Hello All :)
As I said yesterday, I have several goals for 2011 ( otherwise known as New Year's Resolutions, but for some reason this terminology seems to make people prickly, and apparently NYR's tend be broken, so I'm going to refer to them as *goals*). I am posting them here for accountability's sake. Declaring a goal publicly will inspire much more diligence in me than just telling myself to do it. And so, we begin :)
2011 Goal #1: Building Up My Savings
Since moving home in August of 2009 after the completion of my Master's Degree, a series of unfortunate events kept me from putting virtually any money into my savings account, which was, in essence, the whole point of my moving home, to save money for the next chapter of my life. The economy tanked, making it infuriatingly difficult for me to find a well paying job in my degree field (Theatre/Arts for Children), or any job at all, at least at first. I was unemployed for two months, denied State Unemployment, lost my Health Insurance and went without it until a few months ago when I was approved for Medicaid. I have a wonderful job as an Actor and Teaching Artist for the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival, and I am halfway through my second season with them, and while we are paid, it is not, sadly, enough to make a living ( I'm sure everyone reading this who is even remotely creative or artistic and attempts to make their living this way is nodding and smiling knowingly). I was forced to take a number of side jobs. I worked in a bookstore, I worked in a restaurant, barely making enough to keep my bills paid, living paycheck to paycheck, always one car repair bill, medical bill or unexpected expense away from whatever meager savings I had managed to accumulate being wiped out, and being put in real danger of a serious financial issue.
But this is an old song, everyone knows it, and I know that virtually everyone around me is in the same boat, or has been in this boat at some point or points in their lives. The point is, after all this time, things appear to be changing :) I have finally found a day job that pays decently well. I am a Teacher Assistant at a YMCA run daycare/preschool. The money is not great, but good enough to keep my bills paid with a little bit left over for savings or (gasp!) a dinner out or some other small treat :) After approximately 16 months of having $7 in my savings account, a few weeks back I put my first $50 into the account :) And, tomorrow, I will deposit another $50. Bringing the grand total to $107. Not much, surely, but it is most definitely a start:)
And now, for a clear goal, with guidelines:
-THIS MONEY IS FOR MY MOVE DOWN TO THE NEW YORK CITY AREA!!! (which will happen by the end of 2011, but that's another goal). Funds may only be diverted from my Savings Account for the following reasons:
-Emergency Car Repair
-Unexpected Medical Bills
-Unexpected Travel (if I know the trip is coming, I must save for it out of the money in my checking account)
- I am a card-carrying member of Garbaholic's Anonymous. The only place that I ever really drop large amounts of money is at the Sterling Renaissance Festival. For the Faire Season, I may remove up to 1/3rd of the money in my savings account (i.e. if I have amassed $1000, I may remove up to $333), but it must last me the whole season, and I must begin replacing it immediately. Any further expenses for the Season must be budgeted out of my Checking Account.
- I must deposit some money into my savings account out of every paycheck I receive. The amount may vary depending on other bills and expenses, but I must do it every paycheck. The point is to get into the habit of putting money aside.
- If I receive extra money (Repertory Company Bookings, Extra Work, Odd Jobs, Tax Returns, Birthday Money, etc) I must deposit half of it into my savings account.
There! That seems reasonably manageable and clear-cut :) And now it's out in the open, so don't let me let it slide!!!
Hold me to it, friends :)