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
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!