Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lockdown Budget Update: Almost Halfway There

If you're wondering how we're doing on the lockdown budget, the answer is: spectacular. Fabulous. Wonderful.

We had the opportunity to take a short vacation to a touristy town in northern Wisconsin (I had a business matter that I sandwiched in, which made it deductible and partially reimbursable. Love that multitasking). We left Friday morning, got there in the afternoon and basically spent 36 hours walking around, eating, shopping, and soaking up the last of the summery atmosphere. We took snackies and drinkies from home. Though we are on lockdown, because the trip itself and many of the expenses were reimbursable, we felt it was right to seize the day and go. We also happened to have some vacation money from pre-lockdown budget contributions -- and I am happy to report we still have lots left in that category. We will be looking at about $100 out of pocket for that little jaunt, and it was well worth it.

We did spend a little unnecessary money (gifties for the kids, a pair of winter shoes for me), but that's all right -- because in 48 short hours or so we will be a little less than five hundred dollars short of HALFWAY TO OUR GOAL for the three month lockdown period. Amazingly, very very shortly after we decided to lock down the budget, a couple of large matters closed and that got us a long way very fast. For that, I am very thankful. I anticipate, based on my accounts, that we will be halfway there by the end of September. God is really, really good.

In terms of spending, we've got a couple of expenses coming up; dance class and new tap shoes for The Girl, and possibly karate or basketball for Animal. Otherwise, I'm stocked on every other possible thing except perishables, and it seems I may not have to pay for milk this month, given all the good cereal and milk deals happening in September. And the garden is finally producing, and I have some zucchini to saute and shred for zucchini bread. Yum, life's good.

Since we made such quick progress so fast and were able to knock out the credit card giving us grief, I'm contemplating our next move. Our saving account is precipitously low; I don't like seeing it that empty, and neither does Baboo. I also don't like giving Chase any more of my money than I have to. We do have a balance transfer deal available to us that would lock in a very low interest rate for a long time, and we may do that and opt to shovel all my income into savings for the next two months instead, paying off debt in smaller "chunks" instead. Whatever we decide, I anticipate staying on "lockdown." It is eye-opening to see that we really can live on one income (tight though it may be), and to know how significantly my income can impact our debt when we choose to lockdown.

So I'll throw it out there: what would you guys do? Assuming lock down until December 1, would you throw all additional income in your savings account, or at your debt? Discuss. In the comments, if you please.


Brook said...

Here is how we do it...we put a good chunk toward savings, a bit of a "rainy day" fund in case the car, or fridge or something goes out - you don't want to be stuck without having enough to cover a large expense, just in case. But then apply all beyond that to debt!

Anonymous said...

When my girl took dance and my boy took Karate I was inclinded to believe they had to have a new gue and new dance shoes it took me a year or two to learn that handme downs of these are ok too and they are available out there you just have to start looking early on.