I had prepped this in February but forgot to post it. I thought I’d share anyway as this has been a problem recently. I’m afraid that I’ll pay off my debt but not have ‘enough’ money to do all the things I want. I think I’m afraid of falling back into debt once we clear out of it. I am feeling better about my spending right now and so far the month has been good.
I started the year off increasing my savings so that I could pay for a car expense without using credit. This was a significant increase as I went from setting aside $50/month to $220/month. My thought was that I’d have a lean two months and then revert to my original savings plan in March.
I’ve begun planning my March budget so I did that and found that I had some money leftover. I don’t know about you but I find if I’ve got too much ‘extra’ I not only blow it on silly things but I end up dipping into credit. Also if I have money leftover I thought I should be putting it toward a savings lines as the first two months have gone rather well. So I took a look at my car line again.
ML & I anticipate being in the market for a new vehicle in 2 years. Based on our current lifestyle, as well as our wants and comfort level, a used version of the vehicle we want will most likely be around $30,000. That’s a lot of money to save in 2 years! Frankly in spite of how good I’m doing with getting out of debt that figure scares me. We’d need to sock away $1,250 a month to get it. I’m going to tell you right now that I can’t save without scrimping and allocate that kind of money to a single savings line.
With this in mind I re-upped my savings to $220, well if felt like a noose. I would then have to not go out for dinner with friends to celebrate my birthday and cancel a visit to see a friend who has flown in as the gas would be too much. Though not earth shattering those sacrifices felt like too much. Frankly I had made plans for March counting on having an extra $170.
So I looked at my budget again. I took out the expenses I had put in because I had the money:
- Cancel the trip to the salon to get my eyebrows done. I’m perfectly capable of doing my own
- Opt out of the night out with friends that we don’t particularly enjoy being with
- Take out the extra padding I put into groceries, we’ve been doing just dandy spending the amount in January and February
When I looked at the budget critically these weren’t hard to do but in the moment they were terrifying. How in the world did we make it through the first two months?
In the end I’ve compromised. In March I’ll put $150 toward the car care/replacement fund so I can still do some of the things I’d like. By May my aim is to increase that savings to $200.
Have you had this feeling when you’ve seen a small increase in your salary?