We generally have a few sinking funds that have no limits on them because they empty on their own throughout the year. Insurance, Christmas, car registration, clothing, and our birthday/gift funds are examples of these. We also don't limit our auto maintenance account since that's also our car replacement fund money.
In the past we never discussed capping our sinking funds before, but after brainstorming ideas on how to free up money for operation pay down the mortgage, we decided to set some limits.
We decided that a nice $1,000.00 set aside for Roxy as her emergency fund was quite wise. We currently have $750 in her account. It will take us 5-6 months to get this to a grand, but we will probably always have a line item in the budget for Roxy and just take the leftovers and apply them elsewhere at months end once the account gets to its limit since this is where we budget her food, meds, and grooming.
We also decided we would cap our medical to $1,000 as well since we still have SCB on his work insurance and not kaiser. We have $960 in the account right now, but since I'm renting the hospital breast pump each month and its about $44 a month, we probably will continue to see this as a line item in the budget and just divert the extras once the account reaches the limit while I'm pumping.
Our vacation fund was a spot of disagreement for us. We have a around $1200 in the account and I wanted to propose caping it to $1,000.00 and transfering the overage to roxys account to help it get to its cap...., but SCB didn't want to cap it at all. He wanted to keep funding it so at the end of the great 5 year mortgage pay down, we would have enough money to go on a super nice vacation.... So we discussed how this expense works with our goals since we both get a budget vote and he suggested capping it at $2,000.00 instead... I toseed out $1500 as a compromise because a family trip to Utah conservatively costs us $300-$500 and if we were to go for a week, we wouldn't pay daycare, saving us $220 that we could use. That seemed to satisfy him so in a few months we can start diverting this money to the mortgage hopefully.
All in all we now have a plan for these funds even if we won't see the benefits for a few months. Eventually this could mean an extra $150-$200 a month.
We also have been setting aside the extra money in our utility bills line item into a savings account to use for the more expensive summer months where we run the ac wall unit. We decided that a $300 buffer here is sufficient since we are generally only short $40 to $60 2-4 months during summer season and that amount will cover us.
Pocket money, cell phone and gas leftovers are saved and roll over so those won't be added to the snowball. We divert the extra gas money to our car repair fund, save the cell phone money for the minute cards and to replace chargers, cables and phones.
Everything else rolls into the snowball.
I go back to work this month so the daycare expense is moved up to our spending section.
- Mortgage (P&I, Property taxes) $792.01
- Extra Principle: $69.00
- Last Months Leftovers: $880.00
- Extra paycheck: $689.05
- Overtime: $39.79 + $40.65
- Interest from sinking funds: $4.68
- Giving $600
- Fast Offering $20.00
- Groceries: $315.64
- Date Nights $100.00
- Pocket Money for the month- $80.00 ($40 each)
- Cell phone allowance $45.00
- HOA $325.00
- Utility Bills $150.00
- Gasoline/Auto $250.00
- Discretionary Spending $100.00
- Diapers and wipes: $118
- SCB's Cell Phone: $30.00
- Daycare: $880.00
- Roxy Fund $50.00
- Prescriptions & Doctors visits $50.00
- Birthday savings $50.00
- Insurance $155.00
- Christmas savings $50.00
- Vacation Savings $100.00
- Car Emergency Fund $100.00
- Car Registration Fund $25.00
- Clothes: $50.00