28 February 2010
My husband does a bang up job keeping the accounts balanced and paying all our bills on time. We are building up our retirement nest egg. I am extremely grateful for this, however it would be really nice to get ahead.
We control our credit card debt by only spending what we have. Lucky for us, I really don't like to shop. Our emergency fund bounces up and down all year long. We always seem to have just enough for what we need and a little extra for some fun stuff. Again, this makes me happy and I am grateful. But, I want to do a better job. I want to have plenty, for fun, for emergencies, for anything and everything.
For awhile now I have been wanting to implement the JARS systems for our finances. I first read about it at Freedom Education, Mind Power for you Personal Growth.
Well FINALLY. I put my foot down. We are using our tax refund to start this system. We have decided to hold off on a new car. Our second car died last week, we are back to one vehicle. It will be a bit of challenge, but we have done it before. Besides we have no idea what we want anyway.
Since our return is going to be a nice lump sum of money, we can easily lay the foundation for JARS success.
First I created a new budget. It was fairly easy to do because we have been keeping track of our finances in a money management program.
Then I created new ING accounts (or our jars).
Live - Mortgage, Insurance, Utilities, Home and Vehicle Maintenance, Loans
Give - Charity, Gifts and Entertaining
Save - Home Improvement, New Car, Emergency Savings, Investments, Health Care
Splurge - Self-Care, Trips and Travel, Clothes, Fun Stuff.
We will use our current checking account for everyday expenses, like groceries, date night, housekeeping... that kind of stuff. The majority of our income will be put into the the ING accounts, making it much more difficult to spend frivolously and much easier to save.
I spent the day reviewing our spending, categorizing it and deciding where it would be jarred. Needless to say I got a bit cranky. Money does that to me. I MUST work on changing that mindset, immediately.
Anyway, I am in a much better mood now. I have such high expectations for this year, getting ahead financially is only one of them. I know this is going to make a huge positive impact. Taking totally responsibility and getting this one little thing done, feels great!
So, what works for you? Anyone out their using the JARS system successfully? Got any hints?