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Money tinkering

September 21st, 2010 at 06:53 am

I'm doing some tinkering with our monthly budget/auto payments. I hope this will help us better manage our cash flow. Before this, we had all of our monthly large debits coming out of one paycheck, which brought my checking balance uncomfortably low. With a few changes, I have managed to make our committed expenses from each check the same.

First, I broke the kids' monthly 529 payment into two debits, one on the 1st and one on the 15th. Before, I had one giant debit coming out on the 15th. I also upped the amount for each child by $25. We'll see if we miss it.

Second, I arranged for our preschool tuition to come out in the first check, and our car loan to come from the second check.

These two changes mean I can budget for the same amount-- $440 to come out of each check. (I rounded the car payment up to $240, from $217. We'll see if we miss that extra).

I have a firmer plan for my freelance income as well. I make a steady $600-$750 a month. After my IRA is maxed, I will use whatever is left to make sure we have met our college savings goals for the kids. Whatever is left after that will be used as a lump sum payment to the auto loan. I just hate having debt, so it's got to go!

Now that I have a secured plan for the freelance money, maybe I will be motivated to take on more work.

It isn't much, but I hope this will help us plan. I was so on top of our finances two years ago, but this year I have basically failed at my family fiduciary duties! I'm trying to turn it around, though.

I guess with everything that has happened around here, I should be happy anything gets done.

4 Responses to “Money tinkering”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    With our two paychecks per month, I do similar bill paying, with the commitments divided between the two. It does help manage things! Good luck.

  2. ThriftoRama Says:

    Good. I'm glad it's working for you. Maybe that means it will work for us! It just seems to simple. I should have thought of it before.

  3. Little L Says:

    I just recently assigned our monthly bills to paychecks for the very same reason you did. Previously I paid them as close to the due date as possible but now everything will come out on paydays. It gives me peace of mind but also this was done out of necessity since our expenses increased due to school tuition expenses doubling this year.

  4. ThriftoRama Says:

    I went back through again to see when our normal bills come during the month. it looks like I will also be able to assign the utilities to specific checks as well. This will really help us budget, because now I have a firmer idea of what we can safely spend each week on food, gas, fun, etc. This sounds basic, but it was hard to do when everything came out of one check.

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