I know that in order to meet my new savings and spending goals, I need a clear plan. But I also knew that I needed something very simple, (because I won’t follow through with anything that takes a lot of time or effort) and with strict guidelines (so that I can’t talk myself into anything that would be counterproductive). So, based on The Spending Diet from Anna at And Then We Saved, here is my savings plan for 2013.
- Spending: Make a list of Needs. These are things like rent, food, dog care, and other necessities. If something is on the Need list, I will spend money on it. I will set aside $100 each month to spend on non-needs. When the $100 is gone for the month, there will be no more spending on non-needs.
- Savings: I have automatically set up so that 10% of my income goes to our Emergency Fund (until we have 6 months worth of living expenses), 10% goes to retirement investments, and 10% goes to a long-term savings goal — right now, that’s our wedding savings account, and once that is done, we will start saving for a new car.
- Any unexpected income goes to pay off loans.
- At the end of the month, add total income and subtract total spending. Anything left over is an extra loan payment.
And that’s it. Simple, straightforward, no ambiguity (I hope). I’ve gotten my fiance to agree to commit to this for the next 6 months, and we’ll evaluate how successful we’ve been and how deprived we’ve felt from spending. I hope to follow this for at least the rest of 2013, and I’ll be writing about my successes and my trials here!