I’ve decided I need a new strategy when it comes to my savings. We all know that I kind of suck at it. The good news is that I can blame my parents for this — they aren’t great savers either (on their own, but their financial planner has whipped them into shape!) so it must be genetic. For the past several months, I’ve been trying to save about 15% of my monthly income. So I have the money automatically withdrawn from my checking and deposited into my savings account(s). Easy peasy, right? Well, I usually do really well with it for a couple of months . . . and then it’s so-and-so’s birthday and I have one of those excruciatingly long pay-periods that includes three weekends between paychecks and then Old Navy has a sale and . . . you get the picture. Stuff happens, I want to spend money, I move the money back from savings to checking. And trust me $50 here and $75 can suck up a lot of savings really quickly.
So I spent a little time last week looking over my budget, trying to figure out how to leave my savings money in my savings account. Well, I realized that I wasn’t leaving my self a lot of flexible money in my current budget. As someone who isn’t terribly disciplined with money to begin with, not having room to buy a couple new v-necks and contribute to the party for Miss H’s bday (woot woot!) just doesn’t work. It’s not like I don’t have any money, but the way that it has been allocated has been setting me up to fail.
Time for a new plan. I have decided to decrease the amount of money I am putting into savings every month from 15-17% to 10%. I know, I know, some financial guru is having an aneurysm right now. Saving more is always better, right?! Well, I feel like it isn’t better if I’m constantly taking the money back out of savings and putting it in my checking account. At this point, I’m probably actually saving less than 10% a month just based on the number of transfers I’ve made over the last couple of months. So 10% it is. I know that in the big scheme of things 10% really isn’t a lot but I can wrap my head around 10% and at this point I think that is important. If I can successfully save 10% per month for 6 months, I’ll reevaluate my plan. Maybe I’ll get crazy and bump the monthly savings up to 11%. Exciting stuff, huh?
Do you struggle with keeping your grubby little paws out of your savings account? How much is “enough” to save each month?