Revamping all of my financial accounts.

Since last months disastrous over-balance and overdraft fees, I have finally decided to revamp all the links and payments to and from all my accounts. I figured, at the same time, I might as well set them all up in a way that forces me to stay within budget. Now I don’t think my budget is unreasonable, it is just hard to control myself when everything goes on a credit card. So from now on I am only using 2 credit cards… well make that 3… actually 4. Let me explain.

Before:
1. Direct Deposit Orange into Electric Orange
2. Auto Pay Loans from Electric Orange
3. Spending money on whatever credit card I got my hands on first. Balance paid in full at the end of the month.
4. Never really stayed in budget, everything would get spent or lost.

After:
1. Direct Deposit Orange into Electric Orange
2. Auto Pay Loans from Electric Orange
3. $100/mnth auto pay to separate account for car insurance
4. $600/mnth (auto) spending money to debit card account
5. $300/mnth (auto) to separate account for “Fun Fund” gadgets, vacations, etc.

Credit Cards:
1. ExxonMobil Card – Gas only; Budgeted for $375/month (Cash Back)
2. Driver’s Edge Card – Groceries only; Budgeted for $450/month (6% Cash Back)
3. Chase Card – Cable/Netflix – Autopay of both the bill and card – $185/month
4. (2) Citi Cards – Non-monthly purchases (to keep the cards current)

I always thought it was a little crazy to have bank accounts for several goals. But I thought I would try it out and see if it could break down the budget a little easier. Instead of just having a lump sum and spending it like crazy. I also think I can better control my non-regular monthly expenses like clothes and vacations better if I know I am setting aside for them. If there is a known balance I can spend and a certain amount is being added each month… it’s not so bad to say next month I can buy it because I will have enough money. In contrast to what I used to do, “I need to save money so I can’t buy it (ever!)” Then I give in and buy it anyway because I can’t stop thinking about “needing” it.

The hardest part of this whole ordeal will be ensuring I have all the proper links between accounts. Since they are all with different banks (from when I previously would chase the highest interest rate) there are all the limits on links, the waiting and approval periods, trial deposits, all that BS. So I have separately made a list of all the links I need and will be working through setting them up over the next week or two. I am also purposefully going to delete links that I don’t need in order to stop me from doing something I shouldn’t.

What to do with the leftovers. Not quite sure how to tackle this. Want a system which will reward me for going under budget on things like groceries, by allowing me to add to vacation fund. But I also want something which will stream extra money towards my loans. For now I’ll take the easy road out.

Leftovers from anything paid out of my Electric Orange (gas, groceries, cable) will go towards loans. And anything leftover from monthly expenses will go towards my Fun Fund.

After spending way too much time figuring this out the only thing left to do is to get my other half to abide by it… I pay the spending bills he pays the rent. Pretty much evens out…

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