saving

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First of May, First of May, Brand-New Budget Starts Today

So now that it’s the First of May and I can finally start putting my new savings plan into action (as a quick recap, I want to put 20 percent of every freelancer payment into a “taxes” saving account, 20 percent into a “debt” savings account, 10 percent into actual savings, and keep the other 50 percent for overhead and discretionary expenses), I’ve started to think about what that might mean in practical terms.

During one of my weekly Tumblr financial roundups, for example, I calculated how those percentages would have fallen out had I put this plan into action in March:

If I had done this for March’s “total money that hit my bank account,” which ended up being $5,539.41, it would have worked out to:

20% savings: $1,108

20% debt: $1,108

10% savings: $554

Left over: $2,770

As I wrote for The Billfold earlier, I have an approximate $1,500 overhead cost (rent, food, bills, etc.), so that would leave me with $1,270 in discretionary income. If I earn less money in any given month, I still have a lot of wiggle room in this budget.

I can already see a big honking problem with this plan, though, at least for May: I have a bunch of expenses coming up at the beginning of the month, and all my big freelancing checks don’t start coming until the middle and end of the month.

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My ‘Real Life’ May Be On Hold, But My Financial Goals Aren’t

For the past few years, I’ve been living what I fondly describe as a “temp-to-perm” life in New York City. Since moving to the U.S. from the U.K. in 2010, I’ve spent five years with one foot in each country. Even my visa can’t make up its mind—if you scroll through all the legal paperwork, you will find the phrase “dual intent.” While temporary visitors can be turned away at the border for divulging the slightest hint that they might want to make the land of the free their permanent home, my particular class of (non)immigrant has been given the federal thumbs up to spend months and even years testing the water before committing to a green card application and a lifetime of being mocked for the way we pronounce “tomato.”

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Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: April 2015 Check-in

It’s time to check in on our debt payments and savings goals again.

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How Do You Know When to Stop Spending?

How do you know when to stop spending? What prevents you from buying everything you want as soon as you see it?

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Lay Off Millennials OK? We’re Saving As Fast As We Can

“Most millennials are saving SOMETHING.”

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Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: March 2015 Check-in

It’s time to check in on our debt payments and savings goals again.

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Increased Income and Decreased Generosity

If you’re earning “enough” and you’ve got a little bit left over, and you’re only ever going to have a little bit left over, why not share some of what you’ve got? But now I’ve got more than a little bit left over, and I’m starting to think of my money as stackable units.

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Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: February 2015 Check-in

Tackling that debt.

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