I can’t believe it’s only been about 8 months since we committed to frugality and began saving our emergency fund. Our progress has been slow, but it’s started to pick up since we paid off our credit card debt.
Beginning in January, we doubled our monthly savings amount. Hopefully that means the progress meter I added to my sidebar over the weekend will begin to move more quickly.
Our summer savings account is actually complete … we’re just waiting on a tax refund check from the state of North Carolina. Once that arrives, it’ll go directly into our summer savings account to cover Tony’s income during the two summer months when he doesn’t receive a paycheck for teaching. We’re hoping he’ll be able to find a part-time job over the summer, and all of that extra income will go directly into the emergency fund.
As for the Europe savings account … well, that’s pretty sad so far. Our plan was to finish funding our emergency fund and then begin saving aggressively for our trip to Europe. We’ve had a slight change of plans.
It’s easier for me to stay motivated toward a goal when I can watch its progress, so we decided to open a new savings account and save separately for Europe. Opening a new account for Europe doesn’t change the total amount we have in liquid savings, it just helps us to track our savings to reach the two separate goals.
Since Europe is a fun goal, seeing the progress meter move should be extra motivating. Whenever I want to make an unnecessary purchase or spend money, I can take a look at our progress and remind myself that our tight budget will be worth it in 14 months!
After assessing our progress and our goals, I realized that we weren’t saving enough to reach them. So I shifted my budget around and cut down some of our discretionary spending to increase our monthly savings amount by $100. I’m hoping we can sustain the increase, but we’ll have to see how it goes.
Our emergency fund will remain our top priority, but we’ve begun saving a small amount for Europe every month, too.
Based on our current rate of savings, here are my projections for completion:
Emergency fund: Completed by July 2010
Europe fund: Completed by May 2010
Hopefully, we’ll bring in some additional income this summer and we’ll be able to finish sooner.
I’m glad I took the time to assess where we are and where we need to be. I was able to make a change to our savings before it was too late! Have you assessed your goals recently?