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Checking my savings status

July 29, 2008

I ran some numbers and realized that if I want to be able to stay on track, I need to increase my travel fund by roughly $50/month for the rest of the year. This is assuming my airline miles card helps me get through the holdiay season. (They called to verify my identity due to my credit card fraud, but I’ve been approved.)  I chose the card I did strictly for the free bonus miles, and it is on one of the two airlines that flies into my hometown.  I will only use it through the holiday season, then I’ll cancel.

I’ve not even considered my cousin’s October wedding. It is within driving distance (yay!) but I will need a hotel for at least one night, if not more. I really need to put every last red cent into the travel fund.

There is some debate on whether or not it is truly mandatory for me to fly 2000 miles for my grandmothers birthday in September. My mom isn’t quite clear, and she’s been difficult lately. My dad is acting as a buffer between us, but it isn’t really his decision (her side of the family, not his). I’m confused. I don’t know what I’d do without my dad, and I don’t ever want to find out. I will probably go, particularly if I can score a ticket for under $300 using my miles as a discount. That is what pretty much everyone has said–see them while you can. Still, it is frustrating that they suddenly planned this (to me 1.5 months notice is sudden).

My gift fund also is going to be a little short for Christmas if I don’t increase it from $60/month to $75/month.

I’ll reflect these changes in my August budget. Things are going to be even tighter, at least until my student loan payment goes away. Or my side job starts up. Or I win the lottery.

In the good news, I am on track to easily meet my $13,000 efund goal. Actually, I’m on track for $13,550, a nice cushion, and I’m also a bit ahead of schedule on my Roth IRA contributions. My December contribution will be less than usual. That can save both my gift fund and travel fund, if my frugal efforts fail me.

(All this is assuming I don’t get laid off this fall, which hangs over my head constantly.)

I’m stressed out.

I feel so poor, yet I know my salary is quite good. It is obviously due to my rent.  And paying this rent is only temporary (january at the earliest, june at the latest), so I just need to remember that.  When I lived in the Midwest, I could buy what I wanted, do what I wanted, and plane tickets didn’t worry me much. I lived alone in a nice apartment.

And I had to scrape ice off my car regularly, there was nothing interesting to do, T moved a million miles away, and I do like it much better here. This is only temporary, and I’m still making progress. Just more slowly…

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2008 5:35 pm

    I know how you feel…

    Just when you think you’re on top of things and moving in the right direction at the pace you want to be, something else comes up that requires you to fork out the dough.

    Housing must be pretty ridiculous where you’re at; what are you paying a month? I pay about $600 a month in rent for my wife and I, and it’s definitely not the nicest of places. We figure if we can live in a less-than-desirable place for the time being, maybe we’ll be able to live better in the near future. Any chance of easing up on that housing cost?

    Good for you for hitting those savings numbers! Keep up the good work.

    -Financial Nut

  2. July 29, 2008 5:56 pm

    @Trevor – Housing is…. well I pay $1425. I probably could get it for a bit less (a couple hundred less) if I had more time to search. Still, to be near my work in a safe area, I couldn’t get under $1200 w/o roommates. Which is the only viable long term solution, but i was too scared to do craigslist when I moved.

    T and I plan to move in together sometime next year. He has a lead on a place that might be 900 for two of us! As early as next january, as late as June. We’ll see.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. July 29, 2008 8:31 pm

    Needless to say you are really paying so much for the apartment. 😦 Is your BF moving with you in Jan or June?

  4. July 29, 2008 8:40 pm

    @chicky – I don’t know yet, it is TBD. We’ll see.

  5. July 30, 2008 6:26 am

    I think you should go ahead and ask your parents if they would consider subsidizing your cost of attending this family event. If they are in a financially stable place (as opposed to our up-and-coming financial situations), then it might not put them back. Plus, it’s your mom who is insisting that you come, despite the insane cost of the plane tickets, right? Also, I admire your determination in thinking of creative ways to get there (drive to Vegas and fly from there, take train with siblings, etc.), but your time is valuable, too, and to spend an entire extra day of creative travel is expensive when you factor in the time. Good luck with your decision!

  6. July 30, 2008 7:20 am

    Good luck with the flight situation! Please post about how well using your airline miles goes…I’m a little worried about how rough it will be to redeem them….

  7. July 30, 2008 7:24 am

    $1,425! WOW! I guess that’s the price you pay to live where you do; it’s just so different from where I live. Then again, salaries are probably higher for what you’re doing out there.

    $900 for you AND T wouldn’t be bad at all. IS that happening soon?

    Essentially, your housing cost is killing you. If you dropped that even a couple of hundred, you’d be in a much more fortunate position.

  8. July 30, 2008 7:31 am

    @Saving Diva – Thanks! I have already experimented clicking through the site and got far enough that i know redeeming them won’t be a problem, even during Christmas.

    @Trevor – When I moved, I got a big bump in salary which compensates. A couple hundred wouldn’t make a difference to me, at least not a difference enough to consider moving to a bad area. I’m still saving for retirement, and saving outside of retirement. So it is slowing me, but I’m still doing fine.

    And, as mentioned, it is TBD when we will move in together, and the 900 place is not for sure yet. I’m just hoping it works out. And that would be better than “not bad”, that is a pretty amazing housing deal by standards here.

  9. Bonnie permalink
    July 30, 2008 9:45 am

    I pay $465 for my one-bedroom in the Midwest, but I would gladly trade that for a higher rent in a better city with more things to do AND–most importantly–better job opportunities. It sounds like you made the right decision for you, especially as an unmarried woman without kids.

    I’d like to move in with my boyfriend, too, partially for financial reasons. There are a lot of other factors to consider, though. I am sure you are thinking of those.

  10. July 30, 2008 1:42 pm

    I am laughing at everyone’s shock over the $1425. I’m inured to it at this point. That’s awesome that you might be able to move into the subsidized housing; one of my coworkers is living up there and I think she likes it a lot. At that point you will have so much extra money you won’t know what to do with it!

  11. July 30, 2008 1:49 pm

    @Bonnie – Yes it is worth it, but long term I would get a roommate if I couldn’t move in with bf.

    @PA – Well, I’m glad someone doesn’t think I’m absolutely ridiculous. 🙂 I’m not living in the lap of luxury or anything!

    Originally I was going to have him move closer to where I live (sharing a place for probably $1500 or so), but I’m willing to sacrifice location a little for that much savings! I can’t help but fantasize about it even though it is at least 6 mo away!

  12. July 30, 2008 2:37 pm

    Just getting my bearings now that I’m back, but I definitely empathize with the feeling that travel is going to eat up every other budget. Good luck, and hope you can *creative touch* your hotel room for the October wedding as well! I completely agree that 1.5 months advance is not nearly enough notice, especially when travel is involved.

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