April is over and behind me (well, almost) and I have a clean slate for May. Here are my May goals:
- Save $1400 in E-fund.
- Stay within $145 grocery budget and be a winner in Krystal’s challenge. How do people live on such small budgets?? (Also, stay within budget in general)
- Pending knee pain, resume running at minimum 2x a week
- Add $250 to T-Fund (travel), $150 to car fund, and $100 to gift fund
As these goals indicate, my top priorities right now are my emergency fund and retirement savings. Well, retirement savings isn’t indicated, but I’m increasing my 401k contributions to 15% temporarily (May only), since it is a 3 paycheck month and I can afford the difference. That is what I really wish I could afford every month, but I just can’t do it yet.
The emergency fund, in my mind, isn’t just for emergencies. Some of it may someday go to a house down payment, to a newer car, or even for some really amazing traveling someday. Or maybe wedding expenses, depending on what my parents are able to contribute. I really don’t know. It is just money that I don’t want to touch for quite some time, and I don’t have a plan to spend it. I want to keep a hefty cash reserve right now. Maybe it won’t be touched unless of a true emergency, but maybe it will. We’ll see.
I also have been itching to travel lately. It makes much more sense to do some traveling around this part of the US than to go abroad for now. At my current savings rate, my travel fund really is only going to cover “regular” trips throughout the year. Some friends have been talking about meeting in Vegas. I may go home this summer for a visit. My friend wants me to visit her in Montreal. Then there will be Christmas… This fund will allow me to go on little trips without disrupting my cash flow too heavily, but really doesn’t do much for my dream of being a vagabond.
The car fund is one of my lower priorities, but at least it is there. It probably has enough to fund minor repairs, and I’d like to have it be around $1k for any major repairs. I’m going to keep on growing it indefinitely, with the idea that I’ll get a newer car eventually. Eventually could be as soon as next year, but as late as… never? There may be some sense to trying to last my car another 3 years (while T finishes grad school), then sell it for whatever we can get before running away to live in Europe for awhile.
I’m not all savings and no fun. My clothes budget is no longer in the red (yay!), and I allocated a little extra money to spend on “Personal” and “Misc” items for May. That should lighten my budget burden a little bit. I’m happy.