Most of us subscribe to the "snowball" method for debt reduction.....you know, you throw all your extra money at one debt, then roll it into the next, and so forth and so forth.
But I started thinking about all my little piles of "savings." Am I doing myself a disservice by trying to save for everything by putting a little here and a little there? Or should I be taking that bulk amount and save for one thing at a time? And as a spin off...what about "free" money....like Swagbucks (more on this in a minute).
So here are my piles of money, and their balances as of this week, how much we add bi-weekly, and when the money is need:
Camp - $190; $15; Needs to be funded at $950 by June 15
G-man's birthday party - $42; $40; Needs to be funded at $800 by November 1, but may need sooner
Christmas - $32; $30; Needs to be funded $800 by November 15
Computer Fund - $230; $30; No due date but probably needs to be about $700
Between the 4 areas, it is $115 bi-weekly. What if I put $115 into ONE account, and once it was funded, then move on?? If I did this....here would be the dates the account would be "funded":
Camp - $190; Needs to be funded by June 15 -APRIL 18
G-man's birthday party - $42; Needs to be funded by November 1, but may need sooner - JULY 25
Christmas - $32; Needs to be funded by November 15 - OCTOBER 17
Computer Fund - $230; No due date - DECEMBER 26
HOLY COW!!! If I just concentrate my efforts, I will have everything funded well ahead of time, so the money will be waiting for me when I need it for each. Plus, it gives me a little cushion room. PLUS, I get to accomplish it ALL by the end of the year.
An observant fellow might have noticed that Camp needs to be funded first, and by contributing $15 every 2 weeks, I would only be at $355. That is way off from where it really needed to be My plan for that was to use my third paycheck in March to make up the difference. But that was sort of a risky idea.
I love this new plan. Just by concentrating my efforts, I get where I need to be much faster, with less risk (aka, needing to make up for shortfall). All of these are on auto transfer, so all I have to do reset what account gets what.
Now, I mentioned Swagbucks. My plan has been to use my Swagbucks to buy a dining room set (which isn't needed per se....but I would like to have). I have been exchanging my 700 Swagbucks for $5 via Paypal. Would I be better off throwing these snowflakes at my other things....or just keep them separate (how freakin' cool would it be to buy a whole dining room set with "free" money!!!)
Has anyone done this method before? Should I keep saving for it all at once, or concentrate my efforts? Thoughts??? Do I just over think this stuff??????