Today our paychecks come in.
When we get our paychecks, they direct-deposit into our checking account, and my husband does his budgeting magic. He transfers some money for non-monthly bills (like car insurance and trash) and accumulating budget categories (like Dog Fund and Gift Fund) to an online checking account for that purpose, leaves money in the brick-and-mortar checking account for monthly budget categories (mortgage, gas, food, electric, etc.), and transfers the rest to a separate Emergency Fund online savings account.
Commercial Break: All our savings accounts are with ING, and we're beyond delighted with them. I've got referral links- which can only each be used once, so email me at itsjustchange-at-gmail to get a link, which will get you $25 in your account and $10 for me. In addition, it will get you anywhere-access to your accounts, a pretty good interest rate, and access to ATMs all over the country. Seriously, I'm a big fan. (I'll write post full of gushing later)
And we're back.
In a normal month, at the end of the pay period, after paying all applicable bills and buying gas and getting cash out for our cash budget categories, our checking account is pretty low. If we spend all our cash and need to use our check card for anything, it's dangerously low. This low balance is buy design- if we left more money than we need in the account, it has the potential to get spent. With just a small buffer beyond our budgeted categories, we can't easily spend beyond our budget. Our credit card and online accounts are accessible, sure, but we have to consciously choose to use them, which makes us pause and think before we do- is this over-budget spending worth it?
All that said, we've just completed the first no-spend pay period, and I'm happy to say our checking account had barely been touched (except for bills). It's nice not having to watch the balance carefully the last two or three days before a paycheck comes in.
The month is almost halfway over!
Today's failure: We BOTH forgot our lunches at home because we had a disrupted morning routine. I'll have a bagel here at the office for lunch, and look forward to dinner. My husband will probably go out for an inexpensive lunch. The lunches that are already conveniently packed and in the fridge will turn into a picnic lunch downtown tomorrow night. A night on the town for nothing? I'll take that!