On November 30th, 2010 Girl Ninja and I had exactly $2,824.65 in our savings account (this does not include our Emergency Fund). Between November 2010 and September 2011, this account became very hungry and ate just about every dollar of discretionary income we had. By Sept. 2011, only ten months later, our savings had increased from less than $3,000 to an astonishing $45,017.92.
Our savings account was, and for the most part still is, a one way account. Money goes in, but it doesn’t go out. This is both good and bad. Good because we’ve been able to stock pile a lot of cash over the last twelve months. Bad because cash in and of itself is worthless, its value is only realized when utilized to purchase a good or service.
I leave this Friday for a six-week work trip to Korea. Whenever I go abroad for work, I have the potential to make some serious extra money. This trip should net me about $4,000 in addition to my standard base salary.
Every other time I have traveled (this is my third international trip), I’ve thrown the extra cash I’ve made in to our savings account and called it a day. Doesn’t that just scream….
This time, things are different. I know myself too well. If Girl Ninja let me put that $4,000 in to our “extra” savings fund, I wouldn’t want to ever take it out. I’m obsessed with watching the value of that savings account rise, and I seriously might suffer a mild heart attack (or have at least have really bad gas) if I saw the balance decrease.
So how do we reconcile this silly predicament?
It’s quite easy actually. I’ve created a new savings account with ING and labeled it the “New To Us Car Fund”. As you know, the wife and I plan to sell one of our two vehicles on Craigslist in the coming months (or years) and use the cash from the sale to purchase a gently used SUV from a private party. Since neither of our vehicles will fully cover the cost of a decent SUV, we will have to front the cash to cover the difference. Car loans are definitely not sexy.
If I put the $4,000 I make in to our extra savings fund, there is no way I’d be willing to pull the money out for an SUV. It would be too emotionally difficult for me. I’d feel like we were taking a step backward. The New Car Fund, however, is not a savings account. Instead it’s a spending account that I know we will tap in the near future.
I feel like a crazy person for even blogging about this. I don’t know why I can’t just suck it up and throw the $4K in our normal savings account, leaving a mental note that at some point down the road we will pull that same $4K out. My brain just doesn’t work that way I guess.
Maybe one day I’ll be financially mature enough to keep all of our savings in one main account, but today is definitely not that day.
Do you have a hard time spending money that’s in your savings account? Do you keep separate savings accounts (like I do) so that you don’t feel guilty about tapping your funds?