Pay Yourself First

Every month we have been transferring $400 to an ING account that we call our “one-time expense” account. This is for things beyond the money we need in our chequing on a daily basis for things such as food. ING accounts are great. You are allowed a maximum of 4 accounts per person, so all told my wife and I could have 8 accounts if we wanted. Since we made each of our INGs joint, we can both access all 8 accounts. Right now we are really only using 2 accounts, our one-time expense account and our vacation account. You can give your accounts nicknames too. Over the last few months since we re-organized our finances and switched over to PC Financial, we haven’t had to use our one-time expense account that much. But recently we started running out of money in our chequing account. A few times, the $350 I transfer in to our chequing account every week for daily expenses hasn’t been enough to get through the week. So a few times we had to transfer anywhere between $50 and $150 additional money from our one-time expense account at ING to our chequing account at PC, in order to make it through the week. Just last week I purchased a bike for $352 and that also came out of our one-time expense account. In order to stop the bleeding and prevent us from spending all of the money in that ING account, I decided to transfer $500 of it into our ING “Christmas” account which has been sitting at $0 since last Christmas. It is far less likely that we will dip into the Christmas account, most likely we will completely forget that that money is there, just like we have forgotten about all the money that has been piling up in our vacation account. That is the beauty of paying yourself first. You put money away in an account that is less liquid than your chequing account, give that money a specific purpose so you won’t be inclined to spend it on something else, and you will completely forget about it. I do not think I have every saved up for Christmas this early before. We will probably need another $200 for Christmas, but it is so nice to start getting that out of the way early as it means we don’t need to think about it and can save up for other things.

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