Miss Moneybags

Julia’s January Savings

(Hi, it’s me — popping in to post, per Miss Moneybags’ request)

OK, so I may not have saved much in January — I dipped into my emergency fund for a couple of sudden expenses (like food money for sick daughter in NY who couldn’t wait tables while throwing up). My bank does the “Keep the Change” program, where it rounds up the extra change and adds it to my savings account. I saved about $10 that way. And in fact, in the past few years, it tells me I have saved $500+ in “keep the change.” Where did it all go? This year I will track it.

I also made 7 cents in interest…but that will soon change, because I am going to open an ING-orange account, which pays better interest — 2.5%, I saw on their site. That’s an improvement over the 0.25% I’m getting in my BofA savings account. However, because I dipped below the minimum, I got dinged $18 and $3, which ate my “savings” and lost me some more.

So in actual savings, not so much.

However, a couple of changes are in motion. I have opened a new savings account, as mentioned, so just sitting still I will be earning more. I will be sure not to dip below the minimum in the other account, to avoid the charges. I’m on the alert for avoidable expenses like that — like parking tickets, library fines, bounced checks, etc. — wherever I can avoid such fees, I am focused on not forgetting about them or ignoring due dates, etc. That’s a big step, for an “artiste” who never paid much attention.

Next, I recently met with my money guy — a financial advisor, who gave me a homework assignment of determining all my interest rates and income vs expenses, to determine where I can save or consolidate. I told him I wanted to be $10k richer in a year — I may not save that much in a big pile, but I will be that much more ahead, out of debt, etc. Mr Husband and I also chatted about the same topic and are united in our efforts on that front. Another big step.

If you haven’t yet added money to your IRA, it’s not too late to do so for 2008, and get credit for it. I’m trying to weigh if it’s worth it to put money into my IRA now or just into savings with interest, because of the market crash. Mr. Moneyguy (no relation to Miss Moneybags) will help me with that.

I also have a bunch of tiddly little moneymaking ventures coming down the pike — like keeping the aluminum cans instead of putting them into recycling. Like knitting java sweaters for coffee cups, to sell at local coffeehouse (they were impressed with my own handmade java sweater and want to have some to sell). Like a book I’m getting published and the percentage I will get from the publisher — depending on how many sell. Like teaching a handful of classes at the adult school (no credential needed) — perhaps $1,000 by the end of spring. Like consigning a bunch of books, clothes, and household items, and selling other items on eBay.

So though I don’t have any real profit to declare at present, I have been making great strides toward money in the bank, money on the way, and debt-B-gone.
Julia, former spendthrift

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