I had to re-do my budget after my relationship ended and I bought a house last October. Since then I was trying to live on just my employment income and child support. I had the child tax credit and other government incentives deposited into a separate account that I haven't used in years, one that charges me $1.25 per transaction, which for me is a good spending deterrent.
My intention is to save the money until November 2015 and then decide whether to put it towards a student loan, the car loan, or spend a bit on the house. I would really like to buy a dishwasher, paint the bedrooms, and start renovating the bathroom. I have to be careful with house spending though, because in five to seven years I will have to replace the roof and maybe one or more of the appliances.
Our collective agreement expires June 30, and hopefully by this November we will have a new contract negotiated. If we decide to strike, then the savings account will be my personal strike fund, as the union's pays out something like $25 per day, each day I am out on the strike line.
This savings account was growing nicely, until we hit April, which was a way spendier month than I would have liked. It was my son's birthday, and my mom's 60th birthday, and credit card bills came in from March, which was also a bit spendy after declaring February a no-spend month. I used the separate savings account two or three times to pay a credit card bill that was more than I could manage with my regular chequing account.
This will occur again in May or June, as I have booked a week's holiday for Bean and I for the first week of July. I could use part of my emergency fund, but a road trip for fun is clearly not an emergency. I also have to pay for accommodations for a meditation retreat I attended last weekend.
A goal I have been formulating and slowly working toward is to have exactly three months' pay in three separate accounts, and any funds saved on top of that will go towards one of the student loans or the car loan. However this might not work because I need to start saving for the roof replacement, which is difficult when the spendy months come up again and again.
I haven't been in a rush to pay off loans because I am still on Interest Relief with student loans, and my car loan is at 1.9%, which works out to about $1 a day in interest, which to me is an acceptable expense for the convenience the car provides for Bean and I.
So ... credit card debt is still under control. Other debts are being paid off slowly. Savings are accumulating slowly. The budget is constantly under scrutiny.