Quantcast Finally Frugal: Saving for the future. . . .

The bumpy road to financial independence. . . .

 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Saving for the future. . . .

The fall term is upon me, and with the changing leaves, classes starting, and chillier weather, so arrives my tuition bill. Since I work at the university, I'm eligible for tuition benefits, which amount to roughly $2,700 a term (not a bad chunk of change). However, I'm responsible for approximately $300 for university and department fees, plus book costs. In years past, these costs normally ended up on my credit card---I never had $300 in my checking account at any one time, let alone the $150 additional for textbooks and other school supplies!

These days, however, I have my ING Direct savings sub-account entitled 'Tuition and books', to which $133 is sent every payday. Right now there is more than enough to pay my fees, and on October 1st, there will be an additional $133 added to it, which will help cover my book costs.

A simple change in my budgeting system has allowed me to pay for these items outright, rather than putting them on credit and paying 8 or 9 or 12 or 15% interest over many, many months. I'm actually amazed at how simple it is, and the best part is the decrease in stress when the term begins---I have the money. It's in the bank. I can pay with cash! Well, with 'debit', but you get the point.

And it was so simple! All I did was:

1. estimate the amount I would need for tuition and fees, plus books, each term. This is admittedly the most difficult part; it's basically a 'guesstimate'. However, once I'd come up with this estimate, I:

2. multiplied that number by four. Why four? Because the Oregon university system runs on quarters---four terms per year (as compared to the semester system, which I prefer, by the way). So if I know that I'll be taking courses every term during a year, then I'll need to know my yearly tuition, fees, and related school costs. Then I:

3. divided by 12. This gives me the rough monthly 'cost' of attending school, which is around $133. Finally, I:

4. created an ING sub-account (I LOVE sub-accounts!) into which I deposit $133 each month. I had to begin the sub-account at the beginning of a term, so the money in the account had time to grow large enough to cover the following term's bills.

It works like a charm! I know it sounds like an exercise for a kindergartner, and I probably shouldn't be so delighted by it, but for someone who used to regularly put piddly amounts on credit---even items that I had known well in advance I would have to purchase, it's nothing short of a miracle.

3 comments:

RTC said...

Impressive--saving ahead of time! This is what I aspire to do. Maybe ING would help me, too.

marci357 said...

Such a little thing can make such a big difference! Way to go!

I was surprised to see that your books were only about $150. My daughter's books this term were $450 - and literally over a foot high! She buys some of her books online tho, and we have been getting them for 2/3's to 1/2 price. Try abebooks.com and cheapbooks.com and a few others who specialize in textbooks. It's made a big difference!

PS - That's a VERY nice job perk!

LP said...

It's not piddly at all! In fact, I should really get better about planning things out like that.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...