? - regarding savings/emergency accts

Avatar for mquin73
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Registered: 03-27-2003
? - regarding savings/emergency accts
9
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 3:01pm
I've been reading the savings/emergency acct responses and have been thinking about what if you don't even have any money left over in the month to even put into a savings acct? After all expenses, including groceries and such we are paying out just a little bit more than what we are bringing in. I would love to be able to save for emergencies and such but we barely have enough to pay the minimums on our cc's and other monthly exp. For those that are in this same situation, what do you do? Do you still try to set aside so much per wk/per mo to put into savings and forego being able to pay the full min. to a bill? Or do you just forego the savings all together?

TIA

Michelle


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 3:19pm
Well for me, it has only been recently that I have had some $$ to put towards savings. I think the general rule of thumb (please correct me if I am wrong) is to put 10% of your salary towards savings and to pay yourself first. Yeah right! LOL I have never done that, I would like to, but for now I don't see that happening.

Is there anyone on the board who is actively saving???

Avatar for phoenixmama
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Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 3:42pm
Ouch - I know that's a tough one. I've been there.

I think the thing to focus on in that situation, is to find ways to decrease your expenses and/or increase your income. Can you cut back on utilities, remove unneeded features from phone/cable service, drive less to save on gas, lower car insurance, read ads, cut coupons or buy in bulk and/or generic to save on grocery/household items? Do you have enough STUFF to hold a yard/garage sale, anything you could list on amazon or ebay, or sell in your local paper? Any skills you'd be willing to use for extra income, such as cleaning, organizing, lawn care, gardening, pet care, babysitting? Are you paid what you're worth in your job, or is it time to ask for a raise or look for a better paying position? Can you consolidate any debts, have you tried to negotiate interest rates with your creditors, looked into balance transfers? If you have a mortgage, can you refinance for lower payments? Any of those "little" expenses that add up (coffee, newspaper etc), that you could eliminate or reduce?

Bottom line to this specific question (Do you... forego being able to pay the full min. to a bill? Or do you just forego the savings all together?) is no, you really can't save if you're not able to pay all your regular expenses. At least it's good that you are aware of where you stand - that's the first step to doing something about it.

Good luck! ~Jen

Avatar for mquin73
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 4:08pm
Hi Jen,

Thanks for your response! Actually just about all the things you mentioned I have already done. We don't have a cell phone anymore, we don't have cable, we have cut places on reg phone bill, we don't go out to eat, I don't drink coffee (dh does and sometimes buys it at the gas station which I've told him to quit) or soda, I always take my lunch to work (can't completely speak for dh! lol), I already clip coupons and we shop at the commissary (military grocery store) where things are already cheaper then reg grocery store, and we just refinanced our house a couple months ago. As for lowering car ins can't really lower it anymore then what it is, I don't have enough stuff to sell in a garage sell (thanks to FLYlady I've declutterd alot), I may have a couple things to sell in the newspaper, don't know about ebay have never done that. As for being paid what I'm worth, probably, since I don't have a college degree but I am in a well paying job. I have thought about trying to bring in extra income, and trying to think of what I could do. I know I can clean! lol But I don't know how to go about starting that. I'm not very assertive in those types of situations. We do have a new blazer that we bought last yr that we will be selling sometime soon and buying my sister's car which will save us about $200mo, and dh will be getting a 2nd job soon. Also, I did try to get a new cc to transfer a balance to, but was turned down for that b/c of all the credit against us now. One of our main problems is dh. He does not know how to handle cash, that's why I have always handled the finances. Any cash that he has in his pocket gets spent. So I try to make sure that he doesn't get any, but sometimes he uses the ATM to get cash, not all the time anymore, thankfully! I have taken his cards away! lol

I do know what I need to do, it's just doing it that's hard and then trying to save is impossible. Between dh and I, I am the one that thinks of the future so it frightens me to know that we don't have anything set back for emergencies. I know that there are lots here that are able to set so much aside for savings, so I was just wondering about those that don't have any available to set aside.

Thanks a bunch for your response though! It is much appreciated! I have found this board to be very encouraging the short time I've been here. It's a relief to know that I'm not the only one in this situation. :-)

Michelle


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Avatar for phoenixmama
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Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 4:20pm
Great for you! Congrats on doing all those things already!

It does sound like you've cut as much as you can, what's left is to get your DH on the same page. Does he understand your financial picture and does he KNOW how much he is spending? Does he track those little expenses like the coffees, buying lunches etc, and see how much goes there per month? NOT to say that you should get uppity or bossy or lecture him (I'm sure you already knew that LOL) but that it might help to just get an open discussion going on the subject. The Money & Relationships board might be able to offer suggestions on that one... http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-mlrelations

Work From Home boards might also help you bounce ideas around on starting part-time self-employment. http://www.ivillage.com/work/boards/

Hope this helps - hang in there and stay positive! =)

~Jen

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 4:32pm
Not sure if this will help or if this is a possibility, but can you put your DH on an allowance?? We have started doing this. Each of us gets so much for the week to use towards gas, eating out, spending. When we stick to it, it works really well. Lately we've slacked off and need to get back on track. When we were doing it right, all the extra $$ would go into a jar and we then use the extra for a dinner out, flake to a bill or stick in the savings.

I'm trying to do this with graoceries too by budgeting $100 a week. It's still a work in progress for me.

As for car insurance do you ahve Geico or USAA?? We're recently retired military.

Avatar for mquin73
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 4:46pm
Actually, he is sort of on an allowance. He has $75 a week going into his own checking acct, which was originally set up when he was deployed with his NG unit last yr, then when he came back he started having the $75 from his work paycheck go into his acct. It was fine for awhile but things started getting tighther. I did tell him that I would give him $20 a wk (this was about 3 wks ago) and that was it, if he needed gas for the car or anything he would have to ask, but lately I have not been able to give him anything, and as of right now he at his AT (annual training).

We have USAA for our auto insurance.

Michelle


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Avatar for mquin73
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 4:51pm
I actually have to sit dh down and show him our financial situation every now and then for him to start thinking about it, cuz if I don't then it's "spend, spend, spend" for him. Then he gets stressed out! LOL I'm like, ok, see what I see every day! LOL I do tell him not to stress out about it so much but that we just need to take care it. Things have been better the past few months or so as far as that goes, which I'm glad. I have told him about writing down his expenses, but he just thinks I'm crazy. lol

Thanks for the links! I will have to check out the work from home board for sure to see if there is anything I can do.

Michelle


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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-30-2003
Thu, 06-12-2003 - 9:38am
Hi-I don't know if anyone ever mentioned this book to you, but I found it to be a huge inspiration to me. It is "How to Get What You Want in Life With the Money You Already Have" by Carol Keeffe. I read it many years ago when we were barely getting by, and started using some of her ideas, like saving change. Last year, thanks to a 'tracking your spending' board challenge, we've also started saving our 1's. Small things, sure, but they sure help!

She has very good ideas, and pretty much tell you to take what works for you and run with it. It's one of my favorite money books!


~Lisa

Avatar for mquin73
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 06-12-2003 - 10:04am
Thanks for the suggestion! I'll have to look at the library next time I go.

Michelle


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