Any time I talk to someone new about my “galavanting” as my grandma puts it (she’s the one who’s so lovingly called me a gypsy my whole life, too), they’re convinced that either a) my dad pays my rent (HAHA!), b) I have a rich boyfriend in Italy (another joke.. I’m Miss “Don’t Even Say the R Word in My Presence”), or c) I’m in insane debt and spend beyond my means.
Obviously, none of these are true (& thank GOD c isn’t). Truthfully, I’m just careful. When I get paid each week (or got paid, since I’m now solely volunteering), my direct-deposit check was automatically split into three accounts:
- Rent Checking: $300
- This amounts to $1,200/month, which is enough to cover both my rent and utilities
- I don’t even see this money, so I never have to worry about being tempted to spend it or about scrambling at the end of the month to come up with rent
- Savings: $100
- It’s probably not a lot, but for me this is huge
- I started my automatic savings deposits small ($20) and had them gradually increase to where they are now
- Up until embarrassingly recently, a “savings account” to me was one I drained when I wanted to buy something big or go somewhere extra far.. I definitely wasn’t saving to save (& would’ve been screwed in the event of a full-blown emergency for sure)
- Regular Checking: the rest
- It’s from this account that I pay my credit card and other bills (lease, insurance, etc.)
BIG checks from real estate deals are split in a similar manner, though only between savings and regular checking. The majority goes to savings and to pay a chunk of my school loans.
Automatic payments are lifesavers for me! As I’ve said, I’m constantly going in 73 different directions at once – between work and school alone I’m swamped, and if something isn’t in my iPhone calendar, it’s not happening. Automatic, recurring payments save me from having to remember certain bills (& spare me from ever being late!).
- Car: my lease payment is automatically taken out of my checking account at the end of the month
- Student Loans: these payments break my heart when I see them constantly withdrawn L but it has to be done
- I didn’t defer my loans/put off payments until after graduation, so I’ve always paid as I’ve attended classes
- I make these a devastating once a week (even now while I’m unemployed.. posso vomitare)
- I think the minimum is like $40/month, but I end up paying about $300/month because I’m neurotic
I’m sure you could make automatic payments for credit card bills, but I don’t. As neurotic as I am about school loan payments, I’m way worse with my card! I only have one: the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Card. I am obsessed. I use Chase for my checking/savings/rent accounts, as well, and I can’t say enough good things about them or their app. I’ve heard it’s good to keep a small balance on a credit card, but I literally would lose sleep at night – I immediately pay off any charges I make directly on my iPhone through the Chase app. I always saw my parents pay early and in full, and I guess I’ve picked it up from them!
Budgeting aside, the MileagePlus program associated with my card has allowed me to travel like the gypsy I am and then some. It changed my life! It even has its own separate post, that’s how f’ing valuable it is to me! 😉 Check that out for more info.