I wish we coulda, woulda, shoulda". Before long weeks, months, and even years would go by and we'd still have nothing but constantly owing others. One day we decided that enough was enough! If we wanted to provide a good future for ourselves and our daughter, we needed to have a savings account with money in it!..lol

Since we had 1 income and loans, credit cards, and our regular bills, we needed to create a budget that fitted our needs and stick to it. No if, and, or buts! We also decided to put something towards savings each time their was a paycheck even if it was just $25...kinda like tithes..taking it from off the top. One night after seeing I had spent over $100 in a week and a half on just eating out, my hubby and I printed out our account statements from the past couple months and got a pen and calculator. We wanted to see exactly how much went to just eating out in 3 months. Can you believe that it was almost $1,500 in just 3 months! $1,500! That is a lot of money to waste on eating out, when it could've been saved.

That was the final straw. We created a budget, stayed on top of our money and bills, and started saving. Our first goal was $500.00. It was an good starting point for us and we were able to achieve this goal in a couple months. Then we increased it to $1,000...and once we were able to meet that goal it made us feel good; really good and saving money started to replace the urges of buying clothes, shoes, bags, etc.

Once we saved a $1,000 we knew we could and wanted to save more. So we set a goal for ourselves to have 3 months of living expenses saved, and we not only achieved that goal but we have over 4 months saved, working on 5 months! This is our Emergency Fund! It's there in case hubby loses his job or something happens. We also have other savings accounts such as a Vacation Fund, Christmas Fund, Regular savings, a soon to be Car Fund, and now we are starting to go down the investments path. This is what I think about when I see an outfit or a pair of shoes I want. Or if I want to stop at Burger King or order takeout because I don't want to cook. It motivates us to not waste money but find different ways to save.

Now, I realize every situation is different but we really have to ask ourselves if we are truly being good with what the Lord has given us, including wives, especially SAHMs. Our hubby's count on us to use the hard earn money wisely. When we don't care and spend, spend, spend; then we are showing ourselves to be lazy and selfish..at least that's what I thought I was. I wasn't being considerate to the fact that my husband has to work hard for that money, I wasn't keeping in mind our bills, getting diapers, etc for our daughter, or even trying to save a little bit. I was feeding a bad hunger that needed to be removed and replaced with a good one.

God forbid the car breaks down, a pipe breaks, gotta buy a new bed, or someone you know may need something....how will you handle the situation with nothing saved? Of coarse GOD will be with us but sometimes we get ourselves in a jam and GOD will allow us to suffer in it a little while so we learn better the next time. That's certainly what happened to me. I felt trapped. I felt like I couldn't get under from the debt. It was truly a stressful time in my life, but I thank GOD for allowing me to stay in the fire a little bit so I can truly learn to do right by everything.

So..today my hubby and I have 2 credit cards with no balances....current on all my student loans (which is considered good debt, like mortgages), over 4 months of living expenses saved, funded regular savings, no car loans, and able to give to others. It can be done in any situation, just take the first step and never try to live up to others. Each situation is different and just as good in GOD eyes.

Do you want to be free from bad financial habits like me? Pray and ask GOD to help and guide you to be a better steward today. Just trust him!

3 comments:

Natalie said...

After moving to a new state with my husband and 3 year old son, I started to take a look at our life and savings as well. Over the past few months I have begun to make everything I can instead of buying them. We very rarely eat out anymore. At the beginning of the year I started a savings account and set it up so that every week I get paid $20 goes into the savings automatically. Every week when my husband gets paid I manually transfer $20. That way if we do not have it right at that moment, I can transfer it later. Any money from side jobs goes in the savings account. My yearly goal was $1500 and so far since the first of the year I have saved right at $400. It scared me that we had no savings at all in case some emergency popped up. We have no credit cards. The only debt we have is my car, which I hope to pay off in this next year. It is not always easy to come home from work and then cook supper and do all the other things that have to be done, but working together as a family has made it easier. I hope one day to have several savings accounts like you do, but for now I am proud of the one we do have, and the progress we have made so far.

Sheena said...

It sounds like your on the right track. Keep up the good work Natalie!

kPg said...

Gosh, it's so hard to put up your own emergency fund, right? You have to have the right amount of discipline to be consistent with your contributions, and your reasons for building the fund should be enough to keep you motivated. Is it advisable to start small when putting up an emergency fund? And by small, I mean saving up your loose change and stuff like that. Well, that's what I'm gonna do for now.