I’m clever enough with math to understand that this means chopping off 50 percent of my income as soon as it hits my checking account and stuffing it somewhere else, but I hadn’t quite realized what that would feel like in practice.
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.
How do you know when to stop spending? What prevents you from buying everything you want as soon as you see it?
“Most millennials are saving SOMETHING.”
It’s time to check in on our debt payments and savings goals again.
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.