So I hopped online and did a quick search for banks with the best interest rates and discovered Barclay's online savings program. With zero fees, minimum opening balances, and automatic linking to existing banks I couldn't possibly resist this! However, due to the
Up until now, I had been socking away $400 per month into my savings, however with my new spending plan, I've got to split that money up a bit more. Going forward, the idea is to increase total savings to $500 per month, but this increased savings amount will be split between six different savings goals. The first item will be my short term savings account, which is actually simply going to be my current Emergency Expenses account. I worked my butt off to ensure this got funded with at least $1,000 to help with any immediate emergencies I might have (car breaks down, crazy unexpected accident, etc). I will leave this at $1,000 for now as I don't want too much money sitting in a regular old savings account that does not accumulate interest. Going forward, I'll be dropping $100 (plus $40 rolled over from my already full Short Term Savings) into the Barclay's account, which will earn me a whopping 1 percent in interest!! :D Super excited about that. The long term goal for this Living Fund is to reach the point where it will cover 3 months of living costs, which for me is about $10,000 right now if you include all the credit card debt I'm paying off. Without that added debt it would be more like $6,000. In any case, once I hit that 3 month mark, I'll then begin using this Barclay's account to fund my regular living expenses. Basically depositing the necessary funds to pay all my bills and cover my monthly spending plan once a month. In this instance, I would then simply deposit all my pay checks into the Barclay's savings account as I earned them, locking in more interest and continuing to grow it incrementally if I manage to live within budget consistently. Then once the Barclay's fund hits a full six month's living costs I would then maintain that level, depositing all excess income into a variety of investments.
In addition to my new Living Fund, I plan to open up an account with Barclay's whose purpose is to save up extra cash for paragliding lessons. To become certified in the basics costs around $1,500. Then purchasing your own kit costs another $3,000 to $5,000. I won't be doing this any time soon, needless to say, but perhaps a few years down the road I can reward myself. Also I've got a few ideas for utilizing paramotors in Africa. One could, theoretically re-purpose a regular scooter engine to propel a paraglider pilot in a microlight type vehicle which could provide transportation for individuals and small payloads to and from remote areas, cutting down significantly on infrastructure costs and transit time. There have already been several mission agencies working to develop a flying car using paraglider technology but they have it totally backwards. In any case, that is a completely different topic. Long term, I want to learn to paraglide and Barclay's can help with their "Dream Savings" accounts.
Now of course, these are all long term, ambitious goals, but I a not going to make any progress if I just sit around on my butt awaiting the stars to align. Barclay's will allow me to sock away more money and keep it saved by hiding it from sight. I regularly check my regular bank accounts, so by regularly transferring money out of my regular bank account, I naturally limit the total access I have to funds to a certain degree. In an emergency, I can, of course, transfer money back into my main account. But the idea is to grow my short term cushion. We will see how things look by next month as I may have to revise some of my price targets and accelerate my credit card payments rather than focusing on a high rate of saving to begin with. April's spending plan may need quite a bit of revision.