Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Living Your Financial Life Responding or Reacting



As I start adding all the numbers for the month,  it looks like February will be a good savings month for us this year.
I am still waiting for the interest to post on our accounts but as of now we are over $2K saved out of our regular income.  And that's on a reduced income for the month since part of February ]was with disability pay.  Some substantial bills were down in February from January's amounts....water, electric and groceries.  Even with a lower paycheck we we still have "leftover" pay.

But March is not going to be so good for savings as we hit our $3K medical high deductible for the year by February 10th due to expensive prescriptions and the Daughter had her back injections on that date.  And Hubs had another eye injection late January too so we have paid/been billed OOP $3K + at this point for all medical charges to date.

Remember the $1690.34 I had saved in December 2016 but reserved to put toward medical in 2017?
$920.73 was spent this month toward medical bills, so there is $769.61 left to put toward medical bills in March.
At this date we have $1865.98 in medical charges that haven't been billed yet(but have been submitted to insurance so I have EOBs on them). The bills for these will be arriving in March.  After I apply that $920.73 I need to find $1096.37 more in our March income to cover these bills.

Usually I'd just pay irregular bills like these medical ones as income comes in.
But we also have property taxes due the end of March(I pay them early to get the discount on them.  I could wait and pay more later.).

Between this total of $2468.22 in irregular bills that will be due in March AND what I have estimated our normal/regular bills will come to for March applied against the estimated regular income in March it's going to cut things very close.   "Less than $200 between income and outgo for March" close.

So I am going to hold back about $500 of the leftover income that would go into the Savings Challenge for February to use toward irregular bills in March.

I know that if I pay the bills now or later really doesn't matter for us.  I could just take the Feb. excess to savings now and then maybe go negative for March, or hold back $500 for Feb. so we don't go negative in savings for March.  It would be just a temporary setback on paper vs. juggling the money for a bit.

It's not like it will mean having to pay interest or having overdraft fees because we went negative in the bank accounts because we have a cushion of extra cash in those accounts anyway.  I can handily cover any overages in our accounts.

Hubs doesn't get why I get so worked up and track everything so closely. This coming from the man who NEVER balanced an account before we got married and use to write checks for cups of coffee at school. ;-)

I just like to know where everything stands at any given time.
OCD, anal retentive?  Maybe.

I just like the way it feels month to month when I can cash flow things and not have to pull from savings for bills one month and then replenish those accounts the following month.
Just thinking ahead I can see where trouble might happen and deal with it rather than reacting to what life throws at me.
I guess it's a difference between RESPONDING to life events rather than having to REACT to life events?

Peace of mind maybe.
My financial life flowing smoothly.....not three steps forward, one step back.
Are you that way too?

Most people live a life of reaction.  Reacting to crises, waiting for something to happen and then dealing with it.  Life runs smoothly for a bit longer until the next crisis.....and the next and the next.

I find this type of living exhausting.  Being organized no matter the arena(your job, your money, your home, etc.)makes your life run smoother.

Maybe THIS POST or THIS ONE might explain what I am talking about better.

Overall, everything will get paid and savings will happen at Chez Sluggy.
And I'll continue to respond with my money and not react to it.

Sluggy


11 comments:

  1. I too find living a life of reaction exhausting. I won't sleep at night if I am worried about paying the bills, so I am a planner. Having said that, do you use a special kind of program like Quicken to keep track of your budget. I do use Mint.com since it is free. It's actually fun to look at everything. We actually have more than I think we do when I look at the numbers.

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    1. I'm old school Belinda when it comes to tracking. I have a notebook for recording every grocery receipt, and I use paper and pencil to make a budget and to track it each month, as well as the net worth stuff. I do keep a database in the computer of it all too, but I just use my brain and calculator and no programs. That just works for me. 8-)

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    2. Yup, paper and pencil old school, accounting ledger. Works for me.

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  2. Old school here, too. Very old school, in fact. Paper and pencil is more "real" to me. And, you can't hack a notebook.

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  3. Oh Sluggy you are my soul sister!! I too find it so satisfying to know that we are prepared for not just the normal living expenses but also for those pesky unforeseen potholes on the road of life. I like to see those numbers for income and expenses every month and quarterly I do a net worth statement. My husband and I were able to retire with a 7 figure retirement account, paid for home, we paid cash for our vehicles, and I keep ahead 1 year of property taxes, homeowner's insurance, auto insurance, and HOA fees in the bank. We have Medicare and a supplemental policy and I keep one year's maximum out of pocket expenses in the bank. I know it won't protect us from everything but as the old saying goes, I've never had a problem where having money made it worse.

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    1. Amen! That is how to live a stress free life.

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  4. That is so great. I make lists, but don't do it consistently. I need to work on that.

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  5. My husband thinks I am the same - anal retentive for keeping such close track...then he asks me a year later what kid #4 owes us (we lent money, long story, something we said we would never do) and I can spout off exactly how much and what date. Kid is repaying us btw :) I can also tell him how much our electricity bill was in August of 2013. I don't think you can actually go forward financially without knowing the details

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  6. We've been in both positions, and I like responding and planning a whole lot more! Like now, there is a high possibility of a shutdown this summer due to a governmental impasse. No work, no pay, but we can use vacation pay to cover any gaps. I'm trying to make sure I reserve at least two full weeks of vacation. If it goes beyond two weeks, shame on those responsible, but we'll just need to belt tighten what I might miss

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  7. You are so good for me. I am so poorly organized and have been for so much of my life. You are my inspiration. Aren't those words to a song. Yes I sing about you. I will never achieve your high standards but a girl has to have a mentor. Thanks for all you do to keep me blazing or sputtering ahead.

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  8. Sluggy,

    I am so sorry that you have all of these medical bills to pay. But sometimes life kicks us in the "B*****. We all feel good when things are flowing smoothly and then wham something happens. Hoping things get better for you.

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