A little more detail & a lot more savings!

I’ve been debating about what level of detail to include when I write about my finances.  Part of me is a little hesitant to share the details, but a bigger part of me thinks that:

a) I prefer reading about other people’s finances when they share the details

b) I want to be held accountable, and I think specifics will be good for that

c) it’ll be easier for anyone to share advice or input if I give specifics

d) it’ll be cathartic to have them out there 🙂

So, here goes full disclosure, at least as far as my ING savings accounts go…

I have five accounts with INGDirect:

1. Roth IRA Fund (Currently, my retirement savings are zilch. I’m trying to save to $1000 to open up a Roth IRA account for retirement; that’s one of my resolutions for this year!)

2. Emergency Fund (My initial goal here is to reach $1000, then I’ll reevaluate after that.)

3. Irregular Expenses Fund (This is for things like car services, new tires, etc. Things that I know to expect at some point, but that I don’t know quite when.)

4. Health Insurance Fund (Originally this was a “Declutter” fund, where I hoped to put money from anything I made selling the stuff I got rid of; I’ve since decided that that money should be going toward my other savings goals, not be isolate. Last month I changed this to a savings account for health insurance, because when I turn 26 in May, I’ll be ousted from my parents’ plan and getting a personal plan.  A few years ago I had a personal health insurance plan, and it cost around $200/mo.  I will do some research to see the best plan for me this go ’round, but I’m anticipating spending about that per month.  So, I’m trying to get a cushion in this account before May comes.)

5. Travel Fund (As of now, this is for specific travel plans I’ve already made, ones that I have to make, like a wedding I’m attending in late April.  In the next year or two I hope to start saving for travel for the sake of travel, but I’m not at a spot where I’d be comfortable prioritizing the travel over the other savings goals.)

I opened these accounts in the last few days of October 2010, so I’ve been working on them for about 3 1/2 months.  I get paid twice a month, and with each paycheck I make small contributions to a few of the accounts.  Even though each account is pretty small, I love having them separate.

Here are the balances:

Roth IRA Fund: $275.21

Emergency Fund: $175.13

Irregular Expenses: $150.12

Health Insurance: $80.01

Travel: $39.36

Total: $719.83

Why am I sharing this today?  Two nights ago I filed my 2010 taxes.  I was a little anxious about filing them, as I realized from my W-2 forms that I’d only had a little over $100 withheld for my federal taxes.  Even though I didn’t make much in 2010 (I was a teaching assistant from Jan-May, unemployed while I finished my thesis in the summer, and a part-time sales associate from Aug-Dec, so a grand total of about $8,000), I was hoping I wouldn’t owe too much.  Turns out that I made so little that I got back my withholdings plus I qualified for a few credits.  The bottom line?  Between federal & state refunds, I’m getting $1028.

$1028!! That is more than I could have dreamed!! I should be getting the money in 8 to 14 days, and all of it will be going toward my savings goals. In about an hour of work on my taxes, I “made” about 1/8 of my entire salary for the last year or 143% of my current savings.  My piddlin’ little accounts won’t know what to do with themselves!!

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Bring Emergency Fund to $750 (so, $575 to it)
  • Bring Roth IRA Fund to $500 (so, $225 to it)
  • Bring Travel to $90, which will at least cover the hotel portion of my April trip (so, $50 to it)
  • Put $150 toward Health Insurance
  • Put remainder ($28) toward Irregular Expenses

I’m still playing around with the numbers, but this is at least a starting point (even if it’s draft number 8 or 9! I’ve had so much fun trying to figure out where to put it…).  I’m open to any suggestions you have for me!  Regardless of how I distribute the money, my savings are going from $719 to $1747, which is THRILLING!

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7 thoughts on “A little more detail & a lot more savings!

  1. I like how you’ve allocated the money; you’ll be really close to your emergency fund goal.

    I like reading about actual numbers on blogs too, that’s why I blog most of ours 🙂

  2. Lindy Mint says:

    Nice windfall! I love tax returns…even though smart financial people say it’s much better to not loan that money to the government in the first place, but whatever, it’s much more fun to get it in one lump sum! Your savings accounts will be so happy 🙂

    • You’re right, the lump sum is so lovable! Getting it in one big chunk was definitely a momentum booster. The best part of my refund is that I hardly loaned the government any money (around $200ish), I just qualified for some credits because of how little I made!

  3. moralia says:

    That’s a nice little juicy refund! And great that you’re saving it!! 🙂 Good stuff!

    Thanks for pointing out my mistake on my blog! I appreciate it!! 🙂 I hate going back a day later and seeing that I have a blaring typo! haha!!

    • Thanks! Two of the three refunds were deposited into my savings accounts yesterday… I immediately deposited them before any money could try to get absorbed into my checking account!

  4. […] While I’ve functioned well enough to take care of these responsibilities, I haven’t had the energy to do all that much else.  I’ve thought about the things I’d like to pare down, I’ve thought about exercise ideas for when I feel better, etc., but mostly these things have gotten stuck in the thinking stage. I have been pretty good, though, about cooking food to take to work and working on my finances.  It takes very little physical exertion–okay, no physical exertion–to work on my budget. It has been a fun task this month, anyway, because of my surprise tax refund of $1028, which I wrote about here. […]

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