@erinep shout out to UWCU! there are many many reasons I am sad not to live in Madison anymore, but weirdly giving up my credit union account (no good way to access the money where I am, and doubt that I will move back) was one of them. And I second all the people who say Capitol One 360 for multiple savings accounts- plus you can track your savings goals and they will give you encouragement!
Uggghhhhh accountability. I mean no, it's really great. July Travel savings: $2802 So I didn't do the August check in, but I can happily report that for one hot second, there was a balance of $3500 in my South Africa travel savings account! I met my goal, and got to actually go to South Africa, was totally f-ing amazing, and so so so so worth it! Current balance in travel fund: $55. Hmm, where shall I go next? But...as previously mentioned, I've kind of been doing this rolling credit card thing, where I'm spending about a month into the future. I was really hoping that the vacation savings would negate that (because, I'd be spending money on vacation, which was saved for, but not at home!), but a combination of a deluge of unplanned expenses and probably some irresponsible spending has dashed that hope. So, currently Mint is telling me I have $3880 in cash assets, and owe $4050 on credit cards...I'm waiting on a paycheck and one more reimbursement from the friend I was traveling with, but I also have to pay the rent...I think it will be ok and I won't have to pay interest on the CCs, but this is way too close for comfort for me. So, I'm revealing my secret shame here, and hoping next month I'll be back in the black and building my emergency fund back up!
I know every month I express my joy at these check-ins, but they are really just so great, and so helpful for me to see that even though it feels sooooo slow, I am really making progress. September South Africa Trip Savings Fund (goal: $3500) June: $2201 July: $2802 - My trip is is in September, so I think I'm going to be able to get there, although this has been an expensive summer- here's hoping the raise that was approved over a month ago finally gets approved at some point! Car loan: June: $3707 July: $3551 I have a dirty secret though- even though I paid off my standing credit card debt, I am still charging about a month into the future, so even though I pay it off in full every month and never pay interest, I don't really have cash on hand for my monthly expenses. I'm really not comfortable with this, and I think the guilt over this is why I haven't yet asked Mike for a note. I'm trying really hard, but things just keep coming up (i.e., paying for carpet replacement in my car this month, which is taking a big chunk of my emergency savings, and buying my plane ticket for christmas).
Well said indeed, Mike. So, what do we do? What congresspeople do we write to in protest? Where is Occupy when you need them?
this all sounds amazing, and mostly I just wish that "Chile Pies (and Ice Cream)" existed in my kitchen right now.
@Mrs. Beeton You are great, and exactly right. The "Platonic Tip Ideal" is 20%, and people don't have to aspire to that if they don't want to, but it is right. Also, I love @Cerasi's point about the finer math of tipping and it being worth $52/year to feel like a good tipper. And while I know some rich people who tip very well, it definitely seems the people who are the most conscientious and generous are the ones who have worked shitty jobs and/or don't make very much money currently and so can empathize. I can't believe Alex thought the internet would support his side. Hooray for all the generous billfold tippers!
US citizens living abroad still owe taxes, but the first $87,000 of income is exempt (at least when I was doing it, I think they've raised the exemption since), so she is well under the limit and owes no U.S. taxes. I thought this was great and interesting, and also made me very sad because the whole thing about how " the current Government hates immigrants and try to dissuade us from staying here by making the visa process so expensive and difficult" is exactly the reason why I am now back in the U.S. instead of still living in beautiful Oxford.:( Because yes, there are so many unemployed UK citizens who were dying for that intestinal immunology postdoc. Oh, how I miss the 35 vacation days and quick and cheap weekend trips to France!
@elVollbrechto This is a super fascinating story! Also, "elVollbrechto" is an amazing username!
Every month when this comes around I get warm fuzzies. Hooray for everyone!!! And also, @ThatJenn you continue to be awesome with your super detailed calculations. So: September South Africa Trip Savings Fund (goal: $3500) May: $701 June: $2201 yesssssss...I got some reimbursements, and sold my computer to my brother. That's exciting though, I had been doing it gradually over the month so I didn't realize I'd made that much progress since May! Car loan: May: $3707 June: same, I paid extra in May and didn't pay more so that I could put everything into the vacation fund.
one person in a two-bedroom, apartment in a beautiful but very old and drafty apartment. Am on the eco billing plan where you pay the same every month, so over the year averages to $36/month electric and $45/month gas (my heat is gas). No air conditioning, and in the winter I am pretty cold. But I do pay a few cents/kWh for the greenstart energy that comes from wind and landfill gas!