Goal reached!

I am happy to say, after several borrowings, etc, that I have fully funded my emergency fund!

Now, I know I will need to raise the amount in the future, but for now the goal is checked off and I am focusing more on other goals.  I have made a “Car” savings goal, due to the fact that car maintenence is so irregular and often expensive!

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Musings

My paychecks are so irregular these days.  I think I want to open a Christmas club savings account.

It’s funny…I was to receive tax refunds from the Feds and two different states…the only one I haven’t received yet is one state refund…the tiny one!

Goal update

I have reached 18% of one of my savings goals.  That may not be one-quarter of the total, but it’s quite good considering all the borrowing (from myself) and paybacks I’ve been doing lately!

I had to borrow money from my own savings to buy my netbook, but I’m happy to say I have paid it all back.

Goals update: Balanced!

checkVery recently, I made great progress in meeting one of my overall PF goals.  I pledged to become more organized, and that is one reason I started this blog.  I use it to keep track of what I’ve done and to plan what I’m going to do.  I haven’t been posting publicly lately, but the private entries have kept me from forgetting my specific goals.

The progress I made was indeed an organizational feat tackled.  One of the first things I wanted to learn to do when I started watching my finances was balance my checkbook.  I bet that even people who don’t do much else in the way of PF do balance their checkbook.  For some reason, I could never understand exactly how to do it, probably because I tracked my checking accounts online.  When I tracked them online, I never got a matchup in my PF software.

Well this is a problem no more!  Each penny is accounted for, and to celebrate my clean slate, I made myself a tracking booklet to keep in my purse.  Now I have no excuse for not tracking my debit card purchases!

End-of-September update

My goals are progressing quite nicely.  I have funded 65% of the amount I plan to have in my emergency fund.  I have picked a retirement fund to open, but first I have to save for the minimum opening amount.  Until I have enough to open the account, this money is in a high-interest savings account.  I started this one later than the e-fund, so I have only reached the 3% mark.  However, once I finish funding my e-fund, I will increase the percentage of my income that I will be saving for that retirement fund opening.  This should speed things up a bit.  I am keeping up with all distributions as planned using the spreadsheet I designed for my purposes.  I even made my first loan payments, which was a great feeling.

September goals update

It’s been a while!  I’ve started the new school year, so I have been busy with five classes and two jobs!  I have a history of trying to do too much, but I have hope that this year will be different as I am planning more and more.  For starters, I am keeping up with my paycheck distributions! These distributions are tied to my main financial goals, including getting organized and starting to save money.

My first goal is growing my emergency fund.  I am trying to reach $1,500.  Once I reach that goal, I will likely change my percentages around, including increasing my retirement from 5% to 10%.

Another goal is to open a retirement account.  Neither of my part-time jobs offers retirement benefits (at least not until 1 year w/the company), so I will open an account on my own.  The account I have my eye on has a $3,000 minimum, so until I have that amount set aside, I will hold the money in a high-interest savings account.  Eventually increasing my retirement savings to 10% of my income will help me reach this goal more quickly.

Finally, another goal I have mentioned is to educate myself in personal finance.  To help accomplish this, I am taking an online personal finance class through my local community college.  There is actually a lot of work involved (the prof seems very Type A!), and we were warned that the class will be harder than a traditional face-to-face class.  Still, so far so good.  Our first assignment was to keep a spending journal for a week, categorizing expenses into needs and wants.

I will not be able to update daily (I can barely get my readings for classes done, after all!), but hopefully I can post something one or two times a week–a reflection on a PF lesson, perhaps, or a progress update on my goals.  Posting less frequently, however, is better than the almost month-long posting drought I’ve had lately!

Why I opened a savings account with ING Direct internet banking

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while. A few months ago, I signed up for an Orange Savings account through ING Direct. It is an internet-only bank account with a (relatively) high interest rate, especially given the fact that there’s no minimum balance. Read more about ING here.

I’ve closed my previous savings account because the interest rate wasn’t worth peanuts, and you had to maintain a minimum balance that was too high for me at that small of an interest rate. These problems are not an issue with ING Direct.  It’s exciting to see my balance actually accumulate interest (and more than a few pennies at a time, as in my previous savings account)!

If you’d like to try ING Direct’s Orange Savings account or their Electric Orange checking account, click on any of the links below under the appropriate heading. If there’s no active link, contact me and I’ll put some more up. You will get $25 free if you open an account with $250 or more and I will get $10 for the referral. If you do choose to open an account, I thank you in advance for using my referral links (and for reading my blog! 🙂 ).

Anyone who has experience with any of ING’s services is welcome to comment!

Orange Savings

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Link 2

Electric Orange (checking)

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Link 2