I opened a savings account and put $1500 into it to start off with. I also got my first full paycheck this week, $1107.24. I've been thinking through how much I want to put into savings and how much I really need to live on right now. There's a part of me that's been wanting to keep as much in checking as I can because it feels good to have money, and I could certainly think of ways to spend it. My son needs shoes, and I'll need to get some basic necessities for when we move (I don't even have bath towels or dishes!), etc.
At the same time, my motivation to move goes up every evening when I come home and hear myself ask my mom, yet again, "Can I be the parent to my kids, please?" I so appreciate that she has been gracious enough to let us live here, and she cooks dinner every night, and 100 other little things. Yet, the personal dynamics are driving me crazy.
So, I've decided to put as much as possible into savings, and continue to live lean. I've been living on so little for so long, that it should be relatively easy to continue doing so. Having made that choice, I'm realizing what a big difference it makes mentally to live lean by choice versus doing so because there's no other option. It makes the impulse purchases easier to walk away from. Rather than feeling like I have to buy that item now while I have the money because I may not have the money again later, I know the money is there and that I'd much rather have the bigger goal than the smaller item.
With that in mind, not only did I set up the savings account, I've set up my automatic deposit for my paycheck so that $300 goes into savings and the remainder goes into checking. That will allow me to save $600 per month while still covering my expenses and contributing to the household. I'm also setting up the reimbursements from the flex daycare plan to go into savings for now as well, which is an additional $450 per month. When I move the reimbursement funds will need to be redirected to my checking account to offset other expenses and make the budget work, but for now, if I can manage without it, it'll put me that much closer to having what I need to move while also building a safety net.
Saving over $1000 per month will be tight. And if it's too tight I can adjust. The bottom line right now though is realizing that I now have the choice, and I am coming within reach of my goals. Wow, does that feel good!