One of my big goals for 2011 is to balance my budget and stick to it. I budget every month, but then I find myself exceeding those budget categories all too often. Once in a while happens, and that’s what the slush fund is for, but instead, I find myself pulling money from one budget fund to put into another.
Not a good plan.
So for 2012, I want to start the year with a solid budget in place and see where I can go from there. Sure, there will still be unexpected mishaps, but I want to do my best to control them – so that a budget flub isn’t a random shopping trip, but rather something truly unexpected, like a dental emergency.
We’ll see how long this lasts. Ideally, I’d like to create a large slush fund cushion so that I can have those random shopping trips again. Oh, the fun of home ownership. I love my home, and wouldn’t make a different decision, but sometimes I miss the financial freedom I had.
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.