Friday, December 30, 2011

What happened to my bonus and snowball status

As we (or at least I) get ready to do the hard math on next year's goals, I have come to realize 2 things:

1. My budget is highly inflexible.
2. My goals have very little breathing room.

I will be working into making my budget slightly more flexible, even if I have no idea how. My goals are tough, but completely achievable if I stick to the plan. I know for a fact 2012 wont be a 'Success!' year where I will at least pay *something* off. But it will set me up for a very sweet 2013. I'll be genuinely ticked off if the world decides to end at the end of 2012.

I would love a purple piggy bank, actually...
With the bonus I got from work, I paid $100 for my contact lenses and managed to sneak the other $300 into my first ING Savings account. Add the joining bonus, and I have a nice $325 sitting all pretty in an account named "Vacations". I have been reading about people's ING sub accounts, but I am still not sure how to divide mine. I think the next sub account might be 'Christmas'. I doubt that at any point during 2012 I will be able to establish automatic withdrawals from my paychecks into these ING accounts, as I don't trust things will go as well and smooth as planned. I am well aware that at any given point, I may have to remove the money from ING for an 'emergency', as well as deplete my EF. Sad, but it is reality.

I am also excited about something else...

I managed to make my very first ever snowball payment! $150 went into my main credit card, but the balance won't be clear until after Tuesday. I know that sounds like such a tiny amount. The card will be at $3,670. And I am super happy about that. After having it stay rather immobile at $3,800 for what seemed like months (ok, a full year), I will gladly take a $130 permanent reduction.

Sadly, I do use that card a lot. This is where inflexibility of my budget really shows. Most of the Murphy visits, extra payments for my parents, groceries for them and after-EF 'emergencies' come out of that one credit card. But I promise that once I get to the dreaded 25k points on reward points on the card (I'm somewhere close to 23k), the card will be chopped like salad. I'll be exploring different payment methods including cash only.

Sorry, I am rambling. Next year, I will also make it a goal to post a bit more than once a week. And to post interesting stuff too! So I hope everyone has a great New Year's celebration. Me? I will probably indulge myself -cough-withchinesefood-cough- but keeping it all in the cool, cool budget.

If you're off to some wild New Year's party this weekend, stay safe and have lots of fun.


  1. Those sound like good goals - snowballing definitely helps to pay things down faster. How will you be making your budget more flexible?

  2. Congrats on the first snowball. It's a great feeling once it gets rolling. I know it's tough but you have got to stop using that credit card. Figure out what its going to take to make your budget work without it, commit to it and get it done! You CAN do this.

    My NYE celebrations will be spent babysitting so earning instead of spending. Every little bit helps. :)

  3. @Daisy - I am still working on that, but it includes a slight reduction of my savings, a better distribution of my income, and *gulp* accounting for my part-time job income. I *know* I will make something out of it every few months, but since it is so unreliable, I have never counted it, so it goes wasted. This time, it will go into a revolving fund. In theory. I'll put more details as they become available.
    @Little Lamb - Uff, you beat me. I'd take babysitting during New Year's too over doing nothing productive. Hope you have fun though!
    @JP- Woo hoo indeed! One down, many to go.

  4. Make sure you look at every little thing, like the snowball payment as a success! :)

    I'll probably be doing exactly as you for NYE, except I really miss the chinese food from 'home', just not the same down here :P

  5. There HAS to be some flexibility in your budget or it just won't work and you'll end up feeling like you've failed or some such nonsense!
    I am going to indulge myself somewhat tomorrow night but it won't cost me a cent! I have friends who own a restaurant and Michael will be working there tomorrow night. I get to go, sit in a corner with my iPad (free wifi) and have a FREE meal - yum yum!

  6. I'd say that snowball payment goes in the "win column"! And same goes for putting the $300 in savings. Enjoy your Chinese dinner. We're staying home too and Chinese sounds good. There is a restaurant close by that we get take out from every so often. I can feed 3 of us on one dinner.

  7. Nice work snowballin. It's important to have a flexible flow of cash, otherwise you may find it hard to budge it (^_-)

  8. Warning: snowballs can be addicting :-)

    An excellent start.

  9. Congrats on the snowball!

    Hope you have a good NY!

  10. "Wild party"? You make me laugh!
    I'll be in bed by 8PM watching the Tudors on Netflix. That's right, I know how to party!
    You are very brave to share you life's financials like this. I wish you luck in the new year.
    Your Friend, m.

  11. You have come a long way since you started blogging! And congrats on your ing account and your snowballs.

    As for me I will probably be asleep by 9 while my kids are out having a good time. Woo HOO

  12. You're doing great!! Hope you enjoyed your Chinese food!! Yum!! Happy New Year!!

  13. First off, 2012 will be an awesome year for you for the sole reason that it is your set up year. Think of it as the year of action, the race to the finish line.

    Also if the world ends at the end of 2012 it won't matter if it is the entire world as everyone will be in the same boat. That's the way I see it :)

    Next double Congratulations, first of the ING account(I am jealous, I so wish we had a bank like that) and second on the snowball. You are making strides in the right direction and even if you have set backs, you will succeed in the end.

    Your goals may have little breathing room and your budget may not be flexible but you can do it.

    Lastly, don't think I said it yet so Happy New Year!