Part one of this holiday week is over. I knew I’d be too busy to post anything before, but things are starting to slow down and I can catch up on reading blogs and write a little more now.
We had a full house. My sister and brother-in-law came to visit from Scotland. My parents also came up from Florida. My parents stayed at a hotel, but were at our house for most of the day while visiting. All of this started last Tuesday and today the last of the guests will be gone. My house has exploded and needs a thorough cleaning again. The cats got spoiled by all the attention, especially Yuki, who will curl up into any and every lap available. My fridge and pantry are full of foods we normally don’t eat, but will be eaten nevertheless because I can’t stand wasting food – even if it was all bought by my parents. (Aside: It really freaks me out how much the rest of my family worships Wegmans.) Each day I was drinking wine, scotch, and/or mixed drinks of some sort and I feel like I need to take a very long break from alcohol. I doubt I will drink much of anything on New Year’s.
Why are holidays so exhausting!? I’m more sleep deprived than ever and I’ve needed a ridiculous amount of caffeine to get me through the work day.
Anyway, the point of this post was to touch on a subject that’s been hovering in my head for a couple months now.
When I started this new job I took a look at my finances and realized I spend too much money on things I don’t need and I could be saving a lot more. I then doubled the amount of money that goes directly into my savings account and double my buy-in amount for my Vanguard Roth IRA, which has done gangbusters this year. I also just got notice I can set up a 401K at my job as well, which I need to set up.
My husband and I sat down and went over our monthly expenses and figured out who owes what and if the general prices of expenses has gone up. He and I are the oddball couple who primarily do not have joined accounts. We do have a joint checking account, but it’s only for house related items (emergency/upkeep/improvement) and “us” things like vacations and anniversary stuffs. He has his own checking, savings, IRA, 401, etc… and I also have my own completely separate accounts. We are very autonomous financially and prefer to keep things separate. It makes it easier for us to track our own purchasing and due to the huge difference in our salaries (68% him/32% me) it makes it easier to be accountable for our own things. We figure out percentage-wise who owes what and divvy up the shared utilities (gas/electric/sewer/water/insurance), mortgage and groceries for the month. He generally pays the mortgage and insurance and I generally pay the monthly utilities and we alternate who buys groceries because we go shopping twice a month.
When we updated everything and I included my own expenses (savings/IRA/car loan/ anime subscriptions/ phone bill/ car gas) I still came up with a lot of extra money. Btw, I always count money put in my savings/IRA as part of my personal monthly expenses – those two accounts must be paid like a bill. This way I will always have money going into those accounts and anything outside of that is extra. I then wondered – where the hell is all that extra money going!? I know some months the bills run more than others – like right now gas is up because we have a gas heater – but by law of averages I should still be seeing a general increase in my checking. However, I’m not, which means I’m spending more than I should be, which then offsets my averages and my checking goes down. I was shocked when I saw the amount that I general “waste” each month and realized I need to be more accountable.
We have several house projects we want to do, but don’t have nearly enough in the joint account for them. So part of my goal for this year is to curb the extra spending (once I figure out where it’s going) and start putting money into the joint account the same way I do my savings/IRA – treat it like a monthly expense that must be paid. Btw, after I tallied up all my expenses I still had just a little less than half my monthly paycheck available to me. Goal: figure out where the hell I’m spending that much money and shut it down!