So you may have noticed that I’ve added some progress bars to the side of my blog. I found them on a personal finance-related blog, a girl was using them to track her savings for various things, as well as her climb out of debt. I thought it was a pretty cool idea and I am a visual creature after all… so I got some for myself.
While I’m fairly healthy financially, sometimes I get carried away with my spending (I like to shop and buy new things to fill the void inside of me) and I don’t feel that I save enough. Having these visual tracking aids will hopefully keep me on track.
I think it’s a good idea for me to set some more goals for myself. I currently only have an RRSP that my finance dude handles, and a couple of savings/chequing accounts, many of which I don’t know what I’m saving for.
Currently I have:
PC Chequing account
PC Savings #1
PC Savings #2
ING Wedding Fund (Savings)
ING Savings #2
So far I’ve just been using my PC Savings #1 as my catch-all. It gives me 4% interest per annum if my balance is over $1000. ING only gives me 3.75%. I recently opened PC Savings #2 because I thought it might be a good idea to have another account to help me save for a specific goal such as travel or emergency fund. I currently have $25/month being deposited automatically in there.
I haven’t been using my ING Savings #2 since I discovered that PC gives me more interest. However, I think I may start using it as my emergency fund even though it has a lower interest rate. My reason? Lately people in my office have had their debit card numbers being stolen, one girl had $3000 taken out of her accounts. She got it back, but still… Last week I also got a call from PC saying that my card was on hold because a shop I had used it at was busted for fraud. If all my money is in my PC accounts, which means that they can be drained with only one card & PIN. Not cool. So, starting tonight I’m going to start funneling some of my cash into ING Savings #2 to establish an emergency fund.
I’ve already got an account in place to help me save for my eventual wedding. This may sound funny since I have no boyfriend and am pretty socially retarded, but I hold hope that one day I will in fact get married. Knowing my expensive taste in things I figured I’d better start saving early and make use of the wonders of compound interest. My goal is roughly $5000 (for now) and I automatically deposit $75/month.
So, after some thinking, here is what I plan to do with my accounts:
PC Chequing: Nothing. This is where my pay comes in every 2 weeks, and my rent comes out of. I’m going to keep a float here for expenses. Basically this is the Outbox of my savings accounts.
PC Savings #1: Shall now be for my condo downpayment. There is a lot of money earning interest in here, and if I split it up into my other accounts, I won’t be making as much interest. So I suppose I will have to start from scratch with my other accounts. Savings Goal: $25,000 until I start making more money, or can find a more effective way of saving/creating income from investments.
PC savings #2: Travel & Entertainment. I’ll start saving in here for travel and “fun” but larger purchases, like maybe a Vespa scooter in the future? Things that bring me pleasure and are under $10,000. Savings Goal: $5,000.
ING Wedding Fund: Already covered. Savings Goal: $5,000
ING Savings #2: Emergency Fund. I’m going to start saving rigorously for this one right now. They say you should have minimum 3 months’ living expenses in there. I’m going to calculate based on what I earn monthly right now, and add a little extra because I’m paranoid like that. Savings Goal: $10,000
Scotia McLeod RRSP: I’ll continue to contribute to this monthly. $100/mo right now. I’m still deciding whether I should throw a chunk of change at it before tax season so I can get a nice refund, then invest that again. It would mean draining my condo account. I’ll have to think about it. Savings Goal: One hundred BILLION dollars! Muahahahah! Realistically, I don’t know yet. I’ll have to talk to the money dude.
So here are my goals all added up: $45,000. This is not including the RRSP, I consider that separate from my personal savings. It seems like a huge amount, but once I start chipping away at it, it won’t be so bad. It also gives me some perspective now. I really need to stop spending so I can watch this bad boy grow instead.
I should also mention that I still owe my parents $1000 for my eye surgery in October. I’ve been giving them $500 every time I felt I could afford it (initial loan was 2k). I should have that paid and off my plate by March, if all goes well.
So there’s a general financial breakdown for me. I’ve got a lot of good advice and ideas for managing money, but it’s always different when its yours! Hopefully this will help some other young people out there with their money… I know I am always wondering how other people my age manage theirs, and if there’s anything I could be doing better. I’ll have to develop a clearer strategy for myself in the future, but for right now I think establishing the goals is enough. Now I know what I’m aiming for!