With our monthly budget comes savings. It would seem we are “weirdos” or “oddballs” in that we save for things before they come up. We started with a $1000 emergency fund or “rainy day fund”. Thankfully, we never had to actually dig into it. But, it was there if we needed it.
Every month, we added a little more to our emergency fund until it was at the point where we felt comfortable (for something drastic like job loss or medical emergency). Our emergency fund (rainy day fund) gives us peace of mind and helps us avoid stress when unexpected expenses come up. Recently, our older van needed new brakes and a new motor mount. Instead of having to scramble for extra money or put off a needed repair that keeps our car safe for all our kids, we were able to just get the repair done. It’s hard to convey the amount of peace that brings. Save the drama for some other mama!
Once we got our “rainy day” fund out of the way, we started saving for our “Sunny Day.”
What is a Sunny Day?
It’s the feeling of optimism, confidence and control around your money. It’s a moment in life when a goal or aspiration becomes a reality.
How do we do it?
Yes, we save for things coming up, whether we know exactly what they are, or just have an idea of something coming up. And, there isn’t a great scheme where we do $1 one day and $2 the next in a jar. We have been debt-free for several years and it’s the only way for us!
Every month, we make a budget before the month starts (free free to grab that google doc and use it for your budgeting! Let me know if you do!)We keep it electronic so we can see if from our phones, computers and google drives.
We fill in all of the items on said budget line by line. We also discuss anything we know might be coming up or anything we know we will want to do.
For example, when B came along, we knew we were going to need another vehicle that would seat more than 4 people. We made our budget as tight as possible and said we were going to set aside at least $500/month to build up our cash only car fund.
If we couldn’t put the $500 in there, we had to make adjustments because we wanted to make sure we had the funds by our (self-imposed) deadline.
This money went into a separate account every month. It was almost like we were paying ourselves to save it.
We went to the bank and we were able to get a cashier’s check directly from our account and pay for our new (used) car with no debt. The sunniest of days for sure!
Last year, we were saving for new windows for our house. While we had no idea how much they would cost, we were putting aside money every month. Then, we got the most amazing invite to Disneyland. We knew we had been saving the money for windows, but we couldn’t pass up Disneyland.
We made a family decision to use the money we had been saving for our windows for our trip to Disneyland. We knew we could keep saving for windows and would only be postponing that goal a bit. And since we had a Sunny Day fund, even though we were saving for one thing, we were able to change it out and use the money for something most certainly sunny!
The best part? Because we kept saving for our windows and upped our rate of savings, we were able to replace all of our windows just a few months later than planned and we were still able to pay cash!
At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. When you feel confident about your money, you can save for your goals and spend knowingly on what matters most to you. They know we all live for the sunny days and want to you help you live yours.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.