The very first month I tried to increase our savings, I failed. Only one week in, I freaked out about the growing overdraft in one of our bank accounts and the pending cash I would have to transfer out of it for business expenses. As a result, I took the 20% of our monthly income that I had saved at the start of the month and the sabbath round up money and transferred everything over to the overdraft. I helped reduced the overdraft but I felt awful. I couldn’t implement the savings plan. I can’t save.
Looking at our account, now with it only being the 12th of the month, not even half way to pay day, we cannot reasonably save that much money and pay off our debts simultaneously. I’m not sure we will make it through the month without going into overdraft. So, I’ve had to make a choice and I’m back to debt repayment being the plan rather than savings. I’m not sure how good it is to have an emergency fund when you have a lot of debt anyways. I’ve read a couple of things that seem to give competing advice about this. I mean, we have credit we can use in a real emergency. Why pay interest rates on debts while you save for lower than inflation savings rates?
So, in order to try to make myself feel better, I updated all our information on undebt it. If you don’t know this program, it allows you to keep track of your debt payments and also helps you plan your debt repayment strategy. By the time I finished updating our accounts, I was really happy because it told me that we were half way there to having zero debt and only a few more months (years) to go.*1 Half-way there! I ought to go and buy a bottle of sparking wine to celebrate. A cheap bottle, but not too cheap…
The only thing that has been really tough this week is that I am traveling for work and consequently eating so many meals out that I am blowing through money like its Germany during the Weimar Republic.*2 Anyone out there travel for work and manage to stick to a budget? I have to meet friends and coworkers and of course, everyone wants to go out for dinner / lunch. And then, because I’m on the Continent, everyone wants to go for coffee after dinner / lunch. Oh and water isn’t free when you go for coffee / lunch / dinner, so I have spent a lot of money on sparkling water this week. Big bottles of sparkling water because who wants to only drink a mini bottle of sparkling water? The mini bottle is maybe good for a small creature, maybe the size of an iguana. The small bottle of sparkling water is definitely not water drinking human animal size. Can’t we all stop meeting in these restaurants? But, it is one thing to force your friends and family to come and eat three day old carrot soup but its something different entirely to try to make your coworkers do that, especially when you haven’t seen them in awhile and they were never at your house even when you lived there.
So, I managed to pay down some debt and get us past the debt-halfway mark! But I also consumed at least a week’s (maybe 2?) worth of groceries in restaurant meals and a mobile phone subscription in sparkling water. You win some you lose some. I’m not sure how I did on net this week at all.
*1 This is not a sponsored post. I have been using this program for three years now but I just joined their Affiliate program after I decided to mention them
*2 Yes, that really is a hyperinflation joke.