The Diary of a Budgeter – Day 36

Bobbi Olson Articles, The Diary of a Budgeter

Benefitting from stimulus

Agree or disagree with the politics, it looks like another stimulus check is coming soon.

Scott and I are putting ours into our 3-6 month job loss fund, since our main goal right now is to get that fully funded. With what we’ve already saved, it will get us close to the half way mark. I must say, that’s very exciting! The closer we get, the more calm I feel. I often think of how a job loss could devastate our lives, if we weren’t prepared – I’ve always felt that fear, and I’m tired of it.

In addition to feeling calm, I’m getting excited! Once that fund is complete, we can move on to the next goal! For us, that’s our next car fund. I’m bound and determined that the next time we buy a car, it will be with cash. We’re not planning on buying a new car, so the fund doesn’t have to be anywhere near as high, as if that was our goal.

When we were close to paying off the car we have now, our plan was to put the money we’d been spending on the car payment into savings for the next. But that didn’t really work because, at the time, we had no medical fund, no car maintenance fund and no emergency savings. And we were still trying to stay on top of irregular/annual expenses. Then Scott had to have major surgery, so our main focus became trying to keep everything current while paying off the out-of-pocket medical expenses and save a bit ahead for the inevitable car maintenance expenses.

We felt successful during this time, because even though we didn’t feel like we were getting ahead, we never went back into debt. That was truly a blessing!

With all that behind us now, we’ve been able to start building and keep the momentum going. When we were in debt, it always felt like two steps forward, two steps back. Once we were debt free, but had major expenses to deal with, it felt like one step forward, one step back.  Once the major expenses were behind us, it felt like one step forward. Now, it feels like two steps forward!

Through it all, we’ve only untightened our belts a bit. We’re still basically living on the same budget (as far as “fun money”) as we were when we were paying off debt. But we’ve chosen this, because it makes hitting our other goals faster. And once we’re done, we can live our lives any way we choose! We won’t always have another big savings goal to go whole hog after. Yes, we’ll transition to saving a lot more for retirement, but we won’t be trying to accomplish that goal in a year or two, which means we can loosen up and have more “fun money!”

We could choose more “fun money” now, but we’d be sorry if we experienced the job loss before we’re prepared. Then, not only would “fun money” be completely out the window, but we’d be stressed and regretful.

I’d rather stay tight now and go after my savings goals hard, so when I do loosen up on the “fun money” I can truly enjoy whatever I decide to spend it on – no stress, no regrets!

What will your stimulus check do for you? Email me: and share your ideas!