Five years ago, I was a personal banker at a regional bank, making about $28,000 per year. According to my historical financial records (I have been tracking my income, savings, and spending in Excel since 2000), I had about $3000 in savings at that time. When I wasn’t making much money, I seldom used credit cards and always had money saved - it wasn’t until I took a VP job in late 2003 that I started living beyond my means. I haven’t been able to maintain a balance of more than a couple of hundred dollars in any savings account since.
As of today, I am happy to report that I have exactly $7,264.08 in the ING savings account I opened last November.
I did it by banking my “extra” paycheck last winter (I’m paid bi-weekly, so I get two “extra” pay days each year), putting away nearly all of my tax refund, saving my teaching income, and having $100 direct deposited to the account every pay period.
There were a few setbacks early on - in January unexpected bills nearly emptied the account. I am so thrilled that now, just a month and a half later, I have recovered nicely and have enough saved to cover our portion of the wedding expenses as well as fund my infrequent bills account and emergency savings.
Now that I have an emergency cushion built up, I can start getting really serious about attacking my credit card consolidation loan. Maybe next year at this time I’ll be free of credit card debt and open a brokerage account (assuming the market will have stabilized by then!).Stumble it!