Last week, I got the notice in the mail that I would be receiving my stimulus check soon. I mentally plugged the extra $600 into my budget and pondered what I would do with the money.
Sadly, I don’t have anything exciting planned. I didn’t budget well this month for my upcoming vacation and all the associated expenses, so in YNAB, I’m already a bit over budget. Not a big deal, since I live off of last month’s income, but it just meant that things would be a little tight again next month. I can’t say I was worried, seeing as June is a 3 paycheck month. Of course, one of my plans for 2008 is to bank the “extra” paycheck in all 3 paycheck months, but to cover my overages this month, I was going to bank most of it, put the rest toward the budget overages, and then attempt to make it up throughout the year by putting a bit more into savings than planned.
Thanks to the stimulus check, I might still be able to bank that entire paycheck. Of course, I’m not expecting to be $600 overbudget. I considered putting the rest into savings, but I looked at some of my upcoming expenses and instead decided to plug the rest into my various budget categories for future expenses. Some will go into the grocery budget, some into car expenses, some towards my upcoming renters insurance payment, and then as a treat, a little bit into my wishlist fund and maybe a little into my restaurant category.
Nothing too exciting, but it will free up the budget a bit. Ideally, I’d like to be padding each of my budget categories every month so that I do end the month with a bit of a cushion. So far, that’s not working so well, but maybe the stimulus will do just that – stimulate my budget to work even better for me.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.