Although my intention is to save money, it seems I can’t get out of a certain cycle. I am constantly paying for unplanned expenses and these strange, dangling fees. For instance, I had another paper accepted at an academic conference, which means I’ll need to pay registration fees and traveling expenses. I need a new vacuum cleaner. I have some strange $40 fee to pay my financial advisor. I don’t budget for images for my website, and I pay $10 here and there for 10 photos a pop. One of my doctors is charging me $20 to release my records to another doctor. I forgot about parking for an upcoming trip, which will be another $40, if not more.
These little expenses add up.
I didn’t want to start my challenge until I’d paid for the following:
1. My taxes, including the preparation fee.
2. A haircut.
3. My little dog’s haircut.
4. The financial advisor’s fee.
5. The release of records fee.
6. A dangling healthcare fee.
Now, I’m ready to start saving, and I remembered that I need a new vacuum cleaner. I bought images from Canva.
Pretty soon, I’m going to have to keep a closer eye on my money again. In order to be prepared for irregular expenses, I’m going to do three things:
1. Start an irregular expenses fund. That’s where I’ll save for car registration fees and quarterly haircuts for me and my little dog.
2. Start a “Life Happens” fund. That’s where I’ll sock away some cash every month to cover things like a new vacuum cleaner or weed eater. It’s not an emergency fund, it’s an everyday-life-is-expensive fund.
3. Start a website fund. That’s where I’ll have money set aside for web hosting, images, and other blog related expenses.
I’ve yet to determine the amounts that go into each fund every payday. It’s intimidating to think about planning in this way, but I want to be prepared, because I don’t want to go into credit card debt again just to afford a vacuum cleaner.
How’s a gal supposed to pay for all these expenses AND new furniture?
Oh, and grow her savings and investment accounts?
It’s clear I’m going to have to make some more money. I’m brainstorming ideas. I don’t want to do anything draining or that takes time away from the creative work I’m doing. I don’t want to do too much and burn out. I had plans to do some part-time work for a company I worked for last year, but their hours are so erratic. I keep getting requests to enter my available hours, then an email with a schedule, followed by another one a few hours later saying work has been delayed by a week. It’s frustrating. It’s work I can do from my home computer. I like that.
But it’s not going to be enough.
In the meantime, I’ll take care of the dangling expenses from this paycheck, so my first paycheck of April can go toward my savings goals.